The best nutritional supplements for healthy and abundant hair (2023)

So you start noticing that your hair isn't what it used to be. Maybe your forehead is a bit higher, the crown a bit thinner. You start to see some hair loss. While male pattern baldness is common (two-thirds of men lose at least some of their hair by the time they reach 35), the reasons are varied. In addition to genetics, hair loss is the result of certain diseases, medications, infections, radiation, toxins, and stress. And in some parts of the world, nutritional diseases and vitamin deficiencies can also lead to hair loss.

Severe vitamin deficiencies are rare in American men, but scientists have begun studying whether vitamins and supplements can slow hair loss or even help hair regrow. "While we haven't seen any large randomized clinical trials showing vitamins help with hair growth, several smaller studies have shown some results," he healthConsultant and dermatologist Adnan Nasir, M.D.

The supplement market is full of products that promise to thicken your mane, and vitamins alone probably don't work as well as prescribed treatments or procedures.

With that in mind, we delved into scientific research to find out which vitamins and minerals are worth trying. And while you're searching, we've also reviewed the most common supplements that contain various vitamins, herbs, minerals and other natural compounds to combat hair loss - some are often grouped under the term "nutraceuticals".

The low content of vitamins and minerals for hair loss


Nasir notes that people who are on a ketogenic diet, have had bariatric surgery, or drink heavily can end up with lower levels of certain vitamins, including biotin. There is plenty of research showing that a lack of the vitamin can lead to hair loss (as well as eczema and fungal infections). An article published inJournal of the American Academy of Dermatology, which reviewed all studies on biotin since the 1980s, found several cases where hair loss stabilized or reversed after taking the vitamin, although other scientists say more research is needed before recommending it for hair loss or growth . In people who are not actually biotin deficient, the results are not as promising.


Even more common than biotin deficiency, vitamin D deficiency affects extreme vegans, men with dairy allergies, those with Crohn's disease and celiac disease, and those who don't get enough sunlight. Vitamin D helps new hair follicles grow, and prolonged drops in levels can cause hair to become brittle and clump together around the drain. Vitamin D is found in foods like oily fish, liver, eggs, and milk (find out how best to incorporate it into your diet).Here). The Mayo Clinic recommends that adults consume at least 600 international units (IU) of vitamin D daily, although 1,000 to 2,000 IU per day is considered safe and can also help keep your bones, muscles, nerves, and nerves in good shape Immune system. .


Studies show a link between zinc deficiency and a variety of hair loss conditions (kidney, liver, and sickle cell diseases have also been linked to low zinc levels). Some previous studies found that zinc supplements helped eliminate hair loss due to telogen effluvium, a hair loss disorder commonly caused by stress (including Covid), toxins or trauma. However, the Baylor College of Medicine researchers note that the numbers were small and there is not enough evidence that zinc causes hair growth in other circumstances. Overdosing on the mineral can cause abdominal problems like nausea and diarrhea.

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What About Other Hair Loss Supplements?

combination supplements

"Nutrients such as zinc, iron, niacin, selenium, fatty acids, folate, biotin, amino acids, protein, antioxidants, and vitamins D, A, and E can affect hair growth," says the nutritionist and author.Kristin Kirkpatrick, MS, RDN. And two leading brands that sell combinations of these nutrients are Nutrafol and Viviscal. Both "nutraceuticals" claim to help hair growth by combining many of these nutrients into a single capsule.

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Nutrafol:This product combines vitamins, herbs, and ingredients like marine collagen, resveratrol, saw palmetto, and various other compounds in its pills. The ingredients, the company says, work by targeting factors that contribute to thinning hair, including environmental stress and aging. He claims that this combination of ingredients reduces levels of dihydrotestosterone (DHT), the byproduct of testosterone, which at high levels can cause hair follicles to thin. "Clinical studies show that even androgenetic alopecia (i.e. male pattern baldness) is made worse by stress," says dermatologist Michael Gold, M.D., medical director of the Global Center for Hair Restoration in Nashville. "Nutrafol contains stress adaptogens, plants that have been shown to reduce elevated cortisol levels."

