Your hair, nails and skin growth and health come from the inside. Each of these is fed from our blood. Sometimes we might be lacking certain nutrients, minerals and vitamins which can be boosted by the food we eat and supplements. My personal go-to choices and suggestions to my health coaching clients are to use whole food-based supplements versus chemical (man-made) compounds. They’re not as hard to find as it might seem.
First, healthy hair, skin & nails vitamins & minerals are A, B – Biotin, C, D3, E, Iron & Zinc. Melatonin is also beneficial especially when applied topically. Topical sprays and foams are available. I can guide you and I will attach links to each supplement I would use and or suggest but first a quick guide to how each vitamin helps.
- Keeps cells healthy, helps produce sebum which keeps hair/scalp & skin healthy. Sweet potatoes, carrots, pumpkins, spinach and kale are all high in beta-carotene, which is turned into vitamin A.
- Vitamin A can also be found in animal products such as milk, eggs and yogurt. Cod liver oil is a particularly good source.
- Too much vitamin A can cause hair loss, coarse hair, dry rough skin, cracked lips
- Recommended daily amount per Mayo Clinic is 700 mcg for women.
Vitamin B & Biotin
- B-vitamins help create red blood cells, which carry oxygen and nutrients to the scalp and hair follicles
- B-vitamins from foods include whole grains, almonds, meat, fish, seafood and dark, leafy greens.
- Animal foods are the only good sources of vitamin B12
- Niacin, riboflavin, thiamin and pantothenic acid, folate are all B vitamins – a good B complex would be good. I take Thorne myself as it has everything the body requires to function well. Amazon link for Thorne B Complex
- Helps the body create the protein known as collagen
- Helps your body absorb iron a necessary mineral for hair growth
Vitamin D3 (taking magnesium with D will help absorption)
- Feeds the cells and aids in the production of healthy hair follicles
- Research also shows that vitamin D may help create new follicles — the tiny pores in the scalp where new hair can grow
- Food sources are fatty fish, cod liver oil, some mushrooms and fortified foods
- Helps prevent oxidative stress and boost hair growth.
- Food sources are sunflower seeds, almonds, spinach and avocados
- Helps red blood cells carry oxygen to your cells. This makes it an important mineral for many bodily functions, including hair growth.
- Iron deficiency, which causes anemia, is a major cause of hair loss. It’s especially common in women.
- Food sources are clams, oysters, eggs, red meat, spinach and lentils.
- Helps hair and tissue growth and repair
- Keeps the oil glands around the follicles functioning properly
- Hair loss is a common symptom of zinc deficiency (14Trusted Source, 15Trusted Source).
- Studies show zinc supplements reduce hair loss caused by zinc deficiency
- However, there are some anecdotal reports that supplementing with too high of a dose can also contribute to hair loss. (Kayla McDonell, RD August 6, 2016)
- For this reason, it may be better to get your zinc from whole foods. (Kayla McDonell, RD August 6, 2016)
- Foods high in zinc include oysters, beef, spinach, wheat germ, pumpkin seeds and lentils.
- Hair IS protein. It’s made up of entirely protein. Eating enough protein daily is important for hair growth as well as muscles.
- Side note: Protein is not always more slimming for the body though it helps. If a person is overweight and doesn’t burn off as much or more energy than they consume, protein can/will turn to fat stored in the body.
I hope all of this helps. A good quality multivitamin is beneficial. AS I stated earlier, a whole food vitamin will be absorbed by the body much better than a typical, cheaper chemical compound vitamin brand.
Daily Multivitamin Supplements: Here are some that I either use, have used and recommend in order of preference
- Vitamin Code 50 & Wiser for Women (by Garden of Life
- Juice Festive: VeggieFestive & FruitFestive use both together
- Alive for Women/regular & Over 50 – or for Men/regular & over 50
- Olly – link: OLLY
Supplements for hair growth: I have not used but these are in line with needs for thin/thinning hair. They can be found online and some are available at CVS
- Nutrafol – Nutrafol – it’s quite expensive but claims it works based on studies
- Keranique – Keranique
- Spring Valley Hair, Skin & Nails this is a good brand, [I use their echinacea/goldenseal root as I find it as the brand that works best for me and many other’s I have given it to.] Can be found in grocery stores, Walmart, Walgreens and online.
- OLLY for Hair – Olly
According to the dermatologist, androgenetic alopecia, hypothyroidism, low levels of vitamin D and iron are among the most common reasons behind hair loss. – (Michelle Henry, clinical instructor at Weill Cornell Medical College)
Bottom line in my professional opinion based on research I’ve done is to take either a daily multi-vitamin and/or one of the supplements I’ve listed. If you choose to take both, I would start with one at a time, giving it 2 months before starting the other one. If you prefer to take only one, I would try the “hair supplements” first. All recommendations I have found in my research recommends to give all focuses at least 6 months to see/feel an improvement. In my holistic nutrition training I’ve learned that every change needs 4 months minimum; whether it be diet, supplements, or exercise.
I hope this little bit of information helps you regain healthy hair & skin. Message me or comment with questions if you have any and I’ll do my best to find the answers!
My research is based on my many years of knowledge and experience being a hairstylist and found from reputable websites/universities/government studies from US, UK, Australia.