How can I best encourage hair growth?
Hair growth can be a relatively common problem for many around the world. However, it can be incredibly frustrating when no matter how much love and attention we give it, it can never grow past the award length you hate!
The idea of luscious long hair doesn’t have to be a dream – it can be a reality!
This guide will help you in your quest for long, luscious, and healthy locks by recommending the top supplements to help grow and strengthen hair.
Reduce the number of heated styling tools
Trust the process! Unfortunately, you’re going to need to say goodbye to your straightening irons and curling tongs. Put them down and keep them down – at least for a little while! Styling your hair regularly with heated tools can significantly damage your hair and cause the ends to split. Instead, embrace your natural style for a little bit, and your hair will be grateful for it! Of course, you can always resort to boho braids or a messy bun if you’re not ready to fully embrace your natural style.
If the thought of putting down the tongs is too much for you, make sure you’re protecting your hair with a reputable heat protection spray and try and lower the heat level on your tool of choice.
Get regular trims
What’s the harm in trading yourself (and your hair) now and again? We recommend that you trim your hair every 6 weeks or so. This will help keep your hair healthy and prevent those split ends and breakage from hindering growth.
Give yourself a head massage
This may seem strange, but massaging your scalp daily will help increase blood flow – increasing the supply of nutrients flowing to the hair follicles, which in turn will stimulate and encourage hair growth.
Switch to a detangler
Fine tooth combs can cause breakages. The hair can stretch and even sand off at the root, especially if it’s tangled. We would suggest using a wide-tooth comb or a detangler that is guaranteed to glide through your hair with ease to prevent any snaps.
Use hair growth products
There will be a vast selection of hair growth products available at your local drug store. Look for special shampoos and conditioners that will give your hair a little TLC. Caffeine shampoo is excellent for stimulating hair growth. If your problem is with hair loss or thinning, try a hair loss treatment to help build the hair fibre with keratin protein.
Hair growth supplements
So, you’ve given your hair all the lovely treatments you can think of, and nothing has worked, then it might be time to treat your hair from the inside. Hair growth can thrive with the right vitamins and supplements. For example, biotin and zinc can help stimulate hair growth and help delay hair loss. If you lack these vitamins and nutrients in your diet, then it might be worth exploring supplements.
Always consult a medical professional if you’re worried about a deficiency. They can help officially diagnose any issues and provide you with a solution to the best course of action.
A healthy and balanced diet will help fuel your body with all the nutrients it needs to function correctly. This includes the cells that will make up each individual strand of hair. So make sure you’re filling your plate with plenty of fresh fruit and veg. And protein-rich food such as lean meats, fish, and dairy products like eggs, to make sure you’re supplying your hair with the nutrients it needs!
Which vitamins can help with my hair growth?
Vitamin A is essential to encourage all cells to grow, including hair, the fastest growing tissue in the human body.
Vitamin A also produces ‘sebum’, which helps moisturize the scalp, keeping the hair healthy (1).
Research suggests that those deficient in Vitamin A have several health issues, including hair loss (2).
Always seek medical advice if you think you’re deficient in Vitamin A, as too much can be dangerous. Studies have shown that too much can contribute to hair loss (3).
Sweet potato, pumpkin, spinach, and kale contain beta-carotene, which is eventually turned into vitamin A.
Vitamin A can also be found in dairy products such as milk and eggs. Fish liver oil is also a great source of vitamin A.
One of the most common vitamins to aid hair growth is biotin. Studies have shown that a biotin deficiency is directly related to hair loss in humans (4).
B-vitamins can help to create red blood cells. The red blood cells will carry oxygen and other nutrients to the scalp and your hair follicles. This is an essential process for hair growth.
Foods containing B vitamins are whole grains, meats, dark coloured leafy greens and fish.
Animal food is the primary source of vitamin B12, which can be problematic for vegans and vegetarians. Therefore, you should consider taking a supplement if you fall into this category.
Related: Vitamin B6: Benefits, Sources & Deficiency Symptoms
Vitamin C is essential for creating a protein called collagen. This is an essential part of your hair structure.
Vitamin C is also great for helping your body absorb iron, which is essential for hair growth.
Some foods that are rich in Vitamin C are strawberries, citrus fruits, and peppers.
Vitamin D deficiencies have been linked to alopecia, which is a technical term for hair loss.
Studies have shown that Vitamin D can help create new follicles where new hair can grow (5).
Your body will produce vitamin D when it comes into contact with the sun’s UV rays. Foods that contain vitamin D include fish liver oil, fatty fish, and some mushrooms.
If you’re unsure how much vitamin D to take, read our blog post on ‘Vitamin D for skin types and ages.‘
Related: Vitamin D3: Usage, Health Benefits & Side Effects
Research shows that people who suffered from hair loss experienced a 34% increase in growth after taking a vitamin E supplement for around 8 months (6).
Like vitamin C, vitamin E contains antioxidants that can help prevent oxidative stress.
Foods that are rich in the vitamin E are seeds, spinach, and avocados.
Do hair growth supplements actually work?
Hair loss supplements have been proven to work on those diagnosed with a deficiency in a specific vitamin or nutrient. However, if you do not have a deficiency, it’s likely that supplements won’t have much of a noticeable effect or impact on your hair growth or regrowth.
Always consult a medical professional if you’re worried about a vitamin or nutrient deficiency. You should also try and ensure that you’re always eating a healthy and balanced diet containing all the recommended vitamin and nutrient intake.
Are there any vegan hair supplements available?
Yes! A well balanced vegan diet can help fulfil your nutritional needs.
If you’re looking for a vegan hair loss supplement, then vitamin B12 and vitamin D could be a solution if you’re not getting enough of these in your everyday diet. Consult your doctor if you’re unsure about what vitamins to take.
The bottom line
If you’re not getting enough variety of nutrients and vitamins in your diet, then supplements can be helpful.
Research suggests that supplements will work best for those who already know they’re deficient in a nutrient or vitamin. You should always speak to a doctor if you’re unsure if you’re deficient or not.
Eating a balanced and healthy diet will be the best source of vitamins to aid hair growth.