Best hair growth vitamins
Best hair growth vitamins
We've all desired thicker, longer, healthier hair at some point in our lifetimes. But the truth is, growing longer hair isn't so cut and dried. There's no simple equation or formula that will guarantee longer locks in weeks. In fact, there are a slew of factors that can affect your hair growth (or lack thereof). The good news is, there are also a variety of vitamins that experts say can, in fact, give you longer, stronger hair over time.*
Whether you're simply looking to sport a new, longer 'do, your hair is naturally thinning, or you've seen some shedding uptake, don't fret. It's certainly possible to attain your length and thickness goals with the help of some mane-boosting vitamins for hair growth.*
We tapped a certified trichologist to get the scoop on these hair-boosting vitamins and how they work. And while you can reach for a hair growth supplement to reach your goals, incorporating these vitamins into your diet is beneficial, too.
Keep scrolling for six vitamins (well five vitamins and one mineral) for hair growth that actually work:*
Best hair growth vitamins
- 2 capsules a day is easy to stick to
- Also contains hyaluronic acid for skin support*
- Capsules are 1 inch, which some folks may find challenging to swallow. If that’s you, you can open them up and add them to liquid.
Dose:2 capsules per day
This contains a cocktail of vitamins (many of which we discuss later on the list) to support healthy hair growth—including vitamins A, B6, B12, C, and E. But it’s not just vitamins that star in this show, it contains other actives that can give your hair that boost the name suggests. First up, there’s a complex that’s a blend of amino acids (specifically L-Cystine, L-Arginine, L-Lysine, L-Methionine) which are the building blocks of keratin, the protein that makes up your hair. It also contains saw palmetto extract, which has some research noting that it may improve hair growth modestly (however the study authors note more research is needed.)*
Best for men : Designs for Health HSN Complex
- Thanks to the L-Glutamine, this will also support a healthy gut*
- 5g of collagen is on the lower end of the spectrum
Dose:1 scoop daily
This blend is designed to fuel your body with the building blocks needed for healthy hair growth. In it, you’ll find vitamin C, biotin, amino acids, collagen peptides, and bamboo extract (which contains silica).*
Best collagen: mindbodygreen beauty & gut collagen+
- A potent dose of 17.7g of collagen (type I and III)
- The antioxidant support can help against photodamage, fine lines, and sagging in the skin*
- Can help strengthen nails*
- Ideal for gut health*
- Sustainable packaging
- Not vegan (no collagen is)
Dose:1 scoop daily
Collagen peptides are broken down collagen proteins into their building block form: Amino acids. Amino acids are what make up keratin (the hair is about 90% keratin), so supplying your body with collagen peptides can be an excellent place to start for healthy hair growth (and just overall health in general). This powder also contains vitamin C and E, hyaluronic acid, biotin, L-glutamine, turmeric and sulforaphane glucosinolate for a well rounded hair, skin, gut and nail support.*
Best for hair loss: Nutrafol Hairline Defender
- Nutrafol is a brand known for innovation in hair loss supplements
- Clinically tested
- Very pricey
- 6 capsules a day may be a lot for some folks
Dose:6 capsule per day
Many folks just want to support healthy hair growth in general, but for those dealing with increasing shedding and notable thinning, you may be on the hunt for something more. This combo (it contains not only their standard Hair Growth Nutraceutical, but also special DHT Inhibitor capsules) uses a blend of botanicals to target thinning from several angles. The base supplement includes nutrients and other actives like vitamin A, C, D, E, Zinc, Biotin, amino acids, and saw palmetto. And the DHT inhibitor uses botanicals such as reishi and magnolia tree bark to decrease DHT, a hormone in the body that shrinks hair follicles.*
- The capsules are flavor free
- While the ingredients can help skin and nails, the primary target is hair growth – worth noting if you’re looking for a more robust beauty supplement*
Dose:3 capsules per day
This blend contains nutrients such as vitamin A, B12, folate, biotin, selenium, and a hair support complex that includes botanical ingredients like saw palmetto and horsetail powder. But the one we’d like to highlight is the 25 mcg of vitamin D. As we note later, insufficient levels of vitamin D have been linked to hair thinning. (Just FYI: clinical vitamin D insufficiency persists in 41% of the US population). So supporting your vitamin D levels will not only help overall health, but hair health too!*
Best vegan: Divi To The Roots
- Contains a complex that supports circulation, which can lead to better hair growth
- The brand also makes topical products for a full routine
- 4 capsule per day may be a lot for some folks
- Does not indicate if it’s GMO-free
Dose:4 capsules per day
For those who follow a vegan diet, this is an excellent option to turn to. It contains a robust assortment of vitamins, minerals and nutrients to help hair growth: Vitamin A, C, D, E, B12, biotin, pantothenic acid, zinc, selenium, just to name a few. The blend also contains two complexes that can help improve hair health.*
- Great for overall beauty goals
- Organic ingredients
- Ingredient traceability
- Have to take the capsules on an empty stomach (helps the biotin and niacin absorb)
- Not as many hair specific ingredients
Dose:2 capsules per day
Lots of folks prioritize organic plants whenever possible. This option uses organic B vitamins— biotin and niacin—to promote nail, skin, and hair health. It also contains an organic complex full of botanicals that can help neutralize free radicals in the body. Free radicals can contribute to hair aging.*
Best gummy: Mary Ruth Organics Hair, Skin, & Nails Gummies
- Organic ingredients
- Gummies are great for those who struggle with taking capsules or powders
- Gummies usually aren’t as potent
- Contains 4g of sugar
Dose:2 gummies per day
This contains vitamin C, E, and biotin, which are nutrients that can help various mechanisms of hair, skin, and nail health. Vitamin C and E are not only part of the collagen synthesis process, but can help neutralize free radicals. Biotin can help strengthen nails and support keratin.*
Best budget : Life Extension Hair, Skins, & Nails Collagen Plus
- More affordable price point
- 4 tablets per day may be a lot for some folks
- Not vegan
Dose:4 tablets per day
While high-quality products tend to cost more, you certainly don’t have to spend a fortune on supplements if it’s not within your budgetary constraints. This beauty supplement is proof! It contains ingredients that are clinically shown to promote keratin health, which is the protein that makes up your hair.*
Ingredients to look for
When you think of vitamin C, brighter skin and strong immune systems are likely the first thing to come to mind.* But the truth is, it also has numerous hair benefits, too.
