Hair growth vitamins are designed to promote new hair growth and strengthen existing follicles after hair loss. They are often marketed as magic pills that will give hair volume and a healthy shine. But is it all hype or do they really work?

There is truth behind supplementing vitamin deficiencies and hair health. However, the research behind miracle hair growth supplements is lacking. So, depending on why your hair is thinning, hair growth vitamins may be worth the money. Here’s what you need to know before you buy.

Read more: The best vitamins for hair growth

Do vitamins work for hair growth?

The short answer is… it’s complicated. No clinical studies conclusively support vitamin supplements restoring hair growth and preventing further loss. A vitamin supplement’s ability to help with hair health comes down to what is causing the hair loss. If it is due to medications you are taking or medical conditions, hair growth vitamins will not help. Some hair growth vitamin supplements do help to strengthen and restore shine to hair, but usually only if your problem is a vitamin deficiency. They will it does not improve your hair growth if you do not have vitamin deficiency.

Hair growth vitamins can also contribute to keeping hair healthy. But while they may help with looks and strength, they won’t give you hair like Rapunzel’s. Many of the nutrients in these supplements are related to hair growth (eg biotin and vitamins A, ° С and e). This does not mean that taking these vitamins will make your hair grow longer and thicker.

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What vitamins are good for hair growth?

Unhealthy hair can manifest itself in several ways, although the most common characteristics are thinning hair, brittle and weak strands, dullness and lack of growth. The best vitamins for hair growth are packed with nutrients like biotin, vitamin C, and vitamin E. There are plenty essential vitamins and minerals that play a role in hair health, including but not limited to:

  • Biotin: Vitamin B7, also known as biotin, strengthens and maintains the protein structures that make up hair, skin and nails. Many people take this to help their hair grow faster and strengthen existing hair. Biotin is one of the most important vitamins for hair growth. However, it is not a nutrient that you can stockpile. Taking more biotin than your body needs does not increase the benefits.
  • Vitamin A: Vitamin A is essential for keeping your scalp moist and healthy. It also reduces hair breakage. However, you should not overdo it with vitamin A supplements. Vitamin A is stored in the liver, where distribution is strictly controlled. Taking on too much flooding is the transport system associated with hair loss. You can find vitamin A in animal products and leafy greens.
  • Vitamin C: Vitamin C has several ways to help maintain hair health. First, it is an antioxidant that neutralizes free radical damage which can block hair growth. (Free radicals are unstable molecules with an odd number of electrons that can damage other cells.) Vitamin C also aids collagen production and improves iron absorption. Strawberries, peppers and tomatoes are good sources of vitamin C.
  • Vitamin D: Has low vitamin D levels associated with alopecia, among other conditions. Vitamin D also helps hair follicles regulates growth and shedding. Oily fish, tuna, and orange juice fortified with vitamin D can help you get the recommended dose.
  • Vitamin E: Vitamin E is an antioxidant, similar to vitamin C, that helps prevent oxidative stress from free radicals. Vitamin E is found in avocados, spinach and almonds.
  • Iron: Iron deficiency can contribute to hair loss, especially in women. Food sources of iron include meat, seafood, spinach, beans and nuts.
  • Omega 3: Omega-3 preserves layer derived from cholesterol of our skin cells healthy. Maintaining this layer of skin promotes circulation to the scalp and prevents inflammation of the hair follicle. A 2015 study examining hair loss and omega-3s found that of the participants taking omega-3 and omega-6 supplements, 90% reported less hair loss. Foods rich in omega-3 are fish and seafood.
  • Zinc: Alopecia is also associated with zinc deficiency. Zinc is essential for tissue growth and repair. Zinc cannot be generated naturally in the body and must be supplemented through your diet. Meat, nuts and beans are excellent sources of zinc.

If you are not getting what you need from your diet, whether due to dietary restrictions or medical conditions that affect gastrointestinal tractvitamin supplements can help fill in the gaps.

A mini shopping cart filled with various packs of vitamins and pills

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Should you buy vitamins for hair growth?

The best vitamins for hair growth are not worth the money unless you have a vitamin deficiency. They’re not a magic bullet, key to salable hair, and they’re not something you want to take too much of.

In some cases, changes to your lifestyle and diet can help more than vitamins. Vitamins should be supplements to your diet, not substitutes. Diets low in calories, fat and protein can contribute to unhealthy hair and hair loss known as telogen effluvium. Don’t worry: Telogen effluvium hair loss is usually reversible once your diet is adjusted.

In general, it would be better to focus on what you eat and your lifestyle instead of relying on vitamins for hair growth. Make sure your the diet is well rounded and includes protein, vegetables and healthy fats. Giving your body what it needs to function properly is the best thing you can do for hair growth.

Hair growth vitamins don’t really work on the average person. However, if your hair is brittle or weak due to age or vitamin deficiency, hair growth vitamin supplements can help bring back some of that natural shine.

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have about a medical condition or health goals.