The appearance of hair plays an important role in people’s physical appearance and self-perception, so it can be devastating to experience hair loss, especially when there doesn’t seem to be anything you can do about it.
But did you know that there are vitamins for hair growth? In fact, poor nutrition, including vitamin deficiencies, is a major factor of hair loss. These natural hair loss remedies work to fix the root of the problem, like regulating your hormone levels or fighting oxidative stress that increases with age.
In this article Dr Axe looks at different Vitamins and Herbs for hair growth. He also explores what stops hair growth in the first place…
Vitamins for Hair Growth
The truth is that hair loss is a complex process that involves various genetic, hormonal and environmental mechanisms. Just like our skin, the hair follicle is subject to intrinsic and extrinsic aging. Intrinsic factors include our genetic and epigenetic mechanisms, and extrinsic factors include smoking and UV radiation.
Sometimes hair loss is due to a vitamin deficiency too. Luckily, a deficiency can be corrected by adding vitamin-rich foods to your diet or using supplementation. Some vitamins have antioxidant properties that help to fight the extrinsic factors of hair loss, and some vitamins help the body balance hormone levels, another factor that stops hair growth.
Try these vitamins for hair growth if you’re wonder how to thicken hair naturally.
Oils rich in different fatty acid species have been used extensively in both animal and human studies to evaluate the effects on skin and hair health. Omega-3 fats nourish the hair, support hair thickening and reduce inflammation that can lead to hair loss, which is why fish oil benefits hair and is one of the top six vitamins for hair growth.
A 2015 study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology evaluated the effects of a six-month supplementation with omega-3, omega-6 and antioxidants on hair loss. In the randomized, comparative study, 120 healthy female subjects with female pattern hair loss participated. The primary endpoint was the change in hair density evaluated on standardized photographs, and the secondary endpoint included changes in active hair follicle percentage and diameter distribution of hair growth.
After six months of treatment, photograph assessment demonstrated a superior improvement in the supplemented group. Hair growth increased compared to the control group, and 89.9 percent of the participants reported a reduction in hair loss, as well as an improvement in hair diameter (86 percent) and hair density (87 percent). (1)
Eat omega-3 foods like salmon, mackerel, tuna, white fish, sardines, egg yolks, walnuts, hemp seeds and natto to reduce inflammation and balance hormones. If you don’t eat enough omega-3 foods, take one to two capsules or one tablespoon of a top-notch fish oil supplement to help reduce inflammation that causes hair disorders. If you already take blood-thinning medications, including aspirin, speak to your health care provider before using fish oil because it may increase bleeding.
Oral zinc compounds have been used for decades for treating disorders such as telogen effluvium and alopecia areata, forms of hair loss, because zinc benefits hair follicle health. Zinc is an essential co-factor for multiple enzymes and is involved with important functional activities in the hair follicle. Zinc is also a potent inhibitor of hair follicle regression, and it accelerates hair follicle recovery. Studies suggest that some alopecia areata patients have zinc deficiency, and oral zinc sulfate therapy serves as an effective treatment.
In a 2013 study, researchers evaluated the role of zinc status in each of the four types of hair loss, including alopecia areata, male pattern hair loss, female pattern hair loss and telogen effluvium. In all of the hair loss patients, the mean serum zinc was significantly lower than the control group. The analysis of each group showed that all groups of hair loss had statistically lower zinc concentration, especially the alopecia areata group. The data led to the hypothesis of zinc metabolism disturbances playing a key role in hair loss. (2)
A 2009 study published in Annals of Dermatology evaluated the therapeutic effects of oral zinc supplementation for 12 weeks in 15 alopecia areata patients who had low serum zinc levels. Oral zinc gluconate (50 milligrams) supplementation was given to alopecia areata patients without any other treatment. The serum zinc levels were measured before and after zinc supplementation, and then a four-point scale of hair regrowth was used to evaluate the therapeutic effect.
After the therapy, the serum zinc levels increased significantly, and positive therapeutic effects were observed for nine out of 15 patients (66.7 percent). The researchers concluded that zinc supplementation needs to be given to the alopecia areata patients who have a low serum zinc level, and it could even become an adjuvant therapy for patients who didn’t experience results when using traditional therapeutic methods, which is why zinc is one of the most important vitamins for hair growth. (3)
B-Complex Vitamin (Biotin & B5)
Biotin and pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) have been used as alternative treatments for hair loss. Biotin benefits your hair by rebuilding hair shingles that have been damaged from over-shampooing, exposure to the sun, blow-drying and ironing. Vitamin B5 supports the adrenal glands, which helps stimulate hair growth.
