Best Supplements For Hair Growth 2018

Unless you’re Michael Jordan or Vin Diesel, hair growth could be one of your major aesthetic concerns. Hair can influence people’s perception of your appearance and thus, could affect your level of self-confidence. Unfortunately, not everyone can have a full, lush head of hair. Fortunately if you are on the thinning side, there are supplements you can take to stimulate hair growth.

balding head of man

What Causes Hair Loss?

Have you ever wondered what your hair is made of? It is made of Keratin which is a type of protein. In the outer area of your skin are follicles. It is in these follicles that Keratin is produced. When new hair cells are produced in these follicles, the old ones are eased out at an estimated six inches every year.

The average adult has around 100,000 to 150,000 strands of hair on his/her head but loses up to 100 of them every day. Thus, finding a few hairs on your hairbrush or sink should be no cause for concern.

There are four prevalent types of hair loss:

Alopecia Areata

Starts at a young age and leads to patchy hair loss in children. It may result in complete baldness but for 90% of sufferers, hair growth returns after a few years.

Telogen Effluvium

This is a condition identified by thinning hair in front of the scalp. Fortunately, this is usually a temporary condition that is caused a change in the hair’s growth cycle.

Involutional Alopecia

The natural condition where hair gradually thins as you age.

Androgenic Alopecia

This condition occurs in both men and women and is popularly referred to as male/female pattern hair loss. Many start experiencing pattern hair loss as early as their teens with gradual receding of hair from the scalp.

An estimated 45% of women go through the entire length of their lives with a full head of hair. Men aren’t exempted and go through a period of hair loss sometime in their lives.

Factors that influence losing hair

Despite all the research, doctors are still unsure on what causes one person to lose more hair than another. However the following factors have been linked to hair loss:

1. Hormonal Imbalance
2. Genetic Pre-disposition
3. Stress
4. Illness
5. Childbirth
6. Certain Types of Drugs used to Treat Cancer, Blood Pressure and Birth Control
7. Frequent Exposure to X-Rays
8. Burns
9. Injuries that Cause Scarring in the Head
10. Autoimmune Disease
11. Overuse of Cosmetics such as Shampoos, Hair Gel, Hair Dye and Bleaching Chemicals
12. Certain Medical Conditions like Diabetes, Thyroid Disease, Lupus and Anaemia
13. Hair Curling, Braiding and other Hair Styling Techniques
14. Eating a Low Protein Diet
15. Chemotherapy

The hair care industry has seen the opportunity to market products to help concerned consumers address the problem of hair loss. However, there is a limit to what volumizers and backcombing techniques can do.

6 Best Supplements For Promoting Hair Gain

The good news is your options for mitigating hair loss aren’t limited to the salon. The supplement industry has vitamins and minerals that you can take to slow down hair loss and even potentially stimulate growth!

Fish Oil

A 2015 study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology showed how supplementing with omega-3 and omega-6 would affect hair loss in 120 healthy female participants.

After six months, 89.9% of the women who supplemented with fish oil reported a decrease in the rate of hair loss. 86% were found to have experienced an improvement in hair diameter while 87% had better hair density.

Omega-3s which are found in fish oil has been proven to have hair nourishing properties. These fatty acids may also thicken hair and reduce inflammation that often leads to hair loss.

Zinc

A 2013 study intended to identify the role of zinc in four types of hair loss: alopecia areata, male and female pattern hair loss and telogen effluvium. The results showed that in all cases, the level of zinc was significantly lower for all participants.

Another study which was conducted much earlier and published in the 2009 edition of Annals of Dermatology analysed the effects of oral zinc supplementation on 15 alopecia areata patients with low zinc levels. They were given 50 milligrams of oral zinc supplementation for a period of 12 weeks.

At the conclusion of the experiment, 66.7% or nine out of 15 participants improved their levels of zinc and reduced the rate of hair loss.

Zinc has been traditionally used for decades to treat hair loss afflictions such as telogen effluvium and alopecia areata. It has been studied to lessen hair follicle regression and accelerate recovery.

Vitamin B Complex Or Biotin

Biotin and Pantothenic acid or vitamin B5 are used as traditional treatments for hair loss. Biotin supposedly helps rebuild hair shingles that have been damaged from overexposure to the sun and hair styling techniques like blow drying and ironing. Meanwhile vitamin B5 stimulates hair growth by supporting the adrenal glands.

Biotin deficiency is often linked to hair loss. Activities such as smoking can lead to this deficiency. Another factor is pregnancy as the developing fetus requires more biotin.

A study published in the 2011 edition of the British Journal of Dermatology showed that a treating hair loss condition with panthenol can significantly thicken scalp fiber. It also increases its pliability which meant more durability to outside forces without breaking.

Vitamin C

There have been a good number of studies documenting the myriad benefits of taking vitamin C. One of its most powerful benefits is its ability to clear our bodies of free radicals that can damage cell membranes, proteins, lipids and potentially alter our DNA.

As we age the number of free radicals in our bodies increase. Conversely, the amount of anti-oxidative enzymes which protect the body decrease. This results in conditions that are associated with ageing such as greying and hair loss. As an anti-oxidant, vitamin C helps remove free radicals and slow down the ravages of ageing.

Iron

Scientists have long studied the relationship between iron deficiency and hair loss. One such study was conducted at the Tehran University of Medical Sciences. It focused on the effects of iron deficiency on different types of hair loss.

The participants included 30 women with telogen hair loss and 30 women without telogen hair loss. The researchers disclosed that of the nine participants with iron deficiency anaemia, eight had telogen hair loss.

The study concluded that lack of significant amounts to iron could lead to significant hair loss in women.

Vitamin D

Patients afflicted with alopecia areata are often found to be lacking in vitamin D. This supplement plays a key role in calcium homeostasis, immune regulation and cell growth differentiation.

Studies have shown that patients with alopecia areata are low in Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels. Doctors concluded that treating patients with vitamin D supplementation was effective in stimulating hair restoration.

Conclusion

Other supplements that have been mentioned as beneficial for hair growth include Saw Palmetto and vitamin A. However there has been very little research done on these supplements with regards to its effect on hair restoration. And the results are inconclusive at best.

The 6 supplements we’ve identified as effective for hair growth have been carefully studied and researched over the last several years. Do you have to take all of them?

The answer is “No”.

Getting what you need from food

The first thing you should do is have a blood test to determine your vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Then consult with a nutritionist for your diet program. Most of these vitamins and minerals can be found in the food you eat.

For example, omega-3 can be taken from salmon, sardines and walnuts. Eggs, beef, chicken and avocados are good sources of vitamin B. Oysters are a delicious source of zinc. Citrus fruits are abundant in vitamin C while vegetables like chard, kale have iron. The sun itself is a good source of vitamin D.

Of course, food itself will not provide you with the daily requirement. You need supplements to hit your quota. The nutritionist can help you develop a supplement schedule.

It should be worth noting that you should never exceed the recommended dosages per supplement. This can lead to unwanted side effects and conditions. For example, too much iron can lead to gastrointestinal distress, iron poisoning and liver failure.

When using supplements, exercise strict discipline. Do not abuse them. These are not miracle drugs; it should never be viewed as “the more the merrier”.