Looking for hair that’s healthy, full and strong? We know that a wellness-centered lifestyle supports healthy hair from the inside out, and a number of key nutrients have also been shown to enhance our locks. In this week’s FUELED, we cover my top recommendations for supplements to help promote stronger, healthier tresses.
Multiple clinical trials published in peer-reviewed journals have found that nutritional supplements can be effective in supporting hair growth. Here’s a rundown on 5 top supplements backed by science that can be worth adding to your regime.
A protein that’s found in our hair, as well as our skin, nails and connective tissue, collagen is incredibly versatile, with a multitude of whole-body benefits beyond hair health.
Most types of collagen peptides are bovine-derived (sourced from cows), while marine collagen is sourced from fish. Double-blind placebo-controlled studies have shown that these marine protein supplements – often in combination with multiple vitamins, minerals and herbs – are effective in promoting hair growth and volume while also decreasing hair loss.
Vitamin D receptors are found in hair follicle cells, and low levels of D are associated with an array of conditions that can lead to hair loss. Since an estimated 40 percent of Americans are deficient in vitamin D, it can be worth getting your vitamin D levels checked if you’re experiencing hair loss and supplementing with vitamin D3 if levels are low.
Supplementing with 100 mg of the antioxidant vitamin E has been shown to increase total hair count. Stay patient, though, as it can take months to notice a difference.
An adaptogenic herb, ashwagandha supports our body’s ability to handle stress, helping us to maintain a sense of balance, particularly during challenging times. We know that chronic stress can lead to hair loss, and supplementing with ashwagandha for its anti-stress properties may be effective as a complementary treatment for hair loss.
I like that it includes marine collagen, ashwagandha, horsetail, vitamins E and D, all of which have evidence-based science to support their use in hair growth
Note | Several brands have been studied and shown to be effective in promoting hair growth and minimizing hair loss, including Viviscal and Nourkin. Nutrafol is my preferred brand as it contains more of the ingredients that have peer-reviewed data to support their use for hair growth.
Molly Kimball, RD, CSSD is a registered dietitian + nutrition journalist in New Orleans, and founder of Ochsner Eat Fit nonprofit restaurant initiative. Tune in to her podcast, FUELED | Wellness + Nutrition and follow her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at @MollyKimballRD. See more of Molly’s articles + TV segments at www.mollykimball.com, and sign up for Eat Fit Wellness Bites weekly newsletter, here.