There are several pros and cons to be aware of before taking selenium for hair. Both a deficiency and an overdose of selenium can have negative effects on the hair and often result in hair loss. In the right amounts, however, selenium seems to be beneficial for hair and can promote hair growth while eliminating dandruff problems. Foods grown in selenium-rich soil and selenium supplements can help to ensure healthy levels of selenium for good hair health.
One of the benefits of selenium for hair is that it helps to encourage hair growth. The selenium is used to make selenoproteins, which help with hair follicle stimulation in order to encourage new and healthy hair growth. A deficiency in selenium can result in fewer selenoproteins, which then leads to unusual development in hair follicles, reduced growth, and hair loss.
Another benefit of selenium for hair is that it can help to prevent and eliminate dandruff. It is often incorporated into specially formulated hair products in the form of selenium sulfide to eliminate dandruff problems. One of the downfalls of using these products is that the selenium sulfide can become toxic or evaporate from the product. As a result, the products can be become ineffective and even dangerous. To avoid this, the products should be used before they expire.
It is important not to overdose when using selenium, since that can have adverse effects on the hair. The recommended daily intake of selenium is 55 micrograms (mcg) for adults and between 20 and 40 mcg for children under the age of 14. For medical purposes, however, it can be taken in larger dosages up to 400 mcg a day, provided it is taken on a short-term basis. Some of the negative selenium side effects include hair loss and unusual changes in hair texture.
Aside from supplements, dietary sources of selenium are also a choice, and the risk of overdose is minimal. A few good sources are Brazil nuts, mushrooms, and many fruits and vegetables. Many meats, eggs, and fermented foods are also good sources.
Taking selenium for hair can result in many other benefits as well. Some of the benefits of selenium include protection against cancer and heart disease. It also acts as a powerful antioxidant that helps to stop the effects of harmful free radicals that can damage tissue cells. Selenium deficiencies have been linked to arthritis and osteoarthritis; however, there is not enough evidence to prove that selenium can help to prevent or reverse the condition.