Hair is a very vital part of the body even though it does not play any real role in the body metabolism. Hair not only adds beauty to the face and increases the self-confidence of the individual. Hair is often the most neglected of the body until it starts showing outward signs and symptoms like shedding, thinning, dandruff, baldness, premature graying, splitting, and so on. These signs may be a symbol of an imbalance in the body’s internal functioning and can also be related to a major disease in the body. Or they can just be due to mishandling or neglect of the hair.
Hair, like any other part of the body, requires essentials nutrients for growth and survival. For a healthy body, these nutrients are generally derived from the food we take. Foods like vegetables, fruits, meat and dairy products contain a combination of basic vitamins, minerals, proteins, carbohydrates and fats as well as non-nutrients like fiber and water. The amount of food intake, as well as the body’s ability to absorb the necessary ingredients from food, determines the health of the body, which is reflected externally through skin, nails and hair. The main vitamins that influences the health of hair are; vitamin A (produces healthy sebum in the scalp), vitamin C (antioxidant), vitamin E (improves scalp circulation), Biotin (produces Keratin), Inositol (keeps hair follicles healthy), Niacin (promotes scalp circulation) and pantothenic acid, Para-Aminobenzoic Acid, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12 that prevent graying and hair loss.
Sometimes, the body may not be able to derive the necessary ingredients from the food. Under these conditions, it needs a dose of supplements taken additionally along with food for attaining the balance. This is the case with hair also. However, the main question is how to feed the hair. There are several products in the market today in the form of shampoos, oils, conditioners, sprays and other applicants that can be put on externally for solving hair problems. These products contain necessary vitamins, protein and mineral supplements that are believed to enter the scalp and provide proper nourishment to the hair. Apart from these, hair vitamin supplements are also available in tablet/capsule form for internal ingestion. There are numerous companies that are developing hair vitamin products from herbal and traditional ingredients like ginseng, jojoba, green tea, He Shou Wu etc., which are believed to contain the essential vitamins for promoting healthy hair. The most common food-based sources of these vitamins are: citrus fruits, green vegetables, fruits like pineapple, strawberries and kiwi, potatoes, green peppers, vegetable oils, soybean, raw seeds, dried beans, wheat germ oil, brewer’s yeast, whole grains, eggs, liver, rice, milk, fish, turkey, chicken and red meat.
Today, almost all hair care products advertise the presence of a necessary vitamin in their products that would make the hair thicker, stronger, longer, lustrous, and on the whole, healthier. Viviscal, Shen Min, Nu Hair, Hair Genesis, Fast Grow, Hair Formula 37, Follicare, Melancor and Advesia are some of the popular hair vitamin products available in the market today. There are several websites that provide information about hair vitamin products. There are also exclusive stores that specialize in hair vitamin products. However, it is better to consult a physician before using these products to understand the exact condition of the hair so that the right products can be used.