Whether you’re a man or a woman, aged 18 or 88, have corkscrew curls or strands straight as a stick, we all want the healthiest, best-looking hair possible. And for those with aging and thinning hair, the proper balance of vitamins in our bodies and in the products we use is essential for the condition of our hair. Two of the essentials for that fuller, thicker, healthier hair? A balanced ratio of the powerhouse B-vitamins known as Biotin and Niacin.
Biotin – is a water-soluble B-vitamin that intensifies new hair growth via follicle nourishment. Biotin is needed for cell growth and can play a vital part in helping to grow hair as it reacts with cellular enzymes. It’s these cell enzymes that play an important role in producing amino acids, the building blocks of all proteins for the hair including keratin, the main structural constituent of hair. Biotin also encourages elasticity within the hair’s cortex, while thickening the hair cuticles to eliminate breakage and other damage associated with thinning hair and hair loss.
Niacin – also known as vitamin B3, plays a crucial role in energy metabolism in the scalp and hair cells. Niacin is necessary to help facilitate new hair growth as it repairs existing hair damage through the dilation of the blood vessels. With Niacin the capillaries are widened which allows for better circulation of the blood to nourish the scalp and hair follicles, which in turn stimulates hair growth. It also minimizes the accumulation of cholesterol; when cholesterol builds up on the scalp, it is converted into an enzyme linked to a condition know as alopecia areata, the main culprit of hair loss in both men and women.
A healthy, well-balanced diet does wonders for your hair and foods that are rich in biotin and niacin can help enhance the hair immensely. The bad news first: by far the best sources of biotin in the human diet are from organ meats such as kidney and liver, so for those of you who love liver and onions, congratulations, and for those who turn up their noses at the mere thought, let’s move on. Other foods rich in biotin include bananas, carrots, eggs, fish, grapefruit, oats, onions, milk, nuts, spinach and yogurt. Niacin-rich foods include avocados, chicken, lamb, mushrooms, peas, pork and tuna.
Biotin and niacin supplements are also readily available in drugstores, grocery and health food stores. Our Celebrity Stylist Jordan Blackmore is a big proponent and recommends them as excellent choices if you’re not receiving optimum nutritional benefits from the foods you eat (and if you are a healthy eater, they’ll only enhance the results). Typically these supplements result in healthier hair follicles which translates into stronger hair with less breakage. Of course we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention that both biotin and niacin are key ingredients in Renessence Follicle Forever Strengthening Shampoo and Follicle Forever Thickening Conditioner 😉