• Crystal Aguh

Hair Vitamins: Do They Work?


Hair vitamins are incredibly popular and for good reason. As scientists, we know there is an optimal nutritional status that supports hair growth, but the question remains, what is it? And can simply taking a supplement improve your hair length and fullness?


Well, researchers recently tackled this exact question and published their findings in the International Journal of Dermatology. They found that the following vitamins have NO impact on any hair characteristics:

  • Biotin

  • Vitamin A

  • VItamin D

  • Niacin

  • Selenium

  • Turmeric

Surprised? Most of my patients swear by biotin even though there has never been any evidence that suggests it helps with hair health at all. They are more surprised to learn that the FDA has put out a warning against biotin because taking it in supplemental doses can alter the values of many blood labs. This has resulted in missed diagnoses that have led to deaths.


So what vitamins do have some evidence of helping with the hair?

  • Iron is helpful for those who are iron-deficient (coupled with vitamin C for absorption) suffering from hair shedding

  • Zinc supplementation may lead to improved regrowth in patients with a zinc deficiency

  • Saw Palmetto can be effective for treatment of hormonal hair loss

  • Marine complex powders may lead to hair thickening, especially in those with hormonal (female or male pattern) hair loss

  • Pumpkin seed oil, when taken by mouth, may improve hormonal hair loss

So there you have it. Keep in mind, all of the studies in this article were small and limited, so more research has to be done to show definite benefits. However, if you insist on taking a supplement, drop the biotin in favor of one of these other supplements with better data supporting its use.


Want to read the more? Check out the full article HERE




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Johns Hopkins Department of Dermatology,

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