There is some evidence from a few small studies that the western diet has changed significantly in the last 20 years and there are certain vitamin and mineral deficiencies likely to be found in a typical English and American diet.
There are nutrients and herbs that have the potential to affect hair growth in a positive or negative way.
Three basic ways that nutritional diet vitamin supplements and amino acid supplements may act influence the hair follicles.
The mineral rich and vitamin supplements may act directly on hair stimulating or inhibiting growth activity or they may act indirectly through other intermediaries.
For example, a vitamin supplement or herb may influence the production of a hormone to which hair follicles are sensitive.
This change in hormone activity in turn may change the activity of the hair follicles.
Some minerals and vitamins can influence the activity levels of another vitamin and minerals.
For example, intake of lysine, vitamin B12 and vitamin C help in absorption of other factors like iron.
It is worth bearing in mind that the complexity of the body means there are many potential interactions for even the simplest nutrient.
Vitamins for hair & hair growth
Since Vitamin C, helps the absorption of other factors, it is of some significance. Others are of secondary importance to hair growth like vitamin E.
Vitamin E is necessary to provide good blood circulation to the scalp by increasing the uptake of oxygen.
Not fundamentally required in a hair growth supplement, vitamin E is often present largely because people expect to see it in the ingredients – and the customer is always right!
Other common ingredients like the amino acids – L-Cysteine and L-methioine are of questionable value.
Although they are fundamentally required for good hair growth, even a rather unhealthy diet should provide enough of these amino acids and supplementation is rarely required.
Vitamin supplements’ vitamins
The supplement industry is worth several billion pounds a year and it is still growing rapidly.
Vitamin supplements, mineral supplements and herbal supplements available on net come in all shapes and forms, many of which are specifically advertised to promote healthy hair growth.
These ‘vitamin supplements’ vitamins are marketed by different names such as liquid vitamin supplements, natural vitamin supplements, daily vitamin supplements. Nutritional vitamin supplements and also by such names as mail order vitamin supplements or best vitamins supplements.
But the for the most part, with a few notable exceptions like vitamin A & Folic acid, taking these supplements probably does not harm hair growth.
But whether they can really help promote hair growth depends on what the actual cause of the hair loss is and how the supplements or active ingredients in herbs interact with the hair follicles.
Vitamin and herbal supplements
To buy online health supplements or herbal treatment requires you to go for quality. Unfortunately there is no universal method by which quality supplements can be identified.
So it is best to depend upon the natural vitamins supplements or fresh foods.
Typically, vitamins and minerals are most concentrated in fresh foods. The older the food is, and the more processed it is, the less nutritious it is.
So in principle, the average diet of the early twenty first century may be more deficient in certain nutrients required for healthy hair growth.
Compared to the average diet of the mid to late twentieth century, but it should be emphasized that vitamin and mineral deficiency is still rarely a cause of hair loss.
Hair loss vitamins & minerals
In other words, do not waste your time on searching for vitamin supplements on net unless you have a deficiency detected by a blood test.
A comprehensive test for vitamin and mineral levels when one or more is suspected as a cause of hair loss would include; serum iron, serum ferritin, and total iron binding capacity, serum zinc.
The deficiency which directly affects hair growth can be related to vitamin (H) biotin, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin B12.
You can go for testing for others if they are on offer, but biotin and B6 testing is enough to cover 95% of vitamin deficiencies related to hair loss.
And only when such a deficiency is detected by the tests that you need to buy and eat the ‘vitamin supplements’ vitamins.
So the bottom line is that it is better to have the natural supplements through a balanced diet.
BONUS: How to Make Your Hair Grow Faster 10 Tips:
1. Eat a healthy diet
Eating a diet rich in protein and vital vitamins and minerals is an essential prerequisite to healthy hair growth.
Opt for foods high in vitamins A, B, C, and E, iron, zinc, copper, magnesium, and selenium. Vitamin B-complex, in particular, is extremely important for making your hair grow faster.
So, include a variety of foods like milk, cheese, yogurt, chicken, eggs, whole grains, salmon, spinach, broccoli, bell peppers, cabbage, parsley, grapefruit, avocado, brown bread, oats, and alfalfa in your diet to nourish your hair and scalp.
Plus, drink fresh fruit and vegetable juices, such as orange, grapefruit, carrot, beet, and lettuce juice.
Avoid nutritional deficiencies because they tend to affect your hair adversely.
2. Use castor oil
Being rich in vitamin E and essential fatty acids, especially omega-9 fatty acids, castor oil promotes hair growth naturally.
