If you think skipping veggies in favor of pizza doesn’t affect your hair, think again. Vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients play a large part in promoting a healthy head of hair, so a nutrient deficiency can quickly lead to thinning hair, loss of hair, more breakage and an overall diminished level of hair health. Board-certified dermatologist Jose Diego Mier, tells Yahoo Life, “When it comes to hair health, it’s crucial to maintain an overall healthy lifestyle. Eating a balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables and proteins can give your body the essential nutrients it needs to support hair growth.” Additionally, staying hydrated and managing stress levels through exercise, meditation or any activity you enjoy can also contribute to healthier hair, Mier adds.
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Best overall hair growth supplement
Nutrafol Hair Growth Supplements
Best overall hair growth vitamin
Gaia Herbs Hair Skin Nail Support
Best hair growth vitamin for women
Hairfinity Hair Vitamins
Best hair growth vitamin for men
Country Life Maxi-Hair for Men with Saw Palmetto
Best gummy vitamin for hair growth
MaryRuth Organics Biotin Gummies
Best hair growth vitamin for postpartum
Baby Blues Postpartum Hair Loss Vitamins
Best all-natural vitamin for hair growth
Anima Mundi Plant-Based Collagen Booster Elixir
Best prescription hair growth supplement for men
Best B-complex vitamin for hair growth
Garden of Life Raw B Complex
While the best way to get the nourishment you need is through consuming a variety of nutritious foods, we all know that’s not always possible. Factors like genetics, hormones, excess stress, illness (including COVID hair loss) and even giving birth can tip the scales even further away from hair health. Fortunately, multivitamins and supplements are available that are formulated with extra nutrients specifically designed to offset hair thinning and loss. Some may even surprise you, such as the herb horsetail that you won’t come across in the average diet, but it packs a punch when it comes to helping your hair health.
To find the best hair growth vitamins and supplements, we spoke with six experts, including dermatologists, trichologists and a plastic sergeon to learn what key ingredients to look for (and what to avoid). Using the experts' input, our research team curated a list of the best vitamins and supplements for hair growth based on key ingredients proven to support hair health, efficacy, cost, overall safety, and user and tester satisfaction.
The best vitamins and supplements for hair growth in 2023
$84 at Amazon$79 at Nutrafol
Pros: Has a wide spectrum of beneficial ingredients, targets six root causes of hair thinning/loss, excellent user reviews
Cons: Expensive compared to competitors, can take up to six months to show results
Verdict: Nutrafol Women's Balance is a little pill that delivers mighty results thanks to a wide variety of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, plus botanicals like horsetail, marine collagen and solubilized keratin. Nutrafol's extensive line of hair growth products are formulated to address seven root causes of hair thinning and loss: hormones, stress, lifestyle, metabolism, nutrition and aging. As a bonus, many of its nutrients will support your overall health, including lowering stress and helping you sleep better. (Nutrafol for Men is available through Amazon or directly through the Nutrafol website, where you can save money by subscribing for monthly deliveries.)
Besides beneficial vitamins and minerals, It contains two patented formulas: Synergen Complex and Nutrafol Blend, both of which contain bioavailable nutrients like hydrolyzed marine collagen (a known hair health booster), Ashwagandha root extract (a supreme stress buster), and L-cysteine (a locks building block). “Nutrafol restored my faith in restoring my hair loss,” says one positive review of many.
Key ingredients: Vitamins A, C, D, E, biotin, iodine, zinc, selenium, marine collagen, hyaluronic acid, botanicals, amino acids
$29 at Amazon$29 at Swanson Vitamins
Pros: Brand has a reputation for high quality, contains herbs proven to be beneficial to hair, benefits skin and nails
Cons: Doesn’t have vitamins or minerals, may be mostly suited to women, expensive compared to competitors
Verdict: Gaia is a brand known for producing high-quality organic supplements. We love its Hair, Skin & Nail Support thanks to the blend of several herbs known to create strong, healthy hair, such as horsetail, which contains the building blocks your body needs to create collagen, and alfalfa, which has the vitamins that skin and hair need. Other proven hair helpers, such as burdock, gotu kola and nettle round out this hair-health-boosting supplement. We also love that this supplement avoids unnecessary additives, such as dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, sugar, shellfish and gluten. Please note that these supplements are not safe for use during pregnancy or lactation.
Key ingredients: Horsetail plant extract, alfalfa, burdock, gotu kola, nettle
$23 at Amazon$128 at Groupon
Pros: Contains hair-healthy nutrients, includes folic acid, which is great for women, excellent reviews
Cons: Large pills may be hard to swallow for some
Verdict: Whether your hair loss is due to stress, illness, hormones or aging, Hairfinity Healthy Hair Vitamins can help restore your distressed tresses. Packed with vitamins and nutrients, each capsule features vitamins A, D and B12, niacin, folic acid, and Hairfinitiy's Capilsana Complex® blend, featuring methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) to reduce inflammation, hydrolyzed collagen and horsetail extract. Users swear by this formula, saying it helps to grow longer, thicker, healthier hair, as shown in many reviewers before and after photos (not to mention the more than 6,000 reviews averaging 4.9 stars).
Key ingredients: Vitamins A and D, B12, biotin, calcium, niacin, folic acid
$28 at Amazon$28 at Swanson Vitamins$32 at The Vitamin Shoppe
Pros: Contains hair-boosting botanicals, saw palmetto, whole food complex
Cons: May not target all aspects of hair loss, lesser known brand
Verdict: Country Life Maxi-Hair for Men is ideal for men experiencing hair loss or thinning hair, especially when due to hormonal changes. It has hair-boosting botanicals, such as horsetail and pumpkin seed extract, but the real star of the show is saw palmetto, an herb that’s beneficial to male hormonal health that helps fight hair loss and can even defend against prostate cancer. The vitamin also features DIM, which balances hormonal health by reducing Dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a naturally occurring hormone that’s responsible for hair fall. Best of all, it works. “I’m on my fourth bottle, which is a testament of my satisfaction with this product. It definitely seems to make my hair feel thicker and more vibrant,” said one reviewer. “This stuff has drastically reduced the rate at which my husband was losing his long, glorious hair. It’s a keeper!,” said another.
