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Vitamin E is best known for its benefits for heart health. Many doctors report, however, that vitamin E supplements taken by mouth can also help with the growth or regrowth of hair.
Vitamin E in your body to stimulate growth of hair. There is a combination of symptoms that tell you whether taking vitamin E might help you regrow your hair. If you have angular stomatitis, that is, inflammation at the corners of your mouth, cheilitis, that is, dry and inflamed lips, and brittle nails, then taking at least 200 IU of alpha-tocopherol plus 200 milligrams of mixed tocotrienols may help your hair.
If you have these symptoms, however, chances are you have general problems with malnourishment that can only be addressed by getting enough calories and enough vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, and plant nutrients.
Vitamin E on your body to stimulate growth of hair. What about vitamin E in shampoos? Vitamin E certainly helps keep the other ingredients in the shampoo fresh, but the antioxidant power of the vitamin can be used up while the shampoo is still on the shelf. And there is not a lot of benefit from putting vitamins in your hair only to wash them off a few seconds later.
There is one application of vitamin E to the scalp that is very likely to stimulate the growth of hair, however, and that is the combination of a vitamin E shampoo with minoxidil, the hair growth product.
But not just any kind of vitamin E will work. When you are applying vitamin E to the scalp, it's very important that the vitamin "sticks" there long enough for it to get into the hair follicles. The kind of vitamin E that isn't easily washed or sweated off is tocopheryl polyethylene glycol succinate.
You don't want to mix up your own shampoo since too much of this form of vitamin E can actually counteract hair growth. Only up to about 2 per cent of this form of vitamin E in the shampoo will be beneficial. You can get this product from compounding pharmacists who specialize in custom made nutreceuticals and cosmeceuticals, such as Prescription Lab (www.rxlab.com), which will work with you to find exactly the combination that works best for you.
Chen CH, Sheu MT, Wu AB, Lin KP, Ho HO. Simultaneous effects of tocopheryl polyethylene glycol succinate (TPGS) on local hair growth promotion and systemic absorption of topically applied minoxidil in a mouse model. Int J Pharm. 2005 Dec 8;306(1-2):91-8. Epub 2005 Oct 25.