If it seems like your hair has been stuck at the same length for awhile, taking a vitamin once or twice a day and getting faster results for hair growth may sound like a favorable solution. Vitamins for hair growth are infused with key nutrients necessary for healthy hair growth. But, do hair growth vitamins actually work? Are they worth the price?
**Disclaimer: We are not medical professionals or experts. What is written in this article should not be taken as medical or professional advice. The content written in this article is for informational purposes only. What you do with this information is at your own risk and discretion.
What is found in vitamins for hair growth
A lot of the time, you’ll see hair growth vitamins state it promotes growth for both hair and nails on the labeling. This is because your hair, nails, and skin are all comprised of the same proteins, one of which being keratin. Keratin is at the foundation of health and growth in your hair. So, the active ingredients found in hair growth vitamins don’t just benefit your hair. The active ingredient that is typically at the forefront of delivery in hair growth vitamins is biotin.
Biotin is a vitamin found in many of the foods we eat and is needed in our diet. There has actually been little evidence to suggest that solely biotin promotes faster hair growth. However, what biotin does is aid in the production of amino acids, which comprise proteins like keratin. Other common ingredients found in hair vitamins that stimulate hair growth are folic acid, collagen, and a variety of other vitamins (vitamins A, C, B12,).
Possible side effects
Much like with any medication, additive, or trying anything new, there is always the possibility of side effects. A common side effect of using vitamins for hair growth are acne breakouts, mostly from the biotin content. If your skin is acne-prone, be aware that taking hair growth vitamins can likely result in a breakout that may or may not continue throughout the duration of use. Researchers say the breakouts may be caused by an excess of biotin in the body, and / or not enough of a balance with other vitamins absorbed by the body.
This causes many people to give up their hair vitamins before seeing any results. There are companies though, that may state an initial breakout may occur with their vitamins but after continued use, the body will become adjusted to the increase of biotin and breakouts will reside. However, there has not been much evidence to suggest that this is entirely true. It is up to the consumer, ultimately, to make that decision.
Although rare, another possible side effect of vitamins for hair growth is the over-consumption of biotin. Since we only need small quantities of biotin in our diet, these hair growth vitamins may contain doses that exceed our recommended daily consumption. Consuming too much biotin can result in elevated blood sugar levels, rashes, and other allergic reactions. However, since biotin is a water-soluble vitamin, it typically leaves the body with ease. If you already take other medications or have prior health conditions, check with your doctor before trying any hair growth supplements with a higher level of biotin.
What you can expect
Hair growth vitamins are supplements, not replacements. They’re formulated with a combination of vitamins and minerals that are supposed to provide your hair follicles with the necessary nutrients to grow. But in order to do their job, relies on your usual diet. Health on the outside comes from the inside. It is essential that you are providing additional necessary nutrients on the inside – protein, water, etc. in conjunction with hair vitamins if you choose to take them.
While taking vitamins for hair growth, it’s probably going to take a good couple of months before you see results. Results are more noticeable for those with thinning hair, as the biotin and other vitamins provide more of a “thickening” effect first than a “lengthening” effect since growth starts at the root. Your nails may also become stronger and longer quite quickly. You can also expect not to get the same results as everyone else. Each companies’ hair growth vitamins are different, along with everyone’s hair attributes.
So, are vitamins for hair growth worth it? It all depends on the price and your reaction to the ingredients. If you have the patience and don’t experience side effects (like acne breakouts) while taking hair vitamins, they are likely to show growth. From personal experience, I would not try hair growth supplements again due to the acne breakouts they caused. But, do hair growth vitamins work? As far as strengthening your hair strands with essential nourishment, yes. But results aren’t going to be apparent for everyone nor will they produce a Rapunzel effect. Hair growth vitamins do not speed up hair growth, but they are supplying nutrients to hair follicles that may have initially lacked what they needed to grow.
If it seems like your hair has been stuck at the same length, here are some reasons why your hair “isn’t growing” and how to fix it:
1“Beauty from Within: Healthy Hair, Skin, and Nails.” LifeExtension.com, www.lifeextension.com/Magazine/2016/2/Beauty-from-Within-Healthy-Hair-Skin-and-Nails/Page-01.
2Nall, Rachel. “How Does Biotin Make Your Hair Grow Faster?” LIVESTRONG.COM, Leaf Group, 18 July 2017, www.livestrong.com/article/69844-biotin-make-hair-grow-faster/.