Best Vitamins & Supplements and Tips for Hair Growth
Kari Emerson, The Important Things
There’s nothing worse than getting a botched haircut and walking away with your hair five inches shorter than you anticipated. I experienced this back in high school, and it took YEARS for my hair to grow back to my desired length. Why? I had no idea at the time. I now know that not only was I damaging my hair with my blow-dryer and straightener (heat will break and damage the ends of your hair, resulting in slowed growth), but I wasn’t taking advantage of the many vitamins and supplements there were out there that could help remedy this problem.
In addition to any potential botched haircuts, as we grow older, the substances in our body that promote hair growth slowly deplete. This results in not only slowed growth, but in some cases, even hair loss. Luckily, the vitamin and supplement market is booming right now, and there are countless options for vitamins that promote hair growth.
If you try searching for the best vitamins for hair growth online, you’ll get a huge range of answers. Nobody wants to be popping 15 extra vitamins every day. Without getting overly scientific, here is a list of the four best vitamins and supplements you should take (and what to add to your diet) to achieve the long, luxurious mermaid hair of your dreams.
Additionally, I’m including some great multivitamin options, as well as five lifestyle tips for healthier, longer hair.
**Please consult a physician before making any drastic changes in your diet or vitamin/supplement intake!**
Collagen is a protein found in bones, skin and many other parts of the body. Its main function is to provide structure. As we grow older, our collagen levels are depleted, which can result in finer, duller hair that is easily damaged and does not grow as quickly. Collagen not only promotes hair growth, but helps repair damaged hair… which means healthier, shinier hair! Another plus is that collagen supports healthy, younger-looking skin.
Here are few ways to incorporate collagen into your diet:
- Add powdered collagen to your beverages (the ones offered by Vital Proteins are my favorite because they are so easy to incorporate into your diet — you can just add the powder to coffee, smoothies, and more!)
- Try collagen supplement pills, like Ancient Nutrition Multi Collagen Capsules for healthy nails, hair and joint support.
- Incorporate beauty products (both skincare and haircare) that contain collagen.
- Eat more protein (like chicken, fish or tofu) and fruit (such as berries and citrus).
Iron helps red blood cells carry oxygen throughout your body. It is an essential mineral, and iron deficiencies can result in issues like fatigue… and slower hair growth! Iron delivers oxygen to hair roots, which promotes hair growth, resulting in longer, healthier hair.
Here are few ways to incorporate iron into your diet:
- Eat more meat and other foods that contain iron, such as beef and spinach.
- Take iron supplement pills, like Nature Made Iron Tablets to support red blood cell formation.
Biotin (Vitamin B7)
Biotin is a B vitamin (also known as B7 or vitamin H) that helps the body convert food into energy. It is very important for a variety of metabolic processes. Biotin is commonly found in women’s beauty supplements (for hair, skin and nails) and is often used as a treatment for hair loss.
Here are few ways to incorporate biotin into your diet:
- Add biotin pills, like Eu Natural’s Biotin 5000 supplements for healthier hair growth, stronger nails and glowing skin to your regimen
- Take vitamin B complex supplements
- Eat more dark leafy greens, meat/seafood and whole grains
Vitamin A is responsible for growth and development in the body. So, naturally, it is one of the best vitamins to take for hair growth. Vitamin A also contains retinol, making it an effective support for hair, skin and nails. It promotes a healthy scalp, which is essential for hair growth as well.
Here are few ways to incorporate Vitamin A into your diet:
- Take vitamin A supplement pills like NOW Foods’ Vitamin A softgels to maintain healthy internal and external body tissue
- Eat more colorful produce (such as pumpkin, sweet potatoes, carrots, spinach and kale)
Multivitamin Options for Hair Growth:
- Nutrafol Women Hair Wellness from Within for visible hair thickness and strength
- HUM Red Carpet for glowing skin and shiny hair
- HUM Hair Sweet Hair for stronger, healthier hair
- Moon Juice SuperHair Daily Hair Nutrition with micronutrients for thicker, stronger hair
- Hair La Vie Clinical Formula Hair Vitamins to restore and rejuvenate damaged hair
- Essential Elements Hair Hero with nutrition for longer, stronger hair
- MaryRuth’s Organics Biotin Gummies for chewable hair, skin and nails support
5 Tips for Healthy, Longer Hair:
- Less heat! I learned this the hard way. Cut back on blow-drying and using flat irons or curling irons carefully. Heat damages your hair (specifically the ends) and causes ends to split or break, resulting in slowed growth. Use a heat protector product when you do use heat.
- Find the right hairbrush. If you brush your hair wet, be sure to invest in a wet/detangling brush, because it’s easier on your hair. Oil or keratin-infused brushes with soft bristles are also gentle and won’t cause damage.
- Sleep with your hair down. Sleeping with your hair tied up (I am totally guilty of the messy bun at bedtime) strains and damages hair.
- Silk or satin pillow cases. Beauty experts say these are best for your hair and your skin. Also — be sure to wash your bedding often to avoid buildup of oils and bacteria.
- Effective products! Seek out deep conditioners, masks and oils that can help nourish your hair and encourage growth. Look for products containing beneficial natural oils or keratin for retaining moisture—this will help tame split ends and reduce breakage.
Be well and take care of your hair from the inside out!
Kari Emerson is a NYC-based blogger and model. She is the writer and creator of The Important Things blog, chronicling her experiences navigating life as a 20-something in New York City. Her goal is to help her readers attack “adulting” in a stylish and resourceful way.