The cure for hair loss remains out of reach, but many argue that natural supplements can help slow the thinning of hair or even reverse the trend.
Prior to modern medicine, natural herbs and treatments from animal products were the norm, and some believe this to be a healthier and more holistic way to treat hair loss.
What are the hair loss supplements getting the most hype these days, and is there data to support their effectiveness? This guide will offer some guidance on this contested topic.
Why do people take supplements in the first place? The idea is to flood the body with vitamins, minerals, and other key compounds that the body needs to function at optimal levels.
Modern diets may be easy and affordable, but they tend to lack nutrients and leave big segments of the population running at multiple deficiencies.
Whether it’s lean protein, healthy fat, or individual vitamins and minerals, nearly everyone has a missing piece of the puzzle in terms of total nutrition, which is where supplements can make a difference. There’s also the issue of aging and not being able to absorb nutrients as effectively.
What does this have to do with hair loss? Strong, fast-growing hair is a sign of robust overall health, in which diet plays a crucial role. Even with plenty of exercise, low stress, and quality sleep, deficiencies can cause issues like lethargy, cognitive dysfunction, and even hair loss.
While most hair loss is genetic and outside the patient’s control, multivitamins and mineral supplements like zinc or iron may help slow the hair loss trend or even grow some back.
This is not a well-researched area of hair loss science but a good idea in general for people who may not be getting enough quality nutrients from their food each day.
On top of the standard vitamins and minerals that should be common knowledge, compounds known as biotin and collagen are considered more targeted and effective supplements for hair loss. These products are often marketed as hair loss solutions, but they are not on the same level as prescription medication or therapeutic treatments.
Biotin is a naturally occurring coenzyme, also known as vitamin B7. It plays several roles at once, all relating to metabolism and function upkeep for vital organs.
Biotin gets the most attention for its positive effects on skin, nails, and hair. Studies suggest that a very small dose (2 to 5mg) can help increase the strength and quality of hair, reduce the brittleness of nails and even combat skin rashes like eczema and other types of inflammation.
Collagen, on the other hand, is a powerful protein loaded with key amino acids, naturally occurring as well. This protein strengthens connective tissue and provides structural support throughout the body: joints, tendons, ligaments, vertebral discs, etc.
Hair and skin are the other beneficiaries of collagen supplementation, and users report increases in strength, shine, and length. This may not be the miracle supplement for hair loss, but collagen can only help for those looking for an overall boost in advanced age.
Countless new supplement companies have appeared on the scene in recent years, making big claims about unique blends of natural ingredients that hold the secret to hair restoration.
These companies include a lot of expensive compounds in their pills and powders, so they tend not to be cheap for the customer. What matters is whether they work and which ingredients do the heavy lifting.
Saw palmetto, ashwagandha, organic sea kelp, pumpkin seed, and hyaluronic acid are just a few interesting inclusions in these boutique supplements, and they tend to include some classics like biotin, selenium, and vitamin A as well.
Since these supplements can be pricey and require a long-term commitment (typically six months to start seeing effects), consumers should do sufficient research and read reviews to see if the investment is worthwhile.
If someone is leading an unhealthy lifestyle characterized by poor diet and lack of exercise, no amount of supplementation will help them in terms of stopping hair loss or promoting growth. Getting to a healthy weight, reducing stress, eating well, and sleeping soundly should be the first priorities, and healthier hair will likely follow.
Supplements earn their name for that exact reason – they are meant to fill in gaps and add an extra boost to the strong foundation of health already in place. The best way to use supplements is intentionally and consistently to obtain a result and not replace real food or good habits.
For those serious about addressing their hair loss, supplements are not going to take them very far. Working with a skilled and experienced hair restoration doctor is a better choice for several reasons.
An expert will be better able to identify the cause of the hair loss, predict future patterns, prescribe the right treatments, and tackle new issues if they arise. This is a superior approach to browsing random supplements and hoping for the best.
Specialists will also present options for procedures like hair transplantation if a more permanent solution is desired.
Hair loss supplements are a divisive subject in the hair-loss community. Some people swear by them and call them essential to preserving healthy hair, while others are not so convinced.
The consensus from doctors is to prioritize overall health and use supplements if necessary to account for inadequate diet, but that patients should not expect miraculous results from supplements alone.
In conclusion, supplements are generally harmless, but the advantages are not apparent. It may be wiser to save that money and work directly with a hair loss specialist who can map out a real medicinal treatment plan and get results.
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