What are “hair supplements” and what do they “do”
By strict definition, a “supplement” refers to a product the fills in gaps in their nutritional profile that someone may lack for various reasons e.g. malabsorption, specific food abstinence, irregular meals or specific requirements e.g. bodybuilding.
The so called hair supplement category would ‘naturally’ (pun intended) be interested in increasing the daily consumption of hair vital ingredients. Common ingredients seen would include biotin, keratin, certain vitamins, certain herbs which no doubt will be important to ensure healthy hair growth – but are they needed as part of your supplementation regime.
Let’s look at some popular hair supplements in the market at the moment (in no particular ranking)
- A quick look at the ingredients reveals the following:
Marine Protein Complex (AminoMar C)
Apple Extract Powder
- Hair is made out of a protein, keratin, which is also found in your nails. Marine protein in Viviscal is said to have the best mix of amino-acids, which are the basic building blocks of proteins.
- Viviscal has previously admitted that this proprietary protein source utilizes oysters and shark cartilage; making them not so suitable to people who are selfish allergic or ocean lovers.
- L-Cysteine and L-methionine are amino acids that the hair follicles uses to construct more keratin. In particular, studies have shown that Minoxidil (Rogaine) increases the uptake of L-Cysteine, and are likely to be more useful when used together.
- Biotin and Vitamin C are water soluble vitamins that are crucial aspects of overall health. However, these vitamins are seldom deficient in the developed world.
- Apple Extract Powder deploys the use of a chemical called Biocyanadin B2 which has anti-oxidant properties but also aims to increase hair thickness.
Sugarbearhair Hair Vitamins
- Treat yourself to a gummy while replenishing hair nutrition?
- Contains Vitamin A to E and includes a small amount of Zinc.
- Quite a well-rounded hair supplement providing the important antioxidant vitamins and minerals as well as Vitamin D (albeit in a small dose) which is frequently overlooked in hair loss.
- Iodine in this gummy may be helpful for patients who consume little to no seafood, resulting in an iodine deficiency state known as hypothyroidism which can lead to hair loss.
Miriqa Professional Hair Nutrition Supplements
- The newcomer in the market advertises reduction in hair loss, increased growth, improved hair strength and shine!
- Contains 5 ingredients: tocotrienol (a type of Vitamin E), Biotin, Keratin, Collagen and Saw Palmetto.
- The tocotrienol form of Vitamin E might aid in important cell signalling pathways to keep hairs in the anagen cycle (link: hair cycle)
- Saw palmetto: is a berry, and its extract has been used in the treatment of prostate hyperplasia and hair loss due to its effects in lower dihydrotestosterone (DHT) levels after consumption. DHT is the hormone most responsible for male or female pattern hair loss.
- It is worth noting here that saw palmetto has not been proven to be safe to consume in pregnancy or during breast feeding.
GNC Hair Skin Nails
- The usual suspects of Vitamins A through to E with the addition of iron, calcium, and other trace minerals like selenium and magnesium.
- Selenium helps to reduce seborrhea (oily scalp).
- High dose Vitamin A in this product (especially if you are taking another vitamin A product) may actually lead to hair shedding. Vitamin A, being a fat soluble Vitamin accumulates in your body over time and long term overdose can result in hypervitaminosis A. Consult your physician if you are intending to take a high dose of Vitamin A or Vitamin A derivatives e.g. retinoid-class medications.
What Hair Supplements Are Available at Terra Medical?
I prefer the Nutrafol range of products because:
- Nutrafol has clinical studies to support its use – 83% of patients saw improvements in their hair within 3 months
- Nutrafol is mostly plant-based, with the exception of hydrolysed marine collagen derived from unwanted Atlantic Cod scales – an easy choice for the environmentally-conscious consumer.
- Nutrafol’s 3 core products differentiate between the hair loss needs of men, women and the perimenopausal women age group – none of their products is generically formulated.
- A multitasking nutraceutical, Nutrafol aims to target the main causes of hair loss – stress, nutritional deficiencies, hormonal imbalance, inflammation through oxidation.
- Nutrafol is made to be dosed at just once a day for your convenience; and no more excuses.
I also strongly recommend Nutrafol Stress Adaptogen, an all-natural neutraceutical from the same company that uses Reishi mushrooms and Rhodiola extract to further ameliorate the effects of physical or emotional stress on your hair follicles.
Anecdotally, I see patients respond as quickly as 2 weeks after starting the combination of Nutrafol for Women and Nutrafol Stress Adaptogen with a large decrease in hair fall.
If you were looking for a hair supplement, consider instead a set of hair nutraceuticals.
Speak to us today via Whatsapp +65 91870470 or use the Contact Form to enquire more about Nutrafol’s range of products or to schedule a consultation.