5 vitamins for healthy hair

Rosy skin, bright eyes, shiny hair – all these signs of physical health are closely linked to the concept of beauty for us. It is precisely the condition of the hair that quickly shows when our body is lacking nutrients. Vitamin and mineral deficiencies can lead to reduced hair growth, brittle hair and even hair loss. Which vitamins are important for healthy hair?

Essential is the nature of our hair. The hair shaft, which grows out of the skin, consists of keratinized cells. These cells are glued together in the hair root before they become keratinized. This process is repeated over and over as the cells at the hair root continue to divide, causing the hair to continue to grow. That is why vitamins are so important for healthy hair!

However, to enable this cell division, nutrients must be replenished via the hair papilla. The latter is a well-perfused nodule that extends into the hair root.

The most important vitamins for healthy hair

1. biotin (B7)

This B vitamin is also known as the ‘beauty vitamin’. It has definitely earned the name, considering that the vitamin is not only essential for metabolic processes and cell growth, but also promotes the formation of new hair roots and the nail bed.

By supporting the formation of keratin, it also makes hair stronger and shinier and prevents split ends. And as an added bonus, biotin also counteracts inflammation at the hair root, which can cause itchy scalp and hair loss.

Biotin is found in bananas, strawberries, spinach and oatmeal.

2. retinol (A)

Vitamin A is known to be crucial for maintaining vision, but retinol is also important for skin and hair.

It stimulates the formation of collagen, thus ensuring not only smoother, more beautiful skin, but also strong, supple hair. It has a positive effect on the synthesis of fats in the hair follicles that anchor hair to the skin, thus ensuring healthy sebum formation, without which hair would become brittle and rough. A deficiency of vitamin A can also lead to disturbances in normal hair growth.

Vitamin A is found in sweet potatoes, spinach, carrots and kale, and also in liver products such as liver sausage.

3. folic acid (formerly: B9).

Folic acid plays a role in all growth processes of the human body and in the formation of red blood cells, which, among other things, transport nutrients to the hair root.

This B vitamin supports cell division of head hair and makes it grow back strong and healthy. It is also essential for the oxygen supply of the hair root and thus protects against hair loss.

Folic acid is found in cereals, asparagus and green leafy vegetables.

4. vitamin C

Vitamins for healthy hair

Vitamin C is known to be important for the normal functioning of the human immune system, but this vitamin is truly multi-talented. It helps in the absorption and utilization of iron, has an antioxidant effect (thus intercepts cell-damaging oxygen compounds known as ‘free radicals’), destroys carcinogenic substances and supports collagen formation and wound healing.

This all-rounder among vitamins is also indispensable for hair. It stimulates blood circulation in the scalp and increases the availability of iron in the blood, which supports the metabolism at the hair root.

Vitamin C is found in many vegetables and fruits, such as citrus fruits, peppers, kale and broccoli. It is also added to many meats and sausages to preserve them.

5. vitamin E

Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that protects the cells of the human body from harmful substances. These free radicals already mentioned above can be caused by normal oxygen metabolism, but are also the result of UV radiation, smoking and even physical exertion.

The antioxidant vitamin protects hair from solar radiation, supports hair growth and makes hair stronger.

Vitamin E is found in vegetable oils and nuts.

Other important nutrients

In addition to these five vitamins, other B vitamins (B2, B3, B5, B6 & B12) are involved in important metabolic processes in the hair root that make hair stronger. Many of these vitamins are contained in animal products such as meat, fish, eggs or milk, which is why vegetarians and vegans in particular should have their blood levels checked regularly.

Zinc (found in legumes) and iron (found in meat and lentils, for example) are also essential for the formation of collagen and keratin. Selenium (meat, fish, eggs) can help against dandruff because it kills fungi on the scalp. Vitamin D, which is formed in the skin in response to solar radiation, supports the normal functioning of hair follicles.

Hair Treatments with Vitamins

Vitamins can also act directly on the scalp, which is why shampoos, conditioners and other treatments with vitamins provide additional care for the hair.

Certain substances such as caffeine and D-panthenol (a precursor of B5) are especially good for the hair when applied directly. Caffeine stimulates blood flow to the scalp, allowing hair to grow better, and D-panthenol improves hair structure and makes hair easier to comb.

Food supplement

Vitamin deficiencies that can lead to hair breakage or even hair loss are not uncommon these days. Especially people with food intolerances, allergies or alternative diets (vegan, vegetarian, low-carb) are prone to these deficiencies. In addition, many people simply do not have time to eat a varied diet.

Before supplements are used, a blood level should be established. Although the body simply excretes most vitamins when provided more than necessary, there are also vitamins that can cause health problems when taken in excess. Special care should be taken with vitamins A, D, E and K (found in green vegetables and meat).