Healthy Hair Growth after Nutritional Deficiencies
Are you eating a balanced diet? If not, you may be putting your hair at risk. When the body lacks particular vitamins, minerals or other components, it will ‘steal’ those nutrients from non-essential structures, such as hair and nails. The good news is hair loss caused by missing nutrients is easily treatable and temporary.
Top Hair Loss Issues for those with Nutritional Deficiencies
Below we address some common concerns regarding hair loss due to a nutritional deficiency and natural alternatives to healthy hair growth. If your question is not addressed, feel free to contact one of our experts by clicking to the left.
Good nutrition is critical for building strong, lustrous hair. Unfortunately, poor dietary habits are a very common cause of temporary hair loss or thin and lackluster hair. In order for hair follicles to produce healthy hair, they require an abundant supply of key building blocks including amino acids from protein, vitamins (A, C, E, B's), minerals (including iron, zinc, and selenium), essential fatty acids, and other nutrients. When the diet lacks these vital nutrients, hair follicles are unable to function optimally and new hair growth is weakened, slowed, or even halted altogether. Poor diet can also contribute to inflammation within the follicles, causing excess shedding, hair breakage, and a weak connection of the hair shaft to its root.
It is important to consult a physician to rule out more serious causes of hair loss. Your physician may conduct a blood test to determine which nutrients your body is lacking and prescribe supplements to balance your body. Before starting any vitamin supplementation or attempting to self-diagnose which vitamin or mineral might be causing hair loss, you should consult your physician. It is possible to overdose on some of the supplements used to prevent or treat hair loss, such as iron. And other supplements, such as vitamin A, can increase hair loss if taken excessively.
Yes. With proper nourishment, excessive shedding, hair loss and breakage can be eliminated; and damaged and dormant hair follicles can be repaired and even reactivated, resulting in new hair growth. You may consider eating a diet rich in protein, essential fatty acids (especially omega-3 fatty acids), Vitamin A, Vitamin B-6, Vitamin B-12, Biotin, Vitamin C and Vitamin E. You may also want to supplement your food intake with a natural supplement like Hair Essentials™ that offers an abundant supply of hair-healthy nutrients.
Vitamin A. The scalp uses vitamin A to create sebum. Sebum lubricates the hair roots and keeps hair from getting dry. Dry hair is more apt to become brittle, break and fall out. Vitamin A is necessary for healthy hair, nails, skin and nerves. Beta-carotene which is easy found in fruits and vegetables is converted in the body to vitamin A.The best sources are spinach, carrots, apricots and peaches. Meat and dairy products are other sources of vitamin A. Vitamin B6. This vitamin stimulates hair growth due to its effect on blood circulation and cell building. Good food sources include liver, whole grains, eggs and vegetables.
Vitamin B12. This is an important nutrient in the growth and strength of hair. There does not have to be a noticeable deficiency for the hair to be affected. Often, women who diet neglect the foods that contain B12 and other B vitamins. Vegetarians often need a B12 supplement because the best sources of the vitamin are meat sources. Good sources of Vitamin b12 include chicken, eggs, milk and fish. Two good plant sources are bananas and sunflower seeds.
Biotin. Biotin enhances growth, thickens the hair shaft and lessens hair loss. A lack of biotin can result in brittle hair and split ends. Hair that breaks off causes a head of hair to look thinner. Brittle hair is more likely to have split ends that make hair look unhealthy. Biotin is found in some shampoo formulations. Food sources include eggs, dairy and liver. Vegetarians should take a supplement to make sure they are getting enough of this vitamin.
Vitamin C. Vitamin C is important in maintaining healthy hair because it is instrumental in the production of red blood cells. Sources of vitamin C are well known and include strawberries, pineapple, kiwi and citrus fruits. Tomatoes are also a good source of vitamin C.
Vitamin E. Vitamin E is essential to good blood circulation. Good circulation to the scalp feeds the hair follicles and keeps them healthy. Good food sources of vitamin E include oils such as olive and canola oil, soybeans, nuts and seeds. Cooked dried beans such as kidney, pinto, garbanzo and black beans are also good sources of vitamin E.
Inositol. Inositol another important nutrient for keeping hair follicles healthy. Inositol has an important role in maintaining healthy cell membranes that make up the hair. You can get inositol from whole grains, citrus fruit, bananas, brown rice, nuts, most vegetables and liver.
Iodine and Selenium. The salt you buy from the grocery store usually includes added iodine. The reason for this is that an iodine deficiency can cause thyroid problems. Today, people avoid salt for various health reasons, particularly high blood pressure. Underactive thyroid can cause hair loss and an overactive thyroid can cause problems with hair growth.
Iodine is difficult to get from foods as the amount in foods depends on the area where it is grown. The best food sources of iodine are seafood and seaweed. Most multivitamins contain iodine.
Selenium works hand in hand with iodine. It helps the body metabolize the other mineral. Like iodine, a selenium deficiency also can trigger problems with the thyroid, which could result in hair loss. A diet high in vegetables usually will cover the amount of selenium needed in the diet and it is in most multivitamins. Another good source of selenium is Brazil nuts. Just a couple of Brazil nuts per day will meet your daily requirement.
