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Hair Growth Vitamins

Are hair growth vitamins worth your $$?

Carrie asks:

I want my hair to grow faster and I see there are a number of hair growth vitamins available. Is there a good hair vitamin supplement you would recommend?

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Those who have had a bad haircut or a bad chemical treatment and more so, those who are experiencing hair loss, are searching for an answer to, “How can I grow my hair faster, and are hair growth vitamins a good option?

Several years ago I wrote an article “How can I grow hair faster” on this topic that I find is still consistent with what we know today. So rather than dump the old article I thought I’d bring it up to date. So I’m using the relevant information from that article here with some added bits of updated information.

“Hair Growth Vitamins Don’t Work”To cut to the chase, there is no magic elixir, snake oil, or pill that has been proven to grow hair faster and this includes hair growth vitamins (one exception-Minoxidil see below). Hair growth density, texture and hair color are mostly determined by genetics. However, your general overall health and nutrition does have a positive or negative effect on your hair.
I’m afraid people are riding on a wing and a prayer when choosing to put faith in any of these concoctions. Companies selling hair growth vitamins or pills on the market, rely on the public’s vulnerabilities. They understand, those who want to believe hair growth vitamins will work for them, will believe it.

The problem with proving the significance in the “snake oils” sold to make hair grow, or make hair grow faster, is, probably best found in people’s optimism or overactive imaginations for such a reaction to occur.

Paula Begoun, reveals the results of double blind studies done by drug companies regarding growing hair faster, in her book Don’t Go Shopping for Hair-Care Products Without Me, in it she says, “Frequently what is found is that volunteers on the drug or placebo indicate they believe they have regrowth of hair, but when comparing their positive comments to the hair count/density data, it is revealed there is no actual improvement and there may even be a deterioration.”

A wealth of information on this subject can be found at www.keratin.com where Kevin McElwee says, in regards to some people who see some improvement of hair growth for a short time, ”Someone using a hair growth vitamin or product might falsely attribute this slowdown or temporary reversal to the use of the product they purchased.” More here
The one and only pill to date that has had some significance in the hair growth area is, Minoxidil (Rogaine) and here is what the Mayo Clinic has to say about it;
“In one study women undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer applied Minoxidil twice daily throughout treatment and for four months afterwards. Though their hair eventually all fell out, it took longer for the women who applied Minoxidil to lose all their hair than it did for the women who didn’t use it, and their hair started to grow back earlier.”

Balanced Diet & Exercise over Hair Growth Vitamins


On a more positive note, by eating right, exercising, reducing stress and maintaining a good hair care routine, you can positively affect the hair on your head and possibly the growth pattern as well.

Great hair starts with a healthy diet and exercise routine.  A poor diet, specifically one lacking in proteins and essential fatty acids, can be particularly hard on your hair.
Hair growth vitamin companies would have you believe their supplements contain just the right amounts of added vitamins and minerals you need that will make your hair grow, but none of it has substantial proof . . . and how do you know what vitamins and minerals you may be deficient in? Doctors need to take blood tests to accurately assess the level of nutrients in a person’s blood. Consuming too much of a vitamin or nutrient can also be toxic.

WebMD has a good article “Eating for Hair Health,” that quotes leading nutritionists and dermatologists on the matter. “The same foods that are good for your body and your health overall are good for your hair, including foods that are high in protein, low in carbohydrates and have a reduced fat content,” says dermatologist Michael Reed, MD, an expert in female hair loss at New York University Medical Center in New York City. Reed says that what you put on your plate may not put hair on your head, but it can help the hair you do have remain healthier longer.

If you were born with fine, thin hair, you’ll never have rope-thick tresses — no matter what you eat — but a well-balanced diet that includes plenty of growth-promoting protein and iron can make a difference, say nutrition and hair experts. And beware of dietary supplements often marketed to thicken hair or make it grow faster. They may backfire.
“Even though you can find beauty supplements on the shelves of most stores, try to get the nutrients you need from foods whenever possible,” Paradi Mirmirani, MD, a dermatologist in Vallejo, Calif., tells WebMD. “In rare instances, excess supplementation of certain nutrients, such as vitamin A, has been linked to hair loss.” Go here for more information.

Top 10 Foods List for Healthy Hair from WebMD Specialist

  1. Salmon
  2. Dark green vegetables
  3. Beans
  4. Nuts
  5. Poultry
  6. Eggs
  7. Whole Grains
  8. Oysters
  9. Low fat dairy products
  10. Carrots

They give some alternatives for some of these foods, go here for more information.

Instead of Hair Growth Vitamins, Try Damage Control

Another area you can manage in order to keep the hair you have is . . . damage control.

•    Use a thermal protector when styling your hair with heat.
•    Use lowest heat settings for desired results.
•    Don’t over dry the hair.
•    Use a conditioner with UV protectors and wear a hat in the sun.
•    Use a low or no ammonia hair color when possible.
•    Never brush wet or damp hair.
•    Use a wide toothed comb on wet hair.
•    Use a clarifying shampoo on your hair once or twice a month to remove excess product.
•    If hair is dry or damaged, use a deep conditioner to keep hair soft, pliable and shiny.
•    Keep your hair trimmed regularly.

If you search the web, you can find people selling vitamins and a whole line of hair care products claiming to grow hair faster. Sorry, but I won’t include links to these folks, I’m an unbeliever! But I will follow-up with a post on factors that can grow hair faster or thinning, and what you should do if you are having a hair loss problem

Instead of putting your money into hair growth vitamins . . . consider purchasing hair extensions!!

Barb Quinn on Google+  

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Got a question, war story or comment about this topic? Click on the "Leave Your Comments" link at the very bottom of this article. Some of my best ideas for future articles come from reading reader comments. I'd love to hear from you!





4 Comments »

  1. Great post. I agree that there are few products that grow hair. However, those “hair vitamins” consist mainly of Vitamins in the B family and if the consumer would just read the label, they could save themselves money by adding those vitamins to their diet. Most of the vitamins are in a multivitamin supplement.

    The other great point you make is taking care of your hair(damage control), rather than neglect it will make a big difference in the health of the hair. Regular maintenance and care from a salon professional is my recommendation.

    Comment by Go Inspire Beauty — February 2, 2011 @ 4:39 pm

  2. True talk! it’s quite revealing. More of this.

    Comment by bruno o — June 11, 2010 @ 11:06 am

  3. This fits in with your post from yesterday. There’s no magic product that can give you longer hair or save your split ends. The best way to grow your hair is to just let it grow. Everybody’s hair grows at the same rate.

    Comment by Best of Beehive — June 11, 2010 @ 8:59 am

  4. WOW, VERY INFORMATIONAL! THANKS!

    Comment by JANELLE — June 10, 2010 @ 10:18 pm

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