In order to be strong and healthy, our hair need to have all of the essential vitamins and nutrients. However, some vitamins cannot be synthesized within the body, so they must find their way to us from an outside source. This is where vitamin-rich foods and vitamins for hair growth supplements come into play.
Which Vitamins for Hair Growth?
Altogether, there are 13 vitamins for healthy hair. They are vitamins A, C, D, E, K, and the eight B-complex vitamins: B-1 (thiamine), B-2 (riboflavin), B-3 (niacin), B-5 (pantothenic acid), B-6 (pyridoxine), B-7 (biotin), B-9 (folate) and B-12 (cobalamin). Some are more important than others, which we’ll get into in this guide.
When sticking to a vegan and cruelty-free hair care regimen, it’s really important to check the source of your essential vitamins, because some vitamin manufacturers use animal sources or test their products on animals. Luckily, almost all of the essential vitamins for healthy hair can be sourced from plants.
In this guide to natural vitamins for hair growth, you will learn what the key essential vitamins for healthy hair are, how they solve hair growth problems!
All of our cells need vitamin A for healthy hair growth – this includes our hair! Did you know that hair grows faster than any other tissue? It’s true! Vitamin A also helps the body to produce sebum, the oil that our body naturally produces to keep our skin and hair well-moisturized. Of course, too much sebum can make your hair greasy! But too little sebum will cause your hair to be vulnerable.
It’s important to note that too much vitamin A can contribute to hair loss. It’s recommended for women to have 700 mcg per day and men to have 900 mcg per day.
Vegan sources of vitamin A are:
- Sweet potatoes
Vitamin B7 (Biotin)
Biotin is said to be one of the most important vitamins for healthy hair. It helps our cells covert nutrients into energy which is then used to grow healthy hair (skin and nails, too!). Biotin for hair works because it helps to supplement keratin, the protein that makes up our hair, skin, and nails.
If you’re looking for vegan sources of biotin, eat more of these foods. Note that you’ll reap the most benefits of biotin for hair through these foods if you eat them raw.
Vegan sources of biotin are:
- Whole grains
If you’re not interested in adding the above vegan sources of biotin into your diet, a supplement will be sufficient. Just make sure to check that it’s a vegan biotin supplement for hair. And please, do not abuse, as overdosing biotin can put your health at risk!
For safer alternatives, make sure you take a look at our complete guide on natural biotin shampoos for hair growth!
Vitamin B12 (cobalamin)
Vitamin B12 deficiencies are all too common, especially if you’re following a vegan diet in addition to a vegan hair care regimen. The reason for this is vitamin B-12 is only found naturally in animal sources. However, it’s entirely possible to find vegan foods that are fortified with vitamin B-12 or find vitamin B-12 supplements for hair.
Vitamin B12 is one of the most important vitamins for hair growth because, without it, your body doesn’t produce the correct amount of red blood cells which are rich in oxygen and necessary for feeding hair follicles. If your hair follicles aren’t getting enough nutrients, they will begin to die or become damaged, leading to loss of hair.
If you’re experiencing brittle hair or thinning hair, you might want to look into vitamin C for hair growth. Vitamin C is packed with antioxidants which protect our bodies from harmful free radicals. When free radicals cause damage to the hair follicle and hair shaft, it can result in thinning or broken hair.
Also, vitamin C is important for hair growth because it helps out body naturally produce collagen, another necessary protein for growing healthy hair, skin, and nails. It’s difficult to find vegan collagen sources so vitamin C for hair is necessary.
Vegan sources of vitamin C are:
- Citrus fruits (oranges)
Not having enough vitamin D has been linked to hair loss and alopecia. Luckily, there is also research that shows that a healthy amount of vitamin D can help to regenerate hair follicles and give hair new chances for growth! It’s very common for people to have a vitamin D deficiency so it’s important to get enough vitamin D for healthy hair through intentional eating or supplements.
There aren’t too many vegan sources for vitamin D, so you’ll likely have to find it through lots of sunlight (who doesn’t love that?) or fortified foods. If you’re going to introduce a vegan vitamin D supplement into your diet, ensure that it doesn’t contain animal-derived sources!
This is another one of the best vitamins for hair loss because it’s packed with antioxidants to fight back against oxidative stress. Too much oxidative stress on the scalp can lead to hair loss so a diet that is rich in vitamin E is important. Healthy hair starts at the scalp, so when you can tackle hair issues right at the root, you’ll be better off in the long run.
Vegan sources of vitamin E are:
- Wheat germ oil
- Sunflower seeds
- Collard greens
- Peanuts & almonds
If you’ve got a dry, red or itchy scalp, you might need to implement more vitamin K into your diet. Vitamin K is one of the best vitamins for hair because it attacks issues that prevent us from having healthy hair follicles like eczema, psoriasis, and dry skin. In addition, vitamin K can promote regeneration of hair in areas where hair has since fallen out.
Vegan sources of vitamin K are:
- Green beans
Overdosing on Vitamins, Truth or Myth?
While it’s impossible to overdose on vitamins by eating well-balanced and natural meals only, some vitamin supplements can have toxic levels of fat-soluble vitamins. Vitamin A, D, E and K are fat-soluble vitamins and tend to accumulate in the body. In addition, certain water-soluble vitamins are known to cause health issues when taken in excess, such as Vitamin B6 and B7 (Biotin).
Because supplements are not monitored by the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration), it’s crucial to get your vitamins from a manufacturer that you trust. And always go for natural plant-based vitamins: they are less likely to cause toxicity.
As a rule of thumb, if you are serious about implementing certain vitamins supplements in your hair growth strategy, you should consult your physician, pharmacist or nutritionist.
If you really want to see the results of vitamins for hair growth and healthy hair, you need to have a balance of all of the above vitamins. When all of the best vitamin sources work together and are not taken excessively, the result is a healthy body and a beautiful, healthy head of hair!