What are the best vitamins for hair?

What can vitamins do for hair? Are they effective?

Back to school comes with its share of stress, new things that aren't always pleasant, bad weather, etc, etc, ... You're feeling flat, you lack energy and your hair is giving it back to you: dull, limp and difficult to style, you also have the impression that it's falling out a lot.

First reflex A course of vitamins to give your hair a boost. It's a good idea in theory, but in practice, which vitamins should you choose and which are the right ones to bring real benefits to your hair?

Just like drinking orange juice in the morning to fill up on vitamin C, many of us have a daily routine of consuming a few capsules, ampoules or other gummies: for a radiant complexion, vitality, morale, sleep, etc. So why not take a vitamin supplement and stop having the blues? hair falling out and stimulate their growth?

The question is: what can vitamins do for hair? What problems can they solve? Can hair vitamins really stop hair loss, for example?

Visit our advice and answers to your questions on the effectiveness of vitamins and food supplements for hair vitality:

What should you choose, and what can you expect in terms of hair health and growth?  

Since most hair is made up of hair keratin (i.e. protein), so we need to provide it with a sufficient dose of good quality protein to ensure healthy, radiant hair. So, quite simply, the first answer is diet: a balanced dietA balanced diet, with a sufficient protein intake - meat or vegetarian - will provide the hair (and the body in general) with the vitamins and minerals it needs to function properly. Unfortunately, in many cases, without the external help of well-chosen food supplements, the hair and scalp can continue to deteriorate.

Nowadays, there are many deficiencies and other shortcomings: processed food, chronic or temporary fatigue, stress of course, cosmetic manipulations that weaken the hair fibre, illnesses such as psoriasis or seborrheic dermatitis and certain medical treatments that damage the scalp. Many factors contribute to the weakening of the hair, not to mention the more structural causes linked to heredity in particular. As a living organism, hair needs energy to function properly. When diet isn't enough, choosing a course of vitamins combined with minerals is an excellent option for tired hair.

But don't expect a miracle solution:

  • It takes time, around 3 months, for the effects of a vitamin supplement to become tangible. Choosing a multi-vitamin supplement (vitamin B, iron, etc.) allows you to address several issues at the same time.
  • Not all hair problems can be solved with a course of vitamins. You can get rid of a post-partum hair lossIt is also possible to regulate problems of hyper-seborrhoea of the scalp by using appropriate vitamins (see table below). However, chronic hair loss cannot be completely stopped.There are too many factors involved in this case, and it's no more possible to cure dermatitis or psoriasis of the scalp once and for all.

In fact, only a targeted treatment that delivers essential nutrients to the hair follicle can put a lasting stop to hair loss. Often, hair loss is the result of multi-factorial causes that need to be identified if the phenomenon is really to be curbed.

Hair is a "special being" with specific needs - so depending on the problem your hair or scalp is experiencing, you'll choose a particular product. There are many solutions on the market: by reading labels carefully, you can identify products that provide exactly what the hair needs, no more and no less. There's no point in taking more than 100% of daily intake of a particular nutrient in the belief that you'll get there faster: the body will naturally eliminate the excess.

Conversely, make sure that the recommended daily allowances are present at their maximum limit to obtain the best performance. And then, knowing that most vitamins and minerals act in synergy and that the right combination increases their individual performance benefits, it's in your best interests to choose multi-vitamin supplements. This is what the specially formulated hair vitamin cure offers, Racines Plus.

An overview of which vitamins are good for your hair and why:

