8 Vitamins For Strong Hair: How To Deal With Hair Breakage
Last updated on : January 26 2021
Hair Breakage And Treatment
These days, we put our hair through the wringer — heat treatments, hair dye, relaxers, bleach, hair extensions -- you name it. Eventually, our hair isn't healthy enough to handle the strain, and it breaks.
Those flyaway hairs that stick straight up? Those are broken hairs. That little "snap" noise when you're brushing your hair? That's the sound of hair breaking.
If you're putting your hair through a lot or dealing with hair loss in general, you might need to add some essential vitamins and minerals to your daily routine. You can do this via topical treatments, supplementation, or a balanced diet.
If you have frizzy, broken, bone dry, or lackluster hair -- your hair is begging you to read this article. Let's go over eight essential vitamins and minerals to strengthen your hair and understand hair breakage better.
No hype here - these recommendations are scientifically proven.
What Causes Hair To Break In The First Place?
There are a lot of factors that go into hair breakage.
The problem could be that you are vitamin or mineral deficient. Or you have stripped your hair of the protein keratin by chemically treating it (with bleach, for example).
Hair is mostly made of protein and relies on water to maintain elasticity. When it breaks, it's often a result of having an imbalance of protein and water, which can compromise the hair's strength.
If your hair is lacking protein, then your hair is lacking in structure. With low protein levels in the hair, it's like having a weak foundation in a house. Protein is crucially important.
Also, if your hair is overly dry, it can increase the likelihood your hair will break. Coloring, bleaching, perming, or relaxing hair can break protein bonds, weaken the hair, and increase breakage.
Eight Vitamins For Healthier Hair
If you're still reading this, you might be dealing with hair breakage or loss of some sort.
While this might result from heat styling or dying your hair, you might also have vitamin deficiencies that make hair breakage more of a risk.
When you combine hair damage and vitamin deficiencies, you might have a severe problem with hair breakage.
These following vitamins might help encourage hair growth and may help strengthen and restore balance to your hair.
Let's go through some vitamins that can help restore and restrengthen your hair.
1. Vitamin B-12
This essential vitamin plays a significant role in cell production, and it's required to keep hair, skin, and nails as healthy as possible.
This vitamin is so vital that if your B12 levels are low, you might experience many symptoms, including hair loss or hair changes.
You can take this as a sublingual vitamin, or you can increase your intake of fish, meat, and eggs.
2. Biotin (B7)
You've likely heard of this vitamin as it's infamous for helping aid in the growth of healthy, strong hair. Biotin is also known as B7 and is part of the essential B Vitamins.
A biotin deficiency might result in hair loss or hair breakage.
You can take a vitamin with biotin included, or you can increase your intake of biotin-rich foods like eggs, organ meats, nuts, whole grains, or mushrooms.
Having lower than average iron levels can impact how your body delivers blood to your hair follicles. Blood is required to grow new hair and nourish existing hair. If you lack iron in your bloodstream, your body might have difficulty delivering proper oxygen and blood supply to your hair follicles.
Having an iron deficiency can result in hair loss or weakness.
You can find iron in shellfish, meats, spinach, seeds, quinoa, and broccoli.
4. Niacin (B3)
Niacin assists with the delivery of blood flow and oxygen to your hair follicles. As a result, Niacin (B3) is helpful when growing hair or restoring hair.
Niacin helps encourage blood flow to the scalp, which keeps your scalp happy and healthy -- which is needed to have healthy locks.
Foods rich in niacin include liver, poultry, salmon, tuna, anchovies, brown rice, and avocado.
5. Vitamin C
The antioxidant power of vitamin C also helps fight against oxidative stress, which can cause hair loss issues as we age.
To hit the daily requirement of 75-90 milligrams of vitamin C, you have to eat a whole lot of fruits and veggies. If you cannot, then you can take a supplement.
