Supplements – What Makes Hair Grow?
While mainly genetics and hormones cause hair loss in both male and female, there are many foods that offer essential vitamins and minerals to support healthy hair growth. Studies show that proper diet and supplements can slow or reverse hair loss and make hairs thicker and healthier.
Firstly, the hair is made up of protein (Keratin), so adding protein to the diet is highly beneficial. The richest natural source of protein are eggs, fish, dairy products (cheese, yoghurt) and meat. The recommended daily allowance RDA of protein is 0,8 g protein/ kilogram of body weight. The best fish is salmon to promote hair growth. Salmon has high levels of protein and also contains Omega-3, which is an anti-inflammatory fatty acid. Moreover, hair loss is often associated with insulin resistance. Salmon is one of the foods that help the body to produce insulin more efficiently.
is an essential mineral to maintain good hair quality. When the body is running low on iron, oxygen and nutrients are not getting transported to the hair roots and follicles which can inhibit growth and make the strands weak.
Foods high in Iron (RDA: 9.3–20.5 mg/day in men and 17.0–18.9 mg/day in women)
Food Serving Iron
Beef liver cooked 100 gram 17,9 mg
White beans 100 gram 10,4 mg
Lentils 100 gram 7,5 mg
also helps to prevent hair loss. It assists in the development of healthy cells, and also helps to prevent dehydration of fair follicles that cause hair to break or fall out.
Foods high in Vitamin A (RDA: 7500 mcg/day CAUTION: too much vitamin A can lead to toxicity and result hair loss)
Food Serving Vitamin A
Beef liver cooked 100 gram 7744mcg
Carrots 100 gram 835 mcg
Sweet Potato 100 gram 709 mcg
Spinach 100 gram 470 mcg
for the absorption of iron, to act as an antioxidant and to boost collagen production. Our body’s ability to produce collagen decreases around the age of thirty. This causes a continuous decline of the collagen levels in the body. This is what gives us wrinkles, and causes us to lose our hair colour. Vitamin C is also required to produce collagen that makes capillaries that connect to the hair shafts, ensuring regular supply of nutrients and rapid hair growth. Foods high in vitamin C include citrus fruits, guava, strawberries, broccoli and red pepper.
Foods high in Vitamin C (RDA: 160mg/day, maximum 2000mg/day)
Food Serving Vitamin C
Orange 1 large 82 mg
Raw red peppers ½ cup chopped 95 mg
Broccoli ½ cup cooked 50 mg
Strawberries ½ cup 42 mg
Vitamin B (B3, B6, B12 and Biotin=B7)
required for cell proliferation and plays an important part in producing amino acids (protein) which are required for your hair to grow. B vitamins bring blood supply to the scalp which leads to more oxygen and nutrients to hair follicles. Nuts, brown rice and oats contain a high-level of Biotin. B3, B6 as well as B12 and can be found in eggs, meat, milk and dairy products.
Foods high in Niacin (B3) (RDA 15 mg/day, maximum 35 mg/day)
Food Serving Vitamin B3
Fish 100g 0.188 mg
Chicken/turkey breast 100g 0.26 mg
Lamb liver 100g cooked 0.2 mg
Peanuts 1 cup chopped 0.19 mg
(RDA: Biotin 30 mcg/ day, maximum 2500mcg/day) Food Serving Biotin Yeast 7 grams 1.4-14 mcg, Whole wheat bread 1 slice 0.02-6 mcg, Cooked egg 1 large 13-25 mcg
Cooked liver 90 gram 27-35 mcg
Foods high in Vitamin B6 (RDA 1,3 mg/day, maximum 100 mg/day)
Food Serving Vitamin B6
Beef liver 3 oz cooked 0,9 mg
Salmon 3 oz cooked 0,6 mg
Chicken breast 3 oz cooked 0,5 mg
is a type of B vitamin that is normally found in foods such as dried beans, peas, lentils, oranges, whole-wheat products, liver, asparagus, beets, broccoli, brussels sprouts, and spinach. Folic acid helps your body produce and maintain new cells, and also helps prevent changes to DNA that may lead to cancer. Since folic acid helps your cells work and tissues grow, it also helps your hair growth if you’re receiving an adequate amount of folic acid on a regular basis
Foods high in Folic Acid (RDA: 400-600 mcg/day)
Food Serving Folic Acid
Beef liver 3 oz 215 mcg
Spinach, boiled ½ cup 131 mcg
Black-eyed peas ½ cup 105 mcg
Asparagus,boiled 4 spears 89 mcg
is beneficial in promoting blood circulation, and therefore will increase the oxygen supply to the hair follicles, needed for healthy hair growth. It is a powerful antioxidant and it also absorbs damaging UV light protecting the skin cells. It repairs sun damage on the scalp, and this can cause thinning of the hairs. Most leafy greens, avocado, soybeans, nuts and some cereals contain Vitamin E.
Foods high in Vitamin E (RDA: 1000mg/day CAUTION: too much vitamin E can cause bleeding due to blood thinning
Food Serving Vitamin E
Almond dry roasted 1 oz 7,4 mg
Sunflower seed 1 oz 6 mg
Hazelnut,dry roasted 100g 2 mg
Spinach ½ cup 1,6 mg
(RDA: 12 mg/day) plays a crucial role in DNA and RNA production. This is required for the normal division of hair follicles leading to healthier hair growth. Zinc also helps with keeping hormone levels balanced, which could be one of the reasons why it is so effective in preventing hair loss. Some experts believe that Zinc deficiency can lead to deterioration of the protein structure that makes up the hair follicles. This weakening of follicles can in turn cause hair shedding and hair loss. The main zinc source from food are sweet potatoes, eggs, nuts, spinach.