A healthy head of hair can improve anyone’s appearance. Healthy hair is free of flakes, strong, and has sufficient moisture to keep it soft. But how healthy your hair is can depend on the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that keep your bodily functions normal. And vitamin A is one of these nutrients that, when lacking, can affect your hair health.
So are vitamin A supplements good for your hair? It depends on several factors. If you have a vitamin A deficiency, vitamin A supplements can provide you with the means to grow stronger, healthier hair. But it’s better not to add too much vitamin A to your diet. Here’s what you should know about vitamin A and your hair.
Why Are Vitamin A Supplements Good for Your Hair?
Vitamin A plays a key role in certain bodily functions, including some processes that can affect your hair health. So when you have a vitamin A deficiency, supplements can provide the nutrients your diet alone cannot provide. Cell growth and sebum production are both needed by the hair to stay healthy, and they only happen successfully if there’s a sufficient supply of vitamin A.
Vitamin A plays a role in different types of cell growth, which is essential to build tissue. Healthy hair growth occurs when new cells form at the base of your follicle and multiply to create what you see as hair. Hair is the fastest-growing tissue in the human body, so vitamin A can help provide stronger, longer, and thicker hair.
Vitamin A can also affect sebum production. Sebum is the oil your body naturally produces to keep your skin, scalp, and hair moisturized and healthy. This is produced by your skin and scalp’s oil glands, which distribute sebum onto the hair shaft. Vitamin A can keep sebum production at a healthy level to prevent dry and brittle hair.
Do I Need Vitamin A Supplements?
Vitamin A supplements are best for people who have a vitamin deficiency. If you suspect you have a vitamin A deficiency, consult with your doctor. They may recommend a blood test to check for nutrient deficiencies. If you’re deficient, they may recommend supplements or a change in diet.
The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for vitamin A for adults is 3,000 international units (IU) for men and 2,333 for women. That’s equivalent to 900 micrograms of retinol activity equivalents (RAE) for men and 700 micrograms RAE for women.
Most adults also have a UL or tolerable upper intake level of 3,000 micrograms of vitamin A. This is the maximum amount of vitamin A your body can take that’s unlikely to cause harmful effects to your bodily functions.
Vitamin A can be found naturally in food sources like dairy products, fatty fish, fish oil, and animal organs like the liver. You can also get vitamin A through your diet by eating food filled with beta-carotene as the body can convert this into vitamin A. This includes yellow fruits like mangoes and yellow, red, and leafy green vegetables like bell peppers, sweet potatoes, carrots, kale, and spinach.
Because most sources of vitamin A are animal products, vegans and vegetarians typically don’t have these in their diet. While some can still get their vitamin A through the beta-carotene found in fruits and vegetables, others suffer from certain conditions that make it difficult to convert and absorb vitamin A from fruits and vegetables.In cases like these, it would be best to take vitamin A supplements.
Don’t Add Too Much Vitamin A to Your Diet
In normal amounts below the tolerable upper intake level, vitamin A can have beneficial effects on your body. But too much of it can lead to hypervitaminosis A, which can lead to hair loss. Too much vitamin A can overstimulate hair follicle roots and reach the end of the hair growth phase faster than normal.
So if you’re taking vitamin A supplements for hair health, it’s best to make sure you’re not going over your upper limit. If you think you have enough vitamin A in your diet, taking supplements wouldn’t be necessary and may not even be beneficial to your hair.
Factors That Can Affect Hair Health
If you’re wondering what might be causing your hair loss, consider visiting a dermatologist or a doctor. If blood tests show that it’s not a vitamin A deficiency, there could be a number of other reasons that trigger hair loss. These include:
- Harsh hair treatments – this includes harsh chemical treatments, hair bleaching, or repeated exposure to heat treatments like flat irons and curling irons. These products can dry out your existing hair. Avoiding harsh hair treatments or using hair care products can prevent damage.
- Medical conditions – underlying medical conditions like thyroid diseases, autoimmune conditions, scalp infections, depression, and cancer can result in hair loss. Supplements and hair growth products cannot treat your hair loss until the underlying condition is treated.
- Post-pregnancy hair loss – during pregnancy, your high estrogen levels reduce shedding and increase hair growth. After giving birth, your estrogen levels return to normal, and this can cause temporary hair loss.
- Genetics – some people inherit male or female pattern hair loss. You can take steps to slow down or stop hair loss, but without these treatments, you may experience significant hair loss.
- Excess sun exposure – the sun’s UV rays can be damaging to your hair. Aside from oxidation, it can dry out your hair’s natural moisture, causing it to become dry and brittle.
Other Vitamins to Take to Improve Your Hair Health
Just like vitamin A, having a deficiency for these essential vitamins can also cause you to experience poor hair health. If you have a deficiency in any of these essential vitamins, your doctor may prescribe supplements for them:
- Biotin – studies link people with a biotin deficiency with hair loss. However, deficiencies are rare since biotin can be found naturally in various types of food. Other B vitamins can help with blood flow, which can promote a healthy scalp by producing blood cells to transport oxygen.
- Vitamin C – an antioxidant that can prevent premature hair aging caused by free radicals. Vitamin C can also help with collagen production and prevent an iron deficiency that can result in weaker blood flow to the scalp.
- Vitamin D – while it’s unknown what vitamin D’s role in hair growth is, having a vitamin D deficiency can be linked to alopecia and poor hair production.
- Vitamin E – a powerful antioxidant that can protect your hair from oxidative stress caused by free radicals.
Practicing a balanced diet can help ensure you’re getting all your essential nutrients naturally. But in case of allergies or medical conditions that make it difficult to absorb all nutrients, dietary supplements are a possible alternative to treat nutritional deficiencies.
Effective Hair Health Solutions at FACE Med Store
Vitamin A supplements can improve your hair health. Although the changes may not be visible for those without nutrient deficiencies, they can greatly help with cell growth and sebum production for those whose diets don’t give them enough vitamin A. If you’re interested in taking supplements, talk to your doctor to see how taking vitamin A supplements would benefit you, especially your hair health.
FACE Med Store offers high-quality supplies, equipment, and other products that can improve your hair’s appearance. Browse through our online shop today to find the best deals on hair vitamins and other hair care products.