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Home arrow Beauty arrow Hair arrow Vitamin C for Hair Growth: 5 Benefits and Uses

Vitamin C for Hair Growth: 5 Benefits and Uses

Written by Isabel Mayfield
Fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Last update: May 19, 2023
6 min read 1034 Views 0 Comments
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If your hair is looking dull and lifeless, a vitamin C deficiency could potentially be the cause.

vitamin c for hair growth

Many people use vitamin C to strengthen their immune systems during flu season or purchase skincare products containing it to take advantage of its brightening effects. But its potential benefits don’t stop there.

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is an additive in many natural haircare products, and for a good reason. 

Using these products, or increasing the number of citrus fruits you eat, is an easy way to glean the benefits of this essential vitamin, which we’ll discuss in greater detail below.

Does Vitamin C Help With Hair Growth?

Yes, vitamin C can help promote hair growth for many reasons. Vitamin C is essential in producing collagen, a protein that is an essential building block for hair. It also helps to limit the amount of DHT in the body, a hormone that slows the growth cycle and even leads to hair loss.

More than that, vitamin C can also neutralize free radical damage, help support healthy levels of iron, and strengthen the hair follicles, all of which contribute to healthy hair with a natural shine.

5 Benefits of Vitamin C for Hair

Many people underestimate the negative effects a vitamin C deficiency can have on the health of their hair. Increasing your vitamin C intake – or using hair products that contain ascorbic acid – can affect hair growth and provide all of the benefits listed below.

#1 Strengthens the hair

Much like peptides, vitamin C is essential for the production of collagen, a protein that helps to keep many tissues in the body, including hair, strong and healthy. The antioxidative properties of vitamin C also prevent free radicals from damaging the proteins of your hair, helping to reduce breakage. 

#2 Improves hair growth

Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that helps to protect hair follicles from free radical damage, which can cause inflammation and premature aging of the hair follicles, eventually leading to decreased hair growth and even hair loss.

It also aids in the production of collagen, which adds to the structural integrity of hair and even improves the body’s ability to absorb iron, an essential mineral for the cells that affect hair growth.

#3 Helps to fight bacteria on the scalp

One of the ways that vitamin C can help fight bacteria on the scalp is by neutralizing free radicals since oxidative stress can contribute to the growth of bacteria on the scalp. 

Vitamin C has also been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce scalp inflammation. Since inflammation can create an environment that supports bacterial growth, you can help prevent bacteria from growing by reducing inflammation.

#4 Makes the hair shine

In the previous section, we detailed how vitamin C can impact scalp health by reducing inflammation and bacterial growth. Because scalp issues caused by inflammation can cause a lack of shine in hair, using products to increase scalp health is an easy way to instantly improve the appearance of hair.

Another way that vitamin C impacts the appearance of hair is by helping the body absorb iron. Iron is an important mineral for improving the health of your hair since it’s responsible for creating hemoglobin, the protein responsible for nourishing your hair cells.

Finally, vitamin C is a wonderful antioxidant that prevents damage to your cells, including your hair and scalp skin cells. Therefore, using more vitamin C products in your haircare regime can help you grow shiny, thicker hair.

#5 Reduces hair loss

In addition to improving hair growth, there are numerous studies that support using vitamin C to prevent hair loss. In fact, ascorbic acid can help reduce the production of DHT, a hormone that shrinks hair follicles and shortens the hair growth cycle.

Another benefit of vitamin C regarding hair loss is the effect that it can have on preventing iron deficiency, which is extremely common in women who are experiencing hair loss.

When iron is low, the body prioritizes nourishing more vital tissues and organs than the hair follicles. Because of this, the health of the follicles can diminish, leading to increased hair loss and a stalling of hair growth.

What Form of Vitamin C for Hair Supplements Can I Find?

With so many hair products containing vitamin C, deciding on the best option can be difficult. Below, we’ll dive deeper into the different ascorbic acid-containing products and how you can incorporate them into your daily routine.

