You might have recently heard about vitamin B12 as the new secret for healthy and beautiful hair. Well, the goodness of vitamin B12 has always been around. Recently, beauty gurus have paid particular attention to the benefits of vitamin B12 for hair.
What is Vitamin B12?
You may remember hearing about vitamin B12 during your science classes in your school days. Vitamin B12 is one of the eight B vitamins and is also known as Cobalamin. The body utilises vitamin B12 to convert food into energy. Along with that, this vitamin helps modulate cell formation and mood cycles and influences the immune system. Deficiency of vitamin B12 can lead to tiredness and sluggishness.
Does B12 Deficiency Cause Hair Loss?
Now, is vitamin B12 good for hair health? This essential vitamin plays a vital role in formulating red blood cells or RBCs that, apart from other things, provide hair follicles with essential nutrients and oxygen that allow the growth of healthy and new hair. Along with that, B12 contributes to the formation of cells themselves. The deficiency of vitamin B12 may lead to decreased cell formation, reducing the amount of new hair produced.
Vitamin B12 Benefits for Hair
1. Vitamin B12 for Hair Loss Prevention
Vitamin B12 benefits for hair include reducing hair loss. The vitamin produces RBCs that carry oxygen to the hair follicles on the scalp, reducing hair loss. A study revealed that vitamin B12 deficiency, in particular, can be linked to hair loss and people deficient in vitamin B12 and biotin were more likely to suffer from hair loss problems.
2. It Encourages Hair Growth
Vitamin B12 regulates RBC levels and maintains a healthy count throughout the body. A lack of RBCs can lead to oxygen deprivation to hair follicles and leave the scalp undernourished and weak. This leads to brittle hair that can break and fall easily. Including more B12 in your diet can encourage hair growth.
3. Locks in Hair Moisture
If you experience dry and brittle hair, it's time to up your hair care game. The deficiency of vitamin B12 can cause dry and brittle hair that not only feels dry but also lacks lustre. B12 supplements for hair can help improve your hair's look and feel. Moreover, it can help lock moisture within your scalp, giving your hair shine and health.
4. Makes Hair Stronger
Iron is an essential mineral and plays a vital role in hair growth. It also plays an important role in maintaining healthy hair follicles. Lack of iron deficiency also slows down RBC production and contributes to hair loss. The correct dosage of vitamin B12 for hair will ensure adequate iron absorption.
5. Vitamin B12 Reverses Grey Hair
Vitamin B12 may also prevent premature hair greying; however, no studies prove the same. There may be some anecdotal evidence that vitamin B12 can prevent hair from greying in the first place.
Vitamin B12 Foods for Hair
1. Milk and Dairy Products
Milk and dairy products are essential sources of vitamin B12 foods for hair in vegetarians. One can easily combine slices of paneer, cheese, and plain yoghurt into their diet to include B12.
Nori is an edible seaweed commonly used in a Japanese dish called Sushi. It provides crunch and saltiness to a dish and is low on calories. It is available in the form of a dry and brittle sheet that can also be used to make sauces or powdered down to sprinkle over salads or sandwiches as a condiment.
Eggs are a great source of vitamin B12 foods for hair and can be combined with other dishes to give you a great dosage of the vitamin. The egg yolk is specifically rich in vitamin B12 and gets easily absorbed by the body.
Nooch, popularly known as vegan cheese, has a rich nutty flavour. It is available as a yellow powder and is sourced from beet molasses and sugarcane. Inactive yeast is a good source of vitamin B12 foods for hair and nutrition for vegetarians.
Shrimps are delicious crustaceans packed with an incredible amount of vitamin B12, along with being a great source of lean protein. You can add stir-fried shrimp to salads and soups or fry it up for some tasty crunch.
Herrings, salmon, sardines, tuna and trout are some fishes that are packed with vitamin B12 and serve as an excellent source of the essential vitamin. These fishes are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids responsible for glowing skin and healthy hair.
7. Fortified Cereals
Fortified cereals have been given the boost of various nutrients, such as vitamin B12. Hence, choose your morning cereal wisely. Make sure to read the label to know about the vitamins in your cereal while keeping the sugar level in mind.
Clams belong to the seafood family and are chewy shellfish enriched with several nutrients such as zinc, copper and iron. It also provides a good dose of protein and antioxidants to the body. A great way of consuming shellfish is by making chowder or broth.
Crabs are a source of low-fat protein that also serves as a great source of vitamin B12. It is also rich in folate, iron and antioxidants such as selenium.
10. Shiitake Mushrooms
Shiitake mushrooms are rich in B12 and are a rare plant-based source of vitamin B12. You can soak shiitake mushrooms in warm water before incorporating them into food items such as soup and stocks.
Vitamin B12 Risk & Consideration
Maintaining a healthy and well-balanced diet that can provide your body with a good amount of vitamins is essential. The B vitamin family is essential in maintaining healthy and lush hair. Vitamin B12 doesn't always contribute to hair loss, and a lack of vitamin Bs can prevent the operation of other vitamins.
Summing Up on Vitamin B12 for Hair
Vitamin B12 is an essential vitamin that influences hair growth and helps in reducing hair fall. It provides the scalp with oxygen and encourages the formation of hair follicles. Several sources of vitamin B12 include milk, Nora, shiitake mushrooms, eggs, shrimps etc.
Is Hair Loss a Symptom of B12 Deficiency?
Yes, Hair loss can be a symptom of vitamin B12 deficiency. However, there can be several reasons behind hair loss, and it is essential to consult a doctor if you suspect B12 deficiency.
How much B12 Should I take for Hair Growth?
You can take vitamin B12 supplements for hair if you suspect you aren't getting enough vitamins through your diet. Supplements are available in tablets and capsules and require no medical supervision. A more reliable vitamin B12 supplement is available in an injectable form that requires a doctor's prescription and is advised in people with severe B12 deficiency.
Is B12 the same as Biotin?
Biotin and B12 belong to the family of vitamin B but are different vitamins that influence different body functions. Biotin is another name for Vitamin B7, and B12 is commonly known as Cobalamin.
Hind M. Almohanna, March 2019; The Role of Vitamins and Minerals in Hair Loss: A Review - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6380979
B Vitamins - https://medlineplus.gov/bvitamins.html
Vitamin B12 in Health and Disease, March 2020 - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3257642/