Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin that is only stored in the body for a short time period, and you can actually use Vitamin C for hair growth. It has immense benefits on your overall health, including helping in the collagen production that strengthens and maintains elasticity to our skin, bones, blood vessels, muscles and teeth, healing of wounds, reducing hair loss and enhancing the growth of healthy hair. Let’s take a look at the different mechanisms through which Vitamin C helps in maintaining the overall health of your hair.
This is How Vitamin C Reduces Hair Loss and Promotes Hair Growth
Works as an Antioxidant
Our body actively produces free radicals while metabolizing food into energy. These free radicals are harmful by damaging the hair follicles and increasing hair loss. Vitamin C is provided with anti-oxidant properties so that it stops the free radical formation in the body, thereby reducing hair loss and improving the overall hair health. That’s why getting extra Vitamin C for your hair might be a good idea.
Effect on Androgens or Sex Hormones
Hair loss is directly affected by the circulating androgens – sex hormones – in the blood. Having high levels of the male hormone Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) immensely increases hair loss. DHT binds to the papilla cells of the skin – cells that are responsible for the transportation of nutrients to the hair follicles. When bonded with DHT, the papilla cells can’t provide nutrition to the hair follicles, which means hair production and regrowth are slowed down. But sufficient Vitamin C reduces the formation of DHT, which brings on great improvement in hair growth.
During a scientific study conducted at the Kyungpook National University in Korea, scientists wanted to find out why it is so important with Vitamin C for hair growth.
They had found out that DHT activates the production of DKK-1 protein – commonly known as “the baldness protein” since it is present in huge quantities in the skin of balding people. The researchers observed a drop in the production of papilla cells with rising levels of DKK-1 protein. This deficiency of papilla cells, in turn lead to a weakening of the cells that synthesize the outermost sheath of hair strands and eventually they stopped functioning all together. This brought on increased hair loss and no hair growth.
However, when the scientists treated the papilla cells of balding men with Vitamin C, the DKK-1 protein production was completely stopped, and hair loss was reversed in the balding persons. Additionally, Vitamin C also increased the production of an important growth factor in the papilla cells, which further increased the hair growth and hair regeneration.
Helps in Creating Collagen
Vitamin C is actually essential for the production of collagen in the body – the amino acid that is responsible for skin rejuvenation, strengthening our bones, teeth and making our hair beautiful and strong.
Daily Dietary Intake and Food Sources
You can find Vitamin C in many everyday food items such as spinach, cauliflower, turnip greens, tomatoes, citrus fruits, blueberries, pineapple, strawberries, papaya, mangoes, and kiwi. It is confirmed by the US Dietary Guidelines that almost 5 to 7 servings of vegetables and fresh fruits on a daily basis, ensure sufficient dietary intake of Vitamin C.
Supplements With Vitamin C For Hair Growth
If Vitamin C deficiency can’t be fulfilled via dietary intake, then Vitamin C supplements are recommended. Depending on your purpose, there are specialized supplements that contain Vitamin C together with other important nutrients, for example Nutrafol for hair growth. The National Institute of Health suggests that the daily dose of Vitamin C is 90mg for men and 75mg for women.