Many vitamins and minerals are needed by the body, some more than others. Some are especially useful for a particular part and should form a part of your diet. For the health of your hair the minerals and vitamins most essential are vitamin C, biotin and copper. Hair is made up of mainly protein and some quantities of oils and fats. These are obtained from your diet. So the condition of your hair and health gives away the quality of your diet.
Many youngsters have premature greying of hair. This is due to a deficiency of copper. Copper is responsible for melanin formation which is a color pigment and gives color to your hair. If less melanin is produced, then hair appears dull and devoid of color. The appearance of the hair can thus be improved by taking sufficient copper in your diet. Foods rich in copper are almonds, cashew nuts, oysters and lentils.
An important vitamin for healthy hair is ascorbic acid or vitamin C. hair is produced in hair follicles and it grows there. Vitamin C is necessary both for healthy hair follicles and the hair shaft.
As mentioned earlier hair is made up of protein it is called collagen and is found in hair and skin. It gives strength to the tissues. Vitamin C is needed for the production of collagen by the body. A deficiency of vitamin C slows down collagen formation and it leads to loss of hair. This makes the hair thin and weak which brakes easily. Foods rich in vitamin C can give you healthy and strong hair. They are spinach, amla and citrus fruit.
You may eat a nutritious food but your body can benefit from it only if it is broken down and the nutrients released in a form which can be absorbed by the body. This is the function of biotin. It is also called vitamin H although it belongs to the vitamin B family of vitamins. It is necessary both for the skin which forms the scalp and the hair. Deficiency can lead to a scaly scalp which cannot maintain hair and they fall out. Foods rich in this vitamin are nuts and eggs.
Although vitamins and minerals are the life force of your body, they must not be taken indiscriminately. They should be taken only in recommended doses or they may do more harm than good. Excess doses of some vitamins are excreted in urine but those which are not may cause toxicity and side effects like nausea and kidney stones. Before taking any supplements, consult a doctor to determine what the appropriate dose for your age, need and condition is.