Hair is essential to men and women worldwide as it’s a way to express ourselves through sexuality, personality, and health. As you age, your hair may thin, or you may notice clumps fall out.
Scientists and dermatologists believe hair vitamins and supplements slow the process and regrow damage or hair loss.
Then again, if there were a magical pill you had to take to get Rapunzel hair, wouldn’t everyone be doing it? Some science states that vitamin deficiencies in riboflavin, biotin, folate, and vitamin B12 can lead to hair loss.
Do hair vitamins work for hair growth? Let’s find out.
What Types of Vitamins Are Good for Hair Growth?
Hair damage involves many factors, including hormonal, environmental, chemicals, nutrition, and medical conditions. Essentially, the more healthy of a person you are and depending on your lifestyle, the healthier your hair will be.
The vitamins commonly found in hair supplements consist of biotin, Vitamin A, C, and B, among other minerals such as fish oils, zinc, and iron.
Although vitamins, minerals, and supplements may increase strength, shine, and growth, they should not be your only reliance towards your goal of longer and healthier hair.
The following are some vitamins essential for hair regrowth and health.
Vitamin B7 – Biotin
Vitamin B7, known as biotin, encourages the production of keratin in hair which generates hair follicle growth. Biotin is found in many foods such as fish, red meat, green vegetables, and dairy, among others, and is not likely to cause hair loss unless you are deficient in B7.
A deficiency in biotin includes strange rashes and brittle nails alongside hair loss. Taking vitamin B7 alone will not stimulate hair growth but will increase keratin production, strengthening hair and repairing the damage.
Vitamin C produces collagen, an essential protein that develops healthy skin, bones, cartilage, and connective tissue. Few studies prove Vitamin C benefits hair growth as it is mainly used for immunity and overall health.
Since vitamin C boosts collagen production, the chances of your hair falling out decreases as vitamin C is great for strengthening and repairing follicle and tissue damage.
Vitamin A or retinol helps produce and increase sebum, essential for healthy hair and growth. Sebum is a waxy substance that your body naturally produces, which helps protect and moisturize your scalp and skin.
Vitamin A is required to prevent hair breakage, split ends, and thinning. Retinol (vitamin A) is fat-soluble, which means it stores in the fatty tissues of your body and lasts longer than water-soluble vitamins.
It’s easy to overdose on fat solubles, so be cautious when taking Vitamin A, as it may lead to hair loss, abdominal pain, and vomiting.
Like biotin, it’s unlikely your hair loss comes from vitamin D unless you have a deficiency. Vitamin D helps promote the development of cells found in hair follicles and other body functions, such as kidney and immune cells.
If you’re experiencing hair loss, vitamin D can help, though it is possible to have an overdose because vitamin D is fat-soluble.
There is little evidence proving that vitamin D and hair loss are connected, although it is an essential vitamin needed for producing keratinocytes, the cells that produce keratin.
Vitamin E contains antioxidants essential for hair and follicle health. Without antioxidant properties, you’ll experience hair loss and, in rare cases, alopecia.
Vitamin E is necessary for shine, scalp circulation, oil production for moisture, and strength. You’ll experience less hair breakage and split ends by taking vitamin E.
Again, vitamin E is stored in fatty tissues, so be cautious of an overdose. The recommended amount is 15mg daily. Foods such as avocado, pumpkin, almonds, and sunflower seeds are excellent sources of vitamin E.
Benefits and Side Effects of Hair Vitamins
It’s always a good idea to take multivitamins for hair growth and other vital functions such as immune function and hormone balance and to fill nutritional or vitamin deficiencies.
Although taking multivitamins may be suitable for your health, you may not experience fast results for hair growth if you do not have a deficiency.
The benefits of taking hair vitamins are:
- Skin repair
- Added moisture
- Reduction in aging skin and hair
- Thicker or more volumized locks
- Softer and shinier hair
While there is no evidence of side effects taking place from taking vitamins for hair growth, overdoses can include signs such as:
- Stomach pain
- Skin lesion or rash
- Brain fog or fatigue
The chances of overdosing on vitamins are low, especially for water-soluble vitamins. However, it is possible to take too high of a dose of fat-soluble vitamins.
Which Vitamin Deficiency Causes Hair Loss?
All the vitamins mentioned above can result in hair loss, breakage, damage, and a slower growth rate if you are deficient in one or more. Other vitamin deficiencies that cause hair loss are:
- Folic Acid
- Fatty Acids such as Omega 3 and 6
- Amino Acid
A blood test is the best way to know if you have a vitamin deficiency.
How to Know If You Have a Vitamin Deficiency
While it’s not common to have a vitamin deficiency, it is possible. Vitamin deficiencies can result in severe symptoms such as:
- Muscle weakness
- Rapid or irregular heartbeat
- Significant weight loss
- Pale or yellow skin and eyes
- Numbness in extremities such as hands and feet
- Poor circulation
- Shortness of breath
- Skin rash
- Brittle nails
- Hair loss
After receiving a diagnosis from your doctor, you’ll be able to identify which vitamins you’re deficient in, and your doctor will provide you with the treatment to get on track.
As we age, our bodies tend to hold and absorb fewer nutrients, so taking a multivitamin supplement is a good idea.
Supplements for Hair Growth
Supplements are just as important as vitamins. Though the most significant difference between vitamins and supplements is that vitamins are 100% natural, and supplements are a more synthetic approach.
Both vitamins and supplements do the same thing, but some people need an extra dose without overdosing, which is where supplementation comes in.
The following are the top supplements for healthy hair and hair growth.
