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Do Hair Vitamins Actually Work?

Kristin Hall

Medically reviewed by Kristin Hall, FNP

Written by Our Editorial Team

Last updated 10/28/2022

If you experience thinning hair, hair loss, or would simply like to have fuller, healthier hair, you may be tempted to try out anything -- and five magic beans, to finally get your hair to the point that you feel comfortable with it.

While magical hair may be a little hard to achieve, there are lots of hair products out there that promise almost miraculous results when it comes to hair growth, fullness, health and an end to issues such as hair thinning. 

Leading the pack of said products are hair vitamins and supplements for hair growth, which are often formulated with a variety of ingredients to promote healthier, thicker hair.

But just what are hair vitamins? And will they really help to make your hair grow faster, stronger and thicker than before? 

Below, we’ve explained what hair vitamins are, as well as the potential benefits certain vitamins and minerals may offer for your hair’s health and wellbeing.

We’ve also talked about how hair supplements can fit into your hair care routine, as well as how they compare to evidence-based medications for hair loss such as minoxidil for women.

What Are Hair Vitamins?

Hair vitamins are vitamins, minerals and nutrients that can help to support the health and growth of your hair. They’re usually sold in tablet or capsule form, either as single vitamin supplements, or as multivitamin supplements intended to supply a more diverse range of nutrients.

Before we get into the specifics of hair loss vitamins, let’s get one thing out of the way: in almost all cases, hair loss vitamins won’t stop hair loss on their own.

The reason for this is that hair loss can happen for any number of reasons, from your genes and production of certain hormones to your hair care habits. 

You may have a genetic predisposition to androgenetic alopecia, or female pattern hair loss -- a form of hair loss that occurs when the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT) binds to receptors in your scalp and causes your hair follicles to gradually stop producing healthy hairs.

Alternatively, you might develop telogen effluvium hair loss as a result of severe stress, changes in your levels of certain hormones, an illness that causes fever or a nutritional deficiency caused by a crash diet.

In some instances, your medication could be the reason you’re beginning to lose hair. In others, a medical condition, such as an autoimmune disease, could lead to a form of hair loss referred to as alopecia areata, or spot baldness.

If you have hair loss that’s directly caused by a vitamin deficiency, adding a hair supplement or two to your hair care toolkit can potentially stimulate hair regrowth. However, in almost all other cases, hair loss vitamins and other supplements are just one part of the puzzle.

Still, they’re an important part, and if you're interested in repairing damaged hair and promoting strong hair growth for the future, incorporating vitamins into your hair care routine -- either from your diet or in the form of supplements -- can offer real, noticeable benefits. 

The Best Vitamins for Hair Growth


Now, you know how Vitamin A is the patron saint of good eyesight, and that vitamin C is the holy grail and then some, for good skin? Well, there are specific vitamins that are widely accepted for their role in hair growth and general hair health. 

We’ve taken a look at these below and talked about how each vitamin can help with maintaining hair growth and healthy hair.

Vitamin A

A lot goes into maintaining your hair’s wellness and durability, and a healthy scalp is one of the critical factors. Vitamin A, a nutrient derived from eggs, meats and carrots, helps in maintaining your scalp health.

Retinoids, a part of the vitamin A family, are necessary for regulating the secretion of sebum, a type of natural oil that keeps your scalp moisturized and healthy.

Retinoids also play a key role in accelerating the process of keratinization, which produces the protein keratin that gives your hair its structure and strength. There’s also evidence that some retinoids are involved in the activity of melanocytes, which give your hair its unique color.

But don’t be too quick to rush a vitamin fix. While consuming a normal amount of vitamin A can offer real benefits for your hair, taking in an excessive amount of vitamin A could in fact result in hair loss.

As such, if healthy hair is your main concern, you’ll get the best results by consuming vitamin A in moderation. 

