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11 Vitamins for Hair Growth and Thickness

Having a healthy hair is a very important part of looking and feeling good in everyday life.  It enhances your personality and sets a tone for your professional and personal growth. Healthy hair complements your face and makes your body feel complete. So give your hair the attention it deserves and keeps it healthy and in good shape.

Vitamins for Hair Growth and Thickness

Often, people suffering from one hair problem or the other overlook the aspect of consuming nutrient rich diet. Vitamin deficiencies could cause gray hair, split ends, lack of volume, brittle hair, flaky scalp, frizzy hair and other hair related problems.

Topical hair treatments are great but they might not solve the root cause. You might have tried everything from hair stylists, hair gain products, exercises and others to have a beautiful hair, but have you ever wondered if you are consuming a diet that is adequate to support healthy hair growth?

It is no brainer, cells that create strands of hair require a regular supply of nutrients.

When the body doesn’t get proper nutrition, it experiences oxidative stress and hormone imbalance which negatively affects the hair follicles. So before you try to treat your hair on the outside, consider taking vitamins essential for giving you a flawless, voluminous and gorgeous hair.

A balanced diet is characterized as food having right amounts of proteins, carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins, fats, water, and fiber. For hair growth, in particular, the nutrients including vitamins, proteins, and minerals are important.

So, if you know what vitamins are required for hair growth, you can either increase the intake of foods rich in them or take them as vitamin supplements. Below are the different vitamins that are vital for healthy hair growth.

1. Folic Acid

Folic acid can efficiently help you in treating hair loss. You would regain your beautiful hair by consuming folic acid through your food. You can also stop thinning of your hair and get rid of genetically induced baldness.

Foods that contain folic acid:

Source Serving Size Amount Of Serving
Spinach 100 g 194 μg
Lentil 100 g 479 μg
Orange juice 248 g 74 μg
Peanut 100 g 246 μg
Beans/Green bean 100 g 33 μg
Avocado 100 g 81 μg

2. Vitamin A

Vitamin A promotes growth and development in the body. It helps in cell growth, proper function of immune system and vision. Dry hair, flaky scalp with dandruff and slow growth of hair in many cases are caused due to deficiency of Vitamin A. So, it is invaluable your hair as it aids in the production of sebum on the scalp and prevents the scalp from drying. Proper sebum production on the scalp provides you a healthy and shiny hair.

Vitamin A is available in the form of beta-carotene in the foods we consume.

Foods that contain Vitamin A:

Source Serving Size Amount Of Serving
cod liver oil 15 ml 4080 μg
Capsicum red 100 g 952 IU
sweet potato 100 g 709 μg
Carrots 100 g 835 μg
Broccoli 100 g 623 IU
Butter 100 g 684 μg
Kale 100 g 500 μg
Pumpkin 100 g 426 μg

3. Omega-3

The three components present in Omega 3s are DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), ALA (alpha linoleic acid) and EPA (Eicosapentaenoic acid). These are extremely beneficial in treating hair problems. Fish oil can reduce inflammation in the scalp and thereby aid in proper hair growth, hair thickening and reduction of hair loss. Hormonal changes can also stimulate hair disorders. By nourishing your body with omega 3, you can balance your hormones.

Foods that contain omega-3s

Source Serving Size Amount Of Serving
King salmon 100 g 2000 mg
Tuna canned 100 g 230 mg
Flaxseed 100 g 22.8 g
Chicken Egg 1 Large or 50 g 0.7 g
Walnut 100 g 47.174 g
Hemp seed 100 g 9.301 g
chia seeds, dried 100 g 17.830 g

You can also take omega-3 supplement capsules if you don’t eat these foods.

4. Protein

Every single strand of the hair is made up of protein fiber, so ensure you add lots of protein into our diet. Deficiency of protein can result in several hair disorders such as weak hair, dandruff scalp, brittle hair and dry scalp. Also, deficiency of protein is a common cause of profuse hair loss. The foods rich in proteins are mainly seafood and other meats. You need not worry if you are vegan, you still have a good number of plant based food sources to eat. If you rely on plant sources, you need to consume these foods in high quantities to get the required amount, however, proteins from plant foods are easily absorbed by the body.

