Are you fed up with your dull hair, skin, or nails? Today, countless men and women around the world struggle to maintain that healthy, radiant look that we all want for ourselves. The simple truth is that beauty products alone are not enough to achieve the ideal look and feel of your skin, hair, or nails. However, the solution is easier than you might imagine. Unfortunately, there are no magic pills or shortcuts to achieve glossy and beautiful hair, skin, or nails. Despite what you may have heard, the most effective solution for getting and maintaining a gorgeous appearance is by leading a healthy and nourishing life by getting the best vitamins for hair growth, skin and nails is essential to your needs.
Do you want to improve the look of your hair, skin, or nails? Our experts compiled and reviewed all the latest research to discover the proven methods for beautifying your body. In this guide, we breakdown all the latest studies and research to provide everything you need to know to achieve the healthy, beautiful look you have always wanted.
What Makes for Healthy Hair, Skin, and Nails
Whether it is your skin, nails, or hair, your body relies on the same foundation to appear beautiful and healthy-looking. Above all, this requires a sufficient intake of vitamins and nutrients and a healthy moderation of substances known to degrade the quality of your skin, nails, or hair.
These days, many cosmetics and beauty products, from salon-style shampoos to the latest brands of nail polish, claim to be enriched with vitamins and minerals. While some products do contain these essential building blocks, they are either not easily absorbed by the body or they are insufficient for making any long-lasting changes.
At the end of the day, getting the best vitamins for hair growth with a combination of diet and lifestyle will be the deciding factor in achieving your desired appearance. Only through the regular provision of nutrients in your diet, and the strengthening of your body through exercise and proper recovery, will your body start to reflect its healthy state on the outside. In other words, what’s beautiful on the inside will eventually show on the outside.
The Essential Nutrients
There are many kinds of nutrients required for achieving and maintaining your body’s ideal appearance. However, you should not let that discourage you. By living a healthy lifestyle complete with a nourishing diet and multivitamin supplementation, you can easily achieve the look you want.
Macronutrients are the most common food components in the human diet. They refer to the largest chemical elements that are found in our diets.
When we consume macronutrients, we supply our body with its primary source of energy. These sources of energy are quantified in the form of calories (or kilocalories) which measure the amount of energy that each macronutrient contains. The average adult person requires roughly 2,000 calories worth of macronutrients to maintaining a healthy body.
The following are the three primary macronutrients that the human body rely on for energy and basic internal functioning:
For good measure, you should take note of the fact that one gram of protein or carbohydrates are equal to four calories. By contrast, fats are more energy dense, with one gram being equal to nine calories of kinetic energy. You can find the amount of fat, protein, and carbohydrates on the nutritional information labels on your foods.
Unlike macronutrients, micronutrients are the essential buildings blocks of the human body consumed in small quantities. However, like macronutrients, they are required for the body to perform basic physiological functions and to develop healthy organs and body parts. Primarily, they are composed of vitamins and dietary minerals.
Human beings need to consume most micronutrients in quantities less than 100 milligrams per day. In most cases, these small-scale nutrients are sourced from the Earth’s soil or from the synthesis of organisms such as plants. When human beings do not get enough micronutrients in their diet, they are considered malnourished, which leads to major health problems.
The following are a brief list of some of the most common and widely available micronutrients in the human diet. If you want to maintain beautiful-looking skin, hair, or nails, you need to be vigilant about consuming these nutrients.
The following are a list of some of the most common and essential major minerals. These substances, while also micronutrients, are not considered vitamins.
Note that these lists are not exhaustive. We recommend browsing the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Composition Database if you want a full list of micronutrients that are essential in any healthy diet.
Hair 101: How to Restore its Natural Beauty
Now that we know which vitamins, minerals, and macronutrients are necessary for a healthy diet, we can start discussing their relation to your hair. Believe it or not, your hair is a body part like any other. Although it grows externally on your body, it is just as much a product of your body as your hands or feet. Thus, their growth all rely on the same basic nutrients.
What is Hair?
Hair is a protein filament that grows in the dermis, which is your inner layer of skin. The skin on top of your head, where most human hair grows, is covered with tiny hair follicles which provide an environment for fine hairs to be produced. Without follicles in the skin, there would be no platform for hair to grow.
