Folic Acid Hair Growth Solutions
Weakened and thinning hair can be frustrating. One recently-popular solution is folic acid for hair growth. Below, we’ve shared the answers to some common questions about folic acid: what folic acid is, the claims concerning folic acid’s properties, whether those claims are true, and how much folic acid to take for hair growth.
What is folic acid?
Folic acid belongs to the family of B vitamins.
B vitamins, as a group, are important for mental health, memory, strong hair and nails, energy, nerve function, blood cell formation, and many other physiological functions.
There are eight known B vitamins: thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, pyridoxine, biotin, folic acid, and cobalamin. Each is chemically unique and serves a specific purpose in the body, though all are found in similar foods.
B vitamins are frequently found in animal products and leafy greens. Individuals with vegan, vegetarian, or otherwise plant-based diets often struggle to gain adequate vitamin B. Folic acid can be easier for vegans to consume, due to its prevalence in leafy greens and fresh fruits; however, many individuals still struggle to maintain a good balance.
Unlike some vitamins, it’s very easy and dangerous to overdose on B vitamins. Too much vitamin B has been linked to cardiovascular problems, weight gain, and more. Be sure to research carefully how much folic acid to take for hair growth before purchasing supplements.
B vitamins are necessary for energy, cell reproduction, red blood cell formation, and more. Some B vitamins other than folic acid are helpful for hair growth. It’s no surprise folic acid is theorized promote stronger and faster-growing hair, too.
B vitamins, including folic acid, are water-soluble – which means they are absorbed into your body’s fluids. This means your body does not generally store extra vitamin B: if you stop consuming folic acid for a period of time, your body will become deficient in folic acid.
If you start taking folic acid for your hair growth, it will only work as long as you take it.
What are the claims – and are they true?
There are a variety of proposed health benefits of folic acid, especially for hair growth. From preventing (or reversing) grey hair to restoring longer, stronger hair, folic acid is celebrated as a long-awaited “miracle cure” by many and viewed as “too good to be true” by others.
The claims aren’t groundless. In fact, WebMD specifically cites folic acid as necessary for healthy hair.
Unfortunately, the effects of folic acid appear to be limited to improving overall nutrition – nothing more. If you’re deficient in folic acid, taking folic acid will help hair growth. If you’re not deficient in folic acid, taking it won’t make a difference.
Does folic acid reduce or reverse greying? Very few studies have investigated this claim. It is theorized that grey hair is caused by poor nutrient absorption, and increased vitamin intake could reverse its effects.
In conclusion: yes, under certain conditions, folic acid will help your hair grow longer and stronger. It may also reverse greying; though that requires further research to substantiate, it’s worth trying if you’d like to darken your roots.
How much folic acid to take for hair growth?
The answer to this question varies based on the individual. Start by consulting your doctor. Then, begin incorporating it into your diet. If you still don’t see results, talk with your doctor about adding a supplement to your daily routine.
If you aren’t intentionally incorporating folic acid into your diet, you may not have enough. Not many of us eat lentils, beans, or asparagus on a regular basis. Nevertheless, foods containing folic acid aren’t difficult to find: you won’t need to go to the specialty section of your grocery store or hunt for anything exotic. The natural form of folic acid-folate – can be found in the following healthy foods:
- Lentils and beans
- Leafy greens, like spinach and kale
- Brussel sprouts
- Citrus fruits, like oranges and grapefruit
- Fortified bread
Many of these foods can easily be incorporated into vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, lactose-free, and other specialty diets, as well as traditional meals.
Cook roasted or eat raw
Because B vitamins are water-soluble, their nutrients are easily lost when steamed or boiled.
If you’re interested in increasing your folic acid intake for hair growth, avoid boiling, steaming, or microwaving vegetables. Instead, try roasting them or eating them raw. Brussel sprouts and asparagus can be oven-roasted with seasonings and broccoli and dip is an excellent snack.
Finally, if you still struggle to consume an adequate folic acid intake through diet alone, consider purchasing a supplement. Aim for under 1,000 mcg (or 1 mg). Any higher doses than that, and you may begin to experience similar symptoms to folic acid deficiency (exhaustion, brain fog, etc.).
Remember to take your supplement regularly as the body does not store folic acid. Also, be patient when waiting for results. If you were deficient in folic acid previously, your body may prioritize specific functions, organs, processes, and repairs before starting to restore your hair.
Take folic acid hair growth before and after pictures (or measurements)
It can be difficult to tell whether your hair has changed length or strength for the first few months of any treatment. If you’ve just started taking folic acid for hair growth, take a photo or measure your hair’s current length to document the beginning point of your journey. Then, in a few months, take an “after” picture and compare the difference in your folic acid hair growth before and after pictures!
Folic acid is an important nutrient for your body’s overall health. A deficiency in folic acid can result in many symptoms – one being hair thinning or hair loss. If you’ve felt frustrated by hair loss recently, taking folic acid could help restore your natural volume and color. For those who are looking to restore hair, folic acid may be the answer for hair growth they need.