The condition of your hair and fingernails can provide a surprising amount of information about your health. If your hair is suddenly thinning, for instance, it could be a sign that you are deficient in iron. If your fingernails are brittle, on the other hand, a lack of B vitamins like biotin could be to blame.
If you are thinking of taking supplements for hair and nails, there are a few things that you should know before you begin. Educating yourself about the safety and efficacy of supplements like these will help you decide whether or not you want to go through with taking them.
The first thing that you should know is that not all problems with your hair and fingernails are caused by vitamin deficiencies. Sometimes, the issues you are experiencing may have more to do with aging or with other lifestyle factors. For instance, if your hair starts to get thinner or drier as you get older, it is probably due to the natural aging process rather than a deficiency in any type of vitamin.
Having said that, there are cases where skin, fingernail, and hair problems are caused by vitamin deficiencies. In situations like these, supplements may be able to help.
A good example can be seen with iron. If your iron levels drop too low, it can cause problems like hair loss and brittle fingernails. It also can lead to a health condition known as anemia. Restoring your iron levels to the proper level can help correct these problems, making your hair and nails a lot healthier while at the same time getting your body back on track.
Be aware, however, that you should never take iron without checking with your doctor first. If you are deficient, iron supplements can help. If your iron levels are normal, however, taking iron can be dangerous. Always have a blood test done before starting iron supplements to make sure that you really need them.
Deficiencies in B vitamins like biotin can also impact the health of your hair and fingernails. In fact, most vitamins that are specifically designed for the hair, skin, and nails contain biotin as one of their primary ingredients. Since this is a water-soluble vitamin, you should be able to safely take it. As with any type of supplement, however, you should always get the go-ahead from your doctor before you begin. Everyone’s health is different, which means that something that is safe for another person may not be safe for you, and vice versa.
In some cases, taking supplements for hair and nails can be effective. Before you start using supplements like these, however, you should make sure that you really are deficient in the vitamins that they contain. Otherwise, you could be wasting money on supplements that you don’t need. Even worse, with supplements like iron, you could be putting your health at risk if you aren’t truly deficient.
If you are concerned that poor nutrition could be contributing to dry, brittle, or damaged hair and nails, consider seeing your doctor or paying a visit to a dermatologist. They can help you determine the underlying cause so that you can treat it appropriately.