What causes damage to your hair, skin and nails?
What we choose to put inside ourselves is vitally important when it comes to healthy hair, skin and nails. If we don’t nourish our bodies with the right type of diet including all the necessary vitamins in sufficient amounts, then your hair and nails will start to get brittle, weak and dry and your hair might even begin to fall out. Other poor lifestyle choices will also have an effect especially smoking and drinking too much alcohol. The simple act of aging is of course another unavoidable factor.
Hair, skin and nails vitamins
Swathes of women around the world are desperate to feel more beautiful. They long for shiny flowing hair, beautiful skin and strong, healthy nails. Of course, it’s not only women that want to look good, men of a certain age will start thinning on top as well as losing their youthful hair color. The growing popularity of hair skin and nails vitamins would indicate that they are an effective beauty treatment, but how well do they work in reality?
There is a huge variety of vitamins claiming to work wonders on for your hair, skin and nails. The sales patter for these vitamins make for compelling reading and certainly make some lofty claims.
They purport to help you find the path to beauty in the following ways….
- Boosting your collagen and keratin production
- Enhancing your skin’s elasticity
- Promoting healthy cell growth
- Protecting the body against harmful free radical damage
- Promoting healthy and faster than normal hair growth
Hair, skin and nails vitamins contain a number of vitamins including vitamin A, vitamin C and a variety of B vitamins but the main ingredient is biotin. Biotin is also used as an ingredient in a variety of shampoos, conditioners and other scalp products. Biotin is sometimes referred to as vitamin H but is actually one of the B vitamins.
Biotin is an essential vitamin for your health, it encourages your body to metabolize amino and fatty acids in order for them to be used for energy. Biotin occurs naturally and is found in a variety of everyday foods. It should be possible to get your necessary biotin intake from your diet but in a world where many people are increasingly eating more processed foods it might be necessary to supplement your diet with vitamins.
Another issue is that many people don’t tolerate biotin from food very well. Research has found that people with an A blood type struggle to absorb biotin from food so for those people a supplement may well be necessary.
Food that contains biotin:
- Liver and kidney
- Spinach, cabbage and beets
- Halibut and salmon
- Wheat products
The Benefits of Biotin
If your hair is damaged and your nails are weak, biotin supplements might well be effective. According to research done by the North Carolina State University, extra biotin will help improve and strengthen damaged hair and brittle nails by improving the body’s ability to absorb protein more efficiently. In addition, hair loss and damage as well as brittle nails and dry skin are some of the early indicators of a biotin deficiency. While biotin deficiency is very rare, it is not too much of a logical leap to see why biotin is considered to be an effective remedy for hair, nail and skin problems.
Biotin in combination with zinc is often prescribed in the treatment of alopecia; the symptom of which is partial or total hair loss.
Another study revealed that men who took a 5mg biotin supplement daily significantly increased their hair density. Not only did they grow more hair but as a quite wonderful bonus for many of the participants, they also regained their original hair color. I certainly would not mind some of those unexpected side effects.
More research is necessary before we can be certain that biotin supplements will help you grow beautiful hair and strong nails and medical opinion is divided. A well-known dermatologist and nail care expert Dr. Richard Scher is uncertain how effective biotin is but he suggests that at the very least biotin improves keratin infrastructure and your hair skin and nails are made up of keratin.
Another dermatologist, Dr. Susan Stuart believes that while biotin deficiency is a rare condition, there are many causes of damaged nails and hair loss. She believes that taking a biotin supplement might effectively halt the damage and might even go on to reverse it.
Hair, skin and nails vitamins also contain many of the other B vitamins. Vitamin B is vital for many of our bodily processes and a sufficient amount of vitamin B is crucial to keep your hair and skin healthy. It helps speed up cell metabolism and encourages healthy skin. Vitamin B also works as antioxidant for the skin and protects against acne and eczema. What’s more, it helps fight against the effects of ageing and the damaging effects of smoking and alcohol.
Vitamin B is also necessary to retain strong and healthy nails. Weak brittle nails are often caused by a deficiency of vitamin B.
Most hair, skin and nails vitamins contain a number of the B vitamins such as thiamin, riboflavin, biotin and niacin.
Your diet should include an adequate supply of vitamin B which is found in a number of common foods.
Food rich in Vitamin B is:
- Fish such as trout, salmon and cod
- Poultry, lamb and beef
- Eggs and dairy products like yoghurt and cheese
- Green, leafy vegetables
- Some fruit such as avocado, pomegranates, watermelons and many types of berry
Side effects of hair, skin and nails vitamins.
Biotin is considered to be non-toxic and is water-soluble but you should consult a doctor before taking vitamins with a high biotin dosage. The recommended daily dose of biotin for adults is 30mcg which you should easily be able to get from your diet. Most hair, skin and nail caplets contain 300mcg of biotin and while this is well above the RDA, up to 600mcg a day is believed to be a safe dose.
Blurred vision is a known side effect of two of the ingredients in hair, skin and nails vitamins. Drugs.com, the supplement information site lists blurred vision as one of the side effects of vitamin E and vitamin A overconsumption.
Vitamin blends might cause an upset stomach or nausea. Nausea is listed as a possible side effect of vitamin lifeclinic.com while overconsumption of vitamin B6 could cause stomach upset as well as a loss of appetite.
Are they really worth it?
So is it really worth spending your hard earned cash on hair, skin and nails vitamins? Opinion is still largely divided and far more research is necessary before we can make a conclusion either way.
My research for this article took me to a number of review sites where some people swore by their positive effects and just as many claiming they had no effect whatsoever.
If you can get all the biotin you need from your diet then why would you need to spend money on supplementary vitamins? The bottom line is that you can nourish your hair, nails and skin naturally by following a diet rich in vitamins E, A, B and C as well as making sure that you don’t indulge in too many unhealthy habits.