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Vitamin E Might Just Be the Secret To Shinier, Longer, Stronger Hair

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If you’re on the hunt for longer, stronger, shinier hair, it might be time to incorporate vitamin E in your daily routine. While vitamin E is praised for its many skincare benefits, the reasons to add it to your regimen go further than a glowing complexion. In fact, the antioxidant-rich ingredient can also reinvigorate your scalp and your hair by preventing breakage and split ends. “The vitamin's antioxidant properties are thought to help reduce oxidative stress in the scalp, giving you a stronger foundation for healthy hair by keeping the follicle from breaking down,” says George Papanikolas, celebrity colorist for Matrix. It also stimulates capillary growth in your scalp, which supports hair growth. Since a happy, healthy scalp is key to healthy hair, vitamin E could be the key ingredient your beauty routine is missing. Read on to find out if vitamin E oil is right for you and how you can add it to your haircare routine.

About the Experts:

Nikki Ferrara is a celebrity hair colorist with over 20 years of experience. She is the owner of Nikki Ferrara Hair Color in NYC.
George Papanikolas is the celebrity colorist for MATRIX. He is a favorite among Hollywood celebrities including the Kardashians, Madonna, Britney Spears, Hailey Baldwin, and more.

But first, what is vitamin E?

Wondering if vitamin E really lives up to its hype? Before we dive into the benefits of vitamin E, let’s break down exactly what it is, and how it does your body (and your hair) good. Vitamin E is a fat-soluble antioxidant that protects against free radical damage and is naturally found in leafy greens, nuts, vegetable oils, and seeds. The easiest way to benefit from vitamin E is by eating a balanced diet. “Sunflower seeds, almonds, spinach, avocados, squash, shrimp, olive oil, and broccoli are high in vitamin E,” says Papanikolas. It’s a crucial component to a healthy diet and keeps our immune system strong enough to fight off viruses and bacteria, but it also works wonders on hair, skin, and nails. In the beauty world, vitamin E is often found in skincare products that also contain vitamin C. Together, these antioxidant boosters pack a one-two punch to combat early signs of aging and protect and correct sun damage—and the benefits don’t stop there.

What are the benefits of vitamin E for your hair?

1. It keeps oil in check. 

Although it may seem counterintuitive to use a hair oil to treat an oily scalp, that’s exactly why many reach for vitamin E—especially if your hair is feeling dry and brittle. “The extra lipid layer can help with added hydration,” says Papanikolas. Blow drying, hot tools, and spending a lot of time in the sun can strip your hair of its natural oils. In skincare, vitamin E creates a protective layer to seal in moisture—and for hair, experts recommend oils rich in vitamin E (like avocado oil) to protect the lipid layer of hair follicles and reduce oxidative stress which can dry out your hair and dull your shine. “Avocado oil is also a great treatment for the hair, so you get a two-for-one,” says Nikki Ferrara, celebrity colorist in NYC.

2. It could prevent hair loss. 

Could vitamin E be the secret to hair growth? It definitely helps. Not only can it fortify your strands for less hair loss caused by breakage, but vitamin E also promotes a healthy environment for the scalp and encourages hair follicles to grow. It does so by increasing capillary circulation. “It helps improve blood circulation, which could promote hair growth,” says Ferrara. In fact, stimulating blood flow to the scalp is exactly how minoxidil works to promote hair growth (although minoxidil does so on a stronger level). Not only does it stimulate blood flow, but it also creates a stronger, healthier foundation for hair growth. “It's thought to reduce oxidative stress, which gives your scalp and hair follicle a stronger foundation for healthy hair growth and reduces hair loss and breakage,” says Papanikolas.

3. It makes hair super shiny. 

The antioxidant properties in vitamin E also help boost hair’s elasticity and shine. It also seals the cuticle to prevent split ends and breakage, leaving you with glossier-looking locks. “Vitamin E helps penetrate the hair shaft adding shine to frizzy, dull and chemically damaged hair,” says Ferrara. If you bleach your hair or have naturally drier hair that’s prone to frizz, vitamin E hair oil can help restore moisture and shine where your hair needs it the most. “When you include vitamin E rich food or supplements in your diet, it supports healthy hair which is essential for shiny hair,” says Papanikolas.

How to use vitamin E for your hair?

1. As a shampoo/conditioner

To easily reap the benefits of vitamin E, add it to your shower routine by mixing a few drops in with your shampoo or conditioner. “You can break open a capsule and add it to your favorite shampoo,” says Papanikolas, who recommends first doing a skin test to ensure you don’t have an allergic reaction to the oil. Ferrara also recommends adding it to your conditioner. “If you were to use it as a treatment I would add a couple of drops of the vitamin E oil to your favorite conditioning treatment and leave it on for 5-10 minutes while in the shower,” she says. By mixing it with your conditioner, you’ll create a nourishing treatment that’s bound to leave your hair strong and shiny.

2. As a hair mask

You can also use vitamin E oil to create your own hair mask before you hit the shower. Simply dilute vitamin E oil with a carrier oil like coconut oil, avocado oil, or jojoba oil and apply it to your hair from root to tip. Leave it on for 10-20 minutes then shampoo and condition as usual. “Be sure to dilute the oil, because skin irritations have been known to occur when applied straight to skin and hair,” says Ferrara. If you aren’t into DIY methods, you can try hair care products that already contain vitamin E like BRIOGEO Don’t Despair, Repair!™ Strength + Moisture Leave-In Mask. The main ingredient in this nourishing hair mask is argan oil, which is known to be a valuable source of vitamin E. Simply spritz it on to restore moisture and shine.

Are there any side effects?

While there are a variety of reasons to incorporate vitamin E in your beauty routine and in your diet, too much of a good thing can be harmful (so be sure not to overdo it with your vitamin E intake). Adults only need 15 milligrams of vitamin E on a daily basis. If you want to start using vitamin E oil in your beauty routine, the easiest way to start incorporating it is with beauty and hair products that already contain it. If you would rather DIY your own vitamin E oil treatment, be sure to dilute it before applying it directly onto your skin, scalp, or hair—undiluted vitamin E can cause skin irritations, especially if you have sensitive skin.

Overall, vitamin E is a necessary part of a balanced diet and healthy skin regimen, so it comes as no surprise that the natural antioxidant can also work wonders when it comes to our hair. So look no further than vitamin E to improve your hair health and finally get your shiniest strands ever.

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Article Last Updated August 10, 2020 12:00 AM