Hair stylist to the stars, Asgar Saboo shares his top six list of vitamins and minerals for hair growth. With a repertoire of celebrity clients including Eva Longoria, Cindy Crawford, Aishwarya Rai-Bachchan and Katrina Kaif, the specialist certainly knows the tricks of the trade.
Less than 45% of women go through life with a full head of hair and most men experience some form of hair loss in their lifetimes. Factors such as hormone levels and oxidative stress play a major part in hair loss and weak, damaged, thin, and broken hair. With hair growth products flooding the market, there is a much simpler, cheaper answer – vitamins.
Rapidly becoming one of the most widely used supplements for hair growth, Biotin helps to produce glucose and break down proteins into amino acids. Since hair itself contains keratin – a form of protein – this in turn promotes healthier hair. Many hair care products now contain the vitamin, although it is important to maintain both an internal and external supply. Foods rich in Biotin include mushrooms, avocados, eggs, salmon, nuts, beef, chicken and potatoes. Biotin is also used as an alternative treatment for hair loss due to its ability to rebuild damaged hair strands.
- Vitamin A
Vitamin A is vital in promoting optimal cell growth. It helps to produce sebum (oil on the scalp) which keeps hair naturally moisturised and prevents drying out and breakage of the strands. Foods rich in Vitamin A include peaches, carrots, spinach and melons.
- Vitamin E
Vitamin E is an antioxidant that repairs and builds tissue, which is essential for healthy hair growth. Foods rich in Vitamin E include almonds, seeds, avocado and broccoli. Vitamin E can also be applied topically to the scalp to reduce inflammation, increase blood circulation, boost oxygen supply and repair damaged hair follicles. Massaging the vitamin oil into the hair and scalp at least twice a week can drastically improve hair growth.
- Vitamin C
Vitamin C is another antioxidant that works by fighting oxidative stress and free radicals that contribute to hair graying, hair loss and damaged body tissue (such as weak and brittle hair strands). The vitamin can also help to strengthen the hair as it promotes collagen production in the body – a vital protein for healthy hair, skin and nails. Foods rich in Vitamin C include oranges, red bell peppers, kale, brussel sprouts, broccoli, strawberries, grapefruit, papayas and kiwi.
- Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a hormone that promotes healthy follicle growth and levels can be boosted simply from spending some time outdoors in the sunshine. During the winter months when this is not as easy to accomplish, supplements and Vitamin D rich foods are the answer. Examples of such foods are fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, halibut, mackerel, eel, whitefish and swordfish, eggs, mushrooms and milk.
- B Vitamins
All eight B vitamins (or the vitamin B complex) promote cell growth and division which is vital for healthy hair growth. Vitamin B12 is the most important of the vitamin B complex, with food sources including meats, eggs, nuts, grains, and vegetables. There are also a variety of vitamin supplements and hair care products that contain the mineral that can combat the issue externally.
About the writer: Asgar Saboo is a celebrity hairstylist and the style director of the Daniel Galvin Salon in London.
He has worked on the locks of the likes of Aishwarya Rai.