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by: Better Not Younger
November 24, 2021
There’s no denying the pregnancy glow of a mom-to-be—even her tresses look thicker and more luminous. Perhaps you yourself experienced fuller, longer hair during pregnancy.
What’s the secret behind this lustrous pregnancy-related hair growth? Some swear by their prenatal vitamins—prompting women everywhere to flock to their nearest supplement aisle. But is it all hype? Could it just be hormones? Keep reading as we take a closer look at hair growth during pregnancy, the role prenatal vitamins play and if the benefits make it worth adding them to your hair-care routine, even if you’re not expecting.
A woman’s body is constantly growing and changing throughout her pregnancy—even her hair can undergo a noticeable transformation. Many women claim their hair during pregnancy is the fullest, thickest and shiniest it has ever been—swearing by their prenatal vitamins for their longer hair and lustrous shine. Even their nails have never looked better!
Turns out, the changes to your tresses are less a perk of your prenatal vitamins and more so a side effect of the miracle of life. Let us explain: During pregnancy, estrogen increases—higher estrogen levels boost blood flow which helps nourish the baby—causing hair to stay in the growth phase longer, resulting in less hair loss and breakage. Progesterone levels also rise, giving way to increased sebum.
Between the increased blood flow (also good for stimulating hair growth) and a prolonged growth phase and more scalp oils—all genetically determined—it’s no wonder women are singing the praises of their prenatal vitamins. The catch: There is little scientific evidence to suggest that they actually help your hair grow faster.
Even though we now know what’s really driving the thicker, fuller hair growth women experience during pregnancy, is it fair to completely rule out the role of prenatal vitamins in their new supermodel-esque strands? After all, prenatal vitamins are packed with essential vitamins and minerals that are critical to a baby’s healthy development—that’s got to mean something, right?
Truth be told, the excitement around prenatal vitamins being the secret to helping hair grow faster is tied to the fact that some of the vitamins and minerals in prenatal vitamins just happen to be key nutrients required for healthy hair, namely B vitamins like biotin and folic acid, the latter which is responsible for healthy cell growth, something our hair, skin and nails count on. And with pregnant women as walking billboards for bombshell hair, it’s no wonder that women who aren’t pregnant are heading to the supplement aisle to address their hair loss concerns.
The primary problem with women taking prenatal vitamins for hair growth when they aren’t pregnant is that, unlike women who are growing a baby and who will benefit from the additional nutritional support, our bodies don’t actually need the higher amounts of certain vitamins and minerals that prenatal vitamins provide.
And in some instances, like in the case of iron, prenatal vitamins could do more harm than good and even lead to toxicity if they are consumed in excess—this risk extends to pregnant women, too. Taking too much iron for too long a period, especially over the age of 50, can result in side effects such as stomach pain, nausea and liver complications. Keep in mind, however, that not all prenatal vitamins contain iron, so always read the labels and consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet or adding any new supplements.
The fact of the matter is that most women who aren’t pregnant are able to get sufficient levels of the nutrients they need through a healthy and well-balanced diet. And a regular multivitamin is more than capable of filling any food gaps in your diet for your hair health and beyond.
As we mentioned, eating a healthy, well-balanced and colorful diet is the best way to ensure your body is receiving all the vitamins and nutrients it needs to support not only your hair health but your overall health, too. Foods that promote healthy hair, skin and nails include fruits, vegetables, proteins and healthy fats that are packed with nutrients including vitamins A, B, C, D and E as well as such as calcium, iron, folic acid and zinc.
We love dark leafy greens such as spinach and Brussels sprouts for their folic acid, while eggs are a terrific source of vitamins A and D as well as biotin. Nuts and seeds provide healthy fats that strengthen hair strands and promote hair growth while whole grains ensure you’re getting your B vitamins.
It’s important to keep in mind, however, that as we age, our body’s ability to effectively absorb nutrients does decrease, so you may want to consult your doctor to find out if a regular multivitamin is a good plan of action for your dietary needs.
If the beauty-boosting benefits of a prenatal vitamin have you intrigued, but you’re not sure prenatals are the best route for you, consider supplements designed specifically for your hair health. Better Not Younger has supplement options that offer an impressive lineup of hair- and skin-friendly nutrients including biotin, folic acid and antioxidant-rich vitamins. Suitable for vegetarians and all hair types, our Significant Other Hair, Skin & Nails Supplement + Retinol Boost brightens skin, strengthens roots and adds shine while ensuring you’re getting all your essential daily vitamins and minerals. Plus, we supercharged it with double the vitamin A to boost your body’s retinol production for more even-looking skin—the perfect complement to strong, shiny hair.
Another supplement option for healthier hair, skin and nails is our Power Within Skin & Scalp Collagen Gummies. Packed with marine collagen types I and III, these tropical-fruit-flavored gummies boost collagen levels for optimal hair, skin and scalp elasticity and hydration for healthier and more vibrant-looking hair.
Tell Us: Are you taking a supplement for your hair growth? Share in the comments below!
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