"Vitamin C increases the absorption of iron, which is one of the most critical nutrients for your hair,"* certified trichologist and founder of Advanced Trichology William Gaunitz, FWTS, says. And remember that resilient immune system we mentioned previously? Gaunitz says a robust immune system allows the scalp to combat microbes that shouldn't be there at a more efficient level that will then improve hair growth, too. Check out our favorite vitamin c supplements here.
"Depending on its purity and source, vitamin E can be great for reducing free radicals, improving collagen, and reducing oxidative stress in the scalp," Gaunitz says, "which in turn enhances hair growth." In fact, one study found that after taking vitamin E supplements for eight months, participants experienced 34% of increased hair growth1.*
Additionally, it can help scalp health: Some studies have indicated that vitamin E can help enhance overall body circulation.* Circulation has also been linked to healthy hair growth. So many hair experts conclude that by using vitamin E, you may be able to promote scalp circulation.*
"Vitamin D3 directly interacts with hair follicles, and when D3 levels aren't optimal, it can decrease the volume of hair on the scalp and throughout the body,"* Gaunitz says.
These are some of our favorite vitamin D supplements.
While there are more studies needed to prove the effectiveness of this essential B vitamin for the health of hair, there is some research that finds a connection between folic acid and hair growth.*
Folic acid's main purpose is to generate new cells, which can have an effect on the keratinization of hair during the hair growth phase, Gaunitz says.*
Not to mention, it's a vitamin often found in multivitamins and prenatal vitamins, which expecting mamas often thank for long, luscious locks.*
Also known as vitamin B3, niacin helps to improve circulation throughout the body, scalp included.* And when the scalp has an increase in blood flow, the scalp is at optimal health, and we all know healthy hair starts with a healthy scalp. While this vitamin won't bring you waist-grazing locks on its own, it's certainly helpful when combined with other hair-boosting vitamins and minerals.*
According to Gaunitz, iron is the most critical mineral for the hair.* "Ferritin is your iron storage protein, and when that is low because you don't have enough iron regularly input into your diet, your hair volume will decline to compensate for your body's need for iron.” Uh-oh is right.
Gaunitz says the hair will only return once there's enough iron being consumed on a regular basis. Iron-rich foods include beef, chicken, eggs, spinach, sweet potatoes, and beans. If you're concerned about your iron levels, consult a doctor for guidance before reaching for a supplement.
Do hair vitamins work?
Hair growth and health are influenced by many factors—both internal and external. So hair growth in general is a complicated topic, as well as finding a solution. That being said, many people swear by hair vitamins and supplements to help support hair health overall.*
Now, the theory behind hair supplements really comes down to internal structural support. Hair is made up of keratin4, a type of protein that consists of about 18 amino acids5 including cysteine, proline, threonine, leucine, and arginine. This is why many hair supplements include amino acids or collagen peptides in their mix.
And like most processes in the body, the production of keratin is heavily influenced by free radical damage and oxidative stress—both of which can be eased or neutralized by antioxidants.*
So theoretically ingesting key nutrients and bioactives can support the synthesis and protection of hair.* But ultimately, clinical studies using supplements in healthy populations are hard to find.
Read more about how hair vitamins work here.
How can I boost hair growth?
Hair growth can be promoted through many lifestyle and hair care habits, such as eating a nutrient-rich diet, daily scalp massages, stress management, easing scalp irritation, and limiting hair damage such as overusing hot tools. For topical hair care formulas, look for ingredients like rosemary, saw palmetto, and vitamin E.
Which vitamins are good for hair growth?
The best vitamins and nutrients for hair growth include vitamin C, E, D, folic acid, niacin, and iron.
What causes hair thinning?
Hair shedding can be influenced by many things, but a few of the most common are stress, nutrition, scalp irritation, hair fiber damage, and genetics.
While there's no magic bullet for longer, thicker hair, there are a number of vitamins and nutrients that we know are involved with hair health. Focus on getting adequate amounts of them, and see where it gets you. For more hair growth tips, check out our guide to growing longer hair.