For many of us, healthy-looking hair is an important part of our appearance. It can brighten our outlook and make us feel more confident. However, maintaining a healthy appearance to our hair can seem like an impossible and never-ending task, especially as we get older. There are many reasons for poor hair health and many of them are beyond our control; however, there are some things we can do to fight poor-looking hair. A number of research studies have suggested that poor hair appearance might be related to poor nutrition and oxidative stress. Because of this, various researchers have explored the possible benefits of nutritional antioxidants for enhancing hair health.
One such study recently reported that boosting your daily intake of tocotrienols might boost your hair appearance. Tocotrienols are part of the vitamin E family. Vitamin E is actually not a single component, but instead is a mixture of 3 tocopherols and 3 tocotrienols. While the tocotrienols are less well known, it has been reported that they are actually better antioxidants than the vitamin E tocopherols.
In this new research study, investigators asked 38 volunteers (18 – 60 years of age) to take either a placebo pill or a 100 mg of tocotrienols daily. The tocotrienols were a mixture of all three forms, alpha (30.8%), delta (12.8%), and gamma (56.4%). Changes in hair appearance were measured in both groups after 4 and 8 months. While no changes in hair appearance were observed after 4 or 8 months in the control group taking the placebo capsule, individuals taking 100 mg tocotrienols daily showed a 15% improvement in hair appearance on average after 4 months and a 35% improvement in hair appearance on average after 8 months. Additionally, 19 of the 20 volunteers taking tocotrienols saw improvements in their hair health with 1 volunteer obtaining less than a 10% improvement, 9 volunteers seeing a 10-25% improvement, 1 volunteer obtaining a 25-50% improvement, and 8 volunteers seeing more than a 50% improvement. Therefore, 40% of the volunteers saw more than a 50% improvement in healthy-looking hair.
These results clearly support the idea that dietary changes can support healthier-looking hair. In this case, vitamin E tocotrienols were shown to improve hair appearance. However, since it is thought that the vitamin E tocotrienols support healthier-looking hair due to their antioxidant properties, it is possible that other antioxidants might also be beneficial if you are looking to enhance your hair appearance. Remember that our true beauty starts inside!