Thicker hair with an ordinary vitamin?

Dr. Janet Zand

October 2, 2020

What if an ordinary vitamin could:

• Make your hair grow by rejuvenating your scalp...
• Prevent hair loss by protecting your hair follicles...
• Make your hair stronger and shinier by restoring its protective barrier...

Well, the good news is that an ordinary vitamin can do all of those things!

So what is this vitamin?

Vitamin E. Yes, vitamin E, the well-known vitamin that’s part of a balanced diet. But what most people don’t know is that vitamin E can also give you fuller, shinier hair ... especially if you use it topically.

Here’s how:

#1 Stimulates new hair growth

If you want to grow more hair, you have to start with your scalp. And vitamin E oil is great for promoting a healthy scalp.

How? Well, one study found that vitamin E oil can stimulate capillaries in the scalp, which then increases blood flow to the area. That increased blood flow encouraged hair growth, resulting in thicker, fuller hair.

Vitamin E oil is also great for healing itchy, flaking scalps. So overall it gives your hair a good base to grow from.

#2 Stops hair loss by fighting free radicals

If you want thicker hair, then growing new hair is only half of the equation. In addition to getting new hair to grow, you also need to hang onto the hair you have right now! And vitamin E oil can help there, too. 

How? Well, one of the causes of hair loss is oxidative stress and free radicals -- two destructive processes that damage your hair follicle cells. And when your hair follicle cells are damaged, the hairs fall out.

But you can protect your hair follicle cells with antioxidants. And as it turns out, vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant!

So vitamin E oil is a great way to protect the hair follicles you have and stop hair loss in its tracks.

#3 Repairs the hydro-lipid layer for stronger, shinier hair

Healthy hair has a protective barrier called the hydro-lipid layer. The hydro-lipid layer coats each strand of hair, providing hydration and protection.

But when the hydro-lipid layer is damaged — due to harsh products, chemical treatments, or high heat — your hair becomes porous, rough, dull, and vulnerable to breakage.

However, vitamin E oil can help replace that protective layer and bring back shine. And oil in general can help reduce breakage and protect your hair from future damage.

How to use it

Vitamin E oil works for all hair types, including natural and color-treated hair. However, everyone should do a patch test before applying vitamin E oil all over the scalp. And anyone with thyroid issues or who are undergoing chemotherapy should consult their doctors first.

Once you’re ready to try it out, here are a few ways to add vitamin E oil to your regular hair routine:

• As a pre-shampoo treatment. Mix 3-5 drops of vitamin E oil with carrier oil such as olive oil or coconut oil. Then massage it into your scalp. Finally, shampoo and condition as usual. (If you have very fine hair, you may prefer to skip the conditioner.)

• As a leave-in treatment for very damaged, thinning hair. Make the same mixture as above (3-5 drops of vitamin E mixed with a carrier oil). After your shower, massage the oil directly into your scalp, then leave it as a leave-in treatment. If your hair looks greasy, you can put it in a slicked-back ponytail or bun until your next shampoo.

• As a booster in your regular shampoo or conditioner. If your hair is already healthy, you can still use vitamin E to boost shine and hydration. Simply add a few drops to your shampoo or conditioner for shinier, stronger hair. Repeat this every other wash.

Finally, while topical vitamin E has a lot of benefits for hair growth, don’t forget about vitamin E in your diet! Good sources include nuts, seeds, and leafy greens.

In addition to vitamin E, make sure you’re also getting other important nutrients for healthy hair. These include zinc, vitamin D, and B vitamins (especially biotin).

The best way to get these nutrients is by eating a balanced, real food-based diet. However, if you struggle to get enough in your diet, supplements may be helpful.

So try these tips out, and let me know how it goes!

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