This article was written by Tania Bhattacharya on behalf of Sherley Altidor.
The fairytales speak nothing about Rapunzel’s diet. But whatever that may have been, the witch had at least fed her a very balanced one. There is hardly anything that can compete with well-balanced meals that are rich in vitamins, minerals, proteins, iron and all the other essential ingredients. Dawn Jackson Blatner, a registered dietician and author of The Flexitarian Diet says, “Pump up the protein”. According to Dawn if protein is included in each meal and snack, it will make the hair follicles really strong. And that’s what is needed. A strong hair follicle is like a stable foundation to your house. The stronger it is, the better it can hold the construction.
However, vitamins too play a very important part in creating a healthy mane. Deficiency of B Vitamins, especially B6, biotin, inositol and folic acid can cause hair loss. While vitamins are needed in plenty for promoting overall good health, there are a few specific kinds that can do a world of good to your hair. These include B5 (pantothenic acid) and B3 (niacin). Take a look at the following list to know the role of each vitamin in healthy hair:
Vitamin A: An antioxidant that helps in the making of healthy sebum in the scalp.
Vitamin C: Help in maintaining overall health of hair.
Vitamin E: Improves scalp circulation.
Biotin: An anti-aging agent that prevents graying of hair and hair loss.
Inositol: Helps in keeping hair follicle healthy
Niacin (Vitamin B3): Also promotes scalp circulation.
Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5): Prevents graying of hair and hair loss.
Vitamin B6: Helps in preventing hair loss.
Vitamin B12: Also prevents hair loss.
Benefits of taking vitamins:
If your hair problem is the manifestation of an underlying health problem caused due to vitamin deficiency, supplements will help. They will replenish your system and hence contribute towards the health of your hair.
The nutritional condition of your health determines the condition and life cycle of your hair which is essentially made of protein. The hair vitamins lay the foundation of healthy metabolism which again translates into healthy hair. The vitamin supplements available in the market claims that they are able to strengthen and grow your hair. This claim is again based on the wonders that each type of vitamin can do for your hair (please refer to the list above).
It is cost effective when compared to such complex treatments as hair transplant surgeries.
Disadvantages of taking vitamins:
Vitamins are no magic pills and hence will take time to show results even if they do eventually.
You may be exposing yourself to the risk of mega dosing. This means, the food that you take may be supplying the required amount of vitamins already. So taking a supplement on top of that may just be unnecessary. Large doses of certain vitamins can also cause nausea, vomiting, weight loss, nerve damage, etc. An overdose of Vitamin A, for instance, can cause hair loss among several other things!
If you are taking a supplement or planning to take one, it is a good idea to check the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website periodically. They maintain a list of dietary supplements that are either under review or have been reported to have caused some adverse effects.
However, I strongly recommended that before taking vitamins try taking well-balanced regular meals. There is no substitute for a healthy inside that naturally translates into glowing skin and beautiful hair. Also, what better way to give your body what it needs through fruits, vegetables and fish? But if you want to take a vitamin supplement it is always advised to do so under the guidance and supervision of a medical practitioner. Your doctor is the best person to tell you the required dosage and if at all you need any. Last but not the least, remember that it is normal to lose 100 strands of hair every day. So before you run to the pharmacy just take a moment to think if there is anything to be alarmed about. And do not panic about hair loss because stress only makes things worse.
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