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Viviska:This dietary supplement contains ingredients like shark collagen and shell powder, both of which are believed to help the arctic native Inuit grow extra thick hair. Research published inJournal of Cosmetic Dermatologysuggests that marine collagen may slow hair loss and help regrow new hair. But because of the shellfish dust, people with shellfish allergies should stay away.

Both Nutrafol and Viviscal are available online and usually from your dermatologist, where Dr. Gold recommends buying. "It's always good to talk to your doctor first," he says. "Even if you have classic familial hair loss, a qualified dermatologist can be confident in ruling out other scalp and hair conditions, as well as other contributing factors, and can recommend a variety of options."

A month's supply of Nutrafol costs $75, and Viviscal costs slightly less at $50, although the company recommends using the supplement with the shampoo. Is the price worth it? "The bottom line is that they work," says Dr. oro "I have personally seen great results with Nutrafol and Viviscal in my practice."

The best nutritional supplements for healthy and abundant hair (2)

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individual additions

Some of the ingredients in Nutrafol and Viviscal are available separately. Kirkpatrick advises that “it's important not to do thisoneSupplement your vitamins and nutrients, as taking too many causes other medical complications. For example, excess vitamin A is stored in fat cells, and excessive amounts of supplements can become toxic. So does selenium, which ironically can cause hair loss.worseif taken in excess. This is done with some of the individual key ingredients.

saw palmetto:Saw palmetto, the fruit extract that Nutrafol claims blocks DHT, is available in pill form, as a liquid tincture, and as a topical serum.SeekA study conducted by scientists from UC Irvine, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and the Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine found that saw palmetto "showed a modest improvement in hair growth" but was inferior to the prescription drug finasteride (Propecia).

L-Cystein:This sulfur-rich amino acid, which is found in soybeans, wheat, lentils and onions, among other things, strengthens both hair and nails. One of the most abundant proteins in hair, keratin is loaded with L-cysteine. In a review from 2018Spanish scientists closedthat nutrient-enriched hair products "slow down hair loss." L-cysteine ​​is available in pills and capsules ranging from 200 to 500 milligrams. However, in excess, it can cause nausea, diarrhea, headaches, vomiting, and even liver complications.

Procyanidin B2 with apple extract:Although many have never heard of it, this is one of the most proven nutraceuticals. in oneLearn Italian 2018, Annurca apple extracts promoted hair growth at "completely comparable or even higher" rates compared to tests of leading prescription drugs, but without the side effects of drugs. "Procyanidin may help promote hair cell growth by stimulating the anagen phase, the active phase of the hair growth cycle," said Joshua Zeichner, M.D., director of cosmetic and clinical research in the Department of Dermatology at Mount Hospital Sinai in New York. . The only problem is that while it's easy to find products that contain vitamin B2 and apple extract, finding the right compound is a little more difficult. Powdered drink mixes can be purchased atBadmonkey BotanicalsmiToki Botanicals.

Get your vitamins for healthy hair at the supermarket first

Before heading to the health food store, Kirkpatrick encourages the kids to take a look inside their fridges and closets. "Eating a diet rich in vitamins and minerals is the best option for keeping your hair healthy," she says. It specifically recommends the Mediterranean diet, which prioritizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and seeds, and allows for poultry, fish, and eggs (learn everything you need to know about the Mediterranean dietHere). In addition to providing all the vitamins and minerals necessary for healthy hair, visiting the Mediterranean Sea can lower BMI, blood sugar and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Doctor Nasir adds that the skin, including hair, is "a window into our overall health." Premature graying of hair, persistent hair loss, and significantly advanced male pattern baldness at a particularly young age can all be signs of underlying medical problems. A man cannot diagnose a vitamin deficiency on his own. It's a good idea to see a doctor before beginning a new vitamin regimen to rule out any major problems. Consulting a Registered Dietitian or Registered Dietitian can ensure your diet has the right balance of essential nutrients and help you not to overdo it.

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If all is well nutritionally, accept your hair as it is. consider itSome guys believethat the best hairstyle is to have no hair. And they know how to deal with it.

David Mclynn

David McGlynn's writing has been published in numerous places including The New York Times, Best American Sports Writing and Real Simple. He is also the author of One Day You'll Thank Me: Lessons from Unexpected Parenthood. He lives in Madison, Wisconsin.


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