It is a well-known fact that vitamins are necessary for the proper functioning of a healthy body. The hair, as simple as it looks, is made up of different structures that perform different functions. The hair shaft is the visible port of the hair. It is consists mainly of keratin, a hair protein just as found in the nails. This protein gives strength to the hair, as it is made up of chains of amino acids and sulphur, and also serves as support to the hair shaft. Another component is the hair follicle is just a thin layer beneath the skin, usually rich in nerves and is supplied with a nutrient-rich blood when healthy. In the follicle are also the hair bulb and the papilla which ensures that the hair is supplied with the necessary nutrients needed for growth. Within the hair follicle is also a muscle that regulates the formation of goose pimples in response to cold and fear. Finally, the hair follicle also houses the sebaceous gland, this gland us responsible for producing oil, which ensures the hair is covered and shielded from desiccation. However, the hair is usually not taken into consideration by most people when taking vitamins required for a healthy body as the tendency to forget that it is a part of the body is usually strong. Just as vitamins are needed for the necessary functioning of all parts of the body, in the same vein, they are needed for the health of the hair. This is because of the hair cells’ requirements for metabolism to ensure excellent and excellent growth. These vitamins also ensure proper flow and circulation of blood to the hair follicle, thereby serving as internal hair reinforcements preventing hair thinning and increasing the thickness and luster of the hair. The top five vitamins implicated in maintaining a healthy and thick hair as follows:
The associated between vitamin D deficiency and hair loss especially in women with chronic telogen effluvium has been established via research findings in Cairo University Vitamin D enhances hair follicle growth and also prevents the incidence of chronic diseases like multiple sclerosis and cancer.
Therefore to prevent vitamin D deficiency it is recommended that the daily recommended doses of vitamin D is incorporated into diet to promote the thickness of the hair. Consulting a dietician could be helpful in this regard , however, some dietary sources of vitamin D includes fatty fish, some species of mushroom, cod liver oil and vitamin D enriched foods. Also, the body can produce vitamin D on contact with the sun’s rays.
Vitamin B complex
The B vitamins especially the riboflavin (B6), folic acid, pantothenic acid (B5), and biotin. Among the B vitamin, the most used as regards hair thickening is biotin also known as vitamin H or vitamin B7. This is an indispensable vitamin as it is important for both the hair and skin .it ensures the use and production fatty acids as well as the metabolism of proteins, amino acids needed for the skin. It also enhances the metabolism of energy giving foods and helps maintain and improve the structure of the hair protein. Its dietary source includes liver, milk, royal jelly, brewer’s yeast, and barley.
Furthermore, Vitamin B6 also known as riboflavin aids in the assimilation of sulphurated amino acids. These amino acids form the precursors of keratin, the hair protein. Riboflavin together with L-cysteine maintains the thickness of hair even during chemotherapy by preventing hair loss as explained by outcome of research.
Another B vitamin necessary for a thicker hair, is the vitamin B3 also known as Niacin. This vitamin aids DNA recovery as well as help in the maintenance of healthy hair cells. It has been implicated in the recovery of damaged hair cells, enhance hair growth and metabolism of sugars for a thicker hair growth. Vitamin B3 can be obtained from marine proteins, dairy products, legumes, and low-fat meat.
This vitamin is also known as one of the antioxidant vitamins, it ensures the absorption of more iron into the blood. As it is a well-known fact that hair loss is associated with iron deficiency, this further buttresses the indispensability of vitamin C as regards hair thickness. It is also necessary for the synthesis of collagen, a hair protein and prevents the aggregation of free radical on the hair that could damage the hair follicles. It enhances the functioning of the sebaceous gland promoting the secretion of sebum, which helps to maintain the moisture content of the hair. Dark leafy vegetables, tomatoes, red bell peppers and citrus fruits are good dietary sources of vitamin C.
Vitamin A (Retinol)
This vitamin prevents the loss of hair due to dry scalp, it achieves this by contributing in the enhancement of the functioning of the sebaceous gland to produce sebum, which helps to keep the hair continuously moist and maintaining its radiance and fullness.
Adequate levels of retinol can be maintained in the body via dietary sources like carrots, dark green vegetables, peas, eggs, spinach, milk, tomatoes, and papaya. Foods containing zinc are equally important in maintaining g healthy retinol levels in the body. This is because zinc aids the transport of vitamin A from the liver. Zinc containing foods includes beef, oysters, chicken nuts, and beans
Though required by the body in very small amounts to avoid vitamin poisoning as it a fat soluble vitamin that can be locked up in the body for a long period of time, it is very important in the maintenance of the hair fullness. Vitamin E reduces hair shedding caused by dried scalp and split ends to the barest minimum. It also provides adequate nutrition of the hair to ensure luxuriant hair and pronounced thickness. Vitamin E is made available to the hair via foods like leafy green vegetables, tofu, fish, avocadoes, and egg yolk.
Just as vitamins are required for maintaining a good health so also are they important to ensure a thick full hair. However, these vitamins when used individually have little or no effect on the thickness of the hair but a combination of them together with other minerals, and other essential hair treatments guarantee a radiant thick hair.