Hair Vitamins & Hair Supplements: An Unbiased Guide to Healthy Hair from Within
While it can be easily understood and agreed upon that vitamins are good for one’s hair, just as they are for overall health, literature that takes a broad based look at the role of vitamins and minerals in one’s hair health is lacking. This article will take the piecemeal research and facts and assemble it back together to establish an overview look at the role vitamins and minerals play in hair health and hair loss.
The First Commandment of Hair Vitamins and Minerals
Despite the sales literature and fake news you read on the internet, hair vitamins and minerals will not induce new hair growth for follicles affected by dihydrotestosterone or hereditary hair loss. The same goes for over-the-counter “hair supplements” that claim to “block DHT,” with no side-effects, and it is “The Hair Loss Cure Your Doctor Doesn’t Want You to Know About.”
Hair vitamins, supplements, and minerals will not help you regrow hair lost to genetic hair loss, and other forms of hair loss. In spite of this, we still need proper nutrition to keep our hair.
Too much of a good thing can cause hair loss
“Excessive intakes of nutritional supplements may actually cause hair loss and are not recommended in the absence of a proven deficiency.” (1) For example, it is widely known that too much vitamin A can cause temporary hair loss, especially in women, in a condition known as hypervitaminosis. More than 25,000 IU daily is considered toxic, can cause hair loss and other serious health problems. The daily-recommended dose of Vitamin A is 5,000 IUs.
Not enough of a good thing can cause hair loss
Although some authorities state that a lack of vitamins and minerals does NOT cause hair loss, the majority of the available research and clinical studies suggests otherwise. An improper diet can lead to such nutritional disorders such as anemia or protein deficiency, which, in severe cases, can cause hair loss. Those with vitamin D-dependent rickets are also susceptible to hair loss. (3)
Other vitamin and mineral deficiencies that can cause temporary hair loss include:
- Zinc (some experts disagree on the role of zinc)
- Iron (which results in anemia),
- Vitamin A (too much can cause hair loss too).
- Vitamin D
- Amino acids
It is important to remember, that deficiencies in these vitamins and minerals that is bad enough to cause hair loss is rare. A balanced, healthy diet will contain enough vitamins and minerals to prevent hair loss.
Circumstances that could lead to vitamin deficiency include giving birth, very low-calorie weight loss diets, and weight loss surgery.
If you suspect you have hair loss caused by a vitamin or mineral deficiency, please consult a dermatologist who can conduct the necessary tests to “root out” the true cause of your hair loss.
Vitamins and minerals designated for healthy hair
So, what should you be taking to promote healthy hair from within?
The answer: nothing special.
Specific vitamins and supplements compounded together, packaged, and marketed as “hair vitamins,” provide the same benefits that any normal multi-vitamin and mineral bottle that you can purchase at the grocery store.
A simple multivitamin and mineral daily supplement manufactured by a quality company is all you have to do to give your hair what it needs. When purchasing a daily vitamin brand, make sure it has the following, (which most of them do).
- Vitamin A or beta carotene:
- Vitamin B to include B12 and B6 and biotin.
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
- Zinc (However, too much can cause hair loss)
Is Faster Hair Growth with Vitamins and Minerals possible?
Normal hair growth for everyone is ranges between one centimeter and one half-inch every month.
For many reasons, women and men, at one time or another, want their hair to grow faster. Whether it’s to escape a bad haircut, change styles, or to cover a balding area, they want their hair longer and they want it now.
Corporations, who sell vitamins and supplements, are fully aware of this demand, and are quick to offer you a solution. Their solution is often a specific combination of the vitamins and minerals we mentioned above. This product is then packaged and marketed with the intent of giving you the impression that it will “promote faster hair growth.” And of course, they cost more than regular vitamins since it can do all that.
Unfortunately, there is no evidence to back up these claims.
A thorough search for clinical studies on the ability of vitamins and minerals to grow hair faster produced no results or studies worth mentioning.
Karen Shelton of HairBoutique.com agrees there is no “magic bullet” therapy that can induce faster hair growth in women. Clinical evidence, or lack thereof, offers no proof that faster hair growth can be achieved by taking this supplement or that vitamin, she reports.
Women or men looking for faster hair growth should take their regular vitamins and be patient. The average human grows about five to six inches of hair per year; if that is not fast enough, one may consider getting hair extensions, or wearing a wig.