Biotin

You've probably come across a lot of biotin gummies, shampoos, oils, conditioners and serums while doomscrolling on Instagram. From all appearances, a biotin gummy or two may be all that is standing in the way of your innermost hair goals. However, is biotin really worth the hype?

Biotin, aka vitamin B7, double aka vitamin H, is a necessary component for production of certain types of protein, including the keratin that gives your hairs and nails their strength.

Without sufficient biotin, you could experience hair loss. A biotin deficiency might be acquired or congenital, meaning it’s something you could be born with.

If you have a biotin deficiency, using a biotin supplement like our Multivitamin Gummies can give you the vitamins and nutrients your hair need for optimal growth, reducing your risk of having to deal with biotin-related shedding.

However, there is such a thing as consuming too much biotin. Not only does this offer little to no real benefits for your hair -- it can also increase your risk of showing false, inaccurate results on certain lab tests.

As such, it’s best not to overdo it with biotin. Instead, stick closely to the recommended amount on your supplement label, then use other hair loss medications to protect your hair and improve your results.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a critical vitamin for many aspects of your health. Aesthetically, it’s widely known for its potent antioxidant properties, which have made vitamin C a popular active ingredient in facial creams and other skincare products.

Not to be left out of all the fun, vitamin C also plays its part in making sure your hair stays in top shape. It does this in an almost roundabout way, by helping with the intestinal absorption of iron, an important mineral for hair growth.

Although the precise impact of iron on hair loss is still being studied, low iron levels are a known cause of hair loss in women. As such, the absorption of iron into the body through vitamin C is a vital component for hair follicle health and a normal, predictable hair cycle.

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Vitamin D

Let's put it like this: when it comes to vitamin D and your hair’s health, you may not notice it so easily when it's there, but you’ll definitely miss it when it's gone. This is because low vitamin D levels are linked to the occurrence of alopecia areata.

Although vitamin D isn’t directly involved, vitamin D receptors have been shown to impact the hair follicle cycle -- a multi-phase process that each hair follicle on your scalp passes through while maintaining healthy hair growth.

Vitamin E

If we're pointing fingers at the causes of alopecia, a big jab has to be directed at oxidative stress -- a known cause of the premature aging of hair. If you live with alopecia, there’s a high chance that you have lower-than-average levels of antioxidants in your scalp. 

Vitamin E is a pretty potent antioxidant, and is involved in the oxidant/antioxidant balance in the body. It helps to protect against free radical damage, which can harm your cells and reduce the ability of your hair to grow effectively.

Collagen

Although technically not a vitamin, collagen is an important type of protein that plays a key role in promoting a healthy scalp. 

Collagen, in addition to other proteins, helps to give your skin cells their strength. Although the precise relationship between collagen and scalp health isn’t clear, research does suggest that collagen supplements can improve skin hydration, elasticity and density.

However, it isn’t yet clear if these improvements in skin health and elasticity have any effect on promoting hair health or reducing hair damage.

Multivitamins

In addition to the vitamins mentioned above, countless other vitamins can all play a role in the growth of healthy hair. 

These include b-complex vitamins such as pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), folic acid and vitamin B12, as well as nutrients such as iron, selenium and zinc.

Because taking these vitamins individually can be challenging, it’s simpler to add a multivitamin to your morning routine, both for general wellbeing and for a thick, healthy and stronger head of hair. 

Do Hair Vitamins Work?

Here's where things get interesting. Even though vitamins are important for healthy hair growth, increasing your vitamin intake by using a supplement or changing your diet doesn't guarantee a thicker, healthier head of hair.

This is because although vitamin deficiencies play a role in some forms of hair loss, a variety of other factors can also cause you to shed hair. 

If your hair loss is caused by chronic stress, an illness or an injury to your hair follicles, taking a hair growth vitamin or eating more leafy greens isn't likely to reverse it. 

Worse yet, overusing some vitamins could actually increase your risk of dealing with a range of common hair problems, including temporary hair loss.

