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Dry hair has too little oil and moisture to sustain its normal health and texture. Dry hair may be alleviated by washing it less often, using conditioners and discontinuing the use of hair dryers and styling products, according to MedlinePlus 2. Contact your physician about dry hair if it does not improve, if you experience hair loss or if your dry hair is accompanied by unusual symptoms, as there may be a more serious underlying cause. You can also improve your dietary choices and take nutritional supplements to support the health of your hair.
Dry hair is a symptom of vitamin A deficiency, according to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center 1. Vitamin A supports the function of keratin, the protein in hair. Taking a supplement or adding food sources of vitamin A may improve the condition of your dry hair. A safer form of vitamin A is beta carotene, which is converted to vitamin A in the body. However, take vitamin A if you have poor liver function, advises nutritionist Phyllis A. Balch, author of "Prescription for Nutritional Healing." Food sources of vitamin A include:
- sweet potatoes
- papaya (# 'inline-reference::"Prescription for Nutritional Healing"; Phyllis A
* CNC; 2010').
Vitamin B-7, or biotin, is a member of the B family of vitamins. This vitamin is essential for the metabolism of foods, which provide nutrients for normal hair health. Dry hair is a symptom of biotin deficiency, according to alternative health expert Dr. Andrew Weil. He recommends taking a B complex supplement that includes 50 mcg of biotin and the other major B vitamins. Foods sources of biotin include:
- brewer's yeast
- wheat bran
Vitamin E supplements may alleviate dry hair. The vitamin works in two ways. It decreases platelet aggregation and improves the flow of blood to the scalp, which brings nutrients and oxygen that support hair health. Vitamin E also contains high levels of antioxidants that neutralize free radicals and toxins that may interfere with your hair's health. Balch recommends taking 200 IU of vitamin E per day of the d-alpha-tocopherol form. Food sources of vitamin E include soybeans, wheat germ, nuts, seeds and vegetable oils.
- University of Pittsburgh Medical Center: Vitamin A
- MedlinePlus: Dry Hair
- "Prescription for Nutritional Healing"; Phyllis A. Balch, CNC; 2010
- CandyBoxImages/iStock/Getty Images