B Vitamins for Hair Growth
Healthy, strong hair is something that many people strive for. However, for some people it can be a challenging and frustrating goal. Hair grows on average one-half inch per month. The only part of your hair that is alive is the root, making it essential to keep it healthy. As we age, hair growth can slow and even stop altogether. Hair is made of keratin, a protein that also helps create nails and skin.
According to Dr. George Obikoya, certain vitamins such as the B vitamins must be present in proper proportions for optimal hair growth. When the body is missing essential vitamins due to stress, bad eating habits, lack of sleep and toxins in the environment, hair is compromised and weakened. This results in dull, lifeless hair and sometimes slowed hair growth.
Vitamin B7 (biotin) also known as vitamin H, is water soluble, which means it is processed through the blood stream and leaves your body through urine. Biotin needs to be replenished often because of this. Vitamin B7 plays a large role in helping the body metabolize proteins, carbohydrates, fats and glucose. This helps produce healthy hair. Vitamin B7 causes noticeable results in hair condition when taken as a supplement or eaten regularly. Eggs, milk, poultry, spinach and cauliflower are examples of foods with high levels of biotin.
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) is also water soluble and is helpful with red blood cell metabolism. This means B6 plays a role in increasing the amount of oxygen carried through the blood. When the body is more oxygenated, all organs function better, including creating better hair growth. Many fortified cereals, meats and fish have high levels of B6. Dr. Obikoya suggests taking 50 mg of vitamin B6 daily to help promote healthy hair growth.
Vitamin B8 (inositol) is water soluble and helps in creating healthy cell growth, which is directly related to health hair growth. Coffee reduces the abilities of vitamin B8 to do its job. Vitamin B8 can be found naturally in wheat germ, bananas and brown rice. People with a deficiency in vitamin B8 may experience eczema or hair loss.
Vitamin B9 (folic acid) is essential to the body in the production of new cells and plays a role in DNA and RNA, the body’s genetic materials. Vitamin B9 also assists with helping the nervous system function properly and plays a role in healthy hair. Most people are able to get enough vitamin B9 through their diet. Vitamin B9 is water soluble and is found in dark, leafy green vegetables.