You’ve used the most expensive hair growth shampoos, applied various serums and potions, massaged your scalp whenever you can, and still you’re struggling with growing your hair. Could it be time to start taking supplements? And while some swear by biotin, silica, folic acid and other hair vitamins, how sure are you that these are safe to take and effective to boot? Let’s take a look at some common supplements believed to enhance or speed up hair growth and see if these are well worth the hype.
Probably the most popular among the known hair vitamins, biotin (vitamin H or vitamin B7) is believed to maximize hair growth since it plays a key role in producing amino acids. Remember that hair is made up of keratin, a protein, which in turn is composed of amino acids. Taking biotin therefore could help hair grow longer, faster, and stronger but of course, you need to understand that what you could get in a pill, you could also get in food form. Consider consuming more of egg yolks, fish, soybeans, avocado, raspberries, and whole-wheat bread to get your required dietary allowance of biotin.
A mineral that supports bone and tissue health, silica is also said to promote hair growth by maintaining collagen. According to experts, when the levels of silica in the body decreases, dull hair results, as well as brittle nails, wrinkly skin, and weak bones. There’s only one caveat to taking silica and that is it can lead to kidney damage when consumed in excess. It is also contraindicated in pregnant women and those who are currently breastfeeding.
As it turns out, folic acid or folate isn’t just for women who want to get pregnant or are already expecting. Folic acid has also been shown to hasten hair growth, most likely because it can help the body synthesize, break down, and utilize proteins. Again, it should be clear that you can also get folic acid from your diet. Just make sure you incorporate foods rich in folic acid including dark green, leafy vegetables, grain products, citrus fruits and juices, dried beans, and so on.
When you say fish oil, the most common association will always be with omega-3 fatty acids. Some take fish oil capsules for its cardiovascular benefits but what you may not know is that these supplements can also promote thick, healthy hair growth. Apparently, by increasing circulation, the scalp receives more nourishment (oxygenated blood), and this in turn, helps decrease hair shedding and even dandruff.
Did you know that stress can contribute to hair loss? In fact, when you subject your body to a high level of stress, your follicles could go into a resting phase, shrinking until the hairs fall out. Now the way zinc combats this possible shedding is by boosting the immune system. Zinc also helps preserve the structure of cell membranes and protein and even influence hormone actions which have also been linked to hair growth and quality.