Vitamins, minerals, and nutrients are essential for a healthy mind and body. And while we might only remember the good it does for our bodies, we forget the importance vitamins have on our hair. Just as our organs need nutrients to survive, our hair needs them to grow and stay strong. In fact, hair loss or thinning can at times be linked to nutrient deficiencies. While age, genetics, and other factors can play a role in hair loss, vitamin and mineral intake can play a role in the way your hair maintains health and strength.
Protein is an essential component of every cell in the body. We use protein to build and repair tissues, as well as to make enzymes, hormones, and other body chemicals. It is an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood, and is especially essential for your hair and nails as both are mostly made of protein.
Protein is known as a “macronutrient,” which means the body needs relatively large amounts of it. Because the body does not store proteins the way it stores fats and carbohydrates, we need to supplement our bodies with as much protein as is needed since there is no reservoir to draw upon when we need a new supply.
Due to the fact that our hair is made up of protein, we must be vigilant in maintaining a healthy dose of protein a day to ensure our hair is healthy and strong. About 80-85% of your hair is composed of a protein known as keratin. These proteins are the building blocks in keeping your hair strong and in the anagen (growing) phase. Without sufficient protein in your diet, your hair can become brittle and break off easily before reaching its capable length. Keeping a low protein diet for long periods of time can also lead to your hair thinning as well as hair loss.
The best sources of protein are ‘primary proteins’, which include fish, eggs, lean meats, red meat, poultry, and cheese. If you don’t eat meat, you can find your proteins from ‘secondary sources’ such as beans, lentils, nuts, tofu, and pulses.
Biotin is also essential for hair health and growth. When biotin interacts with cell enzymes, it then produces amino acids which are compounds that form those proteins as mentioned above.
Biotin is another macronutrient and is important for energy production and support a number of enzymes involved in the metabolism of carbs, fats, and proteins. Biotin also improves your body’s keratin infrastructure, and as stated above, keratin is very important in the health and strength of your hair.
Research on the effects of biotin is pretty sparse, and there is limited evidence to suggest that increased biotin helps in the promotion of hair growth. However, studies have found that biotin deficiencies play a huge role in hair loss, suggesting its importance in the hair growth process.
Lentils are a great source of biotin, as well as carrots, almonds, walnuts, cauliflower, mushrooms, bananas, and whole grains.
Iron is one of the key nutrients your body needs to perform its daily activities. Its main functions include the metabolization of proteins, and the production of hemoglobin, enzymes, and red blood cells. Iron helps red blood cells carry oxygen to your cells, and is important for many bodily functions, including hair growth and health.
Hair follicles need oxygen to survive, and being deficient in this mineral can lead to hair loss. Iron also helps improve hair texture and reduces dullness by increasing the flow of oxygen and nutrients to the hair roots and scalp.
It is also great for your skin and body in general. Many women have a deficiency in iron, also known as anemia, and may experience excessive hair loss due to the low amount of iron in their body. Foods rich in iron are shellfish, spinach, legumes, red meat, pumpkin seeds, quinoa, and turkey. You can also take supplements if you aren’t finding enough iron in your daily diet.
You can also try Kiierr’s DHT blocking vitamins if you want to go the extra mile for your hair. They are packed with important vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that not only fight hair loss, but promote hair growth and scalp circulation.