While the number one benefit of taking folic acid — and its natural form folate — is to prevent the development of neural tube defects (NTDs) in babies, there are a number of other benefits to making the B vitamin a part of your regular daily regimen.
One of those is the promotion of healthy hair and the potential daily of greying and hair loss as we age.
The primary job of folic acid is to help the body make healthy red blood cells and to keep them healthy. Those red blood cells are involved in the creation of and health of your skin tissue, nails, and hair.
Multiple studies, including one published in 2017, found a link between folic acid deficiency and premature greying.
Because folic acid helps with the synthesis of DNA nucleotides and amino acids, studies — including this one published in 1993 — have shown it can also help to add volume and shine to your hair.
While there isn’t enough information to guarantee that taking folic acid every day will lead to an increase in hair growth, what we can say is that not taking folic acid can lead to increased hair loss and premature greying.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all women of child-bearing age take 400 mcg of folic acid a day beginning at least one month before conception and throughout the pregnancy.
Preventing NTDs and supporting healthy hair growth aren’t the only benefits of folic acid. Visit the age group sections of our site — including 20-39 and 40+ for more information.