Ok, so what nutrients does my body need?

Ok, so what nutrients does my body need?

In my last blog post, I talked about the question of hair-focused vitamins.

In my medical opinion, they are largely marketing and don’t offer a tremendous amount of specific value to your hair. 

So what vitamins does my hair need most and why?

The answer is Vitamins A, B, C, D and E. That’s pretty easy to remember – literally the first five letters of the alphabet. 

Other important nutrients are iron, zinc, omega-3 fatty acids, and, of course, protein. And note all the best food sources you can find them in.

Let’s discuss why these vitamins and minerals are essential to good overall health, and therefore to your hair’s health: 


Vitamin A

is needed by all cells for growth, with your hair being the fastest growing tissue in the body, and also helps the scalp produce sebum, your hair’s natural oil. 

Best sources: orange vegetables like carrots & sweet potatoes and dark leafy greens like spinach, kale and broccoli, and milk, eggs, and yogurt


Vitamin B

is really a family of vitamins from 1-12 with biotin (B7) being the most well known in hair care. B vitamins help your body convert the food you eat into the essential nutrients your body needs for fuel. Extra biotin if you are already getting an adequate amount from your diet will not help your hair grow, but not getting enough can cause hair loss.

Best sources: whole grains, meat, seafood, dark leafy greens.


Vitamin C

is an antioxidant, which means it helps your body to repair damage from free radicals, unstable substances that damage other cells, and help your body to absorb iron.

Best sources: citrus fruits, strawberries, peppers, guava.


Vitamin D

helps stimulate dormant hair follicles back to working order, decreasing thinning and bald spots.

Best sources: The sun. Really! Direct UV rays from the sun produce vitamin D. Also fatty fish, cod liver oil and mushrooms. 


Vitamin E

is another antioxidant that helps reduce damage especially in the scalp.

Best sources: sunflower seeds, almonds, spinach, and avocados.



is essential for red blood cells to be able to carry oxygen to your cells, and iron deficiency leads directly to hair loss.

Best sources: eggs, red meat, spinach, lentils, some seafood.



Your hair is mostly protein, and plenty of healthy protein is needed in your diet for healthy hair growth.

Healthiest sources: fish, lean meats, legumes, eggs, nuts.


is necessary for the immune system to work properly, and for tissue growth and repair, particularly keeping the sebaceous glands working in the scalp. 

Best sources: spinach, pumpkins seeds, lentils, beef.


Omega-3-fatty acids

do so many wonderful things for your hair and body. They are a building block of the outer membranes of cells, and specific to hair decrease inflammation that can lead to hair shedding, and help to keep it shiny and full. 

Best sources: fish, nuts and seeds and their oils, like flaxseed and flaxseed oil.


So your daily diet should look something like this:

  • Breakfast: Eggs, fruit (especially berries and citrus fruits) or a yogurt fruit smoothie, and/or whole grain avocado toast.
  • Lunch: Salad or stir fry, heavy on the leafy dark greens, orange veggies, red and green peppers and lean protein, like lean beef, fish, or white meat chicken.
  • Snacks: Seeds, nuts, fruit.
  • Dinner: Salmon or lean beef, more veggies, mushrooms. 

Eating right is easy if you can plan just a bit. Eat right and see how your body responds. Start by cutting out anything that comes in a wax-paper wrapper, a bag or through a drive-through window. It can be challenging to create new habits, but keep working at it. I am rooting for you! 

Oh, and one last thing – don’t forget plenty of water and exercise. 

Spoiler alert, up next in my blog: How to keep your hair looking great during exercise.

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Until next time, be safe and well.
Dr. Ena

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