Iron. An iron deficiency can lead to anemia, which is reduction in red blood cells. This is one of the most common causes of hair loss in women. Eating foods high in vitamin C along with vegetable sources of iron like spinach and broccoli will increase absorption of the vegetables' iron. Lean beef cuts are also a good source of iron while avoiding excess fat. If you avoid beef in your diet then the dark meat from chicken and turkey are high in iron.
Magnesium. This mineral is required for strong bones and deficiencies in this mineral has been linked to muscle spasms, hair loss and anxiety. Food sources include seafood, meats, beans, apples, apricots, avocados, bananas, whole grains, nuts, dairy and cocoa. If you have hard water or drink mineral water, you may be getting magnesium from water as well.
Niacin. Blood circulation in the scalp is important to hair growth and keeping the follicles healthy. Niacin, a B vitamin, helps in circulation. As an added bonus, it is also beneficial in keeping cholesterol levels in check. Good diet choices that for niacin include fish, poultry, meat and wheat germ.
Zinc. Zinc is essential for cell growth and the maintenance of healthy hormone levels, especially testosterone. Symptoms of a zinc deficiency can include dandruff and hair loss. The best food sources of zinc are meats, seafood and poultry. Vegetarians can get a good amount of this mineral from whole grains, nuts and brewer's yeast.
L-cysteine and L-methionine. Our bodies are unable to manufacture these amino acids, and they must, therefore, be ingested through the diet or dietary supplements. These amino acids improve the texture and health of hair.
To make sure you are getting enough of each of these vitamins, take a good multivitamin and consider supplementing with a hair-healthy supplement like Hair Essentials™, which provides more than 20 all-natural, hair-healthy vitamins, minerals, herbs, amino acids and other nutrients that support strong, healthy hair growth.
Natural Remedies for Nutritional Deficiency Hair Loss
Try these natural remedies to help reverse hair loss, prevent future hair loss and encourage healthy hair growth. It is important to consult your physician before pursuing these alternatives.
Massage your scalp with rosemary oil.
Rosemary essential oil has been traditionally used to increase circulation to the scalp, stimulate hair follicles and promote new hair growth. Add rosemary oil to your daily shampoo or conditioner and massage into your scalp. Use one drop of oil for every four ounces of shampoo or conditioner. You may also add two drops of rosemary oil to one ounce of jojoba oil. Rub into the scalp for three minutes in the morning before showering.
Exercise has several benefits – the least of which is healthy hair! An intense cardio is a great way to rid the body of toxins. This has a direct impact on your sebum, an oily, conditioning substance secreted by skin glands that helps prevent hair from drying out. Stretching helps maintain healthier hair by allowing blood to circulate more easily to the scalp. This increased blood flow provides essential oxygen and nutrients to our hair cells, without which they can't thrive. Yoga, pilates and inverted poses or backbends increase the amount of blood that circulates to the scalp. Not only does the scalp receive oxygen from increased blood flow, but you can relieve neck and back tension, which also benefits hair as tight muscles can stagnate blood flow. Finally, since stress can cause unexpected hair loss, it's important to stay active to reduce stress levels and prevent thinning hair.
Try raspberry ketones.
Some consider raspberries a superfood because of its ketones. People often credit their weight loss success and an improved sense of well-being from taking a raspberry ketone supplement regularly. A study completed in 2008 showed that putting raspberry ketone lotion on the scalp can also promote hair growth. Half of the participants in the hair loss study were able to grow their hair within weeks as a result of taking the supplement.
Mix up these commonly used home hair treatments.
Onion juice is an excellent way to maintain the health of your hair. You can apply this to the scalp. It will also encourage new hair growth.
Condition your hair with henna, or mehendi, to add strength to your hair. Prepare a conditioner with a cup of henna powder, the yolk of one egg and enough coconut milk to get a paste-like consistency. Apply this to your hair and leave it for about four hours.
Cut a red onion in half, add four cloves of garlic and two cinnamon sticks. Put everything in a pot and bring to a boil for 15 minutes. Rinse hair with this infusion for four days in a row.
Cut three aloe vera leaves and scrape off the gel. Mix the gel with honey, and apply it to the scalp. Let it work for 20 minutes and rinse.
When cooking potatoes do not throw away the water. Let it cool, and rinse your hair with it. This rinse accelerates hair growth.
Mix 1 egg, 1 trickle of olive oil, 2 tablespoons honey. Apply to the scalp with a vigorous massage. Cover the head with a towel for 30 minutes. Wash normally.
Use hot oil massages, which improve the circulation of blood in the scalp and make your hair grow faster. Coconut oil should be applied to the hair for at least an hour so that it is absorbed properly and then washed off.
Supplement with Hair Essentials™.
With any hair loss condition, it is also important to eat a balanced, healthy diet, manage the stress in your life, get quality sleep each night, and reduce exposure to environmental toxins. You may also consider supplementing this lifestyle with Hair Essentials, which can improve hair’s growth rate, strength and vitality. The more than 20 all-natural ingredients are quickly absorbed into the bloodstream and go straight to the scalp where they work in combination to:
- Stimulate inactive hair follicles
- Reduce scalp inflammation which can lead to hair loss
- Encourage hormones responsible for hair growth to stay in balance
- Regulate the time hair remains in the dormant stage
- Provide vital nutrients for the structural development of healthy hair
- Protect hair follicle cells against oxidative stress and damage
- Seed follicles with the nutrients they need for new hair growth