Our hair is one of our most defining features and is unique to who we are. Approximately five million hair follicles grow on our body, spreading across our entire skin surface except for our palms, soles, and lips (1). Each hair rises from within a hair follicle, most of which produce tiny vellus hairs that aren’t immediately visible.
Our hair keeps us warm, is part of our sense of touch and protects sensitive areas such as our nose and eyes from dust and other external elements (1). But how do we keep our hair healthy? Read on to learn about nutrients for hair that you might need.
Is your hair healthy?
Every strand of hair on our body rises out of the skin the same way. It starts at the hair root beneath the skin, from inside a small tube called a follicle where the skin cells form keratin, the protein that hair is made of (3). Every follicle feeds nutrients to the hair root via tiny blood vessels connecting it to our body.
Having healthy hair is an indicator of overall good health (5). Without a well-rounded diet full of foods containing appropriate nutrients (including nutrients for hair), visible signs of this nutrient deficiency can surface (2, 4). Eating properly means you feed your body, and your hair, with essential vitamins, minerals, healthy fats and proteins necessary for hair health (4).
Essential nutrients for healthy hair
A healthy diet is an ideal foundation for healthy hair. Nutrients for hair are found in many kinds of foods, but it can be challenging to eat these foods on a regular basis, or not possible to do because of lifestyle or dietary restrictions.
To complement a balanced diet that provides nutrients for healthy hair, it’s a good idea to think of adding daily supplements to your hair health regimen.
Here are some supplements you can consider adding to your healthy diet:
Among the best nutrients for hair is zinc. Zinc is an essential mineral that takes part in cellular growth, with crucial roles in treatment of many skin-related problems (6). You can get your fair share of zinc from high-protein foods such as meat, fish, and legumes such as nuts, seeds and whole grains (7).
Since zinc plays an important role in cellular growth, adding it to your diet can promote healthy hair growth. Zinc is best taken with copper as taking zinc reduces the amount of copper absorbed by your body (15).
Biotin is also among the nutrients for hair you may need. Also known as vitamin B (7), it is a water-soluble vitamin that is involved in metabolic processes (8). Foods such as eggs, salmon, avocados, meats such as pork and beef liver, and nuts and seeds are rich in biotin (9).
Biotin promotes healthy hair growth as it plays a vital role in breaking down fats, carbohydrates and proteins in food needed in cell generation (9). It is also often consumed as supplements that can help fulfill the necessary nutrition your hair needs.
Cranberry bioactives also contain nutrients for hair. Cranberries are very distinct from other berry fruits, as they are rich in A-type proanthocyanidins (10) that can contain high levels of nutrients with health-promoting properties (11). Cranberries also contain omega-6 fatty acids such as linoleic acids that work with other fatty acids to help boost hair health (12).
Maintain healthy hair by incorporating cranberry into your diet by consuming it as fruit, juice, or as cranberry supplements.
Collagen is a protein that is most abundant in the body, and serves to connect many biological structures such as tissues, joints, bones, and our skin (13). Collagen can be found in many protein rich foods such fish, egg whites, beef, or bone broth.
Collagen contains amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein, promoting healthy growth of our skin, hair and nails (14). You can promote healthy hair growth by personalising your vitamin subscription with collagen supplements.
You may not always get enough of the nutrients your body needs from diet. It can help to supplement your daily nutrient intake by getting the best vitamin packs from the Vitable vitamins selection. Personalised vitamin packs delivered straight to your doorstep may just be what you need to accompany a healthy lifestyle to maintain healthy hair.
Find out more about other areas that the above supplements can help you with:
*Always read the label. Follow the directions for use. If symptoms persist, talk to your health professional. Vitamin and/or mineral supplements should not replace a balanced diet.
- Better Health Channel Content Team. “Hair”. Better Health Channel. Published on https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/hair. Accessed October 6, 2021.
- Goldberg, L. J., & Lenzy, Y. “Nutrition and hair”. National Library of Medicine: PubMed.Org. Published Jul-Aug 2010 on https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20620758/. Accessed October 6, 2021.
- Kids Health Content Team. “Your Hair”. Kids Health: Kidshealth.Org. Published on https://kidshealth.org/en/kids/hair.html. Accessed October 6, 2021.
- Mayo Clinic Content Team. “Get radiant hair, skin and nails naturally”. Mayo Clinic Healthy System: Mayoclinichealthsystem.Org. Published February 20, 2015 on https://www.mayoclinichealthsystem.org/hometown-health/speaking-of-health/get-radiant-hair-skin-and-nails-naturally. Accessed October 6, 2021.
- Sinclair, R. D. “Healthy Hair: What Is it?” National LIbrary of Medicine: PubMed.Org. Published December 12, 2007 on https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18004288/. Accessed October 6, 2021.
- Food Insight Content Team. “4 Nutrients to Eat for Better Skin & Hair”. Published February 5, 2015 on https://foodinsight.org/4-nutrients-to-eat-for-better-skin-hair/. Accessed October 6, 2021.
- Harvard School of Public Health Content Team. “Zinc”. Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health: Hsph.Harvard.Edu. Published on https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/zinc/. Accessed October 7, 2021.
- Patel, D. P., Swink, S. M., & Castelo-Soccio, L. “A Review of the Use of Biotin for Hair Loss”. US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Nih.Gov. Published August 3, 2017 on https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5582478/. Accessed October 7, 2021.
- Harvard School of Public Health Content Team. “Biotin — Vitamin B7”. Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health: Hsph.Harvard.Edu. Published on https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/biotin-vitamin-b7/. Accessed October 7, 2021.
- Hannon, D. B., Thompson, J. T., Khoo, C., Juturu, V., & Vanden Heuvel, J. P. “Effects of cranberry extracts on gene expression in THP-1 cells”. US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Nih.Gov. Published January 5, 2017 on https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5217924/. Accessed October 7, 2021.
- Blumberg, J. B., Camesano, T. A., Cassidy, A., Kris-Etherton, P., Howell, A., Manach, C., Ostertag, L. M., Sies, H., Skulas-Ray, A., & Vita, J. A. “Cranberries and Their Bioactive Constituents in Human Health”. US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Nih.Gov. Published November 6, 2013 on https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3823508/. Accessed October 7, 2021.
- Skincare Lab Content Team. “Cranberry Seed Oil for Skin – Benefits & Uses”. Skincare Lab: Skincarelab.Org. Published on https://www.skincarelab.org/cranberry-seed-oil/. Accessed October 7, 2021.
- Avila Rodríguez, M. I., Rodríguez Barroso, L. G., & Sánchez, M. L. “Collagen: A review on its sources and potential cosmetic applications”. National LIbrary of Medicine: PubMed.Org. Published on February 17, 2018 on https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29144022/. Accessed October 7, 2021.
- Harvard School of Public Health Content Team. “Collagen”. Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health: Hsph.Harvard.Edu. Published on https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/collagen/. Accessed October 7, 2021.
- Mount Sinai. "Zinc". Mount Sinai. Published n.d. onhttps://www.mountsinai.org/health-library/supplement/zinc. Accessed October 15, 2021