Hair Supplement Science
As a culture, we tend to prize a full, lustrous head of hair. Excepting those who rock a beautiful bald head, by choice or heredity, most people work hard to keep what they have or look to products and potions to amp up the volume, so to speak. As with many deep beauty fixes, there’s controversy, and this one is no less hair-raising.
Only a few people hit age 50 with the same amount of hair they had in their youth. The central question isn’t so much how to grow hair, but how to keep what’s there from falling out. There are many root causes for hair loss, including hormones, heredity, illness, medication or over-processing (color, chemicals, etc.). Obviously anything medical falls under the purview of doctors. If a medical issue isn’t the culprit and processing is, then taking better care of your hair is worth some consideration. So what about all those vitamin supplements and their claims?
There are some studies on certain plant extracts that are positive, but most of the studies were conducted on mice, not humans. Most people aren’t seriously vitamin deficient, so while the ads and claims are heady on taking these supplements to boost hair growth (or prevent more loss), there’s no real scientific data to back it up. Biotin (a form of vitamin B), vitamin D, zinc, iron, vitamin C, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, amino acids, vitamin B, vitamin A and vitamin E are all often found in “hair-growing” supplements (and prenatal vitamins, which some swear by).
Over the last five months I took a different hair vitamin each month following the bottle instructions and saw varying results. Could that be because of weather, hormone and dietary changes? Yes. It is hard to know for sure. Full disclosure: I’m over 50, have doctor diagnosed and managed thyroid issues, wacky hormones (you know why) and I color my hair, thank you. I make no guarantees of any kind and don’t recommend adding any supplement(s) without speaking to your healthcare provider.
Sugarbearhair: Berry-flavored vegetarian gummies. I like gummies and these contain very little sugar – only three grams for two. My hair, nails and skin all seemed to benefit. Nothing earthshaking.
Irwin Naturals: Liquid softgels that are easy to swallow. I noticed good nail growth and my hair seemed to be stronger and shinier.
Hum Runway Ready: Carried at Sephora, these 30 daily packets, each with two “Red Carpet” hair and one “Killer Nails” supplements, are easy and portable. I saw a noticeable difference in my thinning hairline.
Hair La Vie: Expensive, but I loved it; a 30-day supply was $50. Packed with a bunch of vitamins, minerals and their own proprietary blend of stuff, including lots of B vitamins, which always make me feel good. I started seeing some serious difference in my hair’s thickness and strength.
BioSil: This supplement has collagen, Keratin (the protein that’s in hair) and Elastin. My nails grew like weeds; I didn’t notice much else except a little less hair in my brush and on the bathroom floor.
SK-II cleansing oil is expensive and worth every penny. It smells of roses and keeps my skin clear.
Three Trees Japanese towels. I like these better than other handwoven towels for softness, sturdiness and no need to pre-soak before using.
Spitfire Girl Fortune Eau de Parfum with lime blossom, green tea, cyclamen and vanilla is a lovely combination of floral, green and culinary. I am constantly stopped and asked what I’m wearing.
Urban Decay Color Correcting concealer in Peach is absolutely the bomb for brown under-eye discoloration on light-medium skin. The texture is smooth, fresh and doesn’t cake or crease.
Channel lash primer (drugstore dupe, L’Oreal Voluminous Lash primer, is fabulous) boosts lashes and helps grab mascara – any mascara – and I’m still using Essence’s Lash Princess. It is $5.
Stila Stay All Day in Dark Brown, or Too Faced Stretch Marker Liquid Art Eyeliner in Espresso are liquid liners that yield a subtle, yet defined daytime eye look.