What is Hair Made Of?
Human hair varies widely according to geographical location and ethnicity. However, its biomaterial basis is mostly constant. This is because human hair is primarily made of protein, specifically alpha-keratin.
Alpha-keratin is found universally in mammals, and is made up of amino acids that, when joined together, form the structure of a coil. These amino acids bind together to produce a tight and durable material that provide warmth and protection for animals. Understandably, a protein-rich diet is necessary to maintain healthy levels of alpha-keratin in the body.
If you want to grow a beautiful head of hair, you need to eat a diet rich in essential micro and macronutrients. While there is some variation from person to person when it comes to proper hair nutrition, the essential building blocks of human hair are constant across all ethnic groups.
Since hair is composed of alpha-keratin, a protein, it makes sense that healthy hair growth depends on your body’s supply of protein. Without enough protein in your diet, your body won’t be able to produce the material needed to grow hair. This explains why many malnourished or protein-deficient people lose their hair over time.
Hair becomes brittle and dry when your body lacks protein. Therefore, we always encourage our readers to adopt a high protein diet. A landmark study from the 1970s found that after four weeks on a low protein diet, hair in mammals weakened and eventually hair loss occurred. This provides further evidence that protein is essential for healthy hair.
Do you get enough protein in your diet? The average adult requires roughly 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight (2.2 pounds). Men, however, generally need more protein than women. If you struggle to get enough protein in your diet, consider adding the following foods into your meals.
These days, it is common to see “iron infused” shampoo and conditioner products on store shelves. Since iron is essential for hair growth, this is a welcome addition to cosmetic products. However, iron is not absorbed very well via hair follicles. Instead, iron needs to be consumed in the diet to completely benefit from the mineral.
Those who are deficient in iron as anemic, which is a serious blood-related disease. Anemic adults struggle with proper hair growth, and often lose their hair if they do not supplement with iron-rich foods or multivitamins.
Bioavailable iron can be found in all red meats, as well as lean meats like fish and chicken. If you are vegetarian or vegan, you can source iron from lentils, spinach, and other leafy greens like kale and garden salads. It should be noted that women suffer from low iron far more often than men. Therefore, it is recommended that women monitor their iron levels closely.
The hair growth promoting effect of vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is well documented in the scientific literature. Without vitamin C, the body cannot adequately absorb iron and utilize it in the bloodstream. Therefore, it is necessary that your body is supplied with enough vitamin C for stimulating hair growth.
Vitamin C is commonly found in fruits and other plant sources. The most bioavailable vitamin C can be sourced from kiwi fruits, broccoli, blueberries, blackcurrants, phytoberries, oranges, strawberries, and yams. Alternatively, vitamin C tablets are found in most health stores and are among the most affordable health food supplements.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are vital to produce healthy hair and the maintenance of hair follicles. A 2015 research study found that women who supplemented with omega-3 fatty acids demonstrated “superior improvement” in preventing hair loss over a six-month period of time than women who did not supplement with omega-3s.
Put simply, omega-3 fatty acids are a kind of polyunsaturated fat. They are commonly found in marine life, marine oils, and seafood. Omega-3 fatty acids are composed of two main components: eicosatetraenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Both components are necessary for the maintenance of healthy and shiny hair.
In recent years, omega-3s have gained traction as one of the best “superfoods” on the market. This reputation is backed by a substantial number of studies that have proven that omega-3s aid in everything from preventing major chronic diseases to maintaining a healthy weight. You can find omega-3s in fatty fish products or through supplement pills.
Other Essential Nutrients for Hair Growth
Healthy and vibrant hair requires several other vitamins and minerals. These include vitamin A, zinc, selenium, vitamin E, and biotin. We recommend using the USDA Food Composition Database to help you locate where these vitamins and minerals are found. However, most multivitamin supplements provide your daily recommended intake of these substances.
Skin 101: How to Achieve Healthy, Clear Skin
Like your hair, your skin requires a healthy and nourishing diet if you want to achieve a clear and radiant complexion. Years of scientific research has shown that what you decide to put on your dinner plate is more important than any cosmetic or beauty product.
