14 Best Vitamins for Hair Growth and Beauty
Vitamins do the body good, especially in the beauty department. While all vitamins are beneficial for the body, there are specific ones that provide unique benefits to your skin and hair, including:
Vitamin A, Riboflavin, Niacin, Pantothenic Acid, Pyridoxine, Biotin, Folic Acid, Cobalamin, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Zinc, Iron, and Magnesium.
Let´s deal with each one individually, and I will provide you with best (including vegetarian) sources.
#1 – Vitamin A
A potent antioxidant, vitamin A can minimize the appearance of wrinkles while fading away brown spots and smoothing away roughness.
Vitamin A promotes cell turnover while boosting collagen production (1), which is crucial for a healthy scalp and mane.
Animal Sources (Retinoids – Bio-Available):
Beef Liver; Turkey Giblets; Chicken Liver; Butter and Heavy Cream; Egg Yolks; Regular and Fermented Cod Liver Oil.
Plant Sources (Carotenoids – Must Be Converted by Your Body First):
Carrots; Sweet Potatoes; Spinach; Tomatoes; Mangoes; Apricots; Kale; Butternut Squash; Cantaloupe; Pumpkins; Collards; Turnip Greens; Lettuce; Red Peppers; Winter Squash; and Broccoli.
#2 – Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
Riboflavin, or vitamin B2, acts as a potent antioxidant that fights free radicals – substances that damage all your cells and DNA (including those in your scalp), leading to hair thinning. It helps maintain collagen, too, so it helps your skin looking youthful.
What is more, riboflavin helps your body absorb and activate vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) and B3 (Niacin), both crucial for the health of your hair and scalp.
Beef Liver; Chicken Liver; Cuttlefish; Lamb Meat; Milk; Cottage Cheese; Feta Cheese; Natural Yogurt; Eggs; and Wild Salmon.
Mushrooms (Portabello and Crimini); Spinach; Almonds; Sun-Dried Tomatoes; Broccoli; Quinoa; Brussel Sprouts; Wheat Germ; Wild Rice; and Soybeans.
#3 – Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
Niacin, or vitamin B3, is one of the most prominent skin and anti-aging vitamins because it helps increase the production of fatty acids and ceramides. These are two key components needed to maintain your skin’s exterior protective barrier.
When that barrier is strong, the skin can retain moisture and keep irritants out. It minimizes dark spots and helps prevent redness, too. What is more, B3 boosts blood circulation to your scalp that will bring more nutrients for your hair.
Anchovies; Yellowfin Tuna Fish; Chicken Meat; Turkey Meat; Lean Pork Chops; Cottage Cheese; Milk; Lamb Liver; Beef Meat; and Back Bacon.
Pumpkin Seeds; Peanuts; Portabello Mushrooms; Potatoes; Green Peas; Lentils; Sunflower Seeds; Almonds; and Avocado.
#4 – Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)
The body needs vitamin B5 to metabolize carbohydrates, fat, and protein and to convert these food sources into energy. Without this essential vitamin, your skin and hair follicles won’t get the nutrients they need to function optimally.
Over time, a deficiency in B5 can cause hair loss (2). B5 also acts as a humectant, which keeps your skin barrier stable and minimizes the amount of water that is lost through your skin.
Beef Liver; Chicken Liver; Gjetost Cheese; Trout Fish; Lean Pork Loin; Salmon; Eggs; and Yogurt.
Sunflower Seeds; Avocados; Sun-Dried Tomatoes; Corn; Shiitake Mushrooms; Cauliflower; Broccoli; and Sweet Potatoes.
#5 – Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)
Another member of the B vitamin family, Pyridoxine promotes your energy levels and production of red blood cells. Except that, this substance is essential for skin health that is necessary for the health of your hair as well.
What is more, there are suggestions that high doses of B6 together with L-cysteine can help prevent hair loss during chemotherapy treatment (3).
Beef Liver; Yellowfin Tuna; Sockeye Salmon; Halibut Fish; Chicken Breast; Turkey Meat; and Beef Kidney.
Chickpeas; Sunflower Seeds; Pistachio Nuts; Brown Rice; Chestnuts; Potatoes; Sweet Potatoes; Banana; Prunes; Avocado; Spinach; and Soybeans.
#6 – Vitamin B7 (Biotin)
Biotin is, arguably, the most famous skin and hair vitamin, and rightfully so. It’s an essential vitamin needed for healthy hair, skin and nails. It helps your skin stay moisturized, and your hair grow.
Like other B vitamins, biotin helps the body metabolize fats, carbs, and protein – all of which are needed for a healthy mane.
Beef Liver; Chicken Liver; Salmon; Egg Yolk; Milk; and Sardines.
Peanuts; Walnuts; Corn; Soybeans; Potatoes; Avocado; and Raspberries.
#7 – Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid / Folate)
Folic acid is primarily taken as a prenatal vitamin, but it can also help improve hair growth and keep your skin looking its best. People who suffer from Alopecia Areata have in general low levels of folate (4).
Vitamin B9 helps repair and build skin cells, which can slow the signs of aging and help you maintain that youthful glow of your hair.
Beef Liver; Chicken Liver; and Eggs.
