Should You Take Supplements for Hair

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Should You Take Supplements for Hair featured image

You may not be able to alter your hair’s texture or growth patterns, but age—and lifestyle—related changes to your hair can be prevented. Understanding a healthy growth cycle makes it easier to identify the concerns that affect your hair and what you can do to fix them.

1. Over-the-Counter Supplements

How they work:
Vitamin-based pills and some types of oral supplements help supply nutrients to hair follicles to spawn new cells, which can promote an increase in healthy hair growth. “Supplementation with biotin helps provide one
of the building blocks for healthy hair,” says Dr. Craig L. Ziering, West Hollywood, CA, hair restoration specialist. 

Who they’re good for:
Anyone experiencing mild thinning or those who want 
to grow their hair faster and longer. But be patient—most over-the-counter supplements take at least three or four months to start working since it takes that long for the body to adjust to and process the influx of nutrients and vitamins.

Fortify hair at the root
When two Phyto Dietary Supplement pills are taken every day, the vitamin-, essential fatty acid- and antioxidant-rich formula purportedly encourages hair to grow thicker, faster, longer and shinier by fortifying strands at the root. $50, skinstore.com

What the expert says: “This all-natural formula is chock-full of natural ingredients that help strengthen your hair, nails and skin from 
the inside out,” says Christyn Nawrot, Phyto national education director.

Grow dramatically longer hair
Now with twice the amount of the proprietary marine complex AminoMar, a fish protein that nourishes thinning hair more than the original version, Viviscal Extra Strength hair growth program fosters healthy strands from the inside out. $50, viviscal.com

What the expert says: “When taken alongside
 a healthy, balanced diet, these supplements can provide the nourishment needed for healthy hair,” says Dr. Ziering.

2. Prescription-Strength Supplements

How they work:
Prescription-strength hair supplements work differently than over-the-counter supplements and tend to be stronger, too. Oral medications like Propecia block 5-alpha reductase, an enzyme that’s linked to the hormone DHT and plays a role in hair miniaturization and loss. “There’s also other prescription-strength medications that will help with hair thinning such as finasteride and spironolactone,” says Las Vegas dermatologist Dr. Alison Tam, MD. 

Who they’re good for:
Postmenopausal women who are experiencing thinning

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