#1 Shampoos 

Vitamin C is also known as ascorbic acid, and like many acids, it has antibacterial properties and even has a clarifying effect on the scalp. Shampoos containing vitamin C can help reduce scalp buildup, flakiness, and dandruff.

#2 Hair oils

Hair oils that contain vitamin C are another popular option that can provide even more benefits than shampoo since they can be used more frequently and left on the scalp and hair in between washes. 

#3 Conditioners

If you’re looking for a conditioner that contains ascorbic acid, your best bet is to use one that also contains all the B vitamins or vitamin E, which works exceptionally well with vitamin C. This combination can help nourish dry hair and give you healthier hair that shines.

#4 Hair treatments

Hair treatments offer many of the same nourishing benefits as conditioners, and because you leave them in for longer, they can make a bigger impact. You may want to use a leave-in treatment that you can use post-wash or find a hair mask that can be left in your hair for 15–20 minutes before being rinsed out.

#5 Supplements

If you’re not getting enough vitamin C naturally in your diet, supplements are an easy way to increase your daily intake. They generally come in a pill, powder, or liquid form and have a pleasant orangey taste.

Before taking vitamin C supplements, you may want to check with your doctor to ensure you’re not exceeding the 1,000mg daily recommendation.

#5 Foods

Even better than supplements is naturally increasing your vitamin C intake by eating a healthy diet full of foods high in this essential vitamin, like fruits and vegetables.

Although the vitamin C in supplements is absorbed by the body as easily as that found in fruits and vegetables, the latter also contains many macro and micro-nutrients that can help keep you feeling your best.

How to Use Vitamin C for Hair?

There are many ways to use vitamin C to improve hair health, the most common of which include using it topically and orally. 

Increasing your vitamin C intake by eating more citrus fruits like oranges and lemons is an easy and delicious way to naturally boost the amount of vitamin C in your diet. Or you can take vitamin C supplements or vitamin C in a powdered form that can be dissolved in water.

You might also consider using it topically to enhance vitamin C’s benefits regarding hair health. 

There are a number of oils that can be massaged directly onto the scalp, or you can use a shampoo, conditioner, or hair treatment that can be applied from root to tip to enhance the benefits of vitamin C for the hair strands.


Are there any side effects of vitamin C on hair?

Generally, negative side effects will only be experienced by those with sensitive skin. But anyone with dry or brittle hair should exercise caution when using vitamin C products on their hair, as they can sometimes have a drying effect.

Can I use vitamin C tablets every day?

Yes, as long as you take less than the 1,000mg daily limit, you can use vitamin C supplements every day. However, increasing the number of citrus fruits in your diet is a better and more natural way to get vitamin C.

A Word From a Trichologist

If growing long, healthy hair is your goal, then it’s important to focus on ways to care for your hair beyond simply taking a vitamin C supplement.

Although supporting adequate vitamin and mineral levels in the body plays an important role in hair health, you can include many other holistic practices into your haircare routine to maximize healthy hair growth.

For starters, you can experiment with different herbs for hair growth, use less heat on your hair, or even experiment with different ways to dry your hair that are actually better for it than simply allowing it to air dry.

There are many different natural haircare practices that you can use in combination to boost your hair growth and help keep it strong and healthy.


You can make many different lifestyle changes to help your hair grow faster, and increasing the amount of vitamin C in your beauty regime is one of them. 

There are a variety of products you can use topically, including hair oils, shampoos, and conditioners. Or you can choose to take vitamin C supplements in a liquid, powder, or capsule form.

Whatever you choose, vitamin C can help improve hair growth and contribute to hair that is strong, shiny, and able to withstand free radical damage and everyday wear and tear.

Written by Isabel Mayfield
Isabel Mayfield is a certified yoga instructor with over 10 years of experience in the fitness industry. She is passionate about self-improvement and loves to help people improve their sense of self-worth through education and support in meeting their fitness goals.
The article was fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
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Written by Isabel Mayfield
Fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Last update: May 19, 2023
6 min read 1034 Views 0 Comments

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