Essential Vitamins & Minerals that Your Hair Absolutely Needs

Many doctors and wellness experts are reporting that today, more than ever before, the number of people looking for hair growth solutions has increased to an alarming level. Among a host of contributing factors, the lack of certain vitamins and other dietary factors do cause hair loss in men and women. The good news is that if hair loss has been caused by nutritional deficiency, it is completely reversible by either taking the right sort of foods or dietary supplements.

types of dietary supplements

Dietary Factors which Affect hair Growth

The important dietary factors can be broadly divided into two

  1. Factors related to B Complex Vitamins and

  2. Other dietary factors

B Complex Vitamins

food rich in vitamin b complex

A number of B Complex vitamins are essential for healthy, long hair as well as a healthy eyelashes ,smooth skin, good nails etc.

  1. Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin):  Vitamin B2 is crucial in the metabolism of fat, carbohydrates and proteins. Depending on the level of deficiency, lack of adequate riboflavin can cause gradual to severe hair loss in both men and women. Vitamin B can be taken in the form of dietary supplements or in food.

Foods rich in Vitamin B2

  • Yoghurt

  • Soybeans

  • Mushrooms

  • Spinach

  1. Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid): Vitamin B5 deficiency can cause irritation on the scalp and moderate hair loss. Cases of vitamin B5 deficiency are quite rare as it is one of the most readily available nutrients in common foods. In fact, the prefix “panto” is derived from the greek word “pantos” which means ‘everywhere”.

Other than its benefits when taken as a supplement, it can also be applied directly on the hair to make it shinier and stronger. For this reason, many hair shampoos are formulated with pantothenate as an active ingredient.

Best supplements for vitamin B5: Vitamin B5 is widely available in multivitamin supplements especially those combining B complex vitamins. It is also sold separately under various names such as pantothenate, pantothenic acid or calcium pantothenate.

Foods rich in Vitamin B5

  • Liver

  • Rice and wheat bran

  • Sunflower seeds

  • Whey powder


  1. Vitamin B6:  Vitamin B6 is a nutrient present in many foods. It plays a crucial role in a lot of cellular functions including the growth of hair. In fact, Vitamin B6 is so crucial in the body that more than 100 enzyme reactions involved in cellular metabolism would fail without it.

Best supplements for Vitamin B6: Vitamin B6 is found in most dietary supplements especially in the form of pyridoxine. There are also some dietary supplements that contain Vitamin B6 only or as a combination with other B complex vitamins.

Foods rich in Vitamin B6

  • Poultry

  • Fish

  • Organ meats

  • Potatoes and other starchy vegetables

  • Fruits other than citrus


  1. Vitamin B7 (Biotin): Vitamin B7 is an essential nutrient responsible for cellular growth and synthesis of fatty acids. Taken in supplement form, biotin helps hair to grow longer, stronger and healthier.

Like all B complex vitamins, biotin is water soluble and therefore the body is not capable of storing it. However, some bacteria found in the intestines make small quantities of biotin.

Best Supplements for Vitamin B7: Biotin is also available as part of B complex multivitamin supplements. It is also sold separately as biotin tablets or as a complex with brewer’s yeast.

Foods rich in Vitamin B7

  • Cooked eggs

  • Soybeans and other legumes

  • Walnuts

  • Whole grains

  • Cauliflower

Other Dietary Factors that Affects Your Hair

  1. Anaemia: Anaemia is a medical condition characterized by lack of enough red blood cells or low quantities of haemoglobin in the blood. The most pervasive type of anaemia is caused by iron deficiency and is quite common in women. In fact, 1 in every ten women aged from 20 to 49 suffers from a form of Anaemia. On of the telltale signs that a woman is suffering from iron-deficiency anaemia is thinning of hair on the scalp. Other symptoms of the condition include headaches, fatigue, dizziness, pale skin as well as inexplicably cold hands and feet.

What to do:Iron-deficiency anaemia is easily preventable and treatable. All you need is to take iron supplements and your hair will start growing thick and healthy again.

  1. Excess Vitamin A:This is a condition which affects both men and women equally. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, the most likely cause of excessive proportions of vitamin A in the body is overdoing supplements containing the vitamin.The daily recommended intake of vitamin A  for adults and children over 4 years old  is 5,000 international units (IU). Vitamin A supplements can contain anywhere from 3,000 to 10,000 IU so excessive consumption is quite common.

What to do: Again, this is a condition which can be prevented and remedied easily. If a doctor carries out tests and establishes that excessive levels of vitamin A are causing your hair loss problems, they will recommend that you correct the intake to normal levels. Within a matter of weeks, your hair should have grown back to the level you are used to.

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