Hair loss occurs when the diet is inadequate in the B vitamins - especially B6, biotin, inositol and folic acid; and the minerals magnesium, sulfur and zinc. The B vitamins, especially B5 (pantothenic acid and B3 (niacin), are especially important for hair growth.
Certain essential amino acids are found to control the thinning and thickening of hair in laboratory animals. For example, when rats were fed a diet deficient in magnesium, they lost their hair in bunches. The situation was even more serious with some other B-vitamins. When rats were fed a diet low in biotin or inositol, they became hairless! This nutrient-deficient condition was found to be reversible. When the rats were fed a diet that was rich in B vitamins, it resulted in the complete restoration of hair.
Heavy intake of vitamin supplements, in some cases, have resulted in stimulating hair growth. Men deficient in vitamin B6 often lose their hair. When they are deficient in folic acid, some men became completely bald! As in case of animals, when normal intake of theses vitamins were restored, the hair also returned in most instances.
Taking large doses of vitamin A (100,000 IU or more daily) for a long period of time, on the other hand, can trigger hair loss, but stopping the vitamin A will reverse the problem. As in case of deficiencies, often the hair grows back when the cause is corrected.
Essential fatty acids (flaxseed oil, primrose oil, and salmon oil are good sources) improves hair texture. Prevents dry, brittle hair.
Raw thymus glandular stimulates immune function and improves functioning capacity of glands.
Dosage: 500 mg daily.
Caution: Do not give this supplement to a child.
B vitamins are important for the health and growth of the hair. Foods rich in B vitamins include beans, peas, carrots, cauliflower, soy beans, nutritional yeast, bran, nuts and eggs. Take a vitamin B-complex and supplement it with the following additional B-vitamins for best results.
Vitamin B3 (niacin) - 50 mg 3 times daily.
Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) -100 mg 3 times daily.
Pyridoxine (vitamin B6) -50 mg 3 times daily.
Biotin is very important for hair health. It is needed for healthy hair and skin, and may even prevent hair loss in some men. Eat plenty of foods high in biotin and/ or take it in supplemental form. Good food sources of biotin include brewer's yeast, brown rice, bulgur, green peas, lentils, oats, soybeans, sunflower seeds, and walnuts. You can also use hair care products containing biotin.
Dosage: 50 mg 3 times daily.
Inositol is vital for hair growth.
Dosage: 100 mg twice daily.
Vitamin C aids in improving scalp circulation. It is important to maintain capillaries that carry blood to the follicles.
Dosage: 3,000-10,000 mg daily.
Vitamin E increases oxygen uptake, which improves circulation to the scalp. It improves health and growth of hair. Since hair health is tied to the immune health, vitamin E is believed to stimulate hair growth by enhancing the immune function.
Dosage: Start with 400 IU daily and slowly increase to 800-1,000 IU daily.
Zinc stimulates hair growth by enhancing immune function.
Dosage: 50-100 mg daily. Do not exceed this amount.
Other Nutrients That May Help Hair Health
Coenzyme Q10 - Improves scalp circulation. Increases tissue oxygenation. It is also very important for heart health. Take 60 mg daily.
L-Cysteine and L-methionine
Two amino acids belived to improve quality, texture, and growth of hair. They help prevent hair from falling out.
Dosage: 500 mg each twice daily, and on an empty stomach.