Disclaimer: if you live in a modernized country, the food that you eat will give you more than enough of the vitamins you need, because you have access to a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, plus tons of food products are fortified with vitamins. So rarely is someone deficient in a whole bunch of vitamins all at once.
- Biotin (Vitamin H – antiquated; Vitamin B-7) – a cofactor that works with your enzymes to help transport carbon dioxide – which is a waste product in your body. Carbon dioxide is created in fatty acid production, amino acid metabolism, and gluconeogenesis (making glucose out of things that aren’t glucose). Peanuts is a huge source of biotin. Your natural gut flora make biotin for you!! So apparently good for your whole body, not just your hair.
- Iron – responsible for helping your red blood cells to carry around oxygen. This is most likely the only nutrient in this list that someone would need to truly supplement, mainly because iron deficiency can be caused by several things, some of which are genetic. People with prolonged anemia have dull hair, skin, and nails. Again, good for your whole body.
- Vitamin C – responsible for helping collagen production. Most directly related to hair, skin, and nails. Collagen allows cells to be stretchy and elastic and more flexible against abuse. It also helps your digestive tract absorb iron (callback!).
- Vitamin E – is an oil-based vitamin and an antioxidant. Lots of health fads scream at you about free radicals. Free radicals are molecules that are waste products from different processes that end up with a non-neutral charge (so either positive charge or negative charge). So if you remember chemistry, they prefer to be neutral, so free radicals want to steal charges to neutralize, and can sometimes steal it from your DNA and lead to major cell damage. An antioxidant is a molecule that finds an oxidized free radical and donates a charge so that it’s neutral again (and the antioxidant is able to cope better with losing an electron or two without becoming radical itself). Vitamin E focuses on the free radicals from fatty acid processes. Again, good for your whole body, not just your hair.
- Omega-3-Fatty acid – an oil, a fatty acid chain that goes into the production of your skin’s natural moisture. Your skin needs its natural oil to trap up dirt and bacteria, as well as keeping the moisture from deeper inside your body from evaporating out. So each hair follicle has an oil gland with it to keep the hair moisturized. The new information about the importance of your hair’s natural oil has encouraged the “no ‘poo” movement. This is more directly related to your hair, but a lot of other places in your body benefit from O3FA’s.