Hair health is a big deal nowadays – all you have to do is spend a few seconds scrolling social media and you’ll see at least one influencer or another promoting a hair health supplement.
While it’s important to prioritize the health of your hair, it’s also important to understand the reality behind many of these promoted hair health products. Do they really work and are actually going to see the results as promoted online? Most of the time, the answer is a resounding no.
This being said, there are a few hair vitamins on the market today that have made their mark as firm favorites, which deliver true results. To learn more about the efficacy of hair vitamins and the right supplements to take, just keep on reading.
The Truth Behind Hair Vitamins: Do They Encourage Hair Growth?
Most marketed hair vitamins make bold claims about totally reviving your hair from the ”inside out”. They claim to use ”hair-friendly” ingredients in their supplements such as vitamins A, D, C, and E, as well as folic acid, and biotin. What they don’t tell you about is the other non-FDA approved ingredients thrown in for good measure.
The overall premise of taking a hair vitamin is to encourage hair growth, strength, volume, and shine. But many products on the market today aren’t approved or backed by reliable scientific or government-approved data.
They are also not tested on a large enough study of people to hold any real weight in terms of evidence-based success.
Worse than this, many of the studies that are available on the ”efficacy” of hair vitamins are funded by the brand/company itself. This does not make their evidence of success very objective or reliable.
It’s also worth noting that the supplements industry is unregulated in the U.S. This means that supplements can be produced without uniform, scientifically-based formulations that are not approved by the FDA.
In reality, you never really know if a particular hair supplement that’s just hit the market is going to work for you or not. However, there are a few exceptions…
Best-Selling Hair Vitamins Worth Considering
Today, there are a few tried-and-tested hair vitamins that have garnered a decent following thanks to the measurable results they offer. These brands have established themselves as leaders in the hair health field:
- SugarBear Hair vitamins — available as gummies
- HUM Nutrition available as sweet hair gummies
- Vitafusion Gorgeous hair, skin, and nail gummies
- Hairfinity Candilocks chewable hair vitamins
Of course, hair health goes hand-in-hand with the rest of your overall health. The success and efficacy of any of the above-mentioned hair supplements is reliant on a healthy lifestyle and diet, too.
Aside from vitamins for hair growth, you can supplement your diet with the right foods that are high in the right vitamins, such as:
In order for all the cells in your body to grow and regenerate, vitamin A is essential. Hair is the second-fastest-growing tissue in the human body, so if you want to boost hair growth, pack your diet with vitamin A-rich foods.
This includes carrots, pumpkin, sweet potato, kale, dairy products, and eggs which are food items high in beta-carotene. This substance is later converted into vitamin A inside the body.
Eating vitamin A-rich foods is also great for regulating the oiliness of your scalp. Vitamin A assists oil glands in the production of sebum, which helps to keep the scalp and hair moisturized, and shiny.
Vitamin A is an essential ingredient for healthy hair. But bear in mind that too much vitamin A can also be harmful and actually cause hair loss and dryness.
You may have already heard of this particular ingredient already, but biotin is one of the most effective vitamins in encouraging good hair health. Biotin is a B-vitamin that occurs naturally in a large range of foods.
Some of these include dark, leafy green vegetables, whole grains, meat, fish, seafood, and almonds. But you can find the greatest levels of biotin in animal products. If you follow a vegan or vegetarian diet, a B-12 supplement is recommended.
Biotin and other B-vitamins are responsible for the creation of red blood cells. These cells then carry oxygen to the scalp and hair follicles, which encourages hair growth and health.
This is one of the most underrated vitamins when it comes to the health of your hair. But vitamin C holds powerful antioxidant properties that protect our insides from stress and damage, caused by free radicals.
This type of damage tends to slow down or hamper hair growth and cause your hair to age prematurely. Vitamin C is also important for the production of collagen, which forms a crucial part of the structure of your hair. The better your collagen stores, the healthier and stronger your hair will be.
By getting enough vitamin C in your diet, this also helps your body absorb iron — another important element for hair health. You can find vitamin C in common foods such as tomatoes, strawberries, kiwi fruit, guavas, and so much more.
This is yet another vital vitamin for hair health. So much so that most people suffering from alopecia (a form of hair loss) have very low levels of vitamin D.
The role of vitamin D in the body is diverse. But when it comes to hair health, it encourages the creation of new hair follicles and hair growth. Essentially, the role of vitamin D in hair health boils down to vitamin D receptors in the body, which play a major role in new hair production.
The reality is that most people are vitamin D deficient. This is because this vitamin is not naturally abundant in the body and must be supplemented with sunshine exposure, diet, or supplements. Good sources of vitamin D include fatty fish such as cod and salmon, as well as mushrooms, and other fortified foods and cereals.
Low levels of iron in the body can wreak havoc on a number of internal functions. Most people don’t realize the importance of eating iron-rich foods in order to boost their overall health.
But why is iron so important? Basically, this mineral helps the red blood cells carry oxygen to all the other cells in the body. This means that iron is crucial in the support of the body’s most basic and important functions, including hair growth.
Iron deficiency is a real problem in most of the developed world. It can lead to anemia and premature hair loss, and is especially common in women. Luckily, you can easily supplement your diet with iron-rich foods such as eggs, red meat, spinach, lentils, clams, and oysters.
You’ve probably heard about the benefits of zinc for your skin. But what about the health of your hair? Zinc is another important mineral for hair growth and tissue repair. It also regulates the oil glands and improves the function of hair follicles.
Zinc, just like vitamin A, can be harmful in excessive amounts, which can cause dry, brittle hair, and even hair loss. So be sure to take the right dose of zinc if you choose to take a supplement. Otherwise, you can increase your zinc levels by eating foods such as beef, spinach, wheat germ, lentils, pumpkin seeds, and oysters.
Ah, protein. This is probably the most important macronutrient for your overall health. Why? Because every single cell in your body requires protein to function. Your hair is made almost entirely of protein, this is why getting enough protein in your diet can improve hair health, and strength like no other nutrient.
While protein deficiency is rare in most parts of the Western world, it’s still important to keep track of how much protein you eat in your diet. If you follow a vegan or vegetarian diet, make sure to supplement with protein-rich foods such as pulses, beans, quinoa, nuts, seeds, cereals, and grains.
How to Tell You Have a Vitamin Deficiency
Given today’s stressful, busy world we live in, many people may be living with some form of vitamin deficiency and not even know it. To add to this, poor nutrition, yo-yo dieting, lack of sleep, smoking, and drinking can also lead to vitamin deficiencies.
When your body is deficient in one or more essential vitamins, your hair, skin, and nails are usually impacted first. This is because your body is reserving all essential nutrients it does have for other important functions, i.e. sending energy to your organs!
One of the hallmarks of vitamin deficiency is hair loss or hair shedding. So, if you notice that you’re losing more hair than usual when washing, brushing, or styling your hair, it’s best to have your vitamin levels checked out.
Make Your Health a Priority, and Your Hair Will Thank You
It’s a no-brainer that as soon as your health is impacted by stress, poor diet, lack of exercise or sleep, your hair suffers, too. That’s why the best way to keep your hair in top condition is to take care of your health first. You only really need to use hair vitamins as a supplement to a healthy lifestyle — and that’s the truth!
If you’re looking to make your health a priority, don’t miss out on the rest of this site for handy blogs on sleep hygiene, meditation, maintaining a healthy diet, and so much more.