Vitamins for Hair Growth & Strength
Hair is like any other part of your body: it benefits from vitamins and minerals. Good nutrition can help increase hair strength, giving it better thickness and shine. A healthy diet and adequate minerals can promote the hair most of us dream about.
Below, we’ve listed the top vitamins for hair growth and strength – keep up with the daily recommended value of these, and you’ll likely see an improvement in the thickness and length of your hair.
Note that the below recommendations are provided purely for informational purposes. Consult with your doctor before starting any supplements or changing your diet significantly; every individual is different, and the below information is only offered as a general reference that may not apply to every situation.
What vitamins are good for hair growth and strength?
Commonly known as the “sunshine vitamin,” vitamin D is created by our bodies through exposure to sunlight. It’s one of the best vitamins for hair growth and strength. Vitamin D deficiency can be linked to hair follicle damage as well as hair loss. The National Institute of Health recommends that adults ages 19-70 receive 600 IU of vitamin D per day; they note that the recommended amount can be achieved with a small amount of sun exposure.
Up to 90 minutes in the sun during peak daylight hours, spread throughout the week, can provide the necessary dose. However, studies have shown this does not hold true for winter climates. Because of this, individuals living in northern regions should increase their dietary and supplemental vitamin D.
The following foods are high in vitamin D:
- Dairy products
- Fortified dairy and juice products
- Fortified dairy alternatives
- Fortified cereal
If you’d rather take a vitamin D supplement, Mayo Clinic warns to avoid taking more than 4,000 IU per day to reduce side effects.
D vitamins can be beneficial for hair strength whether you take them a pill, meal, or sunshine walk – it’s up to you to decide.
Biotin and B Vitamins
Biotin is one of the most well-known hair growth vitamins. In one study, ⅓ of women with hair loss was discovered to be biotin-deficient. If you’re biotin-deficient, this may be the best vitamin for improving your hair growth and strength.
Before starting biotin, ask your doctor about being tested for biotin deficiency: if you aren’t biotin-deficient, taking biotin won’t help your hair, and you’ll waste your time and money. If you are biotin deficient, you may see fantastic results from starting biotin.
The daily recommendation for biotin is 30 mcg per day. There are currently no known problems with taking more than the recommended dose, but that doesn’t mean taking a higher amount is safe. Talk with your doctor before beginning any dosage of biotin vitamins for hair strength.
Vitamin A is found in orange foods: carrots, cantaloupe, sweet potatoes, and more. It’s also found in leafy greens like spinach and kale. If you’re planning on increasing your vitamin A, look for a quality source. The best vitamin A sources are perfect for increasing hair growth and strength.
Adults need about 800 mcg (or 5,000 IU) of vitamin A daily. Most Americans get enough vitamin A, and too much vitamin A is harmful. However, if you’d like to try using A vitamins for hair strength, start by adding more carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach, and other vitamins A rich foods into your diet. Just two carrots or one cup of kale per day can provide 100% of your daily vitamin A needs and help your hair grow faster.
Folic acid is a b vitamin that boosts blood health and aids in cell reproduction. Supplementing with folic acid is a fairly new concept for hair growth, but some people have found it helpful for restoring their hair. This is likely due to folic acid deficiency – taking more than the recommended daily amount of folic acid won’t help hair growth, but if you suffer from folic acid deficiency, you may experience hair thinning and hair loss. Adding folic acid to your diet is easy and could help increase hair strength vitamins.
Folic acid can be found in the following foods:
- Citrus fruits
Vitamin C is a powerhouse vitamin. It doesn’t just help your hair grow faster – it also helps your body absorb other nutrients, like iron, for all-around healthier hair. Vitamin C benefits many areas of your body, from boosting your immune system to creating collagen in your skin. Improving your skin health can nourish your hair follicles, and building collagen can strengthen your hair.
Orange juice is known for having high levels of vitamin C, but broccoli, peppers, tomatoes, and cherries are also high in this vitamin. Vitamin C can interfere with other drugs, nutrients, and medications (including heart medication) so talk with your doctor before adding it to your daily routine.
You might be familiar with Zinc already due to its association with cold and flu medicines. Zinc can boost the immune system; zinc deficiency results in hair loss, and even hair loss caused by other health issues (such as hypothyroidism) can be improved with zinc supplements.
If you’d like to add zinc to your diet to increase your hair strength vitamins, start with one of these zinc-rich foods:
- Garbanzo beans
You can also opt for a supplement. Recommendations vary based on the individual, but generally, adult men are recommended to consume 11 mcg per day, while women need only 8 mcg per day. Most people consume this amount in their diet each day, but if you suspect zinc may help improve your hair growth, talk with your doctor about starting a zinc supplement.
What is the best vitamin for hair growth and strength?
The answer to this question depends on one person: you. What does your body need? Are you deficient in folic acid or biotin? Have you been consuming vitamin C recently? Feed your body what it needs, and it will thank you with long, strong, beautiful hair.