Hair growth can be stimulated by a healthy diet and by adding vitamins. Diet, aging, stress, disease and genetics all contribute to hair loss, and adding nutrients to the diet can help hair growth. Hormonal imbalances can also decrease hair growth, and women after menopause are particularly at risk. Steroid drugs, or other drugs that interact with hormones, can alter hair growth and cause hair loss as well. A healthy diet can encourage hair to grow. Whole foods and raw foods are the best sources of vitamins and nutrients but adding vitamin supplements can help hair growth.
Vitamin C is needed to produce collagen, part of the hair structure and hair follicles.This is what causes hair growth. Because the human body does not manufacture vitamin C, daily consumption from food or supplements is necessary. Natural sources of vitamin C are fruits and vegetables, especially citrus fruits, such as oranges and lemons. Vitamin C is added to numerous shampoo and skin care products because of its efficacy.
Vitamin D enables hair to grow, according to the University of California at Davis. When people are severely deficient in this nutrient they develop rickets, and one of the symptoms of rickets is falling hair, or hair loss. Vitamin D is absorbed into the skin when it is exposed to sunlight, but since most Americans have been found deficient in vitamin D, according to research at Purdue University, supplementation is advised.
Vitamin E stimulates the growth of new blood vessels. Taken internally or applied to the scalp, vitamin E can help hair regrow and prevent hair loss. This fat-soluble vitamin can be applied to the scalp as well. Massaging vitamin E into the hair follicles can increase circulation on the scalp and help hair grow. Vitamin E is found in nuts, seeds and vegetable oils, as well as in tomatoes, wheat germ, and avocados.
The B vitamins nourish hair follicles, the part of the scalp where the hair begins to grow. The B vitamin group is called a complex. Recommended B vitamins for hair growth are B1, B2, B3 and B5. Stress also causes hair loss, they report, and the B vitamins help the body handle stress.
Vitamin A creates retinoids in the body, and these help regrow skin and hair and prevent hair loss. Retinoids stimulate the hair follicle and encourage production of new hair. Natural sources of vitamin A include dark green and yellow vegetables.