Lentils; Beans; Spinach; Sunflower Seeds; Peanuts; Beets; Collard Greens; Asparagus; Papaya; Broccoli; and Avocado.
#8 – Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)
Like other B vitamins, vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, helps keep the skin and hair healthy. It helps prevent hyperpigmentation by regulating the production and location of your skin’s pigment (5).
It also aids in cell reproduction and collagen production, which keeps your skin looking young. A deficiency in vitamin B12 can lead to hair loss and graying.
Lamb Kidney; Beef Liver; Chicken Liver; Clams; Oysters; Salmon; Milk; Yogurt; and Cottage Cheese.
#9 – Vitamin C + Flavonoids
Vitamin C helps you absorb vitamin B12, and is best known for its immune-boosting properties. This potent antioxidant keeps the skin firm and smooth while fading away brown spots.
Taking a vitamin C supplement with flavonoids can help maximize the benefits of this critical vitamin by providing you with more antioxidant power to fight free radicals (6) that cause fine lines and wrinkles.
Lamb Liver; Calf Adrenals; and Lamb Heart.
Chilli Peppers; Red Bell Pepper; Green Bell Pepper; Kale Broccoli; Guava; Citrus Fruits; Papaya; Strawberries; Cauliflower; Brussels Sprouts; Pineapple; Mango; and Kiwi.
#10 – Vitamin D
Vitamin D is one of the most important vitamins. It’s crucial to bone and immune health, but it’s also essential in the development of skin cells (7).
Adequate levels of vitamin D can help your skin maintain its youthful appearance by keeping it supple and firm. Most people have low vitamin D levels (especially vitamin D3), so supplementation may be beneficial.
You can also boost your vitamin D3 levels by spending more time in the sun, but be cautious if you choose this route. Overexposure can damage your skin and increase your chances of developing skin cancer.
Mackerel; Salmon; Tuna; Sardines; Beef Liver; and Egg Yolks.
Portabello Mushrooms; and Shiitake Mushrooms.
#11 – Vitamin E
Vitamin E is another potent antioxidant, and one that you’ll find in most beauty products. Why? Because it plays a critical role in collagen production and helps fight fine lines and wrinkles.
It also helps keep the skin hydrated while boosting its resistance to UV rays (8). There’s a reason vitamin E is considered the “skin superstar” – it’s one of the most efficient when it comes to preventing signs of aging.
Rainbow Trout; Eel; Shrimp; and Eggs.
Sunflower Seeds; Almonds; Olive Oil; Avocados; Spinach; Tomatoes; and Wheat Germ Oil.
#12 – Iron
Iron is what gives your skin its healthy, youthful glow. One of the first signs of anemia (iron deficiency) is pale skin and dark under-eye circles. Iron also helps fight hair loss, improves hair’s texture and reduces dullness (9).
How does iron work its magic? It helps improve the flow of oxygen, which means more nutrients make their way to your skin and hair.
Beef Liver; Chicken Liver; Oysters; Clams; Beef Roast; Lamb Roast; Sardines; and Salmon.
Squash Seeds; Pumpkin Seeds; Sesame Seeds; Chickpeas; Cashew Nuts; Pine Nuts; Beans; Lentils; Spinach; and Cocoa Powder.
#13 – Zinc
When you think of beautiful skin, zinc isn’t usually the first thing that comes to mind. But this powerful little mineral is found in every single cell in your body, and 100 enzymes need it to carry out their functions.
Skin cells are highly dependent on zinc – the top layer of your skin contains six times more zinc than the lower layers. Zinc works as a potent antioxidant to keep free radical damage at bay.
It also heals and rejuvenates skin by reducing inflammation and promoting cell production (10). Zinc has also been known to prevent acne by boosting immune function and controlling the inflammatory response associated with acne development.
Oysters; Beef Meat; Lamb Meat; Pork Meat; Egg Yolks; Turkey Meat; and Lobster.
Watermelon Seeds; Pumpkin Seeds; Flax Seeds; Cocoa Powder; Cashew Nuts; Wheat Germ; and Sesame Seeds.
#14 – Magnesium
Like zinc, magnesium is a trace mineral that many people lack in their diets. This powerful mineral restores cellular magnesium levels, detoxifies the body, protects cells, and encourages the growth of healthy skin tissue.
- Prevent wrinkles
- Minimize breakouts
- Eliminate skin allergies
Because 1 in 5 people are deficient in this trace mineral, supplementation is often the best way to meet your daily needs. Topical solutions are often preferred as oral supplements can cause digestive issues.
Salmon; Mackerel; Halibut; Milk; and Shrimp.
Cocoa Powder; Spinach; Swiss Chard; Pumpkin Seeds; Almonds; Cashew; Soybeans; Lentils; Brown Rice; Avocadoes; Bananas; and Dried Figs.
Therefore, supplementation is typically the simplest and most efficient way to get all of these essential vitamins and minerals. Try a good multi-vitamin or supplement designed specifically for healthy hair and skin, such as:
Cool Video on Hair Vitamin Supplementation
What is your personal experience with supplementing vitamins and minerals for your hair health? Let us know in comments section below.