For example, research suggests that overly high levels of vitamin A -- a vitamin that’s important for promoting normal hair growth and hair density -- can cause hair loss.

Other vitamins are often produced within your body, meaning hair growth supplements may not be necessary unless you have a clear deficiency. 

For example, your body produces most of the biotin it needs, usually through dietary sources of biotin such as eggs, pork, salmon, seeds and sweet potatoes. Biotin supplementation, while a useful option, may not be necessary unless you have a biotin deficiency. 

On the other hand, there’s no evidence that excess biotin is toxic, meaning it’s usually alright to add a biotin supplement to your hair care routine without too many concerns.

In short, hair vitamins won’t necessarily reverse all forms of hair loss, meaning they shouldn’t be viewed as a panacea for all things hair-related. Similarly, there are risks associated with excess levels of certain hair-friendly vitamins and minerals.

However, they can work well, especially if they’re used with evidence-based, FDA-approved hair loss medications such as minoxidil.

Minoxidil treats hair loss directly at the scalp level by improving blood flow and moving your hair follicles into the anagen, or growth, phase of the hair growth cycle. It’s available for women as minoxidil liquid solution and minoxidil foam

Used together, hair growth vitamins and minoxidil can help you to tangle hair loss from multiple angles, helping you to grow healthier, stronger hair. 

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The Bottom Line on Hair Vitamins That Work

Hair vitamins alone won’t reverse female pattern hair loss, alopecia areata or other forms of hair loss in women. However, they do offer benefits and can be a valuable addition to your hair care toolkit, especially alongside FDA-approved hair loss medications such as minoxidil. 

If you’re interested in trying hair vitamins, you can keep your hair, nails and skin healthy with our Multivitamin Gummies, which pack in biotin and other important nutrients for strong, healthy and shiny hair. 

As long as you keep your vitamin intake within safe limits, these vitamins and minerals can help to make maintaining your hair an easier, less stressful process.

Interested in learning more about caring for your hair? Our range of women’s hair loss products contains everything you need to keep your hair and scalp in optimal condition, from medications to shampoo, conditioner and other essential hair care products. 

15 Sources

Hims & Hers has strict sourcing guidelines to ensure our content is accurate and current. We rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We strive to use primary sources and refrain from using tertiary references.

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  2. Hughes, E.C. & Saleh, D. (2022, June 26). Telogen Effluvium. StatPearls. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK430848/
  3. Vitamin A and Carotenoids. (2022, June 15). Retrieved from https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminA-HealthProfessional/
  4. Zasada, M. & Budzisz, E. (2019, August). Retinoids: active molecules influencing skin structure formation in cosmetic and dermatological treatments. Advances in Dermatology and Allergology. 36 (4), 392-397. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6791161/
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  8. Almohanna, H.M., Ahmed, A.A., Tsatalis, J.P. & Tosti, A. (2019, March). The Role of Vitamins and Minerals in Hair Loss: A Review. Dermatology and Therapy. 9 (1), 51-70. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6380979/
  9. Bistas, K.G. & Tadi, P. (2022, July 4). Biotin. StatPearls. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK554493/
  10. Moeinvaziri, M., et al. (2009). Iron status in diffuse telogen hair loss among women. Acta Dermatovenerologica Croatica. 17 (4), 279-284. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20021982/
  11. Trüeb, R.M. (2015). The impact of oxidative stress on hair. International Journal of Cosmetic Science. 37 (52), 25-30. Retrieved from https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ics.12286
  12. Vitamin E. (2021, March 26). Retrieved from https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminE-HealthProfessional/
  13. Bolke, L., Schlippe, G., Gerß, J. & Voss, W. (2019, October). A Collagen Supplement Improves Skin Hydration, Elasticity, Roughness, and Density: Results of a Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Blind Study. Nutrients. 11 (10), 2494. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6835901/
  14. Biotin. (2022, January 10). Retrieved from https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Biotin-HealthProfessional/
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This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment. Learn more about our editorial standards here.

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