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Hair grows almost everywhere on our skin, but some are so fine they are hardly visible. Only the palms and soles do not grow hair. Hair follicles found in the outer skin layers continually produce hair cells, which are pushed out through the skin surface. This process, which we perceive as hair growth, occurs at a rate of approximately six inches per year. In reality, hairs found outside the skin is made of strings of dead cells made of keratin (a protein).

At any given time, almost 90% of your scalp hair is growing. The life cycle of every hair follicle is influenced by many factors such as age, nutrition, disease, and other factors. There are three phases in a hair follicle's life cycle and these consist of an active phase of hair growth, which lasts from 2-6 years, a transitional phase of 2-3 weeks, and a resting phase of 2-3 months, which is followed by shedding. When new hair cells are produced, the hair growth resumes. However, hair growth slows down with aging.

Can vitamins make hair grow faster?

Vitamins, minerals and other nutrients in the diet help make the skin and the hair follicles healthy, resulting in stronger hairs that do not break or fall off easily. Although it is easy to observe skin changes with an improved diet, the effects on hair growth may be less obvious.

It may take months for you to observe the effects of diet changes in the hair. Nevertheless, with patience and perseverance, one can have better-looking, longer hair. You can start by eating a healthy diet that includes a variety of foods containing proteins, fatty acids, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that promote hair growth.

Since hair is made mostly of protein, eating a diet rich in protein is important for hair growth. The hair shafts and the scalp are kept hydrated by the omega-3 fatty acids found in the cell membranes, so having these fatty acids in the diet is also important for healthy-looking hair. Hair and scalp cells also need vitamins A, B, C, D, and E to support hair growth, increase hair strength, improve hydration, and enhance blood circulation around the hair follicles. Minerals such as zinc, copper, iron selenium, and sulfur are important to prevent hair loss, reduce hair breakage, and protect the hair from damage caused by sun exposure, pollution, and other elements.

Do you need vitamin supplements to grow hair faster?

Unless you have some serious nutritional deficiency that causes you to lose hair or to have dry flaky scalp among other health problems, all you need to do is to eat a balanced diet that includes a variety of fruits and vegetables, fish, nuts, legumes, low fat dairy, and other healthy foods.

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