The 10 most important vitamins for healthy hair
Vitamins together minerals are essential elements to maintain healthy hair. The beneficial effects of vitamins for the health of our body are already widely known. What is not known enough is how vitamins affect the health status of hair and skin.
Role of vitamins in the hair
A diet rich in vegetables and fruit and poor in saturated fats will have a very positive effect on hair health. The opposite can cause progressive deterioration until hair loss. Here are some examples;
Deficient effects of vitamins on hair
Vitamin A: the deficiency causes dryness and peeling of the skin and follicular keratosis (it is a clog that prevents sprout of new follicles or baby hair).
Vitamins C: Vitamin C deficiency causes scurvy. The characteristic of scurvy is the deficiency in the biosynthesis (creation) of new collagen fibers in the matrix that is where the hair are born.
Vitamins B group: the lack these vitamins, produce a clinical picture similar to seborrheic dermatitis.
The use of vitamins through dermally route, (contact with the skin or hair), is justified by its moisturizing, nourishing, antioxidant, cellular renewal repair and free radicals (ROS) properties.
Efficacy of oral vitamins vs. dermal
Vitamins oral absorption only produces a limited increment in the concentrations of these in the skin because the mechanism of transport in the intestine limits the concentration from our body. In the case of Vitamins C applied topically, it has been shown to enhance the production of collagen in human skin.
The 10 Vitamins for Healthy Hair
Group B vitamins
For a healthy hair growth condition, B group vitamins are needed; Thiamine (B1), Riboflavin (B2), Niacin (В3), Pantothenic Acid (В5), Pyridoxine (B6), Biotin (B7) and Inositol (В8). The vitamins in this group are responsible for a sustained hair growth, and that is why their deficiency can lead to hair loss.
Vitamin В1 (Thiamine) is not synthesized in the human body, therefore it must be obtained through the food. The deficiency of this vitamin leads chiefly to the alteration of nerve conduction and the deficit of ATP.
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) is necessary to make red blood cells and antibodies, to keep a sustained hair growth and keratinization(creating cells structures through keratin proteins) of nails and skin. Among the external manifestations of riboflavin deficiency in humans be given; ulcers at the corners of the mouth, seborrheic dermatitis, especially in the nasolabial folds, wings of the nose , ears and eyelids.
Often there may be disorders in vision organs: cataracts, conjunctivitis and keratitis. Vitamin B2 is essential for the growth of healthy hair.
Vitamin В3 (vitamin Р, niacin) in the body is converted to nicotinamide, which in turn participates in the metabolism of fats, proteins, amino acids, cellular respiration and biosynthesis processes are involved. It also participates in the formation of melanin in the hair. The lack of vitamin B3 causes alterations in hair growth and gray hair at an early age.
Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid, panthenol, dexpanthenol) – is responsible for the regeneration of the skin tissues and mucous membranes. Panthenol is the only vitamin that is well absorbed through the skin. Dexpanthenol in the body is transformed into pantothenic acid. It has the prerogative to accelerates mitosis, and increases the resistance of collagen fibers and producing a regenerative, and anti-inflammatory effect.
Vitamin В6 (pyridoxine) – helps cells use glucose more effectively, participates in the metabolism of amino acids and synthesis of most neurotransmitters in the nervous system. Thus, vitamin B6 improves memory and mood. It is known as “the antidepressant vitamin”, because it participates in the synthesis of “the hormone of happiness”, serotonin, and is also responsible for the regulation of appetite and sleep. Vitamin B6 deficiency leads to increased fatigue; depression, hair loss; poor blood circulation; numbness, arthritis, and muscle weakness. Vitamin B6 is necessary for the prevention of dandruff.
Vitamin B7 (Biotin) – Biotin deficiency is characterized by hair loss, dandruff, and seborrhea. Lack of biotin also shows skin damage, pale smooth tongue, drowsiness, depression, muscle pain and weakness, hypotension, high levels of cholesterol and blood sugar, anemia, poor appetite and nausea. It can improve overall hair quality when weakness hair are due for unbalanced diet.
