BEFORE WE BEGIN...
The information provided in this article is for information purposes only and should not be considered as a substitute for medical advice. Please read our disclaimer at the bottom of this page for more information.
We've all been there, scrolling through Instagram or Facebook checking out what our fave celebs are getting up to and sifting through the plethora of influencers selling supplements and vitamins designed to boost hair growth. But what are these magical little chewables and can they actually make hair thicker and longer any more than a good diet?
WHAT ARE HAIR GROWTH SUPPLEMENTS?
In a nutshell, hair vitamins are ingestible sweets or tablets containing well known 'hair-friendly' ingredients that are designed to boost hair growth. Typically, you will see ingredients such as biotin, folic acid, zinc, iron, and collagen along with essential vitamins such as A, C, D and E, all packed into a daily supplement.
Most of the ingredients are well known to play a role in health hair growth, however, the majority of the product themselves have not been independently tested or reference data from trials funded directly by the brands.
DO I NEED THEM AND DO THEY WORK?
Without question, vitamins are absolutely necessary and beneficial for your hair to grow. However, as most people will get all the vitamins they need just from their diet alone, you should be asking "Do I need more of them?".
The phrase "the more the merrier" isn't necessarily the case when it comes to vitamins for hair unfortunately. We recommend that you make sure you get the basics right first: eat well, sleep well, exercise appropriately and manage your stress levels, then speak to a proessional.
Even if you were to ingest double the amount of vitamins your body needs, you won’t double the hair growth rewards. The reality is that your body only keeps what it needs, then gets rid of the rest, so supplements won’t help if your body is already fully stocked with them from your diet.
So your saying that they do not work? In short no, we are not saying they do not work as we know that hair loss is a complicated subject and there are a lot of different reasons why hair loss occurs. Hair loss supplements can play a roll in certain types of hair loss which is why we always recommend you speak to a medical professional to understand the root casue of your own hair loss before trying any treatment or cosmetic product.
WHEN DO HAIR GROWTH SUPPLEMENTS WORK?
We have now established that, if you have a healthy and balanced diet, it is very unlikely that hair loss supplements are going to make a difference to your hair loss. However, in the case of hair loss caused by nutritional deficiencies this is where supplements can come into their own.
A key reason for this is because of the hair’s position in the body’s pecking order when it comes to the delivery of nutrients, add into the mix that the energy requirements of hair cells (one of the fastest cells that the body produces), and you can soon see that hair often falls short of getting the fuel it needs if your diet is not right.
Nutritional deficiencies are a known cause of hair loss, especially if we are talking about an inadequate intake of proteins, minerals, essential fatty acids, and vitamins. In this instance, choosing supplements that are enriched with vitamins and minerals you need for stronger, healthier hair; these products can help put back what you’re most likely missing and help to maintain healthy hair growth.
As we mentioned earlier, your body will not absorb more of a given nutrient than it requires, however, it is also worth noting that the less your body has of a specific nutrient, the more readily it will be absorbed. For instance, if you have a deficiency in iron, your body will aggressively absorb that nutrient from your food source or supplement. So it's important to see your GP or a nutritionist if you feel like you may be deficient in a specific vitamin or mineral and they can check your levels and advise accordingly.
WHAT DO THEY COST?
A quick check on your favourite search engine or in your local pharmacy and you will see that there are a lot of brands out there, with prices ranging from £9 for a multi purpose tablet such as Perfectil through to £52 for a 1 month supply of Nourkrin or Viviscal.
While our aim is to provide you with uptodate and relevant information, drugs affect each person differently. As such we can not guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects and this information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss treatment options and possible side effects with a healthcare professional who knows your specific medical history.