A 2011 study published in the British Journal of Dermatology examined the ability of a leave-on combination including panthenol, the alcohol analog of pantothenic acid, to affect the diameter and behavior of individual terminal scalp hair fibers. The treatment significantly increased the diameter of individual, existing terminal scalp fibers. It also thickened hair fibers and increased the pliability, giving the hairs better ability to withstand force without breaking. (4)
A major sign of a biotin deficiency is hair loss. A deficiency can be caused by smoking, impaired liver function or even pregnancy. Research suggests that a substantial number of women develop a biotin deficiency during normal pregnancy because the rapidly dividing cells of the developing fetus require biotin for synthesis of essential carboxylases and histone biotinylation. Researchers conclude that signifiant alternations in markers of biotin metabolism during pregnancy and breast-feeding suggest that biotin intakes exceed current recommendations in order to meet the demands of these reproductive states. (5)
To reverse hair loss and increase hair strength, take one B-complex vitamin tablet daily or take biotin and vitamin B5 separately. Eating biotin and vitamin B5 foods, such as eggs, beef, chicken, avocado, legumes, nuts and potatoes, also helps you to avoid a deficiency and aid hair growth.
Vitamins for Hair Growth (continued)
Experimental evidence suggests that oxidative stress plays a major role in the aging process. Reactive oxygen species or free radicals are highly reactive molecules that can directly damage cellular structural membranes, lipids, proteins and DNA.
With age, the production of free radicals increases and the amount of antioxidative enzymes that defend the body decrease, leading to the damage of cellular structures and the aging of hair. By working as an antioxidant, vitamin C fights oxidative stress that contributes to hair graying and hair loss. (6)
To fight free radical damage and protect the hair from aging, fill up on vitamin C foods like oranges, red peppers, kale, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, strawberries, grapefruit and kiwi. If you need supplementation, take 500–1,000 milligrams of vitamin C twice daily as an antioxidant.
Several studies have examined the relationship between iron deficiency and hair loss, and some suggest that iron deficiency may be related to alopecia areata, androgenetic alopecia, telogen effluvium and diffuse hair loss. (7)
Researchers at Tehran University of Medical Sciences in Iran studied the relationship between iron body status and different types of hair loss. They conducted an analytical case-control study to assess whether diffuse telogen hair loss in women between the ages of 15 and 45 is associated with iron deficiency — 30 women with documented telogen hair loss were compared with 30 women without hair loss.
The researchers found that of the nine patients with iron deficiency anemia, eight had telogen hair loss. The mean ferritin (a protein in the body that binds to iron) level was statistically significantly lower in patients with diffuse telogen hair loss than in subjects without hair loss. The study suggests that women with an iron deficiency are at a higher risk of hair loss, and serum ferritin levels below or equal to 30 milligrams/milliliter are strongly associated with telogen hair loss. (8)
To boost hair growth, add iron-rich foods into your diet every day. Eat plenty of spinach, Swiss chard, collard greens, egg yolks, beef steak, navy beans and black beans. Because an iron deficiency may lead to hair loss, ensure that you get your daily recommended amount by eating plenty of iron-rich foods and taking a daily multivitamin.
However, be wary of excessive iron supplementation. It can cause iron overload and should be avoided. Patients who don’t respond to iron replacement therapy should undergo additional testing to identify other underlying causes of iron deficiency and hair loss.
Hair follicles are highly sensitive to hormones, and vitamin D is a hormone that plays an important role in calcium homeostasis, immune regulation and cell growth differentiation. In the scientific world, it’s well-known that alopecia areata is commonly found in patients with vitamin D deficiency, vitamin D-resistant rickets or vitamin D receptor mutation. (9)
Research suggests that insufficient levels of vitamin D have been implicated in a variety of autoimmune diseases, including alopecia areata. A cross-sectional study involving 86 patients with alopecia areata, 44 patients with vitiligo and 58 healthy controls was conducted. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin vitamin D levels in patients with alopecia areata were significantly lower than those of the patients with vitiligo and the healthy controls. Furthermore, a significant inverse correlation was found between disease severity and serum 25(OH)D levels in patients with alopecia.
Researchers concluded that screening patients with alopecia areata for vitamin D deficiencies seem to be of value for the possibility of supplementing these patients with vitamin D. (10)
Direct sun exposure is the best way to absorb vitamin D, plus you can detox your body with the sun. Sit in the sun for roughly 10–15 minutes to absorb about 10,000 units of natural vitamin D. Topical application of vitamin D might also play a role in the restoration of hair cycle dysfunction in patients with alopecia areata. To increase your vitamin D levels with food sources, eat vitamin D-rich foods like halibut, mackerel, eel, salmon, whitefish, swordfish, maitake mushrooms and portabella mushrooms.
