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Is dry, lackluster hair bringing you down? If you're looking for healthy, glowing locks, try adding a little vitamin A to your diet or your styling products. Vitamin A is the ultimate beauty vitamin. It gives hair that healthy shine we all crave. Without it, Medscape Reference notes that your hair and skin can become dry and your nails are more susceptible to breaking.
Consuming enough dietary sources of vitamin A is vital to your hair's health. Vitamin A is found in orange fruits and vegetables such as carrots and cantaloupe. The National Institutes of Health advises that females 14 years of age and older consume 700 mcg of vitamin A daily. If you don't think you're getting enough vitamin A through dietary sources, talk to your doctor about taking a vitamin A supplement. Hair care products with vitamin A can be helpful, but dietary sources should be your first line of defense against dry, brittle hair.
Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin. This means that, regardless of the amount you're consuming, your body can't absorb it without enough fat. If you're on a very low-fat diet, this could be problematic. MayoClinic.com advises that between 20 and 35 percent of your daily calories should come from fat. Try to consume mostly healthy fats found in fish, olive oil and nuts. Fat-soluble vitamins can also be stored in your body for long periods of time, which means there is a greater risk for toxicity than with water-soluble vitamins. If you choose to take a vitamin A supplement, be sure to discuss your diet with your doctor and follow her dosing instructions.
If you're getting enough vitamin A through your diet or supplements and you still want a little extra shine, look no further than the beauty aisle at your local drug store. Vitamin A is commonly found in many hair care products such as shampoos, conditioners and vitamin sprays. Check the product labels for one of the vitamin's three forms -- retinols, beta carotenes or carotenoids.
Women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant should be especially careful about their vitamin A consumption. Taking more than the recommended daily amount of vitamin A can cause birth defects. For this reason, vitamin A supplements are typically not advised during pregnancy. Most hair care products generally are safe during pregnancy, but always check with your doctor to be on the safe side.