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Treating Dry Hair with Vitamins and Minerals


By Staff Writer

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Dry HairSeveral different vitamin and mineral deficiencies can cause dry hair. You can help treat dry hair by taking a multivitamin with 100% of the daily value of essential vitamins. A multivitamin and mineral combination may provide some added coverage for possible deficiencies. It's been shown that too little biotin and pantothenic acid (both B-complex vitamins), found commonly in shampoos, conditioners and other hair treatments can lead to brittle hair–though the evidence supporting the benefits of pantothenic acid is very weak. While the evidence isn't strong, it may still be worth it to try taking supplements of biotin and pantothenic acid for bothersome hair conditions that are not helped by hair treatment products. The safest bet would be to try shampoos that contain these ingredients. Pantothenic acid supplements are available in doses of 100 to 500 mg. Normal intake for adults is 4 mg to 7 mg daily. To treat hair problems, adults can take up to 200 mg daily. Biotin supplements are available in doses of 30 to 100 mcg. The suggested dose for adults is 60 mcg daily.

Sources: Silverman, H.M., J.A. Romano, G. Elmer. The Vitamin Book: A No-nonsense Consumer Guide. Bantam Books, 1999.Forbes, G.M, A. Forbes. "Micronutrient Status in Patients Receiving Home Parenteral Nutrition," Nutrition 13 (1997).Handbook of Nonprescription Drugs. American Pharmaceutical Association, 1996.Prescription for Nutritional Healing. Avery Publishing Group, 1997.Silverman, H.M., J.A. Romano, G. Elmer. The Vitamin Book. Bantam Books, 1999.Habif, Thomas. Clinical Dermatology. Mosby-Year Book Inc., 1996.Drugs and Supplements, "Biotin (Systemic)." http://www.mayoclinic.com. Mayo Clinic Health. Last accessed 1/2/2007.Drugs and Supplements, "Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5) (Systemic)." http://www.mayoclinic.com. Mayo Clinic Health. Last accessed 1/2/2007.This answer prepared 7/25/2000.This information updated 1/2/2007.

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