If you want your skin to look young, healthy, and all-around fabulous, you need to not only wash it regularly and properly but also provide it with the right fuel. You can think of the food you eat as the kind of “fuel” that your body is supplied with. With the right high-octane fuel, your body can create healthy skin cells and natural oils that can wash out your pores.
Common Skin Problems
There are many skin ailments that can be prevented, treated, and remedied with a nourishing diet and regular skin care routine. Some of the most common lifestyle-related skin problems and diseases are:
By following a balanced and nutrient-rich diet, you can prevent these skin ailments from disrupting your complexion and ruining its natural radiance.
The Elements of Healthy Skin
Skin is the outer covering of the human body, which is composed of seven layers of tissue. Your skin is an organ that protects the bones, internal organs, ligaments, and muscle tissues inside your body. Since your skin interacts with the environment, your skin is exposed to many potentially harmful elements that your other body parts would not be.
Human skin varies widely by ethnic group. However, all kind of skin can either be oily or dry, and all varieties of skin are home to vast bacterial cultures. Along with your pores, bacterial cultures help regulate your skin and clean it from the dirt and grime it contacts daily.
Although skin pigmentation ranges from very dark to albino (very light), all forms of human skin are composed of the same biomaterials and oils. The difference in skin pigmentation is due to the levels of melanin found in their skin, which is passed down through genetics. Therefore, everybody can benefit their skin equally by following the same dietary principles.
Nutrients for Beautiful Skin
There are many nutrients that you can incorporate into your diet for beautiful, healthy-looking skin. Nearly all nutrients for the skin are antioxidants, which are found primarily in plant-based foods and protect against skin damage and age-related defects.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
If you want your skin to look healthier and more youthful, you should ensure that you get enough omega-3 fatty acids in your diet. The benefits of omega-3 acids are plentiful and extend far beyond your skin complexion.
Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fats, an essential macronutrient. Without omega-3 fats, your epidermis (the outermost layer of human skin) would not be able to protect itself against external contaminants. This is because your skin uses omega-3 fatty acids to produce oils that form a protective layer around your skin cells.
In addition, omega-3 acids provide your skin with moisture and protect the deep layers of skin from becoming inflamed. Inflammation of the skin can result in chronic diseases and illnesses, which can cause permanent scarring or skin damage.
To ensure you get a sufficient amount of omega-3 fatty acids in your diet, we recommend regular servings of fatty fish such as salmon or mackerels. Alternatively, select nuts and legumes, such as walnuts and chia seeds, also contain omega-3 fatty acids. Fish oil pills are another great source of essential omega-3s.
It has been long understood that beta-carotene is linked to healthy and vibrant skin. A major 2012 clinical study found that subjects given carotenoid supplements, including beta-carotene, where better positioned to fight against age-related skin impairments.
There are over 500 varieties of carotenoids found in the natural world. However, only 50 of them are essential aspects of our diets. Beta-carotene is one of the most abundant and important carotenoids for the development of healthy and clear human skin. This is because beta-carotene is essential for the body to produce vitamin A.
Consumption of your daily recommended intake of beta-carotene can improve your skin complexion and clarity in a matter of days. Beta-carotene can be found in carrots, dark vegetables, and yellow or orange fruits.
Vitamin A has numerous important skin benefits. When it comes to natural anti-aging, there is perhaps no better natural treatment than vitamin A. Found in whole foods as well as topical creams, vitamin A is critical for protecting your skin against harmful elements such as ultraviolet (UV) rays produced by the sun.
A 2013 study found that vitamin A is required for the body to replenish its skin cells. Since the body is producing new skin cells daily, it is critical that everybody consumes plenty of foods dense in vitamin A. We recommend dairy products such as milk and eggs, as well as tomato products, vegetable oils, and orange-yellow vegetables for vitamin A.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant-rich vitamin that plays a necessary role in the production of collagen, which is an integral component of human skin. There is also an abundant amount of evidence that suggests vitamin C has a strong link to ultraviolet photodamage in the skin. If you want a healthy and long-lasting skin, you need to get plenty of vitamin C in your diet.
All layers of skin, from the dermis to the epidermis, contain vitamin C. However, the amount of vitamin C in our skin declines gradually as we age. Therefore, it is especially important that we consume plenty of vitamin C in our middle-aged and senior years.