6. Vitamin D
Having inadequate vitamin D levels, aka the sunshine vitamin, has been linked back to an increased risk of hair loss. In America, we have a vitamin D deficiency problem where 42% of adults are deficient.
This vitamin helps support a healthy hair growth cycle and may aid in creating new hair follicles.
You can find vitamin D in fatty fish like salmon, sardines, and tuna, as well as eggs and mushrooms.
7. Vitamin A
For growth, every cell in your body requires vitamin A. However, your hair heavily relies on vitamin A as the hair is the fastest-growing part of the body.
If you are deficient in vitamin A, you might experience hair loss or hair weakness.
Beta-carotene, which the body turns into vitamin A, is found in carrots, pumpkins, spinach, and kale.
Zinc plays a role in tissue growth and repair. It also aids in cell division and protein synthesis. If you have a zinc deficiency, you might experience hair loss.
Foods that are rich in zinc are meat, eggs, nuts, spinach, and lentils.
Ways To Prevent Hair Breakage
While trying to add supportive vitamins to your diet or supplements, you may also consider preventative measures.
If your hair is breaking, try these preventions:
- Letting hair dry naturally
- Reduce the use of chemical treatments like hair dye or relaxers
- Limit the use of heat tools
- Use a heat protectant when using heat tools
- Be gentle when brushing or combing
- Keep your hair moisturized
- When putting hair up, make the bun or ponytail lose
- Use protein-rich conditioning treatments
- Be gentle with your hair when you're washing it
Breakage vs. Hair Loss
It can be hard to tell if you're dealing with hair breakage or hair loss.
Hair loss is a widespread problem that affects 56 million Americans to some degree. While hair shedding is a part of a healthy hair growth process, abnormal interruptions to the natural hair cycle can cause uncommon hair shedding and hair loss.
So you might be asking:
Is this part of normal hair shedding?
Is it abnormal hair loss?
Or, is it breakage?
Here are a few signs you might have hair breakage:
1. Short Pieces Of Hair Throughout Your Head
Hair loss would present itself as areas of sparseness on the scalp because your hair is falling out from the root. Whereas with breakage, the hair is still in your scalp, but it has broken at some point on the hair shaft, making it shorter than the rest of your hair. Little "baby hairs" is a sign of breakage.
2. The Hair In Your Brush Or Shower Drain Is Short
Observe the hair in your hairbrush or your shower drain. If the hair is shorter than the length of your hair, you might have a breakage. Small pieces of hair that fall into the sink as you're straightening your hair are little broken hairs.
3. You Have Split Ends
Split ends are a common sign of hair breakage. Look at the ends of your hair and see if there are any visible splitting. If you do have split ends, you have some level of breakage going on.
Split ends can be very mild, though. A moisture treatment and a trim can get you back on track.
4. Your Hair Feels Dry And Brittle
If your hair feels extremely dry and liable to break when you're styling or brushing it, it might be a sign your hair is brittle and needs some TLC.
If you're experiencing hair breakage, especially with fine hair, there are many things you can do to heal and reverse the damage. Taking care of your hair means taking or eating your vitamins and minerals. Your hair relies on a good source of vitamins and minerals from either your diet or daily supplementation.
Our hair can only take so much. If your hair has begun to break and you use heat style tools and or frequently use hair dye, you may need to take a break to avoid further damage.
Both heat and chemical treatments can damage protein bonds in the hair. When protein bonds are damaged, your hair can become brittle and break.
- Try adding vitamins such as zinc, iron, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D, biotin, b12, and niacin to your diet or supplements.
- Try taking a break from damaging processes.
- Be gentle with your hair.
- If your symptoms become sparse areas on the scalp, you might be dealing with hair loss.
- Try protein-rich hair treatments.
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The Kewl Shop
The Kewl Shop is a blog. We write about all things lifestyle with a strong focus on relationships, self-love, beauty, fitness, and health. Important stuff that every modern woman or man needs to know.
Editor: Charles Fitzgerald