Q: Can any supplements give me prettier, healthier-looking hair?
A:If you’re eating a well-rounded diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, nuts and whole grains, you should be getting the vitamins and minerals necessary for your hair follicles to produce healthy hair. Still, there are supplements you can take as added insurance.
First, consider supplementing with B vitamins (particularly folic acid), which provide building blocks needed for lustrous locks. This may be especially helpful if you are under stress, since physical or emotional stress can deplete these key nutrients. For convenience, choose a B-vitamin complex that provides 100% of the daily value for the various B vitamins… or focus specifically on folic acid, vitamin B-6 and vitamin B-12.
Also take fish oil, which helps cell membranes throughout the body—including in hair follicles—stay strong, preventing damage that could lead to the growth of dull, weak strands. In fact, in addition to improving the vitality of new hair growth, healthful dietary oils help promote sheen and luster of existing hair strands. Dosage: Fish oil that provides 1,000 mg to 2,000 mg of combined EPA/DHA daily. Helpful: Check manufacturers’ Web sites to choose a brand that is screened for heavy metals… and refrigerate your fish oil to keep it fresh and potent.
You may have heard that drinking ginger tea or hawthorn tea promotes circulation, including blood flow to the scalp—and there is no harm in giving it a try. However, currently there is no evidence that these teas work any better than scalp massage or brushing with a natural-bristle brush to increase dermal circulation.
Hair is an outward expression of inner health—so see your physician if your hair is becoming dry, dull, fragile or sparse. This could indicate an underlying medical problem, such as a metabolic or hormonal imbalance, that should be addressed.