In some cases losing one’s hair is a factor of genetics; however, there are many other reasons you may have hair loss including, thyroid disease, nutritional deficiencies, hormonal problems and poor circulation to your scalp. Many of these causes can be treated with drugs; however, pharmaceutical drugs often cause nasty side effects. Nutrition, herbs and other natural substances can slow hair loss and in some instances, help regrow hair. Many cases of nutritional deficiencies are overcome when an individual begins a regimen of vitamin therapy to stop hair loss. Speak to your natural health practitioner if you intend to dramatically change your diet or add large doses of vitamins.
According to Ohio State University, vitamin A helps maintain hair growth by stimulating hair follicles in the scalp. Vitamin A is fat-soluble and may be toxic when used in large doses. Along with taking vitamin A supplements, include foods in your diet like carrots and leafy green vegetables, high in vitamin A.
Hair loss may be related to high stress levels, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. The B vitamins may help reduce stress and calm your nerves. Vitamin B 12 in particular, is necessary for nerve function, the production of red blood cells and good circulation to the scalp, writes The University of Illinois at Urbana McKinley Health Center. B3 is known to help with circulation to the scalp, and B6 helps strengthen the hair shaft,, helping to regrow hair. Biotin, or B7, is specifically related to helping regrow hair due to it’s ability not only to sooth the nerves but to help build fat molecules in the skin of the scalp. In addition to taking supplementary B vitamins, add foods to your diet high in vitamin B like turkey, liver, eggs, natural oils, fish, lentils, bananas and potatoes.
Although not a vitamin, the mineral iron is necessary for the oxygenation of your blood and helps increase circulation to the head and scalp. Taking supplemental iron is not something you should decide to do on your own. Most people do not need to supplement their iron supplies unless they are pregnant. Before adding supplemental iron to your diet, consult your health practitioner who may order blood tests to check your iron levels. You can add iron to your diet by eating foods high in this important mineral. Some of those foods high in iron are apricots, leafy green vegetables, raisins, liver and whole grains.
Vitamin D3 acts like a hormone on the body, helping to balance other hormones and protect against deficiencies, according to the Dermatology Online Journal from the University of California at Davis. The skin synthesizes Vitamin D after exposure to sunlight, and additional amounts are available in fortified dairy products. However, most people will not be able to get enough vitamin D from these sources. It may be necessary for you to take supplemental vitamin D3, and one of the best sources is fish oil. Vitamin D3 is also fat-soluble and may be toxic to those who are sensitive. Consult a natural health practitioner for who may perform blood tests before suggesting dosage.
Vitamin E improves blood flow to the scalp by strengthening capillaries and hair follicles, encouraging hair growth. Vitamin E is most commonly found in certain oils like sunflower, safflower, olive and coconut oil. Most nuts are high in vitamin E, as are eggs, avocado and sweet potatoes. In addition to eating vitamin E-rich foods, add a supplement daily. You can treat your scalp by rubbing vitamin E oil on your skin to stimulate hair follicles and add important nutrients to regrow hair.
Dermatology Online Journal: “Does D Matter? The role of vitamin D in Hair Disorders and Hair Follicle Cycling”; Karrie T. Amor, MD, Vol. 12, No. 2, Feb. 2010
McKinley Health Center: Vitamins and Minerals
University of Maryland Medical Center: Hair Disorders
Ohio State University: Vitamin A — Retinol
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