Herbs and Foods for Hair Growth
Though not vitamins, two other products can help improve hair growth. Rosemary essential oil used topically can naturally thicken hair, as can aloe vera juice and gel. Using these along with the above vitamins for hair growth, and you’re sure to see fuller, thicker hair.
Rosemary Essential Oil
When applied over the scalp, rosemary oil is believed to increase cellular metabolism that stimulates hair growth. A 2013 study conducted at Kinki University in Japan found that rosemary leaf extract improved hair regrowth in mice that experienced hair regrowth interruption induced by testosterone treatment. (11)
A human study conducted in 2015 investigated the clinical efficacy of rosemary oil in the treatment of androgenetic alopecia. Patients with androgenetic alopecia were treated for six months with either rosemary oil or minoxidil (2 percent), which served as a the control group. Minoxidil is a medication used to stimulate hair growth and slow balding.
After six months of treatment, both groups experienced a significant increase in hair count. Scalp itching, however, was more frequent in the minoxidil group. The study proves that rosemary oil is just as effective as hair growth medications, with less side effects, such as scalp itching. (12)
Try this Rosemary, Cedarwood & Safe Hair Thickener to reverse the signs of hair loss
Aloe Vera Juice and Gel
Aloe vera has nourishing properties and tons of vitamins and minerals that help to keep your hair strong and healthy. Aloe vera benefits have been known for centuries because of aloe vera contains health, beauty, medicinal and skin care properties. It soothes and conditions the scalp, providing the ideal environment for hair growth.
You can apply aloe vera gel directly to the scalp or add it to a gentle and natural shampoo. To take aloe vera internally, drink about a half a cup of aloe vera juice twice daily. The healing properties boost your dermatological health.
A 2012 study published in Anatomy & Cell Biology found that aloe vera gel reduced inflammation and had notable wound-healing effects when used on rats after a surgical incision. Not only did aloe vera promote rapid wound closure, but it also enhanced hair growth at the sight on incision. (13)
Aloe vera has also been reported to have a protective effect against radiation damage to the skin, which can lead to hair loss. Following the administration of aloe vera gel, an antioxidant protein called metallothionein is generated in the skin, which scavenges free radicals and prevents UV-induced suppression. (14)
Because of aloe vera’s antibacterial and antifungal properties, it also helps eliminate dandruff — perfect for people who want fuller hair and want to know how to get rid of dandruff — and the gel’s enzymes can rid the scalp of dead cells and promote the regeneration of skin tissue around the hair follicles.
What Stops Hair Growth?
Hair is considered to be a major component of an individual’s general appearance, and the psychological impact of hair loss results in detrimental changes in self-esteem and self-worth. It also affects a large number of people, as 50 percent of men are affected by genetic hair loss by the age of 50. In women, the major cause of hair loss before the age of 50 is nutritional, with 30 percent affected. The main cause of hair loss for women appears to be depleted iron stores, but corrections of these imbalances can stop the excessive hair loss within a few months. (15)
Factors that inhibit hair growth include:
- Poor nutrition
- Hormonal changes
- Family history
- Radiation therapy
- Thyroid disorders
- Autoimmune diseases
- Polycystic ovary syndrome
- Skin conditions (such as psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis)
- Dramatic weight loss
- Physical trauma
Types of Hair Loss
Alopecia Areata — Alopecia areata is considered an autoimmune disease in which the immune system mistakenly attacks the hair follicles. The effected hair follicles become small and drastically slow down hair production. Researchers believe that some type of trigger, such as a virus or vitamin deficiency, may bring on the attack. (16)
Male Pattern Hair Loss — Male pattern hair loss is also known as androgenic alopecia. This is the most common type of hair loss in men, and one major cause is genetics or having a family history of baldness. Research suggests that it’s associated with androgens, which work to regulate hair growth. (17)
Female Pattern Hair Loss — Female pattern hair loss or baldness occurs when hair follicles shrink over time. Typically, each time a normal hair follicle is shed, it’s then replaced by hair that’s equal in size. For women with female pattern hair loss, the new hair is finer and thinner. The hair follicles start by shrinking in this way, and eventually they quit growing altogether. This can be caused by aging, changes in androgen (male hormone) levels, or a family history of male or female pattern baldness. (18, 19)
Telogen Effluvium — Telogen effluvium is the second most common form of hair loss, and it’s characterized as different phases of the hair growth cycle. The telogen phase is when the scalp does not produce hair; it’s also known as the resting phase. Typically, 80 percent to 90 percent of the hair follicles are growing at one time, but with telogen effluvium, the number of hair follicles producing hair drops significantly during the resting phase, resulting in shedding or hair loss. (20)
Breakfast, blood sugar, & inflammation
Recent research has shown that Inflammation is responsible for 7 out of 10 Deaths in the United States. But it doesn’t have to be the same way for you.
