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Selenium Benefits for Hair

Pragya T
Many people are aware that zinc is good for hair. But, does selenium benefits for hair too? Let us look at what is selenium and what it can do to improve and maintain hair health...
Hippocrates the 'Father of Medicine' says "Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food." Diet plays an important role for maintaining optimum health. If the diet is not healthy or balanced, many health problems arise. Even malfunctioning of one process in the body can lead to many side effects.
Today, due to hectic lifestyle our diet is highly compromised. Also, factors like lack of exercise, proper sleep and pollution contribute to health problems. One of the common problem among men and women is hair loss. There can be infinite reasons for hair fall. However, hair growth is possible if a good diet and good hair care regime is followed.
Men and women today both have hair loss problems and one of the common are the male pattern baldness and female pattern baldness. In women this occurs around the middle parting, while in men it occurs around the hairline and recedes back.
If you are experiencing thinning of hair or balding then it is very important to follow a diet which contains all the essential nutrients required by the body. Importantly, these nutrients should also be in a right amount.
These nutrients include various vitamins, minerals, fats, proteins and water. Some of the hair thickening vitamins are vitamin A, B, C and E. Apart from these vitamins certain micro nutrients like zinc and selenium are also essential for hair growth and maintenance. Keeping yourself hydrated by drinking plenty of water will keep the hair well moisturized.
Hair is basically made of proteins, so proteins are also necessary for good hair maintenance. Certain fats deficiency like omega fatty acids can also lead to hair fall. So, make sure in your diet there is right amount of all these nutrients present.
A less known and researched micro nutrient for hair growth is selenium. Though, there is not enough research and information about selenium benefits related to hair, there is still some evidence which shows that little amount of selenium is necessary for hair growth.

Benefits of Selenium for Hair

Selenium benefits for hair are two-fold. Firstly, it aids in hair growth and secondly, it prevents dandruff. Selenium compounds kill a fungus called Malassezia present on the scalp that sheds dry skin fragments. Many anti-dandruff shampoos use a bit of selenium to fight dandruff. Having enough selenium in your diet can help you prevent and cure dandruff.
Hair being primarily composed of proteins need selenium in small amounts. Because, selenium helps to utilize foods containing protein. This helps in better growth of hair. Many dermatologist recommend zinc and selenium for hair loss. Selenium along with zinc helps to utilize proteins and hormones properly which can help to produce more hair.
Hormonal imbalance is a major cause for hair loss. Selenium supplement can be used in combination to treat gray hair, miscarriage, arthritis, strokes, macular degeneration etc.

How to Get Selenium?

One can get selenium from the diet or from supplements. Getting it from the diet is better, as the body assimilates nutrients better when received from food as supplements are not easily absorbed by the body. However, they can also be helpful to lock hair fall and improve hair growth.
Some of the best selenium foods are shrimp, tuna, snapper, asparagus, halibut, Brazil nut, garlic, cod, sardines, cottage cheese, eggs, oats, salmon and crimini mushrooms.
No matter which way you take selenium it is very important to take it in the recommended dosage. The recommended dose for selenium intake is different for different ages. For people over 14 years is 55 mcg. For pregnant or lactating women it is slightly higher. Consult your doctor to find the right selenium dosage suitable for you.
Note: If selenium or zinc is consumed in the right amount they can improve hair growth, but if they are consumed in excess they can increase the amount of hair fall and trigger other mineral toxicity symptoms. So, make sure you stick to the recommended dosage.