Dry, brittle, and lifeless hair is a common result of years of heat styling and bleaching. Unfortunately, once the damage is done, it can be incredibly difficult to reverse. Many people turn to store-bought products, but the truth is that vitamins are often more effective at restoring your hair health. Vitamin E is especially beneficial for nourishing and strengthening the scalp and hair follicles, leaving you with silky, soft, and lustrous locks. So, what really makes vitamin E such a powerful nutrient? And where can you get it? What are the best ways to use this nutrient? And are there any side effects we possibly have to deal with from using it? Read on to answer all these questions, plus learn some powerful tips for optimizing the efficacy of vitamin E on your scalp and hair.
What Is Vitamin E And Where Can You Get It?
Vitamin E, also known as alpha-tocopherol, is a fat-soluble antioxidant that is found in many food sources. You can get it from nuts and seeds to green leafy vegetables. It is also widely available in supplement form and as an additive to many beauty and hair care products. The most common form of vitamin E is alpha-tocopherol, but there are also gamma-, delta-, and beta-tocopherols (4).
In your diet, vitamin E is important for a healthy immune system, cell growth, and protection from oxidative stress. Just like other antioxidants, it helps protect the body against damage caused by free radicals.
The recommended daily allowance (RDA) of vitamin E is 15 mg/day, and it’s advised that adult women consume at least 4 milligrams per day. Additionally, eating a balanced diet that includes plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables can help you reach your daily goal.
6 True Vitamin E Benefits For Hair And Scalp
If you’re looking for ways to restore the healthy look and feel of your hair, vitamin E can be a powerful tool.
Here are 6 true benefits of vitamin E for hair and scalp health:
1. Strengthens Hair Follicles
Thousands of tiny hair follicles make up the scalp. They are responsible for generating new hair growth, so when they become weak or damaged, it can lead to thinning and breakage. Vitamin E works to strengthen these hair follicles and help promote new growth. It does so by improving blood circulation to the scalp, which in turn helps nourish hair follicles and stimulate growth.
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2. Repairs Damage
Heat styling, bleaching, and chemical treatments can cause significant damage to the scalp and hair follicles. Vitamin E works to especially repair this damage and restore the health of your scalp and hair (5). It helps to lock in moisture and promote natural sebum production, which helps protect against further damage.
3. Reduces Scalp Inflammation
Inflammation can lead to dandruff, an itchy scalp, and hair loss. Vitamin E is a powerful anti-inflammatory and can help reduce the redness, itching, and irritation often associated with inflammation (3). It also helps to restore the balance of good bacteria on the scalp, which can help protect against further damage caused by inflammation.
4. Prevents Split Ends
Vitamin E helps to nourish and strengthen the hair shaft, which can help prevent split ends. It also works to lock in moisture and protect the hair from environmental damage, which can help keep split ends at bay.
5. Adds Shine And Luster
Vitamin E helps to restore the hair’s natural shine and luster. For one, it helps seal in moisture and prevent dryness. It also works to protect the hair’s cuticles from damage, which can dull its overall appearance.
6. Prevents Hair Loss
Vitamin E is an antioxidant, which means it helps protect the scalp and hair follicles from damage caused by free radicals (3). This can help to prevent hair loss and promote new hair growth.
Furthermore, vitamin E helps improve blood circulation and nourish the scalp. This can help promote healthy hair growth and reduce any thinning or breakage.
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How To Use Vitamin E For Hair And Scalp Health?
There are many ways you can use vitamin E for hair and scalp, but some may be better than others depending on your hair type and current hair care routine.
Here are some of the best options:
1. Include Vitamin E In Your Diet
The best way to get vitamin E for hair and scalp health is to include it in your diet. Look for foods that are high in vitamin E, such as nuts, sunflower seeds, and avocados. A plant-based diet is especially beneficial for hair health, as it also helps provide additional necessary vitamins and minerals.
Vitamin E supplements are available, but they may or may not be beneficial depending on the other vitamins and minerals you’re already taking. It’s best to speak with a doctor before you start taking any supplements.
Note that your risk of toxicity increases when taking large doses of vitamin E, so it’s important to monitor your intake and be aware of any potential side effects you may experience. They may include nausea, headaches, dizziness, and fatigue.
2. Use Vitamin E Oil On Your Scalp
Keep things simple with vitamin E oil. This type of oil is typically composed of just vitamin E and an oil carrier like sweet almond, coconut, or jojoba. You must dilute the oil with a carrier oil before applying it to your scalp, as it can be too strong on its own.
To apply the oil, massage it onto your scalp and leave it for a few hours before washing it off. Doing this once or twice a week can help nourish the scalp and promote healthy hair growth.
Fair warning though— vitamin E oil can be quite difficult to use for two reasons. First, it can be quite greasy and messy to work with. Second, when exposed to air and light, vitamin E oil can quickly become rancid. Hence, it may be best to buy small bottles of the oil and use it up quickly.
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3. Use A Conditioner Or Mask With Vitamin E
Several conditioners, masks, and other products are readily available now that contain vitamin E. These are a great option if you’re looking for an easy way to add vitamin E into your hair care routine. You won’t have to change your existing routine, but you’ll still get the benefits of vitamin E.
When choosing a product with vitamin E, look for one that also contains other beneficial ingredients, like nourishing oils and vitamins. This will maximize the benefits to your hair and scalp.
You can also make your own vitamin E conditioner or mask by adding a few drops of vitamin E oil to your favorite conditioner or whip up a hydrating hair mask with oils and honey.
Although, we recommend getting your vitamin E through wash-off products like conditioners and shampoos if you have a sensitive scalp that may be irritated by vitamin E oil.
4. Use A Hair Serum With Vitamin E
If you’re looking for something a bit lighter than an oil, then consider using a hair serum. Serums are usually composed of a blend of oils and other nourishing ingredients, including vitamin E.
Hair serums are easy to use and won’t leave your hair feeling greasy or weighed down. Simply apply a few drops of the serum on damp hair, focusing on the ends. You can also use a serum before blow-drying your hair to protect it from heat damage.
Anyone with fine hair should be careful when using oils and serums as they can weigh the hair down. If you have fine hair, use only a small amount of serum and work it into the ends of your hair.
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5. Use As A Detangler
Vitamin E oil can also be used as a detangler, especially for curly or kinky hair. The oil can help to loosen knots and tangles, making them easier to work out. Start by applying a few drops of oil onto damp hair, then use a wide-tooth comb to work through the tangles.
Vitamin E is an essential nutrient for healthy hair and scalp. It helps to protect the scalp from damage caused by free radicals and helps promote healthy hair growth. It may also help reduce thinning or breakage.
To get the most out of this nutrient for hair and scalp health, include it in your diet and use products like oils, conditioners, or masks with vitamin E. Be sure to keep track of your intake and beware when taking large doses of vitamin E as it can lead to toxicity in some cases.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- An Update on Vitamin E, Tocopherol and Tocotrienol—Perspectives (2010, nih.gov)
- Effects of Tocotrienol Supplementation on Hair Growth in Human Volunteers (2010, nih.gov)
- Vitamin E, oxidative stress, and inflammation (2003, nih.gov)
- Vitamin E (2023, harvard.edu)
- The Role of Vitamin E in Human Health and Some Diseases (2014, nih.gov)