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What Is Folic Acid? How It Promotes Hair Growth


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Folic acid is one of the most underrated nutrients in the world of hair care. While it's commonly known for its role in genetic development in pregnant women, folic acid is also essential for healthy hair growth. This B vitamin is a key factor in the production of red blood cells, which basically carry nutrients and oxygen to the scalp and hair follicles.

With its ability to promote healthy cell growth, folic acid helps to increase hair volume, reduce hair loss, and improve the overall health of the scalp. Not only does it support healthy hair growth, but it also helps to protect against environmental damage.

Whether you're looking to strengthen your existing locks or achieve longer and thicker hair, incorporating folic acid into your hair care routine is a great way to get the luscious locks you desire.

Benefits Of Folic Acid For Hair Growth

Folic acid can promote hair growth in various different ways. 

Folic acid, widely known as vitamin B9, is a basic yet essential nutrient that plays a key role in hair growth and overall health. Some of the benefits of folic acid for hair growth include the following:

  • Promotes Cell Growth: Folic acid is essential for the production of new cells, including those that make up the hair and scalp. It helps to promote the growth of new hair follicles, which can lead to thicker and healthier hair.
  • Improves Blood Circulation: Folic acid helps improve blood circulation to the scalp, providing the hair follicles with the necessary nutrients and oxygen for healthy growth.
  • Reduces Hair Loss: Folic acid can help to reduce hair loss by improving the health of the hair follicles. It can help to strengthen the hair shaft and prevent breakage, leading to less hair loss.
  • Helps To Prevent Grey Hair: Folic acid is essential for the production of melanin, the pigment that gives hair its color. A shortage of folic acid can lead to premature greying of the hair.
  • Improves Overall Hair Health: Folic acid can help improve the hair's overall health by preventing dryness, breakage, and split ends. It can also give hair a shiny, healthy appearance.
  • Environmental Damage: Folic acid can protect against external damage that can cause hair to become brittle and fragile. It can protect the hair against harmful sun, dust, and even pollution.

How Folic Acid Promotes Hair Growth

Folic acid is a vital nutrient for the health of all parts of the body, including the scalp and hair. As mentioned above, many people are aware of the significance of folic acid for pregnant women, but there are many other benefits of folic acid for hair growth. For starters, it helps to increase hair volume, likely by encouraging the development of new cells.

Folic acid helps in the production of red blood cells, which transport oxygen and nutrients to the hair follicles. Without enough oxygen and nutrients, hair growth can be hindered.

It also helps reduce hair loss caused due to various factors including stress, genetics, hormone imbalance, and certain medications. Additionally, folic acid can improve the overall health of the scalp, which may lead to healthier and thicker hair. Folic acid plays a role in maintaining the health of the scalp and hair. Low levels of folic acid can lead to hair loss or thinning hair.

Furthermore, folic acid can protect against environmental damage that can cause hair to become brittle and fragile. Folic acid is essential for producing melanin, which helps maintain hair's natural color. Regular intake of Folic acid can help fight grey hair and keep your confidence intact.

Studies On The Effectiveness Of Folic Acid For Hair Growth

Studies have demonstrated that folic acid positively affects hair growth, quality, and thickness. One study found that consuming 800 micrograms of folic acid daily over a period of three months resulted in an increase in hair volume.

Another study found that women who took a daily dose of 800 micrograms of folic acid reported an average increase in hair growth of 7.4%.

Additionally, there is evidence that folic acid can reduce hair loss caused by stress. A study on young women who consumed 800 micrograms of folic acid daily for three months found that they experienced less hair loss during stressful periods of their lives.

