X
CNET logo Why You Can Trust CNET

Our wellness advice is expert-vetted. Our top picks are based on our editors’ independent research, analysis, and hands-on testing. If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Reviews ethics statement

7 Vitamins That Can Help Restore Your Hair Loss

Hair loss can be frightening, but here are vitamins great for restoring your hair.

Sean Jackson
Sean Jackson is a creative copywriter living in Florida. He's had work published with Realtor.com, theScore, ESPN, and the San Francisco Chronicle. In his free time, Sean likes to play drums, fail miserably at improv and spend time at the beach.
Sean Jackson
5 min read
Small white bowl with food supplement capsules, pills and wooden hair brush.
kazmulka/Getty Images

Hair loss is no fun and can be very embarrassing at times. For most people their hair is their crown or a way of expression. Experts say shedding between 50 to 100 hairs daily is normal. However, when you are experiencing lumps of hair loss on a regular basis, it can be a warning for a bigger issue at hand. Factors such as medical conditions, stress and vitamin deficiencies all can affect your hair health.

One way to combat hair loss is to evaluate your diet. A healthy lifestyle plays a major role for ensuring the luscious, long and thick hair you may desire. Continue reading for the supplemental and natural ways for you to get the vitamins you need for healthy hair growth.

What vitamins are good for hair growth? 

Vitamins do many amazing things for hair: They can aid in cell growth, prevent free radicals from damaging it, keep it from graying prematurely and nourish the follicles that stimulate growth. 

Here are the best vitamins for hair growth and thickness.

Biotin

Biotin, also known as vitamin B7, stimulates the production of keratin to increase follicle growth. Biotin deficiencies tend to be rare, with those diagnosed with Biotinidase Deficiency being the most common. You can find this vitamin in many foods, including eggs, meat, fish, nuts, eggs, sweet potatoes and seeds. 

The recommended intake is 30 micrograms for adults daily.

Vitamin A 

Hair cells are the fastest-growing part of the body. It makes sense, then, that vitamin A is the perfect fuel for that growth. When your body absorbs vitamin A, it produces sebum. That's an oily substance that moisturizes your scalp, keeping it and your hair follicles healthy. Having a vitamin A deficiency could result in you experiencing hair loss. 

If you're looking to consume more vitamin A, you'll want to consume foods high in beta-carotene, which turns into vitamin A. Foods high in beta-carotene include sweet potatoes, pumpkin, carrots, spinach and kale. You can also find it in cod liver oil, eggs, yogurt and milk.

The recommended daily intake for vitamin A is up to 900 mcg for men and 700 mcg for women. 

Assortment of high vitamin A foods like carrots, nuts, broccoli, butter, cheese, seeds and eggs.
vaaseenaa/Getty Images

Vitamin C 

Oxidative stress is one of the main factors contributing to hair loss. This occurs when we have an imbalance of free radicals and antioxidants in our bodies which can lead to an electron imbalance that could result in hair loss. 

The solution is to consume foods with vitamin C. Your body possesses antioxidants that curtail free radicals' hair damage by balancing their electrons when you do. Along with balancing the scales, Vitamin C aids your body in producing collagen (prevents hair from graying prematurely) and absorbing iron which can help hair grow. Smoking, drinking alcohol and having a poor diet can lead to a vitamin C deficiency. 

You'll find vitamin C in citrus fruits, peppers, strawberries, tomatoes and guavas. Since your body doesn't produce it, you'll need to include these in your diet or have a supplement with vitamin C. 

Daily intake for vitamin C is up to 90 milligrams per day for adult men and 75 milligrams for adult women. Taking too much Vitamin C could result in heartburn, muscle cramps, fatigue, skin flushing and possible kidney stones. 

Vitamin D 

Vitamin D deficiencies can lead to hair loss conditions like alopecia, female pattern hair loss and excessive shedding. You'll find these depletions more in people aged 65 and over. 

To get more vitamin D intake, you can incorporate fatty fish, cod liver oil, fortified foods (cereal, eggs, bread, yogurt) and mushrooms into your diet. Alternatively, you can catch some midday sun rays.

600 IU of vitamin D is the recommended dosage for adults. Taking too much vitamin D could result in nausea, weight loss, disorientation, and heart rhythm issues. 

Vitamin E 

Vitamin E contains the same antioxidant prowess as its vitamin C counterpart possesses.  It means it can curb oxidative stress by balancing out the electron level in free radicals. People more susceptible to vitamin E deficiencies include those with health conditions such as Crohn's or cystic fibrosis

Vitamin E is an effective method for treating hair loss. A small study revealed that people taking vitamin E supplements for eight months experienced a 34.5% increase in hair growth. You can also find vitamin E in sunflower seeds, spinach, avocados, and almonds. 

If you plan to go the supplemental route, the recommended dietary allowance is 15 milligrams daily. 

Iron

Iron fuels the production of hemoglobin, a protein found in your body's red blood cells. These cells distribute oxygen to cells throughout your body, aiding in their repair and growth. An iron deficiency can lead to hair loss, with women being the most susceptible. 

You'll find iron in foods like eggs, red meat, lentils, spinach, oysters and clams. If your doctor recommends it, you can take an iron supplement. 

The recommended daily iron intake is 45 mg. Keep in mind that taking too much iron could result in constipation, stomach pain, and vomiting.  

Table filled with large variety of food high in iron like red meat, iron, lentils and eggs
fcafotodigital/Getty Images

Zinc 

Zinc promotes hair growth and keeps the oil glands surrounding the follicles working well. If you have a Zinc deficiency, you could experience hair loss. Those most susceptible to zinc deficiencies are those who drink alcohol excessively, people with Crohn's, pregnant or breastfeeding women and those with chronic kidney ailments. 

You can find zinc in many common foods like beef, spinach, wheat germ, pumpkin seeds, oysters and lentils. The recommended daily dosage of iron is 11 mg for men and 8 mg for women. Taking too much could result in loss of appetite, cramps and headaches. It can also lower your good cholesterol. 

How long do hair growth vitamins take to work?

Hair supplements are not overnight solutions. It may take months before you'll notice small improvements. Remember that the success rate depends on the cause of the hair loss, your diet, genetics and other factors. 

Bottom line 

Vitamins can restore damaged hair, prevent it from aging prematurely, reduce hair loss, and improve growth and volume. However, they're not a one-size-fits-all solution. You'll want to consult your doctor if your hair loss stems from stressful environments, underlying medical conditions or genetics, as they can create a targeted treatment plan that might include vitamins. 

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.