Is your hair dull or breaking? Is it falling out? Or is it thinner and weaker than you would like it to be?
Don’t worry, there are now products available to help whether you want to reduce breakage, make it stronger, shinier or to simply grow more or thicker hair. These products contain combinations of ingredients that provide you with the specific nutrients your hair needs to be healthy and are known as hair supplements. Hair supplements are most useful when your dietary intake is not sufficient.
Having an insufficient diet doesn’t always mean that you are eating poorly. Often the amount and type of foods that you need to eat for specific hair health is virtually impossible to obtain when eating a standard number of calories in a standard diet.
What you need to eat to get the same nutritional value as a supplement is surprising. For example, to get the recommended daily intake of biotin you would need to consume 16 eggs a day! Hair supplements are formulated and developed to provide the specific combination of nutrients required to improve hair health, faster and most efficiently. This is why doctors, dermatologists, trichologists and hair experts frequently recommend hair supplements to naturally assist in the reduction of hair loss, and the promotion of healthy hair growth. Plus as an added bonus - they also help to improve your nails and skin as well as improving your hair and scalp health!
So what’s the difference between the range of supplements that are available to purchase? It comes down to three things:
Firstly, the ingredients - that is, the combination and amounts of each of the vitamins, minerals and other compounds that they contain. Choosing the right essential nutrients for your hair goals is critical. You need to make sure you are providing your scalp and hair follicles with everything they need to grow healthy hair and this really does start from the inside. The vitamins, minerals and compounds contained in the supplements you take will enter the blood stream to nourish your hair and promote the growth of thicker, healthier hair.
Secondly, the amount and frequency with which you need to take a supplement. Ideally, the supplements you choose to purchase should have the most efficacious ingredients and a consumption rate that is easier to remember and easy to follow. One capsule a day supplements are more advantageous as they increase the likelihood of you maintaining a consistent routine for a longer period of time resulting in better results.
Thirdly, any supplement you take should have TGA approval. This means that the claims being made on the product regarding the benefits they will provide are backed by clinical studies and evidence. The TGA is an Australian government run program to ensure that both ingredients and manufacturing processes and facilities meet required standards and are safe for consumers. We strongly suggest that you only buy supplements that have some type of government approval, such as TGA and be careful, especially if shopping online that you are are buying from a trusted source.
Taking all this into consideration, understanding the benefits of each ingredient in a supplement will be the best help for you when determining what one is right for you.
Below are the key ingredients used for hair health supplements. We have only listed ingredients which have clinical studies and evidence to support their benefits and claims.
Vitamin C. Provides powerful antioxidant properties and plays an integral role in the formation of collagen. Collagen is a major structural protein, important for strong connective tissue to help maintain skin integrity and appearance. Can help produce sebum—a scalp oil that works as a natural hair conditioner. Also helps your body absorb iron. Getting too little Vitamin C makes hair dry and weak and as the human body does not naturally produce Vitamin C, ensuring adequate intake is necessary. Your body cannot produce or store Vitamin C so must rely on diet and/or supplements to obtain
Biotin. Helps keep your hair healthy as well as your skin, eyes, liver and nervous system. Getting more Biotin can promote healthy hair growth and scalp health. A deficiency can cause brittle hair so is important for maintenance of existing hair too. Biotin helps to produce keratin which works to increase the elasticity of the hair’s cortex. Helps prevent breakage and hair loss. With an extra intake of Biotin, there can be a noticeable increase in hair length and thickness. Biotin is necessary to build new skin cells and healthy fats in the skin. These fats keep the skin supple and moist, and when they are gone, the skin becomes flaky and irritated. Scalp health is supported by Biotin. Your body cannot produce or store Biotin so must rely on diet and/or supplements to obtain. Consuming16 eggs will provide you with the recommended daily intake of biotin.
Selenomethionine. Is an amino acid that contains selenium. L-Selenomethionine is a naturally occurring amino acid which has anti-oxidant properties. Selenium boosts hair growth and reduces dandruff. Selenium can destroy a fungus known as Malassezia from the scalp. Selenium is included in many anti-dandruff shampoos to fight against dandruff. Selenium can utilise foods that contain protein to boost growth of hair. Zinc and selenium are advised by doctors for hair loss. This helps in proper functioning of hormones and increased growth of hair. They can be used to treat many hair problems as grey hair, hair loss, dandruff, etc. Note that selenium is toxic in high doses. However note that there are also studies showing that cancer may be less prevalent in those with higher selenium levels. Consuming 10 cups of spinach will provide you with the recommended daily intake of selenomethionine.
Silicon dioxide. Found naturally in the tissues of the human body and is considered an essential nutrient for human bodies. Helps minimize damaging effects of aluminum and contributes to healthy bone formation and hair thickness. May help make hair stronger and more durable. Also helps to form collagen which may support keeping skin smooth and unlined. Also facilitates your body’s absorption of calcium, contributing to strong, healthy bones, teeth and nails. Consuming 1.2 kilograms of bananas will provide you with the recommended daily intake of silicon.
Grapeseed. A powerful antioxidant, grapeseed oil contains a lot of vitamin E, which is necessary for hair growth, and health. The extensive proteins, minerals, and the linoleic acid grapeseed contains also have anti-inflammatory properties that not only promote healthy hair growth but may help to keep your hair glossy and your skin glowing. The OPC’s (oligomeric proanthocyanidins) that are in grapeseeds may inhibit the production of DHT, one of the main factors in hair loss. The OPC’s may also stimulate hair follicles, promoting healthy hair growth. Grape seed extract is synergistic with vitamin C, vastly increasing vitamin C activity and strengthening collagen activity.
Zinc. A vital mineral for healthy hair, skin and nails and is often recommended to support hair growth and assist in prevention of hair loss. Zinc is believed to play a crucial role in DNA and RNA production. This is required for the normal division of hair follicle cells leading to healthier hair growth. Zinc deficiency actually may lead to deterioration of the protein structure that makes up the hair follicle. This weakening of follicles can in turn cause hair shedding and hair loss as well as excessively dry scalp and premature greying. Zinc also may help keep hormone levels balanced, which may be effective in preventing hair loss. Zinc for hair growth may also help eliminate dandruff on the scalp. Your body cannot produce or store Zinc so must rely on diet and/or supplements to obtain. Consuming 2 cups of cashew nuts will provide you with the recommended daily intake of zinc.
Collagen. An amino acid which hair follicle cells use to produce keratin protein. Keratins promote hair growth, strength and elasticity. Lack of collagen can mean brittle hair and nails. Collagen also supports a healthy digestive tract to protect and heal the lining of the gut leading to maximum protein absorption – leading to healthier hair. Collagen helps with hair growth and hair regeneration since it is a natural antioxidant. Free radicals are produced via metabolic processes and damage hair follicles leading to hair loss. Collagen neutralises the free radicals, allowing hair to grow normally. Collagen also supports skin, teeth and bone health.
Looking for product suggestions that contain the essential nutrients for good hair health? Try trico.lab Good Hair Vitamins which contain the seven essential nutrients for good hair and scalp health, are TGA listed and made in New Zealand under strict manufacturing guidelines as set by the TGA, a division of the Australian Department of Health.