How Folic Acid Keeps Your Hair Healthy & Skin Firm - TELETIES

How Folic Acid Keeps Your Hair Healthy & Skin Firm

Folic acid is the synthetic form of Vitamin B9 (also called folate when it is found in foods) and is a crucial vitamin for healthy hair given its role in DNA synthesis and production of new cells in the body.  This includes keratin cells, the building blocks of your hair.  In addition to folic acid being healthy for your hair, it aids your body with fighting cancer (and avoiding hair loss due to chemotherapy during treatment), not to mention keeping your skin firm

And B9 is especially important during pregnancy to reduce the risk of birth defects of your baby’s brain and spine.  And much like other vitamins and nutrients, you can have deficiencies.

Folic acid deficiency is common in young women, and often shows up with a deficiency in iron, another important mineral for hair health. The two work hand-in-hand so you can get the full benefit, and that is why it is important to make sure you have enough of both.  Folic acid helps your body use the iron and avoid hair loss from iron deficiency anemia, while also helping to prevent other blood issues that can make you lose your hair which you can read in this study

Fun fact: Iron is one of the key ingredients that makes hamburgers a hair healthy food.

If you think you have a B9 deficiency, there are symptoms to look for including weakness, fatigue, irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath, hair loss, pale skin, and mouth sores. But before you self diagnose, talk to a doctor.  These can be symptoms of other issues and only a licensed medical professional will be able to verify.

If it turns out you do have a folic acid deficiency, it’s easy to get your fill and keep your hair and body healthy by taking supplements and eating right. 85% of folic acid from supplements (or fortified foods) is estimated to be bioavailable, while only about 50% of natural folate from foods is. So you know how they say “breakfast is the most important meal of the day?” Well, don’t shy away from cereal, as long as it’s fortified.

Here’s how much folic acid you need (according to the NIH), and the amount is based on your age and gender, and if you’re pregnant.  The amount you need will also determine which foods you may want to add or switch out in your diet.  Below the table of the levels you’ll find a list of the top Vitamin B9 food, and how much they have per serving.

Daily Recommended Dose of Folic Acid






Birth to 6 months*

65 mcg DFE*

65 mcg DFE*

7–12 months*

80 mcg DFE*

80 mcg DFE*

1–3 years

150 mcg DFE

150 mcg DFE

4–8 years

200 mcg DFE

200 mcg DFE

9–13 years

300 mcg DFE

300 mcg DFE

14–18 years

400 mcg DFE

400 mcg DFE

600 mcg DFE

500 mcg DFE

19+ years

400 mcg DFE

400 mcg DFE

600 mcg DFE

500 mcg DFE

Top 10 Foods with Folic Acid

Getting enough folic acid is as easy as having a bowl of fortified cereal for breakfast, adding some rice to your lunch or as a side at dinner, and eating spaghetti for a meal.  You could have a Caesar salad with romaine lettuce for lunch, or sliced avocado for a healthy snack.  And as a bonus, avocado is also good for your hair.



(mcg) DFE per




Beef liver, braised, 3 ounces



Spinach, boiled, ½ cup



Black-eyed peas (cowpeas), boiled, ½ cup



Breakfast cereals, fortified with 25% of the DV†



Rice, white, medium-grain, cooked, ½ cup†



Asparagus, boiled, 4 spears



Brussels sprouts, frozen, boiled, ½ cup



Spaghetti, cooked, enriched, ½ cup†



Lettuce, romaine, shredded, 1 cup



Avocado, raw, sliced, ½ cup



Folic acid is important for healthy hair, and you’ll enjoy the other ways it benefits your body.  And getting enough is easy as it is readily available in popular food items and supplements.  If you found this guide helpful, subscribe to the TELETIMES blog below for more healthy hair and styling tips.

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