Foods Rich In Folic Acid

Folic acid, widely known as vitamin B9, is a water-soluble vitamin essential for the growth and development of cells in the body, including hair cells. The best way to get the maximum out of your folic acid is to get it from natural sources. Some of the beneficial foods to eat if you want to increase your folic acid intake include: 

  • Leafy Greens: Spinach, broccoli, kale, and lettuce are all high in folic acid.
  • Legumes: Beans, peas, and lentils are all good sources of folic acid.
  • Citrus Fruits: Oranges, lemons, and grapefruits are all high in folic acid.
  • Berries: Strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries are all high in folic acid.
  • Whole Grains: Whole wheat bread, pasta, and cereal are all good sources of folic acid.
  • Nuts And Seeds: Walnuts, almonds, and sunflower seeds are all high in folic acid.
  • Eggs: Eggs are a good source of folic acid.

It is important to note that the absorption of folic acid from food sources is more effective than supplements. Eating a balanced diet that includes a mix of vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein sources is a great way to increase your folic acid intake.

Folic Acid Supplements

Folic acid supplements are a form of vitamin B9 that can be taken in addition to getting folic acid from food sources. These supplements are available in several forms, such as tablets, capsules, and liquids.

It is essential to note that too much folic acid can negatively affect your health. Therefore, it is crucial to visit a healthcare professional and consult before consuming any supplements to analyze the appropriate dosage for your individual needs and to rule out any potential hindrance with other medications you may be taking.

It is also important to note that folic acid supplements should not be used as a substitute for a healthy diet. Eating a balanced diet that includes a balance of fruits, lean protein sources, vegetables, and whole grains is the best way to ensure that you're getting enough folic acid.

If you are concerned about not getting enough folic acid from your average diet, you can consider a folic acid supplement. The recommended daily dosage for folic acid as per your nutritional needs can be found by consulting a health professional. Also, remember that folic acid supplements come in the form of folic acid, folic acid with iron, vitamin B12, and vitamin B6.

While all three are beneficial to your overall health, folic acid is the one that is essential for hair growth. Remember that you should always consult a doctor before taking any supplements, even if they are considered safe and beneficial for your health.

How To Incorporate Folic Acid Into Your Hair Care Routine

Here are some ways to incorporate folic acid into your hair care routine:

  • Take Folic Acid Supplements: As mentioned earlier, consulting a healthcare professional to assess the appropriate dosage for your needs is paramount.
  • Eat A Balanced Diet Rich In Folic Acid: Eating a balanced diet that includes a mix of essential vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean protein sources is a great way to ensure that you're getting enough folic acid.
  • Use Hair Care Products With Folic Acid: Some fundamental hair care products, such as shampoos, conditioners, and hair oils, contain folic acid as an ingredient.
  • Use Folic Acid-Rich Oils: Some oils, such as castor oil, coconut oil, and olive oil, contain folic acid. Massaging these oils into your scalp can help nourish your hair and promote growth.

It is important to note that while incorporating folic acid into your hair care routine may have benefits, it is not a substitute for addressing underlying issues affecting hair growth. 

It is also necessary to maintain a healthy lifestyle, which includes eating a balanced diet, managing stress, and getting enough sleep, as well as consulting with a healthcare professional if you have any concerns about your hair growth.

Tips For Getting The Most Out Of Folic Acid

Below are some tips & tricks for getting the most out of folic acid:

  • Speak with a professional: Before consuming any supplements, it's advised to consult with a healthcare professional to evaluate the appropriate dosage for your individual needs and to rule out any potential interactions with other medications you may be taking. 
  • Take folic acid with food: Folic acid is a water-soluble vitamin that can be easily excreted from the body. Taking it with a meal can help increase its absorption.
  • Pair folic acid with other vitamins: Folic acid works best when paired with other B vitamins such as Vitamin B12 and B6. These vitamins work together to help the body convert food into energy and promote healthy cell growth.
  • Avoid taking too much folic acid: Folic acid is safe when taken in recommended amounts, but taking too much can have adverse effects on your health, such as masking a vitamin B12 deficiency.
  • Maintain a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle: The best way to ensure that you are getting enough folic acid is to eat a balanced diet that includes a mix of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein sources.  Additionally, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, which includes managing stress, and  getting enough sleep, is vital for overall health and hair growth.
  • Be consistent: Consistency is the key when it comes to taking supplements. Taking folic acid religiously daily will help ensure you're getting an adequate amount.