Nutrafol: Best for Thinning
- THE #1 DERMATOLOGIST-RECOMMENDED HAIR GROWTH SUPPLEMENT BRAND*: Nutrafol Women hair growth supplement is clinically proven...
- FOR WOMEN AGES 18-44: Physician-formulated hair supplement that improves hair growth for women ages 18-44 with all hair types...
- RESULTS IN 3-6 MONTHS: Take 4 capsules once daily for visible results in 3-6 months. In a clinical study, 90% of women saw...
Nutrafol is a natural supplement with herbs such as ashwagandha and anti-inflammatory properties to promote hair growth and repair. Nutrafol targets all aspects of hair growth, including providing hair cells with essential proteins such as keratin your hair and skin need to thrive.
Specialists and doctors have clinically tested nutrafol and have personally recommended using this supplement for six months or more as it contains no synthetic products and brings lasting results. Some people experience side effects such as rash and nausea due to allergies.
Olly: Best for Healthy Looking Hair and Skin
- OLLY HEAVENLY HAIR: Delivers a blend of vitamins, minerals and botanicals that help support hair follicles and healthy hair.*
- THE GOODS INSIDE: These beauty gummies deliver a blend of vitamins, minerals and botanicals (Keratin, Biotin and Amla) to...
- HOW TO TAKE: Chew two gummies, no food or water needed. 60 gummies per bottle (30 day supply)
Olly is best for developing the keratin protein essential for hair growth if you have damaged or weathered hair. Olly blends vitamin C, E, and B7 to give you a thicker and firmer look.
Although Olly is a cheaper option, it has not been clinically studied for results. According to the Olly website, they use all-natural ingredients and are best suited for people with biotin deficiency.
VitaFusion: Best for Hair and Nail Health
- One 150 count bottle of vitafusion Womens Multivitamin Gummies, Berry Flavored Daily Vitamins for Women provide support for...
- Each two-gummy serving of this multivitamin for women is specially formulated to support womens health needs (1) with...
- Gummy vitamins for women support immune and bone health and energy metabolism (1) while offering a delicious, natural flavor...
The active ingredients in VitaFusion are more suited for healthy nails but provided with Vitamin C and E, which work to increase the look and feel of healthy hair. VitaFusion is best for split ends and breakage as it uses zinc and folate, essential for hair repair.
Hum: Best for Vegans and Hair Growth
- SUPPORT HEALTHY GROWTH - These vegan berry biotin gummies with folic acid are your best-kept secret for longer, stronger,...
- HAIR-LOVING INGREDIENTS - Formulated with vegan hair-loving ingredients like biotin, zinc, fo ti, vitamin b 12 and folic...
- SUPPORT FOR HAIR, SKIN & NAILS - Biotin supports hair, skin and nail health. Zinc promotes the health of hair follicles....
Hum is a vegan-friendly option where consumers are equipped with PABA, B12, biotin, zinc, and folic acid. All ingredients in Hum provide optimum hair growth and repair.
Many consumers have mentioned that after using Hum for a few months, their hair was noticeably softer and fuller without so much shedding and hair loss.
Viviscal: Best for Repairing Root Damage
- One 60 ct box of Viviscal Hair Growth Supplements for Women
- Suitable for all hair types, Viviscal Hair Growth Vitamin Supplements have been scientifically proven to nourish thinning...
- Backed by over 25 years of research and development with comparable formulas, millions of women around the world have...
Viviscal combines zinc, vitamin C, iron, and horsetail extract to prolong the growth rate of hair cells. Consumers mention that they’ve noticed a decrease in hair loss after washing and generally feel better health-wise.
Hair Vitamins vs. Hair Serum
Hair serums work to strengthen and repair hair externally, while vitamins work to improve hair internally. Both are required to repair the damage your hair has experienced due to worldly elements and personal lifestyle.
Serums are essential for scalp and irritation problems, whereas vitamins are essential for repairing your internal cells and proteins. You can apply the serum directly onto the scalp and the vitamins you ingest. Both are needed for quick results.
Any doctor will tell you that you need vitamins. A Healthy body will grow long thick and healthy hair, that’s simple. That same doctor will caution you against taking vitamins Orally without his or her advice.
While you can apply whatever you wish to your hair (it’s a dead organ anyway), you must be very careful about what you swallow.
Vitamin overdose can be dangerous. So it is absolutely imperative to learn what vitamins your body needs and which ones are absolutely unnecessary.
Some common questions about vitamins for hair growth are:
No. Vitamins have few calories and no carbs. Therefore hair vitamins do not cause weight gain.
There is no short-term fix. Gummy vitamins are a different solution to taking pills but provide the same nutrients your body needs to thrive.
If you’re going to take gummies or vitamins for hair growth, expect results to happen long-term (within five years).
Biotin is the first and most used ingredient in most hair products. It has proven more effective in hair repair and growth than typical hair vitamins. You’ll need a combination of biotin and other vitamins to see results.
Yes. Vitamin E oil provides moisture to hair and scalp and will help in your quest to grow your hair.
Most hair vitamins don’t work overnight. You’ll need to commit to taking hair vitamins long-term for up to five years or more to see permanent results.
It depends on your lifestyle and diet if you want to strengthen, repair, or even grow your hair faster. Vitamins for hair growth alone will not give you the desired results.
However, the likelihood of hair loss decreases if you take multivitamins and natural hair supplements alongside a healthy diet and proper hair care routine.
Hair vitamins definitely work. But only if you know the right dosage and administer them at the right time and in the right way.