For men, the answer is a resounding no. (Sorry, guys. Except in cases of extreme malnutrition, no amount of vitamins or minerals will regrow hair.) But for some women who have experienced hair loss related to physical trauma, crash dieting or heavy menstrual flow, the answer is yes.
What you eat may well have an effect on how good your hair looks, but there's little you can do in terms of diet that will have an impact on how much hair you have. Here are a couple of things that doctors say you can do for healthier hair.
Steer clear of crash diets
Trimming pounds gradually not only is healthier than crash dieting but also keeps your hair on your head. "Any woman who has lost 20 pounds or more in a period of three months is going to have a problem with hair loss," says Wilma Bergfeld, M.D., a dermatologist and director of the Section of Dermatopathology and Dermatological Research at the Cleveland Clinic. The safe and effective way to lose weight: trimming no more than a pound a week.
Pump up your iron
To boost iron absorption, some doctors also recommend drinking orange juice, which is high in vitamin C, whenever you eat foods high in iron, such as broccoli and red meat, says Alexander Zemtsov, M.D., associate professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis.
Except in cases of starvation, it doesn't seem that vitamins and minerals affect hair growth in men. On the other hand, nutrients may prove helpful for some women who have experienced hair loss. Here's what the experts recommend.
Nutrient Daily Amount
Iron 50 milligrams
Vitamin C 100 milligrams
Plus a multivitamin/mineral supplement containing the Daily Values of all essential vitamins and minerals <
What Vitamins Do For Your hair
Biotin: thickens the hair strands.
Choline Bitarate: keeps the hair root moist.
Copper: prolongs your original hair color.
Folic Acid: for cell renewal to grow hair.
Inositol: reduces hair falling from the root.
Iodine: regulates the thyroid hormone for hair growth.
Iron: helps reduce balding-Hair falling from the root.
Manganese: produces growth of the hair and nails.
Niacin: produces blood flow to the follicle to produce hair growth.
Pantothenic Acid: produces hair growth and stimulation of new growth.
Para-Amonobenzoic Acid: prevents hair loss and protects follicles.
Riboflavin: prevents dandruff and helps with the absorption of iron.
Thiamine: prevents hair loss.
Vitamin A: keeps moisture in your hair strands so you'll have less chance of breakage.
Vitamin B-12: stimulates hair growth.
Zinc: produces hair growth.
Always consult with your doctor or nutritionist before taking or adding any new vitamin supplements to your diet. Also if you are pregnant consult your doctor. Especially if you're currently taking medications of any kind).