Nutrition is very important for the body. Even though hair and fingernails are just dead cells, they are an important indicator of the general well being of a person. Nutrition for the body is derived from the food we take. When the body does not receive the essential nutrients, or if it loses the ability to absorb nutrients from the food it receives, it causes the body to use up internal resources. This causes weakness in the body parts and is reflected in the skin, hair and fingernails. In order to have healthy hair and finger nails, it is very important to consume food that contains some major vitamins like vitamin A (produces healthy sebum in the scalp), vitamin C (antioxidant), vitamin E (improves scalp circulation), Biotin (produces Keratin), Inositol (keeps hair follicles healthy), Niacin (promotes scalp circulation) and pantothenic acid, Para-Aminobenzoic Acid, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12 that prevent graying and hair loss. Of these, vitamin E is found to have a significant influence on the health of not just hair but also skin and fingernails.
Most vitamins are derived from food. The most common food-based sources of vitamins are: citrus fruits, green vegetables, fruits like pineapple, strawberries, kiwi, potatoes, green peppers, cheese, vegetable oils, soybean, raw seeds, dried beans, wheat germ oil, brewer’s yeast, whole grains, eggs, liver, rice, milk, fish, turkey, chicken and red meat. Other nutrients required by the body are proteins and minerals like iron, calcium, zinc, magnesium and essential fatty acids.
There are several products in the market today that act as essential vitamins for hair and nails. These are in the form of oils, shampoos, gels, sprays, lotions and creams. These are generally prescribed by specialists but some are also available over the counter. However, it is better to consult a specialist before using these products. There are also hundreds of websites that provide information about these products. They can also be ordered online.