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Vitamins that Help in Dealing with Thinning Hair

Sonia Nair
Hair thinning is often associated with poor diet. Here is a brief overview about some vitamins essential for healthy growth of hair.
For healthy hair, include salmon, poultry, eggs, spinach, yogurt, avocados, walnuts, chocolate, sweet potatoes, oysters, and pumpkin seeds in your diet.
Healthy people lose hair due to three main factors - genetics, aging and nutritional deficiencies. Those with health issues may lose hair due to the underlying medical conditions. Hair thinning could also be a side effect of certain medicines or medical procedures.
Statistics say, nutritional factors are the major cause for hair thinning in healthy women below age of 50. Those with medical conditions tackle this by getting it treated. In healthy people, genetics and aging are 2 factors that cannot be rectified or treated. Also, the third common cause - nutritional deficiencies.
Proper diet is one of the basic requirements for the healthy functioning of the human body.
Apart from promoting the health of the internal organs, a proper diet is also necessary for maintaining the health of the skin, hair, and nails. So hair thinning in healthy people could be due to a poor diet that is deficient in hair vitamins. Vitamins promote faster growth of the strands and enhance their tensile strength too.

B Vitamins

They are necessary for various vital functions of the human body. These water-soluble vitamins are mostly found in protein-rich food. There are eight types of B-vitamins - thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), piroxidine (B6), folic acid (B9), cyanocobalamin (B12), and biotin (B7).
Vitamins B3, B7 and B12 are essential for hair strengthening, enhancing the sheen, thickness and color of hair strands. Biotin fights premature graying. Niacin/ vitamin B3 improves blood circulation in scalp, aiding hair growth.These are abundant in legumes, whole grains, meat, poultry, bananas, potatoes, milk, etc.

Vitamin C

This is another water-soluble vitamin which is vital for the health of hair. Vitamin C is responsible for developing collagen and maintaining its level in the body. Collagen is the main structural protein in connective tissues, and it strengthens hair. Apart from that, vitamin C is vital for absorption of iron, which is essential for hair growth. A
Deficiency of vitamin C can make our hair dull and thin. The hair follicles may get clogged, thereby making the strands weak. As this vitamin cannot be synthesized in the body, it is derived from foods like citrus fruits, cantaloupe, papaya, kiwifruit, pineapple, broccoli, bell peppers, tomatoes and spinach.

Vitamin D

The role of vitamin D in hair follicle cycling is still not well understood. It is said that vitamin D receptors in cells and tissues are vital. They are actively involved in anagen initiation of the cycle. Absence of the receptors has been linked to alopecia. Another study shows that women who experience hair thinning have low levels of vitamin D and iron.

Vitamin E

A lipid soluble antioxidant, vitamin C improves blood circulation, which in turn is good for hair growth. Being a good antioxidant, vitamin E enhances overall health and slows down the process of aging. Thus this vitamin is beneficial for delaying hair graying.
Almonds, kiwi fruit, papaya, avocado, spinach, collards and kale are rich in vitamin E.

Other Nutrients

'Proteins' is the most essential factor for healthy hair. Protein is made of amino acids. While the human body produces some amino acids, others are derived from the diet. Lysine, methionine, tyrosine, cystine, and homocysteine are some of the main amino acids that are derived from food. A protein-rich diet offers most of these main amino acids.
Apart from protein, unrefined carbohydrates and fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated ones) are beneficial for hair growth. Iron, zinc and essential fatty acids (vitamin F) are also vital for hair growth.Minerals like copper, magnesium, zinc, iodine and sulfur are also useful for the health of hair. Adopt a healthy lifestyle and a good exercise regimen.
Apart from using these nutrients, there are various other factors that have to be considered, if you are concerned about your hair problems. Avoid smoking and excess alcohol consumption.
Anemia (iron deficiency) is one of the common causes of hair thinning, specially in women. It is always better to consume foods rich in these nutrients. You may also take supplements, after consulting your health care provider. However, overdose of certain vitamins can be harmful.
Drink 8-10 glasses of water daily and get good sleep. Avoid products with harsh chemicals. Regular perming or teasing is harmful. Stress is malign for hair, so curb stress, to solve hair issues. If any other symptoms seen, consult your doctor to debar the fear of underlying medical conditions.