In fact, in a fairly short amount of time, you could start to experience better sleep…less stomach issues…more energy and stamina…less muscle and joint pain…a drop in weight…lower stress levels…and much, much more!
Learn how to Prevent—Even Reverse—Most Major Diseases by “Turning Off” Inflammation!
Did you know that one of the best times to stretch is right before bed? However…
What stretches should you do? Here’s a 1-minute stretch routine you can do before bed...
Lisa, Yoga Coach
eatlocalgrown / wisemindhealthybody
...easy, 3-minute exercise that completely cured his horrendous snoring! We can both finally sleep!
Today is a good day. Tonight will be even better. Why?
Because you're about to learn easy throat exercises that cure (not just treated) your stubborn snoring – in 3 minutes – starting TONIGHT!
...even if straps, sprays and even torturing CPAP masks have failed you in the past.
Most people heal their snoring in just a few minutes per day using these powerful throat exercises. And they're so easy, you can do them, regardless of your age or physical shape.
Use them anytime, anywhere... even while stuck in traffic or watching TV.
Plus the results are permanent!
Did you know that your bodyfat can become "calorie-resistant"?
True. And it's completely unaffected by even the strictest diets... and most intense exercises.
However, there's good news- Calorie-resistant bodyfat can be now removed...
It's a little-known, calorie-burning hormone we all have... just waiting for the right spark to come alive. It's not thyroid, leptin, ghrelin, insulin, adiponectin, HGH or any other "fat loss" hormone you may know. Read more to find out precisely how to unleash its calorie-burning power:
To your health!
PS - Studies show that it can also reduce your risk of diabetes by 53.7%, a heart attack by 83.3% and stroke by 51.4%. Here's more of the scientific proof...
I bet you can’t guess which muscle in your body is the #1 muscle that eliminates joint and back pain, anxiety and looking fat. This “hidden survival muscle” in your body will boost your energy levels, immune system, sexual function, strength and athletic performance when unlocked.
If this “hidden” most powerful primal muscle is healthy, we are healthy.
d) Hip Flexors
Take the quiz above and see if you got the correct answer!
In April, 2009, researchers stunned the medical community when they reported chronic inflammation as the root cause of several major diseases.
See, every year 610,000 people in the U.S. die of heart disease. Cancer claims another 584,000...stroke 130,000...Alzheimer's disease nearly 85,000 — and the list goes on.
Truth is, we now know... chronic inflammation is responsible for 7 out of the top 10 leading causes of death in the United States! Hundreds of studies and scientific reviews prove it.
Fortunately, newer research shows you can prevent-even reverse-most major diseases by "turning off" inflammation. And in our new book, we show you how to do just that.
If you or a loved one is suffering from a debilitating condition-and you"re not sure what the culprit is-now's the time to find out...while you can still do something about it!
--> Grab your FREE copy of this groundbreaking soft cover book today (while supplies still last.)
Over the past year, my friend Dave over at PaleoHacks has been working on a super secret cookbook project with our good friend Peter Servold a Le Cordon Bleu trained Chef and owner of Pete's Paleo...
And today, this new incredible Paleo Cookbook is finally available to be shipped right to your door for FREE!
The cookbook is called Paleo Eats, and it's filled with over 80 chef created, insanely tasty Paleo recipes which means they are free from gluten, soy, dairy, and refined sugar.
Get your FREE copy of Paleo Eats Here. (Grab this today, because they only ordered a small batch of these cookbooks for this freebie promotion, and they will sell out FAST!)
Sponsored Health Resources
In the years that I've been working on this website project I've come across some amazing resources by some very special people. I'd like to share them with you here.
NOTE: I update these links often so please check back to see what's new!
1) Everyone knows green smoothies are healthy right? Have you heard of a “red” smoothie? If not, check out this story…
2) Forget what you've read about 10-day lemonade cleanses, 7-day detoxes with green juices and Gwyneth's gruel. All you need to do, and this is perfect for Saturday or or anytime really, is a simple 1-day cleanse.
3) This “hidden survival muscle” in your body will boost your energy levels, immune system, sexual function, strength and athletic performance when unlocked.
4) I thought it was virtually impossible for a website to be able to tell me anything even a little bit insightful after only submitting my name and date of birth... I was wrong!
5) Turmeric is amazing. The problem is - It's hard to absorb!
6) Wonder why your stomach still sticks out even though you're hammering the core exercises every day? It's a common myth that bulging belly is due to weak abdominal muscles.
7) Even if you're the most active of athletes, you may still suffer from tight hip flexors due to the amount of time you spend each day planted to a chair.
Enjoy! Let me know how these work out for you. And if you run across anything I've missed please let me know.