2 Critical Hair Growth Vitamins

Which vitamins are necessary for healthy Hair? Which are the critical elements to hair growth and curing baldness? While all the vitamins play an important role in your overall health and a deficiency in any vitamin can lead to health consequences there are a few hair critical vitamins that are key in hair growth and hair health. Your hair, like any organ in your body, requires a certain mix of nutrients, vitamins and minerals for optimal health and growth. If you are losing your hair and becoming bald you should not just assume you are getting the correct mix of these critical elements. Just as people who are losing weight or who begin to develop symptoms like night blindness or poor wound healing would be foolish to assume everything is ok, if you are losing your hair it may be your bodies way of telling you it is missing something. Scientific studies suggest that even people who live in controlled environments where meals are provided for them can experience hair loss that is secondary to vitamin and nutrient deficiencies (Daniells, 2010).

While many vitamins play important roles in your hair health, there are two standout players that I would like to discuss. These two where picked because it has been shown that even in developed countries people can have low levels and even clinical deficiencies in them, and also because they can be easily supplemented. More importantly it has been proven that repleting these vitamins does in fact help hair growth. So which are the two specific vitamins that are critical for your hair health and good hair growth?

Vitamin B3 – Commonly known as Niacin

This vitamin plays a key role in hair growth and general health maintenance. In fact a deficiency of niacin, when severe, causes a condition known as pellagra which is characterized by hair loss and skin problems, but also heart failure and dementia. It is rare, but not unheard of to see pellagra in the modernized world, but low grade niacin deficiencies are noted quite often. Interestingly niacin seems to work even when applied topically, and studies have shown that topical niacin seems to benefit hair growth (Draelos, 2005). Niacin itself plays a role in repairing DNA damage, and promoting cell growth (Surjana, 2010), as well as increasing blood flow and micro-vascular circulation to hair follicles.

Vitamin D

This vitamin plays a critical role in cell growth and differentiation. It activates DNA and stimulates proper growth in a natural healthy body. In hair cells it is specifically critical for triggering the anagen growth phase of a hair life cycle (Amor, 2010). Deficiencies of Vitamin D, which can be very common especially in cold climates, lead to less hair regrowth, thinner hair and increased baldness (totsi, 2009). Unlike niacin no topical vitamin D ointments have been studies, and the only way to get your vitamin D is through oral intake or direct exposure to the sun. Direct sunlight on your skin triggers your body to produce its own natural vitamin D.
Other vitamins also play an important role in hair growth and it would be unfair not to mention that vitamin E, and the other B complex vitamins also play important roles in hair health and hair growth. But science supports the role of vitamin D and Vitamin B3 supplementation for general health as well as hair health. If you are losing your hair, do not ignore the possibility that you may need to supplement your diet to give your hair a fighting chance at being healthy, regrowing and helping you cure your baldness.

Scientific References:
1. Daniells S, Hardy G. Hair loss in long-term or home parenteral nutrition: are micronutrient deficiencies to blame? Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2010 Nov;13(6):690-7.

2. Surjana D, Halliday GM, Damian DL. “Role of nicotinamide in DNA damage, mutagenesis, and DNA repair.” J Nucleic Acids. 2010 Jul 25;2010

3. Draelos ZD, Jacobson EL, Kim H, Kim M, Jacobson MK. “A pilot study evaluating the efficacy of topically applied niacin derivatives for treatment of female pattern alopecia.”J Cosmet Dermatol. 2005 Dec;4(4):258-61.

4. Amor KT, Rashid RM, Mirmirani P. “Does D matter? The role of vitamin D in hair disorders and hair follicle cycling.” Dermatol Online J. 2010 Feb 15;16(2):3.

5. Tosti A, Piraccini BM, Sisti A, Duque-Estrada B. “Hair loss in women.”Minerva Ginecol. 2009 Oct;61(5):445-52. R

This article was posted on December 31st, 2010 in Vitamins for Hair Loss Reviews

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