People value physical beauty. So much so, that hair care has grown into a multibillion industry. This includes vitamins for hair growth. Which many brands have claimed can magically reverse hair loss!
Want to find out more about these supplements? Read on to learn about the popular vitamins for fixing hair loss in Malaysia. Including how they help and whether they even work!
Do Vitamins For Hair Growth Actually Work?
The short answer is ‘yes and no’. The efficacy of hair supplements is not backed by concrete research. Furthermore, claims made by beauty brands are not regulated by the authorities.
Surprisingly, most people get the necessary vitamins for healthy hair growth. From their diet alone! (Reference: trichologist Dominic Burg, chief scientist at Evolis Professional from cosmopolitan.com)
Thus, unless your doctor finds that you have a vitamin deficiency:
Hair growth vitamins will probably not work for you, unfortunately. As any excess vitamins you ingest will just end up in your pee (*1)!
Do You Need Hair Vitamins? (Common Symptoms Of Hair Loss)
However, if you notice these symptoms, you could be experiencing hair loss.
Signs to look out for:
- Hair tangles more than usual
- Hair is extra shiny or extra dry
- Thinning at the crown area
- Breakage in your hair (split ends)
- Hair grows extra slowly (only requiring a haircut every few months)
- Big bald spots appearing on scalp
These could be due to vitamin deficiency or other underlying causes. Of course, the only way to know for sure is through a doctor’s visit. Find out the cause before popping those pills!
Common reasons for hair loss (*2):
- Immense daily stress
- Genetics (You have a family history of hair loss)
- Advancing age
- Medical conditions (thyroid disease, autoimmune diseases, etc)
- Treatment for cancer
- Using harsh hair products (dyes, bleach, etc.)
- Hormonal imbalance
Hair Supplements To Look Out For
There are some hair growth supplements you can take if you experience symptoms of hair loss. These supplements help provide your hair with the required nutrients for healthy growth.
When you lack iron in your body, you cannot produce enough red blood cells. These cells carry oxygen to other cells that stimulate hair growth.
Iron supplements replenish the body’s iron store. And increase red blood cell production. This ensures cells involved with hair growth receive sufficient oxygen. Hence, promoting hair growth (*3).
Note: Side effects of iron include constipation, stomach upset, nausea and vomiting. (*4)
2. Biotin (Vitamin B7)
Biotin is a popular vitamin for hair loss. It may support hair growth in people with biotin deficiency. There is a lack of evidence that it helps hair growth for those with normal biotin levels.
Furthermore, there is only a chance that it’s useful. If you take at least 5 milligrams daily!
Note: Excess biotin leads to breakouts for those with acne-prone skin.
3. Vitamin A
Diets lacking in vitamin A, or retinol, increase the risk of hair loss. Vitamin A promotes sebum secretion. An oily substance that reduces hair breakage.
Note: Moderation is the key! Too much Vitamin A does the opposite and increases hair loss. (*5)
4. Vitamin B
Vitamin B is also involved in building red blood cells. A lack of this means your hair cells and follicles are deprived of oxygen and nutrients!
Deficiency of Vitamin B is rare, however. Always confirm that you are deficient before commencing intake of this supplement (*6).
5. Omega-3 Fats
Mainly found in widely marketed fish oil supplements. Omega-3 may prevent inflammation in hair follicles. And promote circulation in the scalp area to stimulate hair growth.
Note: Fish oil may be applied directly to the scalp. But beware of the strong odour which is very unpleasant to many! (*7)
6. Vitamin C
Popular for its antioxidant properties, Vitamin C protects against free radicals. Free radicals stunt hair growth and cause hair to age quicker.
Collagen forms the structure of hair. Vitamin C is an important component for collagen production. Which is why it helps strengthen hair. Besides that, this vitamin also boosts iron absorption (*8).
7. Vitamin D
Research suggests that vitamin D creates new hair follicles. These are miniscule pores on your scalp where new baby hair can grow. However, the effects of Vitamin D on hair growth are unknown.
Depending on your lifestyle, you may not be getting enough Vitamin D. A 2018 study found a Vitamin D deficiency of 33% among young adolescents (*9).
You can consider raising your intake of Vitamin D as it has other health benefits too! (such as promoting healthy teeth and bones)
Note: Vitamin D is synthesized through direct contact with sunlight. Dietary sources are cod liver oil, fatty fish, and some mushrooms.
8. Vitamin E
Due to its antioxidant properties, vitamin E works similarly to vitamin C. By reducing the damage to hair follicles caused by free radicals:
It promotes a healthy scalp. Which in turn becomes a strong base for hair growth.
Application of vitamin E oils can be done directly on the scalp. To provide additional protection from damage caused by heat styling tools.
But this is not budget-friendly at all and application can be rather tricky (*10)!
Protein helps promote growth of new hairs. In fact, these are what hair follicles mainly consist of! Thus, a lack of protein may increase hair loss.
Note: Meat and eggs are rich in protein. Healthier sources include fatty fish such as salmon. (*11)
Zinc has a vital role in hair growth and repair. And hair loss is one of the common symptoms of zinc deficiency!
This mineral maintains the normal and proper function of the oil glands on your scalp.
Note: Zinc supplementation is only suitable for those with deficiency. Too much zinc causes hair loss instead! (*12)
11. Sulphur (MSM)
MSM is well-known for its anti-inflammatory properties. It is said to construct bonds necessary for strengthening hair and promoting growth (*13).
However, there is no concrete evidence that strongly supports MSM use for hair growth (*14).
By delivering vital nutrients to hair follicles, silica strengthens your hair. It does not help with hair growth but instead, prevents thinning due to hair breakage.
Unfortunately, there is no evidence to back the claim that silica can reverse hair loss.
Note: Silica is good for your skins and nails, too! (*15)
Gelatin (from animals) is a source of collagen:
In some studies, gelatin displayed positive results in enhancing the appearance of hair. Gelatin increases the thickness of hair by increasing the number of strands.
Because gelatin is flavourless, odourless, and colourless. It can be easily incorporated into your daily meals (*16)!
Note: Vegetable-based collagens do not exist (*17)
What Dosage Is Safe?
The dosage for each supplement differs. The more the merrier does not apply here! Taking too much of one supplement can have detrimental effects on the body.
In fact, you should always seek professional advice.
And there is a possibility for these supplements to interact with your current medication. Especially at higher doses!
How Long Before You Can See Effects From Hair Vitamins?
It is delusional to expect overnight results or success.
Instead, patience is the key! Take these supplements consistently at their recommended doses to improve efficacy. And you may reap their benefits in the long-term!
In two months, there may be a noticeable difference in the amount of hair loss. If things go as planned, your hair might feel thicker by month six.
What About Essential Oils?
Essential oils are derived from plant extracts. Some well-known oils include lavender, peppermint, rosemary, and tea tree oil.
These oils have a variety of uses. From strengthening hair follicles and stimulating growth by providing nutrients. To promoting a clean healthy scalp. Each oil will have its own differing benefit(s) (*20, 21)!
Note: Because there is a small risk of an allergic reaction, always patch test on a small area before use.
Before you hit ‘purchase’ on the next hair vitamin for hair loss:
Remember what works for someone else may not for you. And to err on the side of caution, consult a doctor or pharmacist. On how best you can take supplements for hair loss!