7 Nutrients To Get More Of If You're Dealing With Hair Loss
There are plenty of nutrients in food and hair supplements that boast incredible hair growth benefits (we see you, collagen), but did you know that certain vitamins, minerals, and bioactives can help combat hair loss and shedding? According to a 2019 Dermatology and Therapy review, getting adequate amounts of micronutrients is key to avoiding deficiency and supporting thick, luscious locks1.
Nutrients that promote hair growth
It turns out there are quite a few mane-boosting vitamins and minerals that are commonly discussed when it comes to hair loss (and a few that aren't as common, like botanical bioactives). All of these hair-healthy nutrients can be easily found in foods and targeted supplements.
So, without further ado, here are the top nutrients that support hair growth.
Biotin may be the other darling of hair supplement formulas alongside collagen, but B7 isn't the only B vitamin that boosts hair growth.
Folic acid (aka folate or vitamin B9) is heavily involved with new cell synthesis, which can support the hair growth phase by promoting keratinization. Meanwhile, niacin (aka B3) does its part by promoting blood flow to the scalp, which helps bolster overall hair health.
This essential vitamin promotes hair growth on two fronts. First, it increases the absorption of critical hair-boosting mineral iron (more on iron's hair benefits in a moment). Second, it works as a potent antioxidant to help maintain oxidative balance on the scalp.
This vital nutrient truly does it all—including being critical for hair growth and promoting overall hair health, it turns out! Vitamin D3 (the superior form of D) interacts with hair follicles and has a direct impact on the hair growth phase.
Insufficient levels of vitamin D (which includes 41% of U.S. adults2, for the record) can decrease hair volume on the scalp and the rest of the body, William Gaunitz, FWTS-certified trichologist and founder of Advanced Trichology, previously told mindbodygreen. If you're hoping to bolster hair growth (and overall health), checking your vitamin D levels (i.e., your D status) is always a good place to start.
This fat-soluble antioxidant vitamin is often touted for its skin benefits, but it happens to be a well-rounded beauty supplement ingredient that supports more than just skin health. With free-radical-quenching and collagen-promoting properties, vitamin E is a valuable ingredient for helping your hair grow and grow.
According to Gaunitz, iron is the single most important micronutrient when it comes to hair growth. Without enough iron from diet and supplementation, hair volume will decline to compensate for your body's overall iron needs, so ensuring you're getting enough of this essential mineral—and actually absorbing it—is critical. (Hint: Vitamin C helps enhance iron absorption; you can learn more about how that works here.)
This mineral has truly incredible hair- and skin-health-promoting properties. While its exact hair-health mechanisms are somewhat unknown, evidence suggests that silica supports hair thickness and strength while reducing breakage3. Long, beautiful hair—here we come!
Globally important for whole-body well-being and downright vital to skin and hair health, we had to include antioxidants as its own category in this list of mane management supplement ingredients.
Thanks to their role in combating oxidative stress by fighting free radicals, antioxidants are able to help buffer against hair shedding, dullness, graying, and other hair concerns.
In addition to the antioxidants that deliver hair growth support and whole-body health benefits already mentioned (i.e., vitamins C, E, and even D), some other free radical scavengers include carotenoids vitamin A (aka beta-carotene), lutein, lycopene, and zeaxanthin, along with master antioxidant glutathione, piperine, and resveratrol.
How to get ample mane-boosting nutrients
So, there you have it. Adding the nutrients from this list of mane-boosting vitamins, minerals, and botanicals to your diet is a surefire way to promote hair growth and health.
That said, if you choose to supplement with any of these nutrients, you should make sure to choose a formula with efficacious doses (i.e., one that doesn't "fairy dust" any vital vitamins or minerals) and that the most bioavailable form of each ingredient is included. To find a comprehensive multivitamin that features many (or all) of the nutrients on this list, check out mindbodygreen's roundup of the best multivitamins on the market.
If you're dealing with hair loss, shedding, or thinning, you can support hair growth and bolster your overall hair health with the nourishing vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients on this list. Add them to your daily wellness routine—your hair (and whole body!) will thank you.
Morgan Chamberlain is a supplement editor at mindbodygreen. She graduated from Syracuse University with a Bachelor of Science degree in magazine journalism and a minor in nutrition. Chamberlain believes in taking small steps to improve your well-being—whether that means eating more plant-based foods, checking in with a therapist weekly, or spending quality time with your closest friends. When she isn’t typing away furiously at her keyboard, you can find her cooking in the kitchen, hanging outside, or doing a vinyasa flow.