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The best vitamins and supplements for hair growth in 2024, according to dermatologist and trichologists

Get your hair health on track with one of the best vitamins and supplements for hair growth in 2024

The best vitamins and supplements for hair growth in 2024, according to dermatologist and trichologists

Watching your hair thin or shed can be concerning, especially if you are unsure why it's happening. If you’re experiencing thinning, breakage, or hair loss, the first step in halting your hair woes is to get to the root of the problem so you know how to treat and, ultimately, regrow thicker, fuller, healthy hair. Factors that can lead to thinning, breakage, and loss include genetics, hormones, excess stress, illness (including COVID-19), giving birth, or a nutrient deficiency. Board-certified dermatologist Jose Diego Mier, tells Yahoo Life, “When it comes to hair health, it’s crucial to maintain an overall healthy lifestyle. Eating a balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables and proteins can give your body the essential nutrients it needs to support hair growth.” The best hair growth products for you will not only come down the the root of the cause, but also your lifestyle. Do you have time for a three-step hair regime? Or would it be easier to take a supplement once or twice a day? For many, supplements fit the bill better due to the time investment needed for daily use of shampoos and serums.

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Fortunately, multivitamins and supplements are available that have been formulated with extra nutrients specifically designed to offset hair thinning and loss and help you regrow thicker, fuller hair. Some may even surprise you, such as the herb horsetail that you won’t come across in the average diet, but it packs a punch when it comes to helping your hair health.

To find the best hair growth vitamins and supplements for various conditions and needs, we spoke with our expert panel of dermatologists, trichologists and plastic surgeons to learn what key ingredients to look for (and what to avoid) and to determine which products deliver real results. Using the experts' input, our research team reviewed more than 30 vitamins and supplements for hair growth and personally tested quite a few of our top picks. We narrowed our list down to eight of the best vitamins and supplements for hair growth based on key ingredients, clinically proven effectiveness, cost, ease of use, overall safety, and user and tester satisfaction.

Cost: $88 | Key ingredients: Vitamins A, C, D, E, biotin, iodine, zinc, selenium, marine collagen, hyaluronic acid, botanicals, amino acids  

A favorite of A-list celebrity Alyssa Milano, Nutrafol Women's Balance is a little pill that delivers mighty results thanks to a wide variety of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, plus botanicals like horsetail, marine collagen, and solubilized keratin. Nutrafol's extensive line of hair growth products are formulated to address seven root causes of hair thinning and loss: hormones, stress, lifestyle, metabolism, nutrition and aging. As a bonus, many of its nutrients will support your overall health, including lowering stress and helping you sleep better. (Nutrafol for Men is available through Amazon or directly through the Nutrafol website, where you can save money by subscribing for monthly deliveries.)

Besides beneficial vitamins and minerals, It contains two patented formulas: Synergen Complex and Nutrafol Blend, both of which contain bioavailable nutrients like hydrolyzed marine collagen (a known hair health booster), Ashwagandha root extract (a supreme stress buster), and L-cysteine (a locks building block). “Nutrafol restored my faith in restoring my hair loss,” says one positive review of many.

Pros
  • Formulated for women 45+
  • Targets six root causes of hair thinning/loss
  • Clinically proven to work
Cons
  • Expensive compared to competitors
  • Can take up to six months to see results
$87 at Amazon
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$88 at Sephora$79 at BeautifiedYou.com

Cost: $88 | Product type: Supplements | Best for: Thinning and hair loss | Key ingredients: Saw Palmetto, biotin, vitamins A, C, D; ashwagandha exomes, Irish moss peptides, pea sprout extract 

While minoxidil is considered a gold standard in hair growth products, it's not for everyone. A safer yet still effective option is Nutrafol's all-natural approach to hair regrowth: supplements and a topical serum. The supplements work from the inside out to promote cell turnover and healthy cell production, while the serum nourishes the scalp and hair follicles to create an optimal environment for hair regrowth. The ingredients in both products are all-natural yet proven effective for improving hair density and growth, including some ingredients like the hard-to-pronounce ashwagandha exosomes, Irish moss peptides, pea sprout extract, biotin, and the real star here for men: saw-palmetto, which in addition to being effective for hair growth, it has also been found in clinical studies to be beneficial for men's prostate and urinary tract health. 

Pros
  • Clinically proven to be effective
  • Industry leading brand
  • All-natural ingredients
Cons
  • Need to take four supplements a day
  • Expensive
$88 at Amazon
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$88 at Sephora$79 at BeautifiedYou.com

Cost: $34 | Key ingredients: Biotin, iron, vitamin C, zinc, AminoMarTM

Viviscal Hair Growth Supplements offers a clinically proven formula that helps nourish hair to promote healthy and strong hair growth without breaking the bank. Its unique blend of ingredients promotes existing hair growth and nourishes thinning hair, making it the perfect choice for anyone looking to improve slow-growing hair. With over 11,000 verified five-star ratings on Amazon, many users agree. One reviewer shared, "I am in my 10th week of using the product and EVERYONE I know comments on how much longer my hair is and how healthy it looks."

