have you noticed that in pregnancy hair usually looks prettier and grow faster? This has usually been associated with high estrogen levels. Recently, however, experts have investigated the effect of folic acid, a main component of prenatal vitamins, on hair.
Folate or vitamin B9 is an essential water-soluble vitamin, primarily responsible for healthy cell growth; also works with vitamin B12 and vitamin C to help the body break down, use, and create new proteins. It is found naturally in some foods.
Folic acid is the synthetic form of vitamin B9. It is found in supplements and added to fortified foods. Despite the different names, their function is the same.
Before and during pregnancy, doctors recommend taking folic acid to protect the neural development of the fetus. However, it has been observed that the consumption of folic acid or folate can have positive consequences on the hair, such as growth, volume, shine and the prevention of aging and thinning.
Do you want to know how to take advantage of it to have spectacular hair, even if you are not pregnant? Keep reading!
The benefits of folic acid for hair
When we get the recommended daily dose of 400 micrograms, folate or folic acid can have wonderful results on hair.
- Helps hair growth. By generating new cells, folic acid contributes to the keratinization of hair during its active growth.
- Prevents premature aging. Folic acid maintains normalized and stabilized levels of oxygen-rich red blood cell production. Without folic acid, these cells could overproduce it, which could lead to changes in hair pigmentation (premature gray hair).
- Prevents hair loss. When your body doesn’t get enough folic acid, it will prioritize delivering those critical nutrients to more vital organs, leaving your hair behind.
- Thickens hair. Folic acid deficiency may be related to hair thinning.
- Provides shine. Normalized levels of folic acid are associated with the correct distribution of nutrients throughout the body. Healthy hair will always be brighter and stronger.
- Collaborates with the creation of red blood cells. These are needed to transfer nutrients throughout the body, as well as to provide oxygen and minerals to rapidly dividing cells, such as hair.
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How is folic acid used in hair?
A healthy mane depends, to a large extent, on nutrition. The vitamin deficiency It is usually a common cause of thinning and hair loss. The best way to consume folate or vitamin B9 is through foods such as:
- Dark green leafy vegetables, such as spinach and Swiss chard.
- fruits like avocado and citrus.
- Nuts like peanuts and hazelnuts.
- Legumes such as lentils and chickpeas.
- Vegetables like broccoli and asparagus.
- Meats such as beef liver.
Also, if your doctor indicates it, you can take a supplement. Your daily dose of folic acid for hair can be found in B vitamins, prenatal vitamins, and other multivitamins.
Those with thinning hair or folic acid deficiency are the best candidates for taking folic acid. Consider that it is not for everyone, since ingesting too much or too little can cause undesirable effects. Unless you have a folate deficiency identified by your doctor, it is not necessary to increase your intake of folic acid. Taking more than the RDA of 400 micrograms will not make your hair grow faster.
What happens if I add folic acid to my shampoo?
There is no evidence that topical application of folic acid to hair has any effect.
What does folic acid do on the skin?
Folic acid helps maintain the skin’s barrier function, which improves moisture retention and relieves dryness. It is known to significantly reduce the signs of premature aging by maintaining adequate production of collagen. In combination with other important antioxidants, folate also fights acne as it works to remove toxins from the body.
In some cases, folic acid supplementation can reverse sun damage. It is an antioxidant, which means that it reduces levels of oxidative stress in the skin and neutralizes harmful free radicals that are present in the environment. This, in turn, enhances the development of new healthy cells.
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