- As this oil is quite viscous, mix the castor oil with an equal amount of coconut, olive, or almond oil. Massage your scalp with it and leave it on for 30 to 45 minutes. Then shampoo your hair.
- You can also add essential oils, especially rosemary, peppermint, eucalyptus, lavender, or thyme oil, to the castor oil and then put it in your hair.
3. Massage your scalp
Massaging promotes blood flow to the scalp, which in turn stimulates the hair follicles. In addition, deep condition your hair once a week with a hot oil treatment or deep conditioning hair mask.
- Apply the oil (preferably warm) or conditioner to your hair.
- Gently rub your fingers on your scalp in a circular motion for three to five minutes.
- Rinse the oil or conditioner out of your hair.
4. Flip your hair upside down
This is one of the most popular tricks to promote faster hair growth.
Just flip your hair upside down by flipping your head over for two to four minutes daily.
It is believed to work by improving circulation.
5. Stay stress-free
Stress is one of the most important factors that contribute to hair loss.
It is believed that stress can disrupt the normal hair cycle and trigger hairs to enter the telogen or fall-out phase.
Thus, when striving for faster hair growth, minimize the stress in your life.
To manage stress, you can use meditation, breathing exercises, or other relaxation techniques.
Plus, be sure to get your beauty sleep as the growth hormone is released during sleep.
6. Whip up an egg mask
Eggs are highly beneficial for faster hair growth because they are packed with protein and also contain iron, sulfur, phosphorus, zinc, and selenium. You can use an egg hair mask at least once a month.
- Whisk an egg. Mix in four tablespoons of grapeseed oil and a few drops of lavender oil. Apply it on your hair and scalp and leave it on for half an hour. Finally, rinse it out and shampoo your hair as usual.
- Apply a mixture of two egg yolks and two tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil on your scalp. Leave it on for 15 to 20 minutes. Wash it out with cold water and then shampoo your hair.
- Alternatively, whisk an egg and add one cup of milk, two tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil, and the juice from half a lemon to it. Apply it on your scalp and leave it on for 20 to 30 minutes before washing it out and shampooing your hair.
7. Infuse your hair with herbs
Herbs like rosemary, catnip, nettle, burdock, horsetail, and sage promote faster hair growth. Rosemary, in particular, is excellent for hair growth because it stimulates the hair follicles. It also adds luster to your locks.
Furthermore, the polyphenols and anti-inflammatory properties of green tea are also linked to hair growth. Plus, most herbs stimulate hair growth by improving circulation.
- Prepare an herbal infusion by steeping any of these herbs in hot water for 10 to 20 minutes. Use it as a final rinse after shampooing and conditioning your hair. In addition to encouraging hair growth, it will strengthen your hair and make it soft and manageable.
- You can also mix herbal infusions or essential oils in your shampoo.
- Drink herbal teas.
8. Take vitamin and herbal supplements
In addition to eating a proper diet, you can take supplements like folic acid, biotin, kelp, fish oil, flaxseed oil, evening primrose oil, ginseng, ginkgo biloba, saw palmetto, and others to augment hair growth.
Folic acid and biotin are B-complex vitamins (vitamin B9 and B7 respectively) that aid faster growth of hair. Before taking any supplements, though, make sure you consult your doctor.
9. Nourish your hair with aloe vera
Aloe vera encourages hair growth and prevents hair loss.
It also reduces dandruff and helps restore your hair’s natural sheen.
- Apply fresh aloe vera gel mixed with a little lemon juice and leave it on for about 20 minutes. Shampoo your hair. Do this once every week or two.
- You can also combine aloe vera gel with equal amounts of coconut milk and wheat germ oil and then apply it on your hair.
- Drink aloe vera juice on a regular basis.
10. Address medical problems
Your efforts to boost hair growth will not reap good results if you have underlying problems like a thyroid disorder, hormonal imbalance, chronic illness, or a severe infection.
Certain medications like birth control pills, beta-blockers, anabolic steroids, antidepressants, anticonvulsants, and others may also contribute to problems such as hair thinning and hair loss.
Seborrheic dermatitis and scalp infections cause issues like itchy scalp and mild hair loss.
So, identify any underlying issues contributing to hair problems and address them as soon as possible so they don’t hamper your hair growth efforts.
In addition to these tips, try some home remedies such as Indian gooseberry or amla oil, fenugreek paste, a mayonnaise hair pack, and other healthy hair ideas.
Maintain healthy hair by following a good hair care routine and using hair products that are suitable for your hair type.
Plus, protect your tresses from sun damage and avoid the use of heat styling products.