Pros
  • Clinically proven to promote reduce shedding and increase hair thickness
  • Suitable for all hair types
Cons
  • Recommended to take it twice daily
  • Many users say results take six or more months
$34 at Amazon

Cost: $30 | Key ingredients: B-vitamins (including biotin), zinc, Fo-Ti

MaryRuth Organics Biotin Gummies are a great go-to for eco- and animal-conscious people seeking a supplement that not only works, but they can feel good about, too. It contains B vitamins (including biotin), zinc, and Fo-Ti, a Chinese herb that’s traditionally been used to promote hair growth. We also love that, unlike some supposedly healthy gummy brands that load their product with sugar and chemicals, MaryRuth Organics gummies are truly healthy. Each gummy is sweetened and colored with fruit powder and stevia but is no less delicious than other brands that pack in the sugar. 

Note that Fo-Ti may not be suitable for pregnant and breastfeeding people or those with liver disorders. When in doubt, ask your doctor.

Pros
  • Soft, chewy gummies
  • Clean vegan ingredients
  • No sugar
Cons
  • may not be suitable for those with liver damage
  • May not be suitable for those who are pregnant/breastfeeding
$25 at Amazon
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$30 at Target$25 at Vitacost

Cost: $29 | Key ingredients: Horsetail plant extract, alfalfa, burdock, gotu kola, nettle 

Gaia is a brand known for producing high-quality organic supplements. We love its Hair, Skin & Nail Support thanks to the blend of several herbs known to create strong, healthy hair, such as horsetail, which contains the building blocks your body needs to create collagen, and alfalfa, which has the vitamins that skin and hair need. Other proven hair helpers, such as burdock, gotu kola and nettle round out this hair-health-boosting supplement. We also love that this supplement avoids unnecessary additives, such as dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, sugar, shellfish and gluten. Please note that these supplements are not safe for use during pregnancy or lactation.

Pros
  • All-natural
  • Great for hair, skin and nails
  • Contains herbs proven to be beneficial to hair
Cons
  • Not safe for use during pregnancy or lactation
  • WIll take six months to see results
$29 at Amazon
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$29 at Vitacost

Key ingredients: Vitamins A and D, B12, biotin, calcium, niacin, folic acid

Pros: Contains hair-healthy nutrients, includes folic acid, which is great for women, excellent reviews

Cons:

Whether your hair loss is due to stress, illness, hormones or aging, Hairfinity Healthy Hair Vitamins can help restore your distressed tresses. Packed with vitamins and nutrients, each capsule features vitamins A, D and B12, niacin, folic acid, hydrolyzed collagen, horsetail extract and Hairfinitiy's Capilsana Complex® blend, featuring methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) to reduce inflammation. Users swear by this formula, saying it helps to grow longer, thicker, healthier hair, as shown in many reviewers before and after photos (not to mention the more than 6,000 reviews averaging 4.9 stars).

Pros
  • Includes vitamins A, D and B12, niacin, folic acid
  • Hairfinitiy's Capilsana Complex reduces scalp inflammation
  • Impressive results
Cons
  • Large pills may be hard to swallow for some
$26 at Amazon

Key ingredients: Biotin, collagen, vitamins A, C, D, E, vitamins B6 and B12, zinc, folate, PABA

Chances are, thinning hair wasn’t one of the aspects of having a baby you were expecting. But let’s face it, your body has been through a lot. Thankfully, there are products like Baby Blues Postpartum Hair Vitamins that are chock-full of pure, high-quality hair nutrients. Formulated for postpartum people, these vitamins contain safe and beneficial ingredients, such as biotin, collagen, vitamins A, C, D, E, vitamins B6 and B12, zinc folate and PABA. The vitamins are also gluten-free, non-GMO, soy- and gelatin-free. 

Pros
  • Packed with vitamins postpartum people need
  • Subscription discounts available
  • Contains the key ingredients biotin, collagen, zinc and folate
Cons
  • May take six weeks to see full results
$33 at Amazon

Cost: Depends on insurance | Key ingredients: Finasteride

Verdict: If you’re serious about stopping hair loss, especially genetic hair loss, the FDA-approved prescription for hair loss, finasteride may be just right for you. Finasteride stops the hair-halting DHT at the source, blocking the enzymes that convert testosterone to DHT. As a result, it can stop hair loss and stimulate new growth, even those with genetic hair loss. Finasteride helps with thinning at the crown of the head and middle of the scalp. It’s even strong enough to treat baldness, though it may take up to 12 months to see results. 

As this is a prescription-only medication, you can either visit your doctor in-office or opt for a free online consultation through a hair-loss specialty company, such as For Hims. For Hims provides free doctor consultations where you can ask questions, receive a script for finasteride and then have the medication shipped to your door

Keep in mind that if you stop taking finasteride, you may see a reversal in your growth if genetics are to blame. So be sure you’re ready to commit and do your homework. The effects of finasteride are complex, as it has been shown to both prevent and cause certain forms of prostate cancer. Ask plenty of questions at your doctor's visit, as a prescription is needed to take this medication.

