Chances are, if you’re reading this article, you’re curious about hair supplements. It seems that countless types of hair supplements are popping up in stores and online with celebrity Instagrammers hyping their benefits.
Hairdresser and stylist
February, 20, 2020
Daisy has worked as a hairdresser for a long time, and it has always been a huge passion of hers.
After several years in the industry she opened her own salon in London and has loved taking care of everyones hair ever since. She has a great passion for substainability and for the environment and therefore focuses on using organic products in her salonRead more about the author.
But just what are hair growth supplements and do they really work? Are hair supplements really the secret to Rapunzel-like lengths? Keep reading to learn what you need to know about hair growth supplements. Plus, we’ll share our picks for the best hair supplements.
Most hair supplements promise thicker, stronger, and healthier-looking hair. Hair is the fastest growing tissue in the human body and requires a lot of nutrition for all that growth. Hair growth supplements are formulated with the vitamins and minerals that your hair follicles need for normal hair growth.
Hair supplements come in several forms, including capsules and flavored gummies. There isn’t a set formula for hair growth supplements, so each brand has different vitamins and minerals in different amounts. Thus, it can be difficult to judge the efficacy of hair supplements in general since they’re not standardized.
The best way to get all the nutrients you need for your hair is to eat a well-rounded, healthy diet.
However, in today’s busy world, it can be difficult to eat a diet that meets all of your hair’s nutritional requirements.
Why? Because the body views the hair as “non-essential” (even if you don’t!). So if you’re not eating the right amount of vitamins and minerals, the body will route the nutrients you do eat to your vital bodily functions and away from your hair follicles. Translation? Your hair growth will suffer.
Taking hair supplements can help you make up the difference and make sure that your hair follicles are getting all the nourishment they need for normal hair growth. Like all supplements, you should ask your doctor before taking hair supplements to reach your hair goals.
How Do I Know if Vitamin Deficiency is Affecting My Hair?
Believe it or not, many people have vitamin deficiencies and don’t realize it. Dieting, poor nutrition, and stress can all leave you with fewer nutrients than your body needs to grow hair regularly. Eating a vegetarian or vegan diet may also lead to a deficiency in hair-healthy nutrients.
However, the only way to know for sure if you have a vitamin deficiency is to get tested by your doctor. If you’re keen on cleanses or are going through a lot of stress, it couldn’t hurt to check in with your doctor about your nutrition.
How Can I Speed Up Hair Growth if I'm Healthy?
Hair supplements work best for people whose diets are lacking in certain hair-healthy vitamins and minerals. However, hair supplements may also work for people who are already healthy. Regardless, there are a few other key factors that help support normal hair growth in addition to taking hair supplements:
1. Nourish from the Outside
Take a two-pronged approach to hair growth: nourish from the inside with hair supplements and from the outside with a shampoo and conditioner formulated to strengthen your hair.
HairLust Hair Growth & Repair Shampoo and Conditioner create optimal conditions for your hair to grow. The secret is the inclusion of vegan microproteins and rice extract, which help to repair brittle, damaged hair. This hair-strengthening duo is the perfect complement to even the best hair supplements.
It doesn’t matter how many hair supplements you take if you don’t treat your hair right! Poor hair care habits lead to breakage, which is when your hair snaps off. Not what you want!
First things first, put down the hot tools. Hot tools like curling irons and straighteners zap the moisture right out of your hair, leaving it brittle and prone to breakage. Save your hot tools for special occasions only and always use a quality heat protectant spray before styling.
Stress is known to contribute to hair loss, so reducing your stress levels can help promote regular hair growth. Everyone is different, so you’ll have to experiment and find what calming techniques work best for you. Some suggestions? Regular exercise, meditation, journaling, and spending time outside are all great ways to reduce stress.
4. Sleep More
The body repairs itself while you’re sleeping. So if you’re burning the midnight oil, you’re not doing your hair any favours. Aim to get at least 7 to 8 hours of quality sleep per night.
Which Vitamins & Minerals Help with Hair Growth?
So which vitamins and minerals should you look for in a hair supplement? The best hair supplements include these hair-healthy nutrients:
All cells in the human body require vitamin A for growth. Vitamin A helps the scalp to produce natural oils that keep your hair healthy and moisturized. Sweet potatoes, carrots, and green leafy vegetables are all excellent sources of vitamin A.
B vitamins help create red blood cells, which deliver nutrients and oxygen to your hair follicles.
