A well-known immune-boosting mineral, zinc also plays a major role in skin and hair health. One review found that zinc deficiency was linked with alopecia, or hair loss.
“Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant to help protect cells in the body, including hair follicles,” . “Vitamin C also helps the body make collagen, which is linked to stronger hair.
As Tamburello noted, oxidative stress can contribute to hair loss. This means that eating foods high in antioxidants (substances that fight oxidation) is key when considering hair health and growth.
A 2015 supplement study of 120 women found that six months of a supplement containing both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids had lower hair loss and improved hair density.
Protein is the building block of every structure in the body, including hair, and therefore a vital nutrient for promoting hair growth.
B vitamins as a whole (there are several of them) and folate have been linked to hair loss prevention, biotin often receives the biggest spotlight when it comes to hair.
The more elusive vitamin D can also be important for healthy hair. A 2016 study found that decreased levels of vitamin D were associated with increased incidence of female pattern hair loss in a study group of 45 women.
Iron levels are associated with hair health as well, and a meta-analysis found that individuals with low iron levels were more likely to have hair loss.
Though not a nutrient many people think of, silicon (different from silicone!) is the third most readily found element on earth.