  • Vitamin D (or calciferol) For a long time, the role of vitamin D in our health, and in hair health in particular, was underestimated. Over the last twenty years or so, however, scientists have come to agree that vitamin D, naturally supplied by light and then synthesised by the epidermis, plays a vast role: in addition to its well-known action on bone strength, vitamin D is responsible for the proper functioning of numerous organs, which it helps to protect (protection and immunity). The recommended level of vitamin D should be between the 15 µg/d and 100 µg/d (source Anses 2021). The vitamin D level for an adult in France is 3.1 µg/day (source idem). What is less well known is that a vitamin D deficiency may be the cause of an oily scalp, and could have a detrimental effect on the life cycle of the hair. If a blood test detects a low level of vitamin D, rebalance your diet with oily fish, dairy products and, if necessary, a supplement prescribed by your doctor.
  • Vitamin A (retinol, animal origin, mainly stored in the liver), pro-vitamin A (plant origin, pre-cursor of vitamin A, the best known being beta-carotene, which is distributed throughout the body). Vitamin A: responsible for cell growth, and therefore inevitably for the vitality of your hair, this vitamin, found in egg yolks, dairy products (butter, dairy products) and orange fruit and vegetables in particular, should not be overlooked. What's more, vitamin A regulates the production of sebaceous glands, which is essential for hydrated keratin and a healthy scalp. While there may, in rare cases, be a risk of overdosing on vitamin A, there is no risk of overdosing on pro-vitamin A: so fill up on carrots, sweet potatoes and squash, as well as spinach, mangoes and prunes!
  • Vitamin E Vitamin E: an anti-oxidant recognised for its protective benefits on the beauty of skin and hair, vitamin E stimulates hair growth and repairs and protects keratin. Good to know Its action is enhanced when taken in conjunction with other vitamins: vitamin C, beta-carotenes, etc. Hence the importance of a varied diet, including vegetable oils, nuts and dried fruit, as well as oily fish, eggs, avocados and broccoli. For damaged ends weakened by repeated colouring, think of the Crème N°26R rich in sesame, castor, jojoba and wheat germ oils.
  • Group B vitamins Vitamin B: Essential for keeping hair in tip-top condition. The main vitamin is B7 or biotin, used in intramuscular injections or mesotherapy, often combined with vitamin B5 (bepanthene).
    1. Vitamin B9 (folate) It helps to create new cells and ensures good blood circulation by participating in the production of red blood cells. As a result, the scalp is naturally irrigated and well oxygenated, which benefits the hair follicles. In this way, it promotes hair growth.
    2. Vitamin B12 It is found mainly in animal products, but also in miso and nori seaweed.
    3. Vitamin B1 (or thiamine) : impacts cell growth and regulates blood sugar levels
    4. Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) Iron: a key vitamin that contributes to the proper functioning of the body in general. Endowed with antioxidant and protective properties, it contributes to healthy cell growth and maintains optimum levels of iron in the blood. It is a vitamin that is naturally present in many foods (cereals, fish, etc.), and a varied diet generally provides a sufficient supply.
    5. Vitamin B3 (niacin or vitamin PP) Vitamin B3: by stimulating blood circulation at the hair root, it promotes hair follicle vigour and hair growth. It is known that a vitamin B3 deficiency can cause hair loss. It is water-soluble, so be careful how you cook foods containing it (poultry and pulses, for example). Brewer's yeast is a food supplement rich in vitamin B3.
    6. Vitamin B5 (bepanthene) is another key vitamin for hair, as it is involved in cell growth (and therefore hair growth), the synthesis of certain hormones and the metabolism of nutrients. It also contributes to the proper functioning of the nervous system and our energy levels, which explains why a deficiency can lead to intense fatigue or even depression. Many foods are rich in it: cereals, avocados, cashew nuts, etc. There is no risk of overdosing.
    7. Vitamin B6 Vitamin B: a friend of strong, healthy keratin, as it actively contributes to protein synthesis, the main constituent of keratin. It also acts in synergy with the other B group vitamins, reinforcing the action of each of them. A regulator of our metabolism, it helps produce red blood cells and protect our immune system. If you have dull, brittle or dry hair, or even hair loss, a lack of vitamin B6 may be the reason. Fortunately, it is easy to find in a varied and balanced diet. In Western countries, a lack of vitamin B6 is very uncommon. Hair in poor condition is more likely to be the result of a multiple deficiency and, possibly, external factors (aggressive products, repeated or inappropriate cosmetic treatments, etc.).
    8. Vitamin B7 (or B8 or H or biotin) Biotin: is involved in the metabolism of carbohydrates and proteins, and contributes to the proper functioning of the body in general. A deficiency in biotin can have a harmful effect on the condition of the hair. However, cf Vidal: Specialist advice "The many food supplements designed to strengthen the hair and containing biotin andpantothenic acid (vitamin B5) neglect two facts: apart from proven deficiencies, none of these vitamins has been shown to have a beneficial effect on hair. In addition, their absorption by the intestine is reduced when they are taken simultaneously".

