Friday, March 03, 2023
Vitamins lacking in your diet may be leading to your unhealthy hair loss. Here are the ABCs you need to know to grow healthy natural hair, and stop the breakage.
Yes, its true… vitamins play such a vital role in determining if our natural curls will adorn us proudly or painfully fall off onto the bathroom floor! And trust me when I say it doesn’t take much effort at all to give those locks back their luster – just some understanding of how important certain dietary elements can be. Keep reading ahead and prepare yourself because soon enough we'll discuss exactly which specific vitamins need more attention from you when looking after your beautiful mane!
This vitamin is essential to healthy skin, nails, and hair. If you noticed dry, brittle hair or breakage, it could be you are not getting enough vitamin A. Vitamin A is also necessary to naturally secrete sebum from your sebaceous glands. Sebum is a natural oil made by these glands that give you that healthy, moisturized, and shiny look. So if you don’t have vitamin A, you produce less sebum which can lead to an unhealthy scalp. A dry, itchy, and flaky scalp leads to an unhealthy scalp. Curl Science always talks about the importance of a healthy scalp, so not to sound like a broken record but once again, an unhealthy scalp gives you unhealthy hair.
If you are not getting enough vitamin A, don’t fret! There are a number of ways to get more vitamin A into your diet, including eating foods that are rich in the vitamin, such as sweet potatoes, carrots, and dark leafy greens. Nothing beats absorbing nutrients via your diet, but if you feel you are not getting enough from your diet, you can also take a supplement!
Vitamin B complex contains 8 different substances thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), vitamin B6, biotin (B7), folate, and vitamin B12. Today we will focus on B12. Vitamin B12 is important for the formation of red blood cells, which carry oxygen to the cells in the body. Without enough oxygen, the cells in the scalp will begin to die, which can lead to hair loss. Lack of vitamin B12 can also cause the hair follicles to shrink, leading to thinner and weaker hair as well. Additionally, a lack of vitamin B12 can also cause anemia, which is another condition that can lead to hair loss. Did you know vitamin B is necessary for the proper function of the immune system? That means a deficiency in vitamin B can make the scalp more susceptible to infections that can cause…you got it… hair loss.
Vitamin B deficiencies are often caused by diets that are lacking in meat, fish, and poultry. If you don't eat enough foods that contain vitamin B, you may start to experience hair loss.
Vitamin C is important for the production of collagen, a protein that helps to give skin and hair its structure. A lack of vitamin C can lead to weak and brittle hair that is more susceptible to breakage. Additionally, just like vitamin A, a lack of vitamin C can also cause the sebaceous glands to produce less sebum, which we know leads to… an unhealthy dry, itchy, and flaky scalp.
You can get your daily dose of vitamin C by eating oranges, grapefruits, and other citrus fruits.
Selenium is an essential mineral that plays a vital role in the health of our hair. A lack of selenium can lead to hair loss, as it can cause the hair follicles to become damaged and weak. Although selenium deficiency is rare, it can be deficient in people with thyroid disease.
You can get your daily dose of selenium by eating foods like Brazilian nuts, tuna, and eggs.
So there you have it! Your new ABCs. It’s amazing how something as simple as vitamins can have such an impact on your health and well-being, specifically with regards to hair. It’s incredible how the lack of certain vitamins in our system can cause us physical and emotional pain. Looking after our bodies should be at the top of everyone’s priority list when it comes to self-care.
As we now know, being deficient in essential vitamins like Vitamin A, Vitamin B, Vitamin C, and Selenium are linked to hair loss. Therefore incorporating foods rich in these minerals is vital for women. And remember ABC's doesn't just help you read, write or sing but understanding which vitamins are needed for healthy hair might be what saves you money and maybe even months of headaches! If you suspect you may have hair and scalp issues from a lack of vitamins check with your doctor, don’t self diagnose. Together, we all could make sure to keep our bodies functioning as they are supposed to and enjoy healthy locks!
P. S. Who knows, with the right diet or supplementation, it can take your TWA* to BSL** in no time!
*TWA-teeny weeny Afro
**BSL-bra strap length
Article Written By: Samantha Jean M.D, MBA Board Certified Family Medicine. ReDefine Life Physician