Effects Of Folic Acid

Folic acid is generally considered safe when taken in recommended amounts. However, taking too much folic acid can negatively affect your health. Below are some of the plausible side effects of taking too much folic acid:

  • Diarrhoea: Taking too much folic acid can cause diarrhoea, stomach cramps, and other digestive problems.
  • Loss Of Appetite: High doses of folic acid can cause a loss of appetite, nausea, and vomiting. It can even lead to headaches. 
  • Masking Vitamin B12 Deficiency: High doses of folic acid can mask the symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency, which can lead to nerve damage.
  • Interfere With Certain Medications: Folic acid can interact with certain medications, such as methotrexate, a drug used to treat specific types of cancer and rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Unwanted Hair Growth: Excessive intake of folic acid may lead to unwanted hair growth in some people.

It is important to note that these side effects are more likely to occur if you take too much folic acid. If you experience any of the above-mentioned side effects, you must lower your dosage of folic acid until the symptoms subside. Furthermore, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you should speak to your doctor before taking folic acid supplements.

Takeaway

In conclusion, it is important to note that hair growth is a complex process and may be affected by many factors, such as genetics, hormones, nutrition, and overall health. Therefore, it is paramount to consult a healthcare professional before taking any supplement and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. A balanced and healthy diet is one of the best ways to ensure that you're getting enough folic acid.

If you are concerned about your hair growth, consider taking a hair test at Traya Health, we are the experts in hair care and can give you personalized solutions based on your individual needs. We can analyze your hair and scalp and provide you with a customized hair care plan to promote healthy hair growth.

FAQs

Q1 - Which Is Better For Hair Growth Biotin Or Folic Acid?

Ans - Both biotin and folic acid are important nutrients for hair growth, but they have different functions in the body. Biotin, also known as vitamin H, is a vitamin B that helps the body convert food into energy. It also plays a role in skin, nails, and hair health. Folic acid, or vitamin B9, is vital for cell growth and division and helps form red blood cells. An imbalance in either of these vitamins can lead to hair loss. It is best to consult a doctor or a dietician to determine the best course of action for your specific needs.

Q2 - Is Folic Acid Good For Hair Growth?

    Ans - Folic acid is necessary for cell growth and division and helps form red blood cells. A deficiency in folic acid can lead to hair loss and other symptoms such as anaemia and fatigue. Some studies have also suggested that folic acid may help to improve hair growth in people with hair loss. However, extensive research is needed to understand the relationship between folic acid and hair growth fully. It is always best to consult a professional or a dietician to determine the best action for your specific needs.

    Q3 - How Much Folic Acid Should I Take For Hair Growth?

      Ans - The advised daily amount of folic acid for adults is 400 micrograms. However, it's important to note that taking too much folic acid can have adverse effects on your health. Before taking any supplements, it's best to consult a healthcare professional to evaluate the appropriate dosage for your individual needs and rule out any potential interactions with other medications you may be taking. Hair growth can also be influenced by other factors such as nutrition, stress, hormones, and genetics, so it's important to address any underlying issues affecting hair growth.

      Q4 - How Long Does Folic Acid Take To Work For Hair?

      Ans - The time it takes for folic acid to work for hair growth can vary depending on the individual. It can take several months to see the effects of folic acid on hair growth as hair growth happens gradually. Typically, hair grows about half an inch (1.25 cm) per month or about 6 inches (15 cm) per year. However, it is essential to note that hair growth is a complex process and can be influenced by many factors, such as genetics, hormones, nutrition, and overall health.

      It's important to remember that hair growth is a gradual process, and it can take a few months to see the benefits of any supplement, including folic acid. Additionally, it's critical to address any underlying issues that may be affecting hair growth and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Consult with a healthcare professional to assess the appropriate dosage for your individual needs and to rule out any potential interactions with other medications you may be taking.

      Reference 

      https://www.womenshealth.gov/a-z-topics/folic-acid

      https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Folate-HealthProfessional/#h6

      https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/folicacid/about.html

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