Hair is considered an important part of the body just like the heart or other organs. The hair, like other parts of the body, is a direct visual representation of a person's health. If a person is healthy, hair appears to be shiny and strong. If a person is dehydrated or malnourished, hair will often look dry or brittle. Taking a holistic approach to health can help hair to remain healthy however consuming certain vitamins can improve hair's texture and shine.
Consume between 8 and 18 mg of iron each day. The University of Maryland Medical Center indicates that low concentrations of iron directly contribute to hair loss and excessive hair shedding.
Consume foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids which helps hair to maintain its moisture and shine. Omega-3 fatty acids contain fish oil as well as concentrations of vitamin B-12 and iron. Foods such as salmon are good options to incorporate into a regular diet. For those who are vegetarian, Cosmopolitan.com recommends incorporating 1 to 2 tbsp. of ground flax seeds into their diet as a substitute for salmon.
Consume between 700 and 900 mcg of vitamin A and 65 to 90 mg of vitamin C to support the development of sebum. According to Cosmopolitan.com, sebum is the body's natural conditioner that provides moisture to the hair follicles. These vitamins can be taken in pill form or by consuming foods that contain these elements. Dark green vegetables are good sources of vitamin A and C.
Incorporate regular consumption of protein into the diet. Protein provides the body with essential nutrients it needs to develop energy as well as providing shine to dull hair. Lean cuts of poultry and fish are often healthy sources of protein. However, vegetarians can obtain related concentrations of protein by consuming nuts or beans.
Eat a balanced diet that includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and healthy carbohydrates. These food items all contain a variety of vitamins and minerals that support good overall health including hair and skin.