Hair loss can be devastating and with one in two women suffering from hair loss at some point in their life, that’s almost 8 million unhappy women in the UK alone. Regardless of the cause or speed, losing hair can have us caught on looking for a solution, from hair transplant clinics to the next big thing in hair vitamins. Hair vitamins are becoming an increasingly popular choice not only for women with hair loss but for anyone looking for thicker, shinier hair – but do they really work? Let’s take a look.
What Do Supplements Do?
The first thing you’ll need to determine before opting for hair supplements is just why your hair is falling out. In fact, hair supplements will only really have an effect if you’re vitamin deficient and even then, you’re unlikely to see any result for the first few months. Hair loss caused by vitamin deficiency can be a result of poor nutrition, health issues and stress and in these cases, a supplement replenishes the vitamins that you are deficient in.
Hair supplements are designed to give you an extra dose of vitamins known to promote healthier hair growth. This can include vitamins that are difficult to get through food, or that the user may be lacking in due to specific diets. Vegans, for example, may lack sulphur-rich amino acids due to a lack of meat, eggs and fish and while food-based alternatives are available, a supplement can be a ‘quick’ way to get what’s missed.
If your hair loss has been caused by stress, you typically won’t see the hair loss itself until around three months following the stressful event. During stressful periods, your body will direct the vitamins in your body away from your hair and towards the organs that need them most and for this reason, your vitamin intake and use could’ve balanced out by the time the hair loss is occurring.
Which Vitamins Does My Hair Need?
While most vitamins will have some kind of benefit for your hair, these are some of the most important nutrients your hair needs:
- Iron – A lack of iron in your blood can lead to a poor hair growth cycle, or disrupted growth altogether. This can lead to hair loss through weakened follicles.
- Vitamin A – Vitamin A is a key player in producing sebum, which is the oil found on your scalp that keeps it conditioned.
- Vitamin C – This vitamin acts as an antioxidant which helps the absorption of iron and aids collagen production.
- Vitamin D – This helps to reduce stress and depression, both of which can lead to hormonal changes and vitamin deficiencies and reduce healthy cell production on your scalp.
- Vitamin E – Vitamin E protects your hair from the sun and ensure that it remains in good condition.
- Zinc – This regulates the DHT hormone in your body. In too high or too low quantities, this hormone can lead to hair loss.
- Amino Acids – Amino acids aid the production of keratin, which ultimately leads to stronger hair growth.
- Omega Acids– Found in oily fish, avocado and pumpkin seeds, the omega acids aren’t produced by your body but do keep your scalp healthy and hydrated.
If you believe your hair loss is caused by vitamin deficiency, then a hair loss supplement may help return your hair to its previous strength and rate of growth. If you’re unsure, you can speak to your doctor and act for the relevant tests to determine if there is an underlying issue, or if you may need to adjust your diet.
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