Taking supplements is something that can really have an impact on how healthy our hair is and help maintain a fast and steady rate of growth. We not only want our hair to grow fast, but we also want it to be healthy.
There are a few known supplements which will help support our body for it to produce healthy strands of hair.
Why take supplements?
Supplements are used to simply supplement the diet in areas where we fall short. Personally, I’m a vegan, so I have to supplement nutrients that my diet is lacking in.
Some people have absorption issues, don’t eat enough food to reach the required recommend daily intake of vitamins and minerals, or it could be simply that our food today isn’t what it used to be unless we pay good money for them and buy organic, fresh produce.
When you begin taking supplements, it’s important to note that it will take time before you see results. I recommend you give it at least 3 months to see if you notice an improvement in hair thickness.
In the longer term, if you are able to measure your ponytail circumference, this will give you a good idea if you’re seeing the improvements you expected, and that the hair isn’t weak and falling out too early. We want sustained results, not just short-term results.
Healthy Hair Starts From The Inside!
Remember that what you put in your body, you’ll be wearing the next day. This is a line Jack Lalanne used to say when he talked about the importance of nutrition in how we feel and look.
Vitamins are what enables our bodies to function properly, without them we die. If we are deficient in these important nutrients, we tend to lose the things that are least important to stay alive: our hair
Supplements that are important for hair growth
Biotin – This vitamin is important for the proper functioning of our metabolism; it plays a role in the metabolism of fat and sugar and thus having a deficiency can have significant consequences on our health. We don’t need very much of it to keep us from developing a deficiency either.
A teenager needs around 20 – 25 mcg a day, whilst an adult needs 30 mcg per day. There is no upper limit that has been established, so there is no risk to supplementing biotin if you feel you may be low in this particular vitamin.
One double-blind placebo-controlled study in women showed that taking a biotin supplement helped with hair volume and reduced thinning of the hair.
Many popular vegan supplements contain biotin as well as other ingredients to help improve hair quality and growth.
Zinc – This mineral is vitally important when it comes to having healthy long hair. It’s important for cell function, DNA repair, the immune system, the structure of proteins, including the one which makes up the hair follicle. Zinc deficiencies are an epidemic around the world, particularly in poor countries’ – and this increases the rate of infant mortality from infectious disease.
Zinc deficiency is less common in the west, but it can still occur. One fact that isn’t well known is that certain diets can actually cause a deficiency in this mineral. In those who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, and tend to eat a lot of plant foods which are high in copper, one can develop a secondary zinc deficiency because the copper and zinc compete at the site same in the gut for absorption.
Therefore, it is highly recommended that they supplement zinc so that the ratio of Zinc to Copper is between 8:1 to 10:1 ( that means 8 – 10 mg of zinc for every 1 mg of copper in your diet).
Protein – It’s what the hair is made out of, so then it’s no surprise that protein is an important factor in hair growth, right? But it’s more than just that! Our protein in our diet is an important regulator in how much IGF-1 we produce. IGF-1 is responsible for the rate at which our cells grow and proliferate.
When we eat less food, especially less protein, our IGF-1 levels can drop dramatically and we will experience less hair growth potential, because of the reduced rate at which the hair grows vs the damage that occurs over time. If you’re a vegan you may struggle to get all the amino acids you need, especially methionine, but it’s not impossible to reach the amount you need from your diet.
By taking a protein supplement, you will ensure that your protein source is easily digested and assimilated by the body so that you can build up strong and healthy hair.
For Nonvegetarians, whey protein is a good choice. For vegans, you can go with something like pea protein powder or soy protein.