The best hair supplements always contain biotin, and there’s a reason for that. Biotin is a type of B vitamin (vitamin B7, to be specific) that deserves a category of its own. Biotin helps break down the proteins you eat and build up the proteins that make up your hair, skin, and nails. Too little biotin in your diet leaves hair weak and prone to breakage.
Most hair supplements are also formulated with Vitamin C. Vitamin C helps your body produce a protein called collagen, which is very important to the structure of your hair and scalp. Vitamin C also acts as an antioxidant, protecting your hair and skin against damage from free radicals. With too little vitamin C, your hair can become brittle, dry, and more prone to shedding.
Looking to get a little bit more vitamin C in your diet? Citrus fruits and bell peppers are rich in this important hair-healthy vitamin.
Some research suggests that vitamin D might help to create new hair follicles and low levels of vitamin D have been linked to hair loss. While the reason why vitamin D helps with hair growth is not yet known, it’s definitely a good idea to play it safe and make sure you’re getting enough vitamin D!
Like Vitamin C, vitamin E is an antioxidant that protects your skin and hair from free radicals. That’s why it’s a welcome addition in most brands of hair supplements!
Iron is key to many body processes, including hair growth. Iron deficiency (otherwise known as anemia) is one of the top causes of hair loss, so you want to make sure you’re getting plenty of this mineral. Foods rich in iron include spinach and lentils. However, many hair supplements do not contain iron because too much iron can make you sick. If you suspect you have an iron deficiency, talk to your doctor.
Zinc helps with hair tissue growth and repair, and it also helps to keep the oil glands on your scalp functioning correctly. That’s why it’s a popular ingredient for most brands of hair supplements.
Silica is another essential nutrient for both hair and skin. Silica helps repair damaged follicles and gives hair its elasticity.
Maybe you remember from science class that amino acids are the building blocks of protein. Your hair is mostly made of a protein called keratin, so it makes sense that amino acids would be clutch for hair growth.
You’ll also want to pay attention to what’s not in your hair supplements. Fillers, synthetic dyes and preservatives, and animal-derived gelatin are all no-no’s when it comes to hair supplements. If you’re aiming to improve your health, the last thing you want is to put these ingredients into your body! Instead, look for hair supplements made from natural, plant-based ingredients.
What About All-in-One Hair Growth Supplements?
If you know that you have a vitamin or mineral deficiency, you can certainly supplement with that specific ingredient (if that’s what your doctor recommends). However, all-in-one hair growth supplements are also pretty helpful. All-in-one hair growth supplements include multiple ingredients that are known to promote normal hair growth. Plus, they can help improve your skin and nails.
How Long Do Hair Supplements Take to Work?
Here’s the downside of hair growth supplements: they don’t work overnight (we wish!). Hair grows at a rate of one-half inch per month (at maximum) so it will take several months before you notice a difference. At that rate, it will take about two years for the healthier, stronger new hair to reach your shoulders.
Since hair supplements can’t offer instant results, think of them as a long-term investment in your hair. If you’re consistent in taking them, “future you” will be glad you made the investment!
Our Top Picks for the Best Hair Supplements:
Ready to try hair supplements? These are the ones we recommend.
Hair Growth Formula Gummies - These vegan gummy supplements are formulated with Biotin and Zinc, both of which contribute to the maintenance of normal hair. In fact, just three little gummies contain 5mg of Biotin, which is 10,000% of your daily value! Plus, they’re full of other healthy vitamins and minerals. Oh and did we mention that they’re vegan and made of naturally-derived ingredients? No fillers! And since they taste delicious, we find that people are more likely to remember to take them. When it comes to hair supplements, consistency really is key!
Hair Growth Formula Gummies Men - This gummy formula is specifically designed for men who are beginning to experience the first signs of hair loss. The secret is the addition of Selenium, which helps with the maintenance of normal hair.
Hair Growth Formula Capsules - If gummies aren’t your style, we also offer hair supplements in a capsule form. These hair growth supplements are a little bit more potent than our gummy formulas, because they also include silica and amino acids.
Hair Growth Formula Capsules Men - These are just like our hair growth capsules, but formulated for men’s specific hair concerns. We recommend taking two capsules per day with a glass of water. For best results, eat with a healthy, varied diet.
The bottom line: hair supplements may help you reach your hair goals, especially if your diet is lacking in certain vitamins and minerals. Experiment to find out which hair supplements work best for you. And as with all supplements, talk to your doctor before adding hair supplements to your routine.
Daisy has worked as a hairdresser for a long time, and it has always been a huge passion of hers. After several years in the industry she opened her own salon in London and has loved taking care of everyones hair ever since. She has a great passion for substainability and for the environment and therefore focuses on using organic products in her salon