Inositol (Vitamin B8) – is vital for hair growth and or preventing premature hair loss. Inositol deficiency can manifest with hair loss and skin rashes.
It maintain healthy skin and has a calming effect on it. Inositol is involved in the DNA replication process and protein synthesis, thus contributing to the rapid growth and regeneration of cells tissues. It improves blood flow, prevents the formation of clots, and also improves the elasticity of the vessel walls.
Vitamin А (Retinol) – Retinol or Vitamin A is a derivative from Beta-carotene.
Historically, Retinol has been used for the topical treatment of photoaging and acne. Retinol is used to treat practically all skin diseases (acne, seborrhea, psoriasis, etc.). Vitamin А accelerates healing processes, also stimulates body collagen synthesis, improving the quality of newly formed cells tissues.
Vitamin A participates in the synthesis of steroid hormones (including progesterone).
Both vitamin A and β-carotene are powerful antioxidants, protecting cells membranes from the damaging effects of free radicals, particularly β-carotene neutralizes the most dangerous free radicals. Vitamin А provides elasticity to the hair, making them more flexible, and helps resist the action of ultraviolet light.
In the absence of this vitamin, the scalp may begin to flake off, and the hair may thin and become brittle.
Vitamin С (Ascorbic Acid) – Vitamin C is a natural antioxidant and most plants and animals have the ability to synthesize it. However, humans cannot synthesize Vitamin C because we cannot synthesize the enzyme necessary for its production, therefore, must be obtained from the diet and is contained in citrus and green leafy vegetables.
Vitamins C have become one of the most widely used ingredients for topical application because oral absorption only produces a limited increase concentration in the skin because the transport mechanism in the intestine limits the concentration from our Body.
Exposure to UVB solar radiation reduces the amount of Vitamin C in the skin as well as ozone and heavy metals present in micro particles in the air, reduce the reserve of Vitamins C and E, therefore environmental exposure, especially in areas with a high concentration of pollution, alter the skin’s natural defense mechanisms against oxidative stress.
Vitamin C is essential for collagen biosynthesis and collagen cross linking within the dermis and scalp. It is also used against hair loss.
Vitamin С has antioxidant properties, favors the absorption of iron, without which the hair becomes brittle and dull. Vitamin С helps to cope with stress – one of the main enemies of beautiful hair.
Vitamin Е (tocopherol) – is the main antioxidant nutrient, it can only be provided to the body through oral intake. The main sources of natural Vitamin E are fresh vegetables, vegetable oils, cereals, and nuts.
The role of Vitamin E and its antioxidant activity in the content of ROS or free radicals has been shown. One Tocopherol molecule has the ability to remove two molecules from the peroxyl radical.
Vitamin E slow the cellular aging process due to oxidation, improves the nutrition of cells, strengthens the blood vessels wall, prevents the appearance of clots and contributes to their reabsorption. It participates in cell division, cellular respiration, and metabolism.
The topical use of vitamin Е helps to heal the skin and reduces the risk of scar tissue developing. Additionally, tocopherol aids in the treatment of eczema, skin ulcers, herpes, and seborrhea. In cases of vitamin Е deficiency, hair begins to fall out.
Vitamins have a beneficial effect on the hair external appearance and growth.
The vitamin and mineral complex (my previous blog from February 29, 2020;
improves ATP supply for healthy hair and protects from early gray hair.
The antioxidant properties of vitamins А, С and Е protect hair and skin from the harmful effects of environmental factors and ultraviolet rays, and protect the structural lipids of the skin and hair from oxidation.
But remember and with my respect for the vitamin industry; “the best thing you can do to improve not only your hair but also general well-being is to assimilate vitamins and minerals from fresh and possibly unprocessed foods.”
Herbal teas turned into a broth are a concentrated source of instant beneficial properties but this will be an argument for a future blog.