Words by Harper’s Bazaar Staff
From tasty gummies to organic supplements.
Hair loss has many root causes—from mounting stress, to genetics, child birth, and more—but in addition to a well-rounded diet, the best hair growth vitamins contain a combination of ingredients, like Omega-fatty acids and vitamins, to help fortify weak or damaged hair over time. And although a hair-growth shampoo or a number of effective hair growth oils may aid with thickening, a vitamin will help with growth at the source. “Our scalps and strands have independent biological makeup and daily stressors, requiring an individualized approach,” board-certified dermatologist Chesahna Kindred previously told BAZAAR.com.
What are the best hair growth nutrients?
- MSM. Since your hair and nails are primarily made of keratin, the compound MSM (or methylsulfonylmethane) is an especially ideal ingredient to help improve the appearance and feel of hair, as it helps your body maintain it.
- Essential fatty acids. “To help with dry skin and scalp, essential fatty acids found in avocado and oily fish, like salmon, are helpful. In vitamin form you are looking for Omega-3 rather than 6 or 9,” says Grow Gorgeous partner trichologist Stephanie Sey.
- Vitamins A, C, and E. In addition to MSM and Omega-3 acids, ingredients like vitamins A, C and E, saw palmetto, ashwagandha, hydrolyzed collagen, biotin, keratin, and magnesium can also be helpful in the regrowth process. While some vitamins can be useful to those in need of extra nutrients to encourage scalp health and hair growth, professionals advise that your body will naturally eliminate excess nutrients it doesn’t actually need. “Vitamins usually only work if there is a deficiency in the first instance,” says Sey. “If the body is balanced, then those surplus vitamins are not useful, and in the case of water soluble vitamins like biotin the excess comes out in your urine. Ideally, it is best to get your vitamins from your food.”
Why does hair start thinning?
Sey tells BAZAAR.com that androgenetic (also known as male or female pattern) and telogen effluvium hair conditions are most commonly experienced, though loss often starts with general thinning. “Telogen effluvium is when you shed larger amounts of hair because your body has been shocked into moving your hair from the anagen or ‘growth phase’ to the ‘telogen’ resting phase, which causes excessive hair shedding,” she explains. “Usually the shock can be cause by high grade fever, childbirth, surgery, or emotional distress.”
Although the right growth vitamins can help mitigate hair loss with continued use, professionals advise speaking with an expert to find out the true root cause to prevent more thinning in the long run. “While someone might care about restoring their hair to its former luster and thickness, the cause of thinning ultimately determines the best method of treatment,” says certified aesthetics, hair transplant, and restoration treatment physician at Eternal Hair and Esthetics Ednan Sheikh. “If a person is unsure what’s causing their hair thinning, it’s best to consult an expert so they can determine the origin of hair loss and the right solution.”According to professionals, hair-growth vitamins work by supplementing the natural processes needed to bolster the hair-growth cycle and augment the deficiencies causing thinning.
Here, 18 of the top hair growth vitamins and formulas experts and shoppers swear by for longer, stronger hair. Read on for more information about loss and thinning, plus, the best ingredients to look for in an effective supplement.
Best Collagen Hair Growth Supplement
Hair Growth Supplement
Pros: Works in three months to combat hair loss
There’s a reason you’ll find these Skincare Award-Winning tablets in the possession of star stylists and A-list celebrities like Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, and Gwyneth Paltrow: Their natural blend of deep-sea fish proteins, horsetail extract, and vitamin C prevent the dry, frazzled ends that force you to chop your length off too soon.