If you want to enhance the length, strength and overall health of your natural hair, vitamins and supplements may help if your diet is lacking. Whether you opt for individual vitamins like B complex, C and E or try a targeted multivitamin formula, always check with your doctor before adding supplements to your health regimen. Once you get into the habit of taking these vitamins, you may see shinier, healthier and longer hair over time.
Vitamins A and B
Vitamins work together to nourish your body from the inside out, but dosage is key. Taking too much vitamin A can actually have an adverse effect on hair growth, reports Health Magazine online. Beta-carotene is converted to vitamin A when the body needs it, so get your daily intake through foods like carrots and sweet potatoes rather than supplements.
Do consider upping your intake of B vitamins, as well as vitamins C, D and E -- after discussing your diet and health objectives with your doctor. Both B complex and B-6 vitamins are some of the most essential supplements for hair growth. Just make sure your B complex includes biotin, folate and inositol.
Vitamins C, D and E
Versatile vitamin C not only helps fight colds, but also promotes hair health. A deficiency in this vitamin may lead to hair breakage and loss.
Vitamin D is found in dairy products like yogurt, and Web MD reports this vitamin is linked to hair follicle health. Vitamin D-3 is best absorbed by the body through sun exposure. However, it's wise to limit sun exposure for your skin's health.
Vitamin E is commonly associated with hair and skin health for good reason. This powerful antioxidant helps fight free radicals and promotes hair growth. Vitamin E is more effective when taken in gel cap form rather than solid tablet, as it is fat-soluble.
Multivitamins and Other Supplements
Prenatal vitamins commonly contain biotin and iron which are both essential for healthy hair growth. However, prenatal vitamins have increased dosages for iron and other minerals that can be toxic over time. Therefore, only take prenatal vitamins if you are actively trying to conceive or are already pregnant.
Multivitamin formulas specifically targeted to promote healthy hair, skin and nails often include biotin, vitamin E and zinc. These multivitamins have a more universal dosage and are generally safe to take for women who are not pregnant or trying to conceive.
Other supplements like the amino acid lysine have the same building blocks as proteins and may aid in treating hair loss.
Making It Count
Consult your doctor when choosing which vitamins or multivitamins to add to your daily routine. Ask about vitamin C if you want to see thicker, shiner hair and B complex for maximum hair growth. Consistency is key in seeing the best results, so try taking your vitamins at the same time each day to help you remember. Read labels thoroughly and make sure you're taking your vitamins with food and plenty of water when necessary. Maintain a healthy diet, too since the body best absorbs these vital nutrients from the foods you eat. Citrus fruits, fish, eggs, carrots, and sweet potatoes are all great sources of healthy hair vitamins.