Do Hair Vitamins Really Work?
Finding vitamins to feed your wilting hair can seem overwhelming. Drugstores pack hundreds of hair supplements on their shelves, and every company claims that their product will do what others cannot — give you waist-length hair that shines.
Instagram and Facebook ads tout vitamins that supposedly compensate for poor eating habits, miraculously improve your health, and even reduce your chronic disease risks. Other companies post supposed “before” and “after” photos of young women with sunny, gorgeous hair.
But after trying these too-good-to-be-true products ourselves and failing to see results, we are often left wondering if hair vitamins really work. The problem is that our aging hair biology has different nutritional needs than it once did. To find hair vitamins that really work, look for ones formulated for your mature locks and scalp.
Effects of Aging on Hair
Many women are not aware that their hair and scalp go through menopause along with the rest of their bodies. Menopause reduces your hormone levels, which affect the numerous sebum-making sebaceous glands located at the base of your follicles. Sebum is the oil that hydrates and protects your hair shaft and protects your skin from disease-causing microbes. Without it, your scalp becomes itchy, and your hair turns dry and brittle.
Healthy women grow about 80,000-120,000 hairs on their heads at a rate of about six inches per year, and they usually lose about 100 each day. As you age, your follicles go dormant, causing hair loss; other follicles may shrink and produce fine-textured, shorter strands.
You may also experience a limited bioavailability of nutrients, meaning your hair and scalp receive fewer vitamins and nutrients from the foods you eat. Lack of nutrients can affect your mane's tensile strength, leading to increased breakage when it is brushed or pulled.
Many older women may be vitamin deficient and not know it. When your body is short of nutrients, your skin and scalp suffer.
What Are Vitamins?
Vitamins are organic compounds in food and nutritional supplements that, along with minerals and other trace elements, your body needs to maintain optimal health. Hundreds of years before anyone knew about vitamins, doctors and sailors recognized that there was something about citrus fruits that prevented scurvy and its degenerative effects.
Researchers have identified 13 vitamins and 15 minerals essential to nutrition, each with a unique role to play in the way your body functions. Your body absorbs them from the sun’s rays and the foods you eat, but even with a healthy lifestyle, it is possible to lack some of the necessary nutrients — this is where supplements come in.
Americans have been boosting their diets with multivitamins/mineral supplements since the 1940s, increasing U.S. revenue to more than 32 billion dollars in recent years. Multivitamins can take many forms, including pills, powders, liquids, and gummies.
Hair Vitamins That Work
To combat potential age-related vitamin deficiencies, look for supplements like Better Not Younger’s Significant Other Hair, Skin & Nails Supplement + Retinol Boost. These vitamins are part of a holistic approach to hair care; they treat your inner health while giving you robust hair and a healthy scalp.
They work by nourishing your follicles from within with micronutrients, including:
- Vitamin A — Vitamin A is a group of essential fat-soluble compounds, including retinol and retinyl acetate. It works to improve your hair by mobilizing your iron reserves, ensuring they can get to your hair follicles, where they help build stronger hair. Vitamin A also encourages your scalp’s production of sebum oil for shinier, well-moisturized hair.
B-Vitamins — The B-Vitamin group contains multiple water-soluble substances that turn proteins into the amino acids that form your hair.
- Calcium pantothenate (B5) can relieve age-related thinning.
- Pyridoxine (B6) facilitates amino acid transformation into keratin, strengthening your strands.
- Biotin (B7) guards against scalp dryness and improves your hair’s elasticity, improving both its texture and resistance to breakage.
- Folic acid (B9) supports follicle cell growth. The more active follicles you have, the thicker your hair.
Cyanocobalamin (B12) aids in red blood cell production so your follicles can get all the nutrients they need.
Vitamin C — Vitamin C improves hair health by promoting your body’s collagen production and iron absorption, a protein and a mineral vital to sturdy hair construction.
Choline (choline bitartrate) and inositol — Your body generates choline and inositol to build cell walls, but it does not produce enough to meet your needs. Though you can take them individually, they are especially effective when taken together. Supplements that contain this lipid-forming combination help to fortify hair by supporting the hair cell structure and growth.
Iodine (Potassium iodide) — Iodine is a micronutrient that helps your thyroid function properly, helping you maintain healthy, lustrous hair. Iodine averts hair breakage and (in a topical form) kills fungus that attacks your hair follicles.
Vitamin D — Your primary natural source of vitamin D is from exposure to sunlight, not from foods. As you age, however, your skin loses the ability to make vitamin D, and reduced sun exposure and increased sunscreen use could deepen this deficiency. Supplements that contain vitamin D may help reduce hair loss by extending the active growing phase of your follicles’ growth cycles.
Vitamin E — Vitamin E balances your skin’s free radicals and antioxidants, reducing oxidative stress on your scalp and helps you retain a thicker head of hair.
- Zinc — Zinc is an essential mineral that boosts hair health by promoting your body’s vitamin A production and supporting sebaceous gland function. Zinc supplements can also reverse hair loss related to hypothyroidism.
Better Not Younger Hair Vitamins That Really Work
Aging affects your body in several ways, and that includes your hair and scalp. Taking vitamins formulated for your hair’s evolving physiology is the key to healthy, beautiful hair.
Better Not Younger Significant Other Hair, Skin & Nails Supplement + Retinol Boost is a vital component in a multi-step approach to bringing out the best version of your mature hair. Our vitamins and hair care products utilize custom-tailored solutions to address the root causes of changing hair. Find our full range of products on our shop page.