Top 4 Minerals For Hair Growth (+ 1 Other Nutrient)

In a previous article, I went over the top 5 vitamins for hair growth. While those are important for your hair and overall health, what about some of the other nutrients out there?

Like minerals.

Nutritional minerals are elements that the body requires in order to function properly. Similar to vitamins, if your body is low on some of them, your hair can suffer. 

Here are the top four minerals needed for hair growth, how much you should consume every day, and where to get them – along with one other nutrient you don’t want to forget about!

1. Iron

Iron is a crucial mineral for a few reasons, one being that it helps carry oxygen to your cells. This includes the cells needed for hair growth. 

Iron deficiency anemia is unfortunately all too common, especially in women, and is a major cause of hair loss. [1, 2, 3, 4]

The recommended daily iron intake is 19.3–20.5 mg for adult men and 17.0–18.9 mg for adult women.

The best food source for iron is meat, with almost all kinds of meat containing large amounts. Outside of meat, iron can be found in beans, legumes, tofu, pumpkin seeds, broccoli, and spinach.

2. Zinc

Zinc does two amazing things for your hair. It plays an important role in tissue growth and repair, and keeps the oil glands around your hair follicles working properly.

One of the most common symptoms of a zinc deficiency is hair loss. Studies show that those with low zinc levels see increased hair growth once they begin supplementing the mineral. [5, 6, 7, 8]

Though, some suggest that taking too much zinc may also lead to hair loss. Because of this, many nutritionists recommend getting zinc through food sources. 

The recommended daily intake is 11 mg for adult men and 8 mg for adult women. 

Common zinc food sources include beef, spinach, wheat germ, pumpkin seeds, and lentils.

3. Selenium

Researchers have found that selenium is involved in creating hair. New hair takes up selenium from the blood to support growth. [9]

However, similar to zinc, too much selenium appears to contribute to hair loss, along with a few other symptoms like skin rashes and nausea. 

Experts recommend no more than 400 micrograms (0.4 mg) of selenium per day.

Very high traces of selenium can be found in Brazil nuts. The mineral can also be found in meat, milk, eggs, bread, and cereal.

4. Iodine

Your body uses iodine to produce thyroid hormones. These hormones help control the growth of hair follicles. 

When your thyroid hormone levels are low, your hair follicles may stop regenerating, resulting in hair loss. [10

This is why those with an iodine deficiency have been found to experience hair loss. One study looked at 700 people with low thyroid hormones and found that 30% of them were experiencing hair loss. [11, 12]

The recommended daily intake for iodine is 150 micrograms (0.15 mg) for most adults.

You can get iodine from fish and other seafood, dairy products, grains, and iodized salt. 

5. Protein

Protein isn’t a mineral, but I wanted to give it a special shout out. Your hair is made entirely of protein. As such, getting enough of it is important for healthy hair growth.

One study found that a protein deficiency contributed to decreased hair growth and even hair loss. [13]

Though protein deficiencies are quite rare, the important role that it plays in your hair’s health is important to know.

Other things for hair health

As I discussed in our blog about the top vitamins for hair growth, a healthy diet of a wide range of nutrients is crucial for the health of your hair. 

But one thing that can be difficult to get from your diet is collagen. And collagen is very important for the health of your hair.

Click here to see how Complete Collagen+ helped my hair just when I was losing hope (before and after pictures included)

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