Note that oral finasteride is only recommended for postmenopausal women. Please see your physician for a prescription.

Pros
  • Clinically proven to be highly-effective
  • Free medical support provided throughout use of supplement
  • Slows and prevents hair loss while promoting growth
Cons
  • Requires prescription
  • Finasteride is only safe for men and post menopausal women
$78 at For Hims

Nutrients: Your hair health requires a variety of nutrients to be strong and healthy, including B vitamins (you’ve likely heard of the buzzy ingredient biotin) and Vitamins A, C, D, and E, plus minerals like selenium and silica. Besides supporting healthy growth, these micronutrients prevent oxidative stress that can damage hair production or cause hair fall.

Botanicals: Botanicals can address hair fall in a number of ways, such as blocking the production of the hormone DHT, the cause of one of the most common causes of thinning, androgenetic alopecia, says Hadley King, a board-certified dermatologist in New York.

”The herb saw palmetto inhibits dihydrotestosterone [DHT],” says King. She also says curcumin can be beneficial for its anti-inflammatory properties, while ashwagandha, an adaptogen that can help decrease stress and cortisol, can help keep hair follicles in the growth phase longer in the case of stress-related hair loss.

Vitamins: Vitamins that are beneficial for stress-related hair loss (called telogen effluvium) include vitamin D, zinc and iron. Biotin, a B vitamin, is another big player in the realm of hair-loss supplements, but maintain some skepticism around this one.

“Keep in mind that although oral biotin is an ingredient that’s often recommended for hair growth, there isn’t enough evidence to evaluate its effectiveness in the treatment of hair loss,” says King. “However, hair loss is a symptom of biotin deficiency, so biotin supplementation is thought to benefit people with hair loss or thinning hair who have a biotin deficiency,” she adds.

Seeing a doctor right away can help make treatments more effective. This is especially important if you’re a female experiencing a receding hairline (frontal fibrosing alopecia), which carries a risk for significant permanent baldness.

If you experience sudden hair loss, it could be a sign of a medical condition.

You should also see a doctor in the following cases:

  • Losing hair in an unusual pattern

  • Losing hair rapidly or at an early age (for example, in your teens or 20s)

  • Experiencing pain or itching with the hair loss

  • The skin on your scalp under the involved area is red, scaly or otherwise abnormal

  • Experiencing hair loss accompanied by acne, facial hair or an abnormal menstrual cycle

  • You’re a woman and have male pattern baldness

  • You have bald spots on your beard or eyebrows

  • Experiencing weight gain or muscle weakness, intolerance to cold temperatures or fatigue

  • Areas of infection on your scalp

To select the best vitamins and supplements for hair growth, we consulted with six board-certified specialists, including dermatologists and trichologists, to discuss the causes and cures for hair thinning and loss, did a thorough assessment of more than 30 of the best hair growth vitamins and supplements, and vetted each for the number of ingredients included proven to support hair health, efficacy, cost, user and tester reviews and overall safety. Brands with awards, certifications, or a reputation for high-quality bioavailable nutrients also made it to the top of the list.

Vitamins and supplements work in a variety of ways. Certain vitamins may work by correcting nutritional deficiencies brought on by physical, mental, or emotional stress (like childbirth or other life events). Some vitamins and herbal supplements may address hormonal changes causing hair loss, while still others simply stimulate new and healthy hair growth after significant hair thinning.

For example, saw palmetto works by controlling DHT levels, which can cause hair loss, while vitamin C helps support hair growth by preventing oxidative stress that leads to hair fall. Supplementing with vitamin D helps people who lose hair due to traumatic or highly stressful events that cause a deficiency in the vitamin.

“Because of the hair growth cycle, consisting of distinct anagen, catagen and telogen stages, it is fair to give a hair supplement six months before assessing its effect,” says King. Additionally, people with full baldness may take up to a year to see results.

It’s always best to consult with your doctor before taking any new vitamins and supplements. Make sure you list your existing medications and any underlying health conditions you may have. It's also important to note that some prescription strength hair growth products and topical treatments are formulated specifically for male and female genetics, so make sure you use the best hair growth products that are formulated for you.

Dr. Mier recommends that people “avoid excessive heat styling, harsh chemical treatments and tight hairstyles that can put strain on your hair follicles.” Instead, opt for natural and nourishing products for thinning hair that are suitable for your hair type, such as a shampoo for thinning hair. If you suffer from an itchy scalp or very dry hair, then a vitamin or supplement for hair loss may be the better bet. Above all, what ever you choose, stick with for a few months for the best results.

Amy Forman Taub, MD, FAAD, Board-certified dermatologist

Michelle Henry, MD, Board-certified dermatologist and Harvard-trained Mohs surgeon

Glenn Vallecillos, MD, Board-certified plastic surgeon

Jose Diego Mier, MD, Board-certified dermatologist

Jake Woods, MD, Board-certified dermatologist

Andy Goren, Board-certified dermatologist, trichologist and professor