I get asked this question on the regular, and in all honesty, it’s a tough one to answer. It’s easy to get sucked into buying them without doing our reach, after all, countless beauty influencers (and stars) haven’t been entirely shy about stating that they use them, alongside photos of their long, flowing hair.
Hair vitamins have fallen into the advertising world of celebrity-endorsed social media posts. I can’t help wonder if these celebs have actually finished off a bottle, before jumping on social media to shout ‘these work these work’, but that’s another topic!
I for one have struggled with hair vitamins as I can’t take Biotin, and biotin is meant to be really good for hair growth, hair thickness and volume. Biotin, when taken in large amounts, can be pretty tough on those who suffer from acne, meaning the times I have taken hair vitamins loaded with high amounts of the stuff, I’ve just horrendously broken out. So I haven’t been able to take any that have triple you RDA (some have 1000% more!)
If you can take a Biotin supplementation, you will possibly find that hair vitamins with Biotin will show a result – you just might have to be patient at the start. Biotin supplements were found to have some effect on hair and nail growth health, according to a 2017 review published in Skin Appendage Disorders.
However, it’s worth keeping something important in mind: if you have underlying health conditions, illness, alopecia, telogen effulium or hereditary hair loss, hair vitamins won’t magically bring all your hair back. For these, it’s best to try and keep your health as good as you can get it, and seek the assistance of wigs, hair pieces, extensions – or even just learning how to style up your finer, less dense hair.
I mean, wigs these days are fantastic. You can get some incredibly high quality ones that no one would even be able to tell. There’s a social media influencer I follow in America who recently lost her hair (not due to cancer or an extreme illness, but it just all started to fall) and she’s been wearing a wig for the past six months. Before she came out with it, no one knew! From shorter sassy crops to longer, premium coloured wigs, the results these days are fabulous.
So, I wanted to share some of my own recommendations and thoughts from someone who has tried many over the years, and have experienced hair thinning myself.
It’s a combination of key vitamins that work
If you’re going to take a hair supplement, it;s best that it works equally as good for your skin too. After all, there are a bundle of vitamins and nutrients etc that when couples together, work like a powerhouse for the best skin and hair. I’ve found that these tend to be Hyaluronic Acid, Biotin, Zinc, Vitamin A, C & D, which I found in a product called Glow Sticks from a new brand called Dewty Beauty.
I started out my journey with Dewty last year, which I shared on my Instagram here. I started taking these (you mix the powder into water and consume a drink, which is a very delicious peach flavour!) more so for youthful skin and to assist with a more plumped, fresh looking complexion, but I noticed that it works just as well for hair and nails, too.
Each Glow Stick sachet includes a completely bespoke and clinically backed blend of 6.4g hydrolysed collagen, Hyaluronic Acid, Retinol, Vitamin C & D along with Biotin & Zinc; the powerful ingredients your body needs to look and feel good to glow. If you’re going to research hair or skin supplements, Dewty have hit the nail on the head with their ingredient line up.
The packaging isn’t that important
Don’t be fooled by the cutesy, fancy boxes and tubs we see all over Instagram, held by celebrities in beautiful kitchens. We all know that many hair gummies come in a pretty-packaged bottle, but as mentioned above, the ingredients are far more important than packaging.
If you wish to know a little more about what biotin does for your hair, according to the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements, it is an essential nutrient found in foods and vitamin supplements. Biotin, according to the NIH, is a B vitamin that’s important for histone modifications, gene regulation, and cell signaling.
If you have a biotin deficiency or low levels, you should definitely see some form of improvement. You will often know you have a deficiency if you have brittle nails, dry hair or skin rashes.
Always analyse the ingredients list on any product, and do not be swept away by sweet little gummy shaped products. Collagen, vitamins C, A, E, B12, and thiamin…. it’s all along these lines. Should you be curious to know what thiamin is, it is a water-soluble B vitamin, known as vitamin B1. This vitamin plays a key role in supporting the growth, development, and function of cells.
Look for filler ingredients
So I’ve address the ingredients worth looking out for, but remember that many companies will fill out their products with ‘fillers’. These include ingredients such as rice flour, and products that use terms such as ‘proprietary blend’, which often do nothing for your body and hair.
Some hair vitamin gummy brands include ingredient like titanium dioxide and FD&C Red40 in their product ingredients. These are dyes and compounds which do absolutely no good at all.
Ensure they are FDA-Approved
In today’s world, we’re so modern and advanced that it’s hard to think a vitamin or gummie brand would skip authenticity. But they do, and it is another problem surrounding the hair world.
All manufacturers and distributors of dietary supplements are responsible for making sure their products are safe before they go to market, according to the FDA website. So do check your packet/bottle are showing this, before you purchase. It is a long process to approve a product, so that’s usually why some brands will skip this step.
Results don’t happen overnight
With anything, you have to give something time to work it’s magic before you can start shouting about results. Hair growth in general is always something that sits on the slow side, as our hair usually grows around a total of ¼ to ½ inch a month.
With this in mind, it can take some time to see results from hair growth supplements, where as some supplements can take up to six months to start seeing visible results, depending on the individual.
And that’s the key thing: everyone is different. Some of us with vitamin deficiencies or poorer health can see results much more slowly, yet much more noticeable when they do arrive. Those of us with great health may reap benefits as they are having a vitamin boost, but it’s all unknown and results massivel vary from person to person.
Be aware that by taking a supplement for hair, you may notice shinier, healthier looking hair before growth. For thickness and volume, and growth, it takes an investment of time to see actual results.
It’s also worth remembering that when your hair grows out of the hair follicle and past your scalp, it’s technically dead. It doesn’t have life anymore, as in nerves or blood etc. With that in mind, the supplement doesn’t affect already existing hair growth, but only new and alive hair growth from your follicles.
Final note: I’m just a beauty blogger with a keen interest in skin, hair, nails and health, so do not take any of the above as professional advice – I’m merely just talking from the heart about my own thoughts and experience.