While Vitamin E is mostly known as a free radical-fighter, protecting healthy cells throughout the body, the nutrient is becoming a common ingredient in haircare products. Shampoos, conditioners, oils and more all feature Vitamin E as a key ingredient.
Vitamin E transforms frizzy, damaged hair into smooth, shiny, easy-to-manage locks. Whether you use a Vitamin E-rich shampoo, you adjust your diet to consume more Vitamin E-rich foods or you supplement, you should notice healthier, better-looking hair. Read on to learn more about how Vitamin E’s leading role in promoting the health of your hair.
Why is Vitamin E important for hair?
Antioxidants like Vitamin E fight free radicals caused by pollution, sun exposure, heat and other environmental factors. As your hair is exposed to these elements, it suffers damage like breakage, discoloration and roughness. Vitamin E increases circulation to the scalp, stimulating hair growth and restoring elasticity and shine. It forms a protective barrier on the skin that guards hair follicles—the overall result is shinier, healthier hair.
5 ways Vitamin E benefits hair health
Sick of dealing with dull, dry, hard-to-style hair? Vitamin E enhances hair health in several specific, noticeable ways. They include:
- Balances natural oils. As one of the most beneficial nutrients for the health of your skin, Vitamin E creates a protective barrier that covers the skin’s surface, locking in helpful moisture. While research is ongoing as to the role of topical Vitamin E in balancing scalp oil production, it’s thought that oils containing the nutrient can moisturize the scalp while moderating oil production.
- Prevents hair loss. Studies have shown that Vitamin E supplements enhanced hair growth for people with hair loss. As an antioxidant, the nutrient helps reduce oxidative stress in the scalp, one of the main markers for hair loss.
- Improve scalp circulation. Blood flow plays a role in the health of your hair. Vitamin E has been shown to increase blood flow in the scalp. Trials in mice showed improved hair growth and increased hair follicle size. Research is ongoing as to the way Vitamin E directly affects blood supply to the human scalp and how that, in turn, affects hair growth.
- Supports scalp and follicles. Vitamin E plays a role in your overall skin health, including the health of your scalp. Poor scalp health goes hand-in-hand with poor hair quality. Maintaining adequate Vitamin E levels supports your scalp and provides a strong base for your hair to grow, reducing oxidative stress and promoting a healthy lipid layer.
- Adds sleekness and shine. When damaged hair looks dull and frizzy, it’s usually because the protective fat layer covering the hair’s cuticle is removed. According to the Academy of Dermatology, hair that loses this protective layer loses shine and becomes much harder to manage. Vitamin E-rich oils can replenish this helpful layer, restore shine and reduce hair breakage.
Look for hair care products with Vitamin E
Looking to boost your Vitamin E levels? Follow a balanced diet and make sure you’re eating plenty of nuts (almonds, roasted peanuts), fatty fish (salmon, albacore), leafy greens (Swiss chard, turnip greens) and fruits like mangoes and avocados.
If you’re specifically looking to target your hair with Vitamin E, topical products like shampoos, conditioners, masks and oils are safe, effective and easy to apply. Vitamin E oil is particularly beneficial for your hair and can be massaged right onto the scalp. Choose a product that contains Vitamin E as a secondary ingredient and properly dilute the oil before use.
Other effective treatments include shampoos and conditioners—you can include these in your daily routine without a huge investment of time and money. Many of the most popular products on the market include Vitamin E as a main ingredient. Look for products that are formulated for regular use by people with dry and damaged hair.
Products that contain essential oils like lavender, tea tree or peppermint oil further protect and restore shine to your hair—although beware, some of these oils can do more harm than good if used too frequently or in high doses.
Supplementing Vitamin E works, too!
Vitamin E supplements are readily available. Not only can supplements promote the health of your hair, but your entire body can take advantage of Vitamin E’s beneficial antioxidant properties. From boosting your immune system to protecting your vision, Vitamin E helps support a variety of regular bodily processes. Talk to your doctor to determine whether supplementing is right for you, and always choose an all-natural product for optimal results.