These supplements often contain hair-strengthening nutrients such as zinc, biotin, and vitamin A.
And, since your diet, lifestyle, and other factors can have a huge impact on your body’s processes, including hair growth, it stands to reason that supplementing your diet with hair-boosting nutrients could help with hair loss.
But do these supplements work to prevent the loss of hair on your head?
Factors Affecting Hair Loss and How Supplements Can Help
There are many factors that can have a negative impact on your hair’s health and cause it to thin. Here are some reasons why you lose hair, and how supplements could help:
If you have a well-rounded diet that provides all the nutrients you need for optimal health, supplements might not make much of a difference to your hair. But let’s be honest, very few of us get all the nutrients we’re meant to through our diets. In fact, the average American diet falls short on a wide range of vitamins and minerals.
In particular, a diet lacking in iron, protein and other specific nutrients can result in thinning hair. Anemia, caused by a lack of iron, is one of the most common reasons behind hair loss in women. But, since many different nutrients have an impact on the health of your hair, supplementing the nutrient gap in your diet could prove beneficial.
If you notice sudden hair loss, this can often be a sign of an underlying medical condition. Health issues that can cause hair loss include the autoimmune disease alopecia areata, scalp infections such as ringworm, and thyroid disease.
More specifically, a thyroid imbalance can cause telogen effluvium, a temporary loss of hair on your head. This condition causes more hair cells than normal to enter your hair cell’s resting phase and fall out.
Treating these kinds of medical issues with the appropriate medications should help to restore your hair to its usual condition. Your doctor may also advise taking dietary supplements as a way to boost your health, which will help strengthen your hair as a result.
Hair loss can also be a side effect of a range of different medications. These include medications used to treat heart problems and high blood pressure, cancer, depression, and arthritis.
While your physical health should be your overriding priority, your doctor may be able to change your prescription to a different medication that doesn’t cause hair loss as a side effect. If that’s not possible, supplements can help to make up for some of the damage done by these medications.
Prescription diet medications such as phentermine can also lead to hair loss, although this is not listed as a side effect. This suggests that the hair loss experienced by some patients is more likely to be as a result of malnutrition due to extreme appetite suppression.
In this case, if you’re taking medications to lose weight, you should combine these with supplements. These supplements may then help you avoid the resulting health conditions, including hair loss, that a restricted calorie intake can cause.
Sudden hair loss can be your body’s way of reacting to a recent life change or event, such a death in the family or extreme weight loss.
These kinds of traumatic events can also coincide with a poor diet, which, in turn, can worsen hair loss. As such, taking supplements could help your body recover from this shock by boosting your health and strengthening your hair.
Nutrients in Hair Loss Supplements
Now you know how supplements can help with various causes of hair loss, what kinds of nutrients should you take to improve your hair health?
Here’s a round-up, from A to Z, of the most common ingredients in hair loss supplements and how they may work to improve the condition of your hair and fight hair loss:
Vitamin A is vital for your body to produce sebum, the natural oil which conditions your scalp and protects your hair to keep it strong.
Also known as vitamin H and vitamin B7, Biotin is a B-vitamin complex which strengthens your hair from within. It is said to work by improving the protein-based infrastructure of the hair shaft itself.
Scientific studies have found evidence that patients taking biotin supplements show clinical improvement in hair growth. This makes biotin one of the few ingredients often found in hair supplements that are scientifically proven to help hair health. That said, it’s not the only B vitamin you need to improve hair health so it’s best to take supplements that provide the full spectrum of B vitamins.
Like vitamin A, vitamin C also helps in the body’s production of sebum, making it an important nutrient for healthy hair. Vitamin C also plays an important role in how your body absorbs iron, which is a common vitamin deficiency for those with thinning hair.
As a rich source of omega-3 fatty acid, flax-seed oil is an ingredient you’ll often see in hair supplements. This is because omega-3 helps your hair follicles stay healthy through water retention and the production of sebum.
Also known as vitamin B9, folic acid improves circulation and helps tissue regrowth, ensuring that your hair follicles receive enough nutrients and function properly as a result.
Gamma Linolenic Acid
Gamma linolenic acid, most often listed as GLA, is an omega-6 fatty acid. Like omega-3s, omega-6 fatty acids help to boost hair health and reduce inflammation in the body, which can cause scalp irritation.
Iodine promotes a healthy thyroid function, so taking supplements containing this mineral can help correct hair loss due to a thyroid imbalance.
Without enough iron in your body, the cells that stimulate hair growth don’t receive the oxygen they need to thrive. This causes them to become nutrient-deprived and disrupts the normal hair growth cycle.
This trace mineral helps your body maintain a healthy scalp and optimal hair elasticity by supporting cell reproduction and repair.
Silica is a natural mineral present in our bodies and in many foods. Horsetail and bamboo are two rich sources of silica, so these are sometimes listed as ingredients on hair supplements. Silica helps build hair elasticity to strengthen hair from within.
Zinc is important for tissue growth and repair, plus it helps the body produce carotene, which boosts hair health.
A Combined Approach to Hair Loss Treatment
In the same way that supplements support your diet and compensate for nutrients you may be lacking, supplements can help support a holistic approach to hair loss in combination with these other methods:
Finasteride and Minoxidil
While hair loss supplements may help fight hair loss, taking these alongside the FDA-approved hair loss treatments Finasteride and Minoxidil is likely to be a more effective approach.
Finasteride is a prescription medication that works to prevent hair loss by blocking the male hormone DHT from reaching the hair follicle. Minoxidil is a non-prescription topical solution that promotes hair growth and blocks DHT.
Using supplements in combination with these treatments means you can help strengthen your hair from within while also acting on the hormonal cause of hair loss.
Supplementing your diet with added nutrients is not the only way to improve your hair health. You can also help to prevent hair loss by changing certain aspects of your lifestyle.
Lifestyle factors that have an impact on hair health include water consumption, alcohol intake, stress levels, smoking, and physical activity levels. Taking steps to lead a healthier life will also make it easier for your body to absorb the hair-boosting nutrients in supplements.
While hair loss supplements can help to strengthen your hair from within, you also need to treat your hair with the care it needs during washing and styling. After all, you don’t want to undo the benefits of hair loss supplements by mistreating your hair.
For optimal hair care, you should wash your hair with an SLS-free shampoo. To minimize hair breakage, you should also use a moisture-boosting conditioner and blot your hair dry rather than rubbing it with a towel. Avoid brushing or combing your hair while it’s still wet, and limit your use of waxes and gels as these can cause scalp irritation and hair loss.
Your Guide to Supplements for Hair Loss
There are many nutrients that play an important role in hair health. As such, taking supplements containing these nutrients may help to prevent hair loss.
But the most effective way to treat thinning hair is often a combined approach, whereby supplements for hair loss help to support other preventative measures.
If you want to stop hair loss in its tracks, that means acting now! Join our Alpha Club today and get the products you need delivered right to your door.