Hair has a simple structure composed of a tough protein called keratin, but to most people, it’s much more than that. Hair is often referred to as your crowning glory, and seeking the perfect hairstyle, color, texture and length has been a focus of society throughout history and across cultures. And while much of the focus has been on what you can do to your hair to alter and manipulate its appearance, less thought has been given to what you can do for your hair to improve it from the inside out.
Your hair’s texture, shine, strength and length are impacted by nutrition, just as your skin, bones, muscles and other tissues are. Each hair has a follicle that anchors it into the skin, with a hair bulb forming the base of each hair follicle. Inside the hair bulb are living cells that divide and multiply, building the hair shaft. These living cells and the building process are impacted by nutrition and the health and beauty of your hair.
Below are some of the most potent nutrients you can include in your diet or supplement routine to boost your hair’s vitality, growth and appearance.
The Most Important Vitamins for Hair Health
Biotin plays an important role in hair health and general wellbeing. Biotin is a water-soluble vitamin. Getting enough biotin in your diet helps with hair growth and strength. Biotin has a vital function in protein synthesis, specifically taking part in keratin production, which is important for healthy nail and hair growth.
You can obtain biotin from foods, and it is also produced by your gut flora. Foods sources with high amounts of biotin include organ meats, eggs, fish, sweet potatoes, nuts (especially almonds), legumes, whole grains, unpolished rice and egg yolks.
Hair is made from a tough protein, which is primarily keratin. Keratin gives hair its strength, preventing breakage and providing thickness, and promotes new hair follicle formation and growth. Keratin helps to bind and smooth hair, providing structure and strength to keep it looking vibrant, shiny and healthy.
Collagen is a vital component of skin, hair, joints and other tissues. Collagen peptides have been shown to improve the health and appearance of skin and hair.† Marine collagen peptides are especially beneficial for hair.† Research has shown that these collagen peptides are more bioavailable and can significantly support hair growth and may prevent hair loss.†
It works by increasing natural hair growth factors and decreasing factors inhibiting growth.† Scientists conclude that collagen peptides can be used for hair loss prevention and regrowth during alopecia.† Including marine collagen peptides in your nutritional strategy to improve your hair is wise, so look for a supplement for hair that contains marine collagen and other hair-health ingredients, such as Codeage Hair Vitamins.†
Vitamins and minerals
Keeping your overall vitamin and mineral levels topped up is essential for your health, including the health of your hair. People with nutrient deficiencies can suffer from hair loss and brittleness. Make sure you are eating many high-quality whole foods packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants for beautiful, healthy hair.
Specifically, it’s important to ensure that you get enough iron, which is the top nutrient deficiency in the world. Iron is often lacking in females, especially active ones, and to an even greater degree if you are on a plant-based diet. Hair follicle matrix cells are among the most rapidly dividing cells in the body, and iron deficiency may contribute to hair loss.†
Zinc is also vital. The mineral is essential in protein synthesis and cell division. It also plays a role in pathways that govern hair follicle development. A lack of zinc can lead to brittle, dry hair. Again, those on a plant-based diet may need additional zinc as the bioavailability of zinc is lower in vegetables than in meat. Vegetarians also often consume more legumes and whole grains than those on standard diets, and these foods, while highly nutritious, contain phytates that bind to zinc and inhibit absorption.
Human hair comprises proteins, lipids, water, pigments and trace elements. Aside from the water, 95% of hair is proteins. Amino acids found in your hair include arginine, cysteine, leucine, lysine, proline and many more.
What’s more, keratin is made of amino acids and contains a high cysteine content. Including amino acids in your diet through protein intake, specifically, cysteine, may improve the look and feel of your hair.†
Amino acids are abundant in protein-rich foods like chicken, turkey, beef, pork, soy, fish, eggs and dairy. You can also get plenty of amino acids by combining plant-based sources such as pea protein, rice, nuts, seeds and tempeh. Rich food sources of cysteine include poultry, egg, beef and whole grains.
Support hair health from the inside out
Supporting your hair from the inside is a wise choice. Not only will your hair and skin benefit from including the above nutrients, but so will your overall health. Science has shown that the health of your hair can provide insight into your general wellbeing, with hair loss being more likely if you’re stressed or lacking essential vitamins and minerals.
Aim to get plenty of wholesome, nutrient-rich foods in your diet that contain protein, vitamins and minerals. If you want to shore up your stores of hair-beautifying ingredients, consider a supplement designed for this purpose, such as Codeage Hair Vitamins, which contains marine collagen peptides, amino acids, probiotics, biotin, keratin and several herbs and extracts shown to support the health of your locks.†
†These statements have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease.