Do Hair Growth Supplements Work? What to Know Before You Buy

Can hair growth supplements really give you Rapunzel-like locks?

Image: Imaxtree

Long hair, don’t care? Maybe for some genetically blessed people. For the rest of us, it’s more like, long hair, lots of effort, coconut oil masks and putting our faith in a little secret weapon: hair growth vitamins.

While we hope these magic pills will give us Rapunzel-like hair overnight, sometimes it’s hard to gauge whether they’re actually making a difference. We touched base with Kerry Yates, trichologist (a hair and scalp specialist) at Évolis Professional and founder of Colour Collective, to find out if hair supplements actually work and how to pick the best one.

What can you expect from hair growth supplements?

From childhood, we learn that much of our growing has to do with what we eat. The gospel of greens like broccoli and brussels sprouts was literally stuffed down our throats. It turns out, the same goes for hair growth.

“It is possible for hair supplements to work if there is a nutritional aspect to the individual as well,” says Yates.

If you’re lacking in those essential vitamins hair needs to grow, hair supplements can make a difference. But if you’re the type who already downs green juice every morning, you might not notice any change.

“If you regularly maintain a balanced diet with plenty of iron, B vitamins, protein and zinc, then it is unlikely supplements will help,” says Yates.

In other words, the supplements aren’t a spell delivered to your scalp promising to grow more hair. Instead, the pills act as nutritional support for hair growth. But if you’re in a season of additional stress or embarking on a new diet, supplements can help maintain balanced levels of vitamins to ensure healthy locks.

What should you look for in a supplement?

If you want to try hair supplements, finding one with the proper ingredients is essential to seeing real results. Yates suggests searching for B vitamins, biotin and iron.

“Growing hair is an energetic process requiring lots of cell division of keratinocytes or cells that grow and make hair and the depositing of keratin proteins,” says Yates. “Additionally, iron is needed to help carry oxygen and proteins and structural amino acids used for building keratin,” she adds.

So before you hit the checkout counter with a new bottle of hair growth pills, examine your lifestyle and diet and read your ingredient list to ensure these hair growth boosters are present.

[ Next: Does Celery Juice Live Up to the Superfood Hype? ]

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