Foods sources of proteins

Animals Sources

Source Serving Size Amount Of Serving
Salmon 100 g 20 g
Eggs  100 g 13 g
Milk  100 g 3.3 g
Turkey meat  100 g 29 g
 Yogurt  100 g 10 g
 Lean Beef  100 g 26 g

Plant Sources

 Source  Serving Size Amount of Serving
Hemp seeds 100 g 31.56 g
Quinoa 100 g 14.1 g
Spinach 100 g 2.9 g
Beans 100 g 21 g
Broccoli 100 g 2.8 g
Pumpkin seed 100 g 19 g

5. Biotin and Vitamin B5

Add these two essential nutrients to your diet to get rid of all health disorders. Biotin is beneficial in repairing hair damage caused by ironing and blow drying heat, over shampooing. Pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5) preserves hair shine and helps in building strong and thick hair. Vitamin B5 aids in the proper function of adrenal glands, which prevents aging of hair and stimulates hair flexibility and growth. Overall these two nutrients are very good for maintaining strong and healthy hair.

Food sources of biotin

Source Serving Size Amount of Serving
Brewer’s yeast 100 g 188.8 μg
Soybeans 100 g 179.4 μg
Beef liver 100 g 113.3 μg
Butter 100 g 94.3 μg
Sunflower seeds 100 g 66 μg
Green peas/lentils 100 g 40 μg
Peanuts/walnuts 100 g 37.5 μg
Pecans 100 g 27.75 μg
Eggs 100 g 18.9 μg

Food sources of vitamin B5

Source Serving Size Amount of Serving
Chicken Liver 85 g 8.3 mg
Sunflower seeds 28 g 1.98 mg
Salmon 85 g 1.9 mg
Avocados 1 fruit 2 mg
Sun-dried tomatoes 1 Cup 1.1 mg
Corn 1 Cup 1.18 mg
Mushrooms 1 Cup 1.3 mg
Broccoli 1 Cup 0.5 mg

6. Vitamin C

Free radicals are the main cause of aging process and these molecules can cause damage to protein, cell membranes, and DNA. The increase in free radicals stimulate aging of hair and also promotes hair loss. Vitamin C has antioxidants that help to prevent all kinds of hair damages caused due to free radicals and keeps your hair healthy.

Food sources of Vitamin C

Source Serving Size Amount of Serving
Orange 100 g 53.2 mg
Grapefruit 100 g 33.3 mg
Brussels sprouts 100 g 85 mg
Kiwi fruit 100 g 92.7 mg
Strawberries 100 g 58.8 mg
Kale 100 g 120 mg
Capsicum 100 g 80.4 mg
Broccoli 100 g 89.2 mg

7. Vitamin D

Hormonal changes in the body greatly affect hair follicles and it can lead to hair problems. Vitamin D supports the hormones in the regulation of immune system, cell growth, and calcium homeostasis. In the recent times, many people encounter alopecia areata (bald spots on the hair) due to Vitamin D deficiency. You should get enough Vitamin D from foods and sunlight to get healthy hair.

Vitamin D through sunlight

  • Exposure yourself to direct sunlight to absorb Vitamin D.
  • Sunlight can also detox your body.
  • 10,000 units of Vitamin D can be absorbed if you spend time under sunlight for about 10 to 15 minutes.

Food sources of Vitamin D

Source Serving Size Amount of Serving
Mackerel fish 100 g 50 mg
Portabella mushrooms 100 g 0.2 μg
SockeyeSalmon 100 g 352 mg
Cheese 100 g 15.41 mg
Halibut fish 100 g 734.99 mg
Sword fish 100g 446.22 mg
Egg Yolk 100 g 146.06 mg
Maitake mushrooms 100 g 752.41 mg
Cod liver oil 1 tsp (4.5 g) 301.5 mg

8. Zinc

Sebum is the essential natural oil produced on the scalp to keep hair healthy. Zinc facilitates the proper production of sebum which helps in conditioning the scalp and keeping it dandruff free. It also preserves hair strength and prevents premature balding or aging of hair. The body doesn’t possess the capability to store Zinc for a long time, so we should intake Zinc through food sources.