Vitamin C deficiency, also known as scurvy, is common. To prevent the onset of scurvy and other major health problems associated with scurvy, make sure your diet includes plenty of foods rich in vitamin C. These foods include guava, red peppers, oranges, watermelon, papaya, and blackcurrant.
Many experts consider zinc to be the ultimate all-in-one mineral for boosting the immune system. However, it is less well-known that zinc also greatly benefits one’s skin. For instance, zinc is an antioxidant that prevents acne flare-ups, shields against harmful UV rays, and supports the synthesis of collagen.
Adult men and women require 8-11 mg of zinc every day to maintain proper health. You can find zinc in lots of plant-based foods and meats. Our favorite sources of zinc are lobsters, crabs, oysters, chicken, chickpeas, legumes, and fortified grain products such as cereals. You can also get plenty of zinc in over-the-counter multivitamins, which universally include zinc.
The Importance of Sunscreen for Healthy Skin
We would be remiss not to mention the critical importance of sunscreen (sometimes known as “sunblock”) for maintaining healthy and undamaged skin. The scientific evidence supporting the regular application of sunscreen is well documented.
Sunscreen protects against the damaging properties of UV rays produced by the sun. When exposed to UV rays, the skin is at greater risk of developing skin cancer. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) classifies UV rays are a Group I carcinogen. However, sunscreens with a high sun protection factor (SPF) shield your skin against the effects of UV rays.
We recommend using high SPF (>30 SPF) sunscreen to protect your skin from sun damage. Not only does sunscreen safeguard your skin from cancer-causing UVs, but it also protects your skin from developing sun spots, wrinkles, moles, and other defects caused by excess sun exposure.
Application and reapplication of sunscreen is essential for people of all ethnicities. If you plan to be exposed to the sun for prolonged periods of time, apply a coat of sunscreen to all unclothed parts of your skin. Reapply sunscreen if you perspire heavily, even if the sunscreen is waterproof.
Nails 101: How to Make Your Nails Pop
Unlike your hair and skin, getting healthy-looking nails is a relatively straightforward process. For example, take a moment to examine your fingernails. Chances are they are bitten, dented, discolored, or have ridges. While these defects are harmless, they can be easily corrected if you want a more pristine appearance.
Basic Fingernail and Toenail Maintenance
If you want beautiful nails, you need to practice good hygiene habits. To help you get a quick grasp of the various do’s and don’ts when it comes to nail maintenance, we put together this short list of basic nail hygiene tips.
Keep Nails Dry and Clean
Generally, dry nails are healthy nails. This is because wet fingers and toenails are hotbeds for nasty and potentially harmful bacterial cultures. Plus, chronically wet toenails tend to split and crack, which can allow dirt and grime to seep in. Always dry off your hands and feet after exposure to wetness and wear rubber gloves whenever the situation calls for it.
Regularly Trim and Clip
The importance of trimming your nails should be firmly ingrained in your mind if you want healthy-looking nails. Every two to three weeks, make sure you cut your nails straight across using sanitary manicure scissors.
Although we encourage you to keep your nails dry in most cases, it is also important that the skin under your nails does not dry out too much. That is why we recommend applying moisturizing hand lotion on your hands and feet every few days.
Things to Avoid for Healthy Nails
Now that we know what to do to get healthy-looking nails, we should also be mindful of what we should not do. To prevent your nails from becoming damaged, you should never do the following things:
Nobody ever said taking care of your skin, hair, and nails was easy. However, we can all agree that it is well worth it. Maintaining luscious, youthful skin and eye-popping hair and nails requires a healthy diet, active lifestyle, and regimented washing routine.
Although this guide emphasized the importance of healthy eating and supplementation to achieve your beauty goals, we also must encourage our readers to thoroughly wash their skin, hair, and nails everyday using gentle soaps and cleaning agents. For more information on proper hygiene practices, we recommend this guide by the American Academy of Dermatology.
By following the suggestions contained in this guide, you can finally achieve and maintain the skin, hair, and nails of your dreams. So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and start building the beautiful, healthy-looking body you have always wanted.