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A huge mistake—and honestly, the word “huge” isn’t a big enough word—that a lot of us make when it comes to achieving a head of healthy hair is not taking our diet into account nearly as much as we should. We believe that so long as we purchase the products that commercials, our favorite beauty blogs or even our friends tell us to get that it should be enough.

The reality is since our hair follicles develop based on the nutrients that they receive from the blood that flows through our scalp—also, since our hair is made up of protein—it is extremely crucial that we feed our scalp and hair well. Matter of fact, if you’ve currently got a hair or scalp problem right now, there’s a great possibility that your diet has something to do with it.

That’s why it’s such a good idea to eat plenty of fresh fruits and veggies and to also drink lots of water on a daily basis. However, since health reports indicate that most people aren’t getting all of the nutrients that their need from their diet alone, if you know that you happen to fall into this category, this means that your hair isn’t either.

This is where certain supplements come in; ones that can compensate for what you might not (necessarily) be getting from the food that you eat. If you want to be more proactive about the health and well-being of your tresses, here are some of the supplements that are great for hair—curly hair included.

Black Seed Oil

If you put “black seed oil” and “health benefits” into your favorite search engine, don’t be surprised if you see articles that say something along the lines of it being able to cure everything, but death. That’s because it’s the kind of oil (one that’s also known as black cumin) that is uber-potent! Black seed oil is proven to have the ability to reduce symptoms that are related to rheumatoid arthritis, allergic rhinitis, diabetes, obesity, heartburn, male infertility and even memory loss.

If you’re looking for a youthful skin serum, black seed oil will not disappoint. And, thanks to the nutrients in it including copper, iron, phosphorus, linoleic acid and oleic acid, it’s ideal for hair health as well. That’s why black seed oil is directly attributed to reducing scalp inflammation, strengthening hair follicles and triggering hair regrowth too.

Zinc

Zinc is a trace element that our immune system needs in order to fight infections, prevent the growth of cancerous cells, strengthen the brain (as well as improve memory and concentration), heal wounds, boost fertility, reduce breakouts and treat colds and pneumonia.

Your hair needs zinc because when there is a lack of it in your system, it can lead to the deterioration of the protein that builds up your hair follicles in the first place. Something else that zinc does is help to keep your hormones balanced; a good thing to know if you’re currently going through perimenopause or menopause (both of which can result in hair loss). Also, you’ve noticed some thin spots, zinc can do wonders that as well.

B-Complex

If lately, you’ve been noticing health-related issues like fatigue, skin infections, nausea, digestion problems or nerve tingling, it very well could be that you’ve got a B-complex deficiency. Foods that can get you back to feeling like your normal self again are whole grains, eggs, dark leafy greens, sunflower seeds and citrus food.

If you opt to take a B-complex supplement as well, it will help to reduce stress and anxiety while giving you an energy boost and putting you in a better mood. For the record, it’s especially a good idea to take B-complex if you’re a vegetarian or vegan since a lot of vitamin B is found in meat and dairy products and you’ll need something to supplement that in your own diet.

If you’re ready to get your locks some length retention, this is another reason to take B-complex. It’s basically another word for biotin and it’s what rebuilds your hair shingles while strengthening your hair strands in the process. Also, since hair loss is a result of being B deficient, that’s another reason to get (and keep) some of in your system.

Vitamin D

Guess how many people are Vitamin D deficient? A whopping one billion! This vitamin is extremely important because it helps to keep our teeth and bones strong, reduces the risk of the flu and diabetes and can even help to prevent cancer.

Interestingly enough, one of the signs of not having enough Vitamin D in your system is if you’re experiencing hair loss. If you are, taking a supplement can help to regrow it. Vitamin D is also able to build the keratinocytes that start off your hair follicles’ development process. Strong hair follicles, strong hair.

If you know you don’t get as much Vitamin D as you should, again, taking a supplement is recommended. However, you can get an extra dose of Vitamin D by spending time in the sun, snacking on some grilled salmon and/or drinking a glass of orange juice too.

Sulfur

Sulfur smells a bit like rotten eggs, there’s no way around that. But without this mineral in our system, our body won’t function as top-notch as it should. Sulfur does everything from fight cancer and slow down aging to heal skin ailments (like scar tissue, acne and stretch marks) and keep your heart strong.

What makes it so great for your hair is the properties in sulfur help unhealthy cells on your scalp to come back to life again so that your hair is able to produce keratin and color. Just make sure to go with an organic form of it; you’ll get the most benefits out of sulfur if you do.

Collagen Powder

Collagen is a protein that is a must-have for our systems. That’s because it’s a big part of what makes up the connective tissues in our bodies. Collagen is responsible for keeping our body’s cartilage strong, producing muscle mass, preventing bone loss, strengthening nails and keeping skin super youthful looking.

Since collagen is a protein, it should be no shocker why it’s on the list. It’s able to build your hair, prevent hair follicle damage, stop hair thinning and slow down premature greying too. So yeah, collagen powder is a must-have for your supplement collection, no doubt.

Pantothenic Acid

Pantothenic Acid (also known as Vitamin B5) is found in foods like salmon, yogurt, cauliflower, sun-dried tomatoes and mushrooms. Thanks to it, we’re able to build stamina, keep our heart healthy, strengthen our immune system, increase our metabolism, lower cholesterol levels, reduce stress and even regulate hormone levels. If you struggle with acne, pantothenic acid has a way of relieving that too.

Out of all the supplements on this list, this very well could’ve topped it because hair-wise, pantothenic acid will strengthen your hair’s roots, regenerate hair follicle cells, improve your hair’s moisture retention, protect your hair from heat damage, reduce split ends, add sheen and make your hair more flexible. Pretty powerful, right?

Vitamin E

Although there are a billion-and-one things that Vitamin E is great for (protecting the heart, preventing blood clots and improving cognitive function, etc.), its beauty benefits top the list, for sure. For instance, scars are caused by damaged skin tissues and cells; Vitamin E has a remarkable way of healing and diminishing their appearance. It’s also the kind of vitamin that deeply moisturizes hands and nails. Or, if there are fine lines and wrinkles that you’d like to soften, the antioxidants in Vitamin E will produce collagen so that they are less apparent.

Your hair will love Vitamin E too. If you’ve got premature grey strands, it will protect your hair from free radicals so that more will not develop. If your rub the oil on your scalp, it also has the ability to increase blood circulation so that your hair follicles are able to receive the nutrients they need. And, if your take the supplement regularly, Vitamin E will repair damaged hair follicles over time and strengthen your hair too. Definitely the kind of vitamin that needs to be a part of your daily health (and hair) regimen, wouldn’t you say?

 What are some of your favorite supplements? Let us know in the comments!