Vitamins play an important role in regulating hormones and controlling the effective functioning of various glands. To prevent hair loss, there are a few essential vitamins for hair growth that are available – either in nutritional supplements or as ingredients in hair care products. Vitamin A is one such essential vitamin. Using Vitamin A for hair keeps the hair healthy and strong, providing hydration. This helps prevent hair fall.
However, as is with other supplements, it is important to regulate the use, as too much of Vitamin A could have negative results. Let’s dig a little deeper into the usage of vitamin A for hair.
Benefits of Vitamin A for Hair
Vitamin A is an important vitamin and not only impacts the hair, skin, and nails but also plays a role in boosting immunity and vision. In addition to this, Vitamin A is packed with antioxidants, reducing oxidative stress. Vitamin A for hair is essential, as it helps improve cell growth and boosts sebum production. Let us explore these benefits:
1. Cell Growth: All the tissues in the body are made up of cells and hair is the fastest growing tissue. Vitamin A is one of the essential components that improves cell growth. How? Hair grows from the roots, where new and healthy cells are present at the base of the follicle. These cells then grow and multiply to form blocks, which become hair.
Since Vitamin A boosts cell growth, good levels of this vitamin improves hair growth, resulting in stronger and thicker hair. However, consuming or applying Vitamin A will only improve the new hair that grows from the scalp, the existing hair remains unaffected.
2. Sebum Production: Sebum is a natural oil produced by the body. The scalp has sebaceous glands that release the sebum, which is then spread from the hair follicle to the hair shaft. Vitamin A improves the production of sebum, making the scalp less dry and flaky. Also, the hair becomes healthier and does not dry easily. Dry hair becomes brittle and falls easily.
Safe Levels of Vitamin A
Studies suggest that the recommended allowance for retinol is 3,000 IU for men and 2,300 IU for women. This is the highest daily intake that can be taken, without any negative side effects on hair health.
Natural Sources of Vitamin A
Vitamins for hair growth are easily available from the food we eat and this is the same with Vitamin A. Dairy products contain preformed A in the form of retinol, while plant based products contain provitamin A carotenoids which are converted to retinol by the body.
Natural sources of Vitamin A are:
- Dairy products
- Fatty fish like salmon and tuna
- Fish oil
- Beef, pork, and chicken
- Green leafy vegetables
- Yellow, orange, and red vegetables like carrots, bell peppers, and sweet potatoes
Supplements for Vitamin A
If you have a Vitamin A deficiency, you should take the supplements. People with a balanced diet usually get all the essential vitamins that they need. However, get a blood test done to check levels before consuming any supplements.
In case of deficiency, the doctor will prescribe Vitamin A supplements. Most sources of this vitamin are animal-based, so vegetarians and vegans might find it difficult to get adequate Vitamin A, in which case they must consume fruits and vegetables rich in beta-carotenes, so that the body can make Vitamin A retinol.
Vitamin A for hair is essential to improve the growth, providing healthy and strong hair. However, high levels of this vitamin can cause hair fall. Please get a blood test done before introducing any Vitamin A supplement as the food we eat on a regular basis does provide the body with adequate levels of this vitamin.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. Should I buy Vitamin A supplements?
Ans. Before buying any supplement containing Vitamin A, it is recommended to get a blood test done to determine levels of the same. Only if there is a deficiency, should you start taking supplements.
Q2. What are natural ways for vegans to get Vitamin A?
Ans. Plant based foods are rich in beta-carotene, which the body then converts to retinol, the active form of Vitamin A. Vegans can eat colorful fruits and vegetables that are red, yellow, and orange in colour – like tomatoes, mangoes, carrots, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin. Green leafy vegetables also contain beta-carotene.
Q3. Do other vitamins help hair growth?
Ans. Yes, apart from Vitamin A, there are other vitamins that play a role in improving hair quality. Some of these are Vitamin B complex, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and Vitamin D.