In addition to the vitamins that help keep hair in good condition, certain minerals and trace elements play an active role in preserving the quality of our hair, including :

  • Iron Hair: iron plays an essential role in the production of haemoglobin (iron plays an active part in this production), which transports the nutrients and oxygen essential for hair growth to the hair follicle. This explains why women with heavy periods and people whose diets do not include many iron-rich foods (lentils or red meat) need to be careful and monitor their ferritin levels (iron reserves in the blood). A iron deficiency is synonymous with depleted, fragile and thinning hair. However, appropriate supplementation will raise the level of iron in the blood and, if no other problems are detected, the hair will naturally come back to life after a few months.
  • Zinc It is an anti-oxidant and therefore promotes normal cell growth and renewal. It helps combat premature cell ageing and contributes to the production of protein and collagen. A normal level also helps combat dandruff. Hair loss and brittle hair can all be caused by zinc deficiency. It is found in oysters, legumes and meat, among other things. But beware: stress, like tea or coffee, causes our reserves to deplete more quickly.
  • Magnesium Although it plays a fundamental role in the body: maintaining energy levels, synthesising proteins, balancing the nerves, keeping the skin, bones and teeth in perfect health, this mineral is not produced by the human body. If we're not careful, we soon find ourselves lacking. The result for the hair: dry, brittle hair, a tendency to dandruff... So when you're stressed or nervously tired, fill up on cocoa, bananas or almonds. You can also take a course of food supplements.
  • Amino acids A number of organic compounds are present in very small quantities in our bodies, helping to keep our metabolism running smoothly. Although several hundred are present in our bodies, only around fifteen are particularly useful for hair health. Their main functions are to act on hair growth and vitality. Arginine helps to strengthen and grow cells, promoting the growth of strong, healthy hair. Cystine is also a protein, playing a key role in cell cohesion.

To sum up, this little table will help you find an answer to your hair and scalp problem:

Hair refinement,
Loss of density
Sulphur amino acids + Zinc + B6Tones regrowth and hair growth,
sebum control
premature hair loss 
Other B vitamins. Vitamin D,
Zinc and Magnesium (anti-oxidants)
Anti-radical action on the cells of the
hair follicle
Provitamin A
Vitamin D
1° Cleanses the scalp
2° Soothes irritation
Stress as a factor
hair loss
MagnesiumRegulates nervous tension

Below are the RDIs (recommended daily intakes) for the vitamins and minerals essential for hair vitality:

Provitamin A4.80 mgCopper2 mg
A - Retinol800 µgIron14 mg
B2 - Riboflavin1.4 mgMagnesium350 mg
B3 - Niacin (PP)16 mgSelenium120 µg
B5 - Bepanthene6 mgZinc10 mg
B6 - Pyridoxine1.4 mg
B8 - Biotin50 µg
Vitamin D (Calciferol)15 µg/day*
E - Tocopherol12 mg
* Vitamin D is in a class of its own. Doctors specialising in this vitamin now recommend higher RDAs (Recommended Dietary Allowances), i.e. 50 µg/mL.

Your question: What are the best vitamins for hair?

Hair is a living organism, made up of proteins (keratin) which make up around 95 %. To maintain good health, hair needs group B vitamins, which are responsible for growth and cell renewal, and vitamins E and D, which play a protective role. Iron and magnesium contribute to blood circulation and cell oxygenation. Multi-vitamins = synergy.

Jean-François Cabos

Jean-François Cabos is the creator of a unique hair care method based on the research he coordinated, which led to the publication of the book "Cheveux, Racines de Vie" with Hélène Clauderer by Robert Laffont (Collection "Réponses/ Santé").

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