Food sources of Zinc

Source Serving Size Amount of Serving
Kidney beans 100 g 1.07 mg
Shrimp and prawn as food 100 g 0.97 mg
Flax seeds 100 g 4.34 mg
Yeast 16 g 3.0 mg
Egg yolk 100 g 2.30 mg
Oysters 85 g 76.7 mg
Pumpkin seeds 100 g 7.64 mg
Spinach 100 g 0.53 mg
Beef 100 g 6.31 mg

9. Iron

Iron facilitates proper functioning of our body and also plays a major role in transporting oxygen to the hair follicles. So iron is essential for hair growth. Iron deficiency can make your hair dull, brittle, dry and thin. To avoid these damages and regain your hair health, one should incorporate iron rich foods in the day to day diet.

Note: The absorption of iron from plant based sources are different than the animal sources. So experts recommend people to consume Iron with Vitamin C to facilitate better absorption in the body.

Food sources of Iron

Source Serving Size Amount of Serving
Peas 100 g 1047 mg
Beans 100 g 5.1 mg
Beef meat 100 g 2.6 mg
Octopus ( Cooked ) 100 g 9.5 mg
Lentils 100 g 6.5 mg
Swiss chard 100 g 2.26 mg
Spinach 100 g 2.71 mg
Apricots, Dried 100 g 2.7 g
Sesame Seeds 100 g 14.6 mg

10. Magnesium

Magnesium plays a key role in all body functions and processes. Lack of magnesium can make a person age faster and feel weak over time. It is also a cause for various diseases such as anxiety, diabetes, constipation, high blood pressure, fatigue, depression, and constipation. All these can affect the hair growth and lead to hair problems. Hair follicles depend on magnesium mineral to maintain its strength. The deficit of magnesium can cause hair loss and later result into to baldness.

Food sources of magnesium

Source Serving Size Amount of Serving
Swiss Chard 100 g 86 mg
Avocado 100 g 29 mg
Spinach 100 g 79 mg
Black Beans 100 g 70 mg
Banana 100 g 27 mg
Fig 100 g 17 mg
Sesame Seeds 100 g 351 mg
Pumpkin Seeds 100 g 550 mg
Almond 100 g 268 mg

Alternatively, you can use lotion which contains magnesium or bathe in water containing Epsom salt (magnesium rich).

11. Vitamin E

Vitamin E fights against free radicals and protects cells from damage. Vitamin E has antioxidants which help in rebuilding hair strands and enhances hair health.

Food sources of Vitamin E

Source Serving Size Amount of Serving
Almonds 100 g 26.2 mg
Avocado 100 g 2.07 mg
Sunflower Seeds 100 g 35.17 mg
Spinach 100 g 2 mg
Broccoli 100 g 0.78 mg
Sweet Potato 100 g 0.26 mg
Wheat Germ 100 g 15.99 mg
Palm Oil 1 tsp ( 14 g ) 2.17 mg
Olive Oil 1 tsp ( 14 g ) 1.94 mg

Additional Tips for Growing a Healthy Hair

  1. Trim your hair frequently. This will eliminate the split ends, offer smoothness, and volume.
  2. Avoid changing your hair color especially from a darker color to lighter one. Hair coloring increases the chances of getting split ends in the hair
  3. Brush your hair before going to bed. This distributes natural scalp oils evenly and help your hair stay moisturized
  4. Eat a well-balanced diet. Include protein rich foods such as nuts, whole grains, beans, and fish.
  5. Do not over use hair styling products. Excessive use of straighteners, curlers, hair gel, wax, mousse, Pomade, or sprays can damage your hair.
  6. Do not shampoo your hair every day. Skip one or two days in a week to allow natural oils to nourish the hair.
  7. After having a hot shower, cool rinse your hair to relax the cuticles.
  8. Sleep on a pillow with silk pillowcase. This reduces tangles and breakage in hair
  9. Weekly once apply warm coconut oil on hair.


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