by: Danna Norek
(NaturalNews) Men and women alike desire thick, healthy and shiny hair. Chances are people who possess all of these traits are supplementing with certain vitamins and herbs, or eat a diet that feeds their hair these nutrients on a daily basis. Hair is not just an extension of our bodies. It has become a symbol of beauty, health and status. In order to get the coveted body, bounce and sheen you desire there are certain nutrients you should be concentrating on putting in your body.
The first vitamin for hair health is biotin. This is actually a form of vitamin B that is widely used to help prevent hair loss and stimulate hair growth. It is often recommended for chemotherapy patients to help increase the rate of growth.
It is also useful for thinning hair and is thought to help with loss of hair pigmentation although no conclusive evidence has been found. Biotin helps our bodies to break down fats, protein and carbohydrates. It can be found naturally in Swiss chard, liver, halibut and goat milk, to name a few.
Several other B vitamins help with hair loss or slow hair growth as well. Panthenol, or vitamin B5 is often used externally in shampoos and other hair products to help increase thickness. It has the ability to penetrate the cuticle and increase the diameter as a topical supplement.
A deficiency of vitamin B12 can lead to anemia, which stunts hair growth. Supplements of this vitamin often fall short as they don't absorb very well. Vitamin B12 shots are given for energy support in those who are deficient. However you can also increase your levels of this vitamin by eating foods such as grass fed beef, egg yolks and free range poultry.
Antioxidant vitamins are also an important source of nutrition for healthy hair. Vitamins C, E and A are important for the health of the skin and hair. They increase the health and efficiency of the entire body, thereby "freeing up" the resources to feed your hair the nutrients it needs on a daily basis. They help promote healthy connective tissues and cellular growth. A diet rich in these vitamins provides support for vibrant, abundant hair growth. Vitamin E also increases scalp circulation which in turn promotes hair growth.
Herbs for healthy hair
The foremost herb known for adding beauty and luster to the hair when taken orally is horsetail. Named for its long brush-like appearance, this herb is packed with a nutrient called silica. Silica is a substance that strengthens bones, nails and hair.
Siloca adds resilience to the hair by fortifying it with strength and thereby lessening breakage and thinning. Silica also is known for increasing shine and body thanks to the additional strength and presumably increased volume of hair. It is a relatively inexpensive herb and is used extensively for brittle or unhealthy hair.
Rosemary is an excellent herb to use topically to promote hair growth and increase scalp health. When applied to the scalp rosemary increases circulation and helps to gently remove excess sebum and dandruff, which can inhibit healthy hair growth.
Lavender is another herb that enhances the beauty of the hair. Lavender helps increase shine and gently cleanse deposits that dull the hair.
Hops are not only a main ingredient in beer. They make an excellent natural hair conditioner and softener when applied topically. The herb also contains silica so it helps fortify the hair from within. Many popular hair supplements use this to add strength and resilience.