The 5 best vitamins for thicker, shinier and healthier hair, according to experts

SOME vital vitamins and nutrients can make the difference between thin, brittle hair and luscious, thick locks.

A trichologist revealed which vitamins are essential for healthy hair and how to make sure you’re getting them.


Serious woman hair loss problem for health care shampoo and beauty product conceptCredit: Getty

While taking vitamins and supplements can give some people a boost, it’s not a one-size-fits-all approach, says Zoe Passam, senior consultant trichologist at Phillip Kingsley.

“The vitamins and minerals an individual needs for healthy hair growth will vary from person to person, influenced by factors such as age, sex, diet and exercise,” she explained.

She mentioned a few that are known to be important for hair health:

  1. Iron
  2. Vitamin B12
  3. Zinc
  4. Vitamin D
  5. Biotin

But it’s not a matter of taking a cocktail of supplements.

If you are deficient in these vitamins and minerals, you probably won’t notice any difference between your locks and popping pills.

As Zoe explained, “once sufficient levels are reached, it is unlikely to be beneficial to take more”.

“Once hair comes off the scalp, it’s dead, so supplements can’t affect the condition of the hair length,” said Zoe.

Most are read in Diet & Nutrition

But changing your diet could make a difference to your tresses, said the trichologist.

“Eating adequate protein can help the body produce high-quality hair as it emerges from the scalp,” noted Zoe.

I follow Chinese medicine for anti-aging – my food fights gray hair & promotes growth, I take it with honey every day

Meat and fish are usually a good source of protein, although you can also get it from eggs and dairy products such as yoghurt and cottage cheese.

That’s not to say you can’t get protein from plant sources – nuts, oats, tofu and beans are good choices.

Can vitamin deficiencies make my hair thinner?

“Certain vitamin and mineral deficiencies can lead to increased hair shedding,” said Zoe.

She referred to this as telogen effluvium, a condition that disrupts your normal hair growth cycle, causing more follicles to transition into the shedding or telogen phase.

According to the British Association of Dermatologists: “Usually only 10 percent of scalp hair is in the telogen phase, but in telogen effluvium this increases to 30 percent or more.”

Zoe said low iron levels are a common cause of increased hair shedding, specifically the iron storage protein ferritin.

“A blood test is the best way to determine if a vitamin or mineral deficiency may be contributing to a person’s hair loss,” she said.

“It is also important to note that low levels within the normal laboratory reference range can contribute to hair loss,” said Zoe.

This is because “hair is non-essential tissue, so when levels are low, the body prioritizes vital body functions over hair growth”.

“Deficiencies can also affect the quality of the hair, so for example a zinc deficiency can lead to weaker and more brittle hair,” said the trichologist.

Once you’ve had a blood test to check if your hair could benefit from a supplement, a trichologist can advise you on the best amount to take for the best hair growth results.

Which popular hair supplement could be unnecessary?

Biotin supplements are very popular, Zoe noted.

But she said that biotin deficiency is rare.

“For most people, there is no need for biotin supplements,” said the trichologist.

What supplements can I try?

Zoe recommended two supplements you could try.

One was Philip Kingsley’s Healthy Hair Complex, which contains vitamins and minerals for healthy hair growth, such as vitamin D, vitamin B12 and iron.

Her second recommendation was Philip Kingsley’s Amino Acid Protein Booster, which contains amino acids that are important for healthy hair growth.

“Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, and hair is made up primarily of a type of protein called keratin,” explained Zoe.

But ultimately, your diet is key to ensuring a healthy, luscious green.

“It is important to eat a varied diet, which incorporates all food groups, and the trichologist may help menstruating women, including foods rich in iron, to avoid iron deficiency,” said the trichologist.

“Vegetarians and vegans should also remember to consume adequate B12, since this is mainly obtained from animal sources.”

Eat your way to good hair


Here are 12 foods to give your greens a healthy boost:

  1. Oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, tuna and herring
  2. Nuts like walnuts, almonds, cashews and pistachios
  3. Eggs
  4. Beans such as chickpeas, peanuts, soybeans, and lentils
  5. Dark leafy greens like spinach, kale and rocket
  6. Sweet potatoes
  7. Avocados
  8. Seeds like flaxseeds, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds
  9. Yogurt
  10. Pepper
  11. Sheep
  12. Broccoli

Read more about the nutrients your hair needs here.

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