Vitamins & Supplements for Thinning Hair: Do They Work?
Supplements & Vitamins for Thinning Hair
At some stage most men and many women will suffer the loss of some or all of their hair. It’s part of life, but the question is, can vitamins, and supplements slow this loss down or reverse it? For men and women, hair loss is caused by genetics, changes in hormones, illnesses, medication, autoimmune disorders, stress and malnutrition.
Other causes of hair loss include:
- Hair dyes
- Bleaches and perms
- Tight ponytails and braids
- Weaves or hair extensions
Hair roots can’t bear the weight and pulling, and so the hair falls out. To prevent hair thinning and loss caused by these practices, just stop.
Some cures people swear by to prevent hair loss:
- Citrullus colocynthis schrad extract
- Asiasari radix
- Cuscuta reflexa Roxb extract
- Thuja orientalis extract
- Polygonum multiflorum extract
- Eclipta alba extract
These plants and herbs might have a positive effect, however, most studies were carried out on mice, not people.
Experts differ about vitamins and supplements preventing hair loss, with some saying if you aren’t seriously deficient it shouldn’t affect your hair. Others also say a head of healthy hair is an indicator of good health.
Those who believe they work, suggest biotin, a form of B vitamin, zinc, or iron, and vitamin D, which are all involved in hair growth. So it stands to reason that if you have these at normal levels it will help you to increase your hair’s density and lessen its loss.
Other supplements and vitamins some say are great for growing hair are:
- Vitamin C
- Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids
- Amino acids
- B vitamins
- Vitamin A, and vitamin E
Many of these are found in a variety of foods and drinks as well.
The market is awash with hair loss cures, but are they placebos? According to a double blind study in 2012 by Viviscal funded by its owners, Lifes2Good they aren’t. Though not an entirely independent study, it showed that after 90 and 180 days an oral nutritional supplement promoted ‘significant hair growth’ in women who were experiencing temporary thinning of hair.
However, teasing out marketing from science is difficult. There is a lack of scientific evidence to prove over-the-counter hair growth supplements work for hair loss. It’s true that vitamin deficiencies, especially of vitamin D and iron, can be a factor in excess hair shedding, but there isn’t enough proof to say vitamins and supplements help.
If the problem of hair loss is genetic, they’re even more unlikely to work. Many people are disappointed after spending a fortune on vitamins and supplements to find they don’t work for them. However, it takes time for the blood enriched by the vitamins to reach the hair follicles so if you decide to take them, give them time to work.
Remember, if you are taking medication prescribed by your doctor, check that there are no conflicts from combining them with vitamins and supplements for hair loss.