Key ingredients: Vitamins A and D, B12, biotin, calcium, niacin, folic acid
$29 at Amazon$25 at The Vitamin Shoppe$30 at Target
Pros, Clean vegan ingredients, loaded with beneficial nutrients, tastes great but has no sugar
Cons: May not be suitable for pregnant/breastfeeding women, may not be suitable for those with liver damage
Verdict: MaryRuth Organics Biotin Gummies are a great go-to for eco- and animal-conscious people seeking a supplement they can feel good about. It contains B vitamins (including biotin), zinc, and Fo-Ti, a Chinese herb that’s traditionally been used to promote hair growth. We also love that, unlike some supposedly healthy gummy brands that load their product with sugar and chemicals, MaryRuth Organics gummies are truly healthy. Each gummy is sweetened and colored with fruit powder and stevia but is no less delicious than other brands that pack in the sugar.
Note that Fo-Ti may not be suitable for pregnant and breastfeeding people or those with liver disorders. When in doubt, ask your doctor.
Key ingredients: B-vitamins (including biotin), zinc, Fo-Ti
$34 at Amazon
Pros: Solid formula and reviews, easy on the stomach, packed with vitamins postpartum people need
Cons: can take up to six months to work, pricey compared to competitors, not designed for men
Verdict: Chances are, thinning hair wasn’t one of the aspects of having a baby you were expecting. But let’s face it, your body has been through a lot. Thankfully, there are products like Baby Blues Postpartum Hair Vitamins that are chock-full of pure, high-quality hair nutrients. Formulated for postpartum people, these vitamins contain safe and beneficial ingredients, such as biotin, collagen, vitamins A, C, D, E, vitamins B6 and B12, zinc folate and PABA. The vitamins are also gluten-free, non-GMO, soy- and gelatin-free.
Key ingredients: Biotin, collagen, vitamins A, C, D, E, vitamins B6 and B12, zinc, folate, PABA
Anima Mundi Apothecary
$32 at Amazon
Pros: Vitamins come from organic, wild harvested plants, contains plant compounds that build collagen and keratin, ethical, vegan ingredients
Cons: Powder form may not be for everyone, strong taste if you don’t blend it well, expensive compared to competitors
Verdict: Anima Mundi Herbals Collagen Booster has a unique way of helping hair health. The powder contains a number of herbs that help your body create collagen and keratin while also delivering a potent punch of bioavailable vitamins, minerals, amino acids, healthy fats and antioxidants, including vitamins A and C, B vitamins, calcium, silica, beta-carotene, and lutein. Plus, the formula’s contents are supportive for overall health, including mental and emotional health, thanks to adaptogen He Shou Wu. Users report shiny, bouncy long locks, healthy skin and nails as well as lower stress levels and better sleep.
It comes in powder form, and while it’s got an earthy taste, reviewers say mixing it in their morning coffee masks the flavor. Or, snag one of the flavored formulas like the “Dirty Rose Chai,” which includes tasty cinnamon, cardamom and rose.
Key ingredients: He Sho Wu, horsetail, nettle, calendula, mangosteen
$78 at For Hims
Pros: Blocks DHT formation, slows hair loss, helps with hair regrowth
Cons: stopping the medication can reverse results, may affect sexual performance, not for premenopausal women
Verdict: If you’re serious about stopping hair loss, especially genetic hair loss, the FDA-approved prescription for hair loss, finasteride may be just right for you. Finasteride stops the hair-halting DHT at the source, blocking the enzymes that convert testosterone to DHT. As a result, it can stop hair loss and stimulate new growth, even those with genetic hair loss. Finasteride helps with thinning at the crown of the head and middle of the scalp. It’s even strong enough to treat baldness, though it may take up to 12 months to see results.
As this is a prescription-only medication, you can either visit your doctor in-office or opt for a free online consultation through a hair-loss specialty company, such as For Hims. For Hims provides free doctor consultations where you can ask questions, receive a script for finasteride and then have the medication shipped to your door.
Keep in mind that if you stop taking finasteride, you may see a reversal in your growth if genetics are to blame. So be sure you’re ready to commit and do your homework. The effects of finasteride are complex, as it has been shown to both prevent and cause certain forms of prostate cancer. Ask plenty of questions at your doctor's visit, as a prescription is needed to take this medication.
Note that oral finasteride is only recommended for postmenopausal women. Please see your physician for a prescription.
Key ingredients: Finasteride
Garden of Life
$35 at Amazon$40 at The Vitamin Shoppe
Pros: Contains a wide spectrum of B vitamins, has probiotics and enzymes for mood and digestion, ups nutritional content with fruits and veggies
Cons: Large capsules may be hard to swallow
Verdict: Garden of Life B-Vitamin Complex delivers quite the B vitamin bomb to seriously boost your hair health, while also upping your energy levels and mood. The eight B vitamins contained in the capsules have been shown to stimulate hair growth and make your tresses shiny and strong. Plus, B vitamins are great for your overall health, including keeping your nervous system functioning properly. Alongside powdered fruits and veggies, live probiotics and enzymes are other great features of this product. Both improve gut health, which has a positive impact on your mood. If you want an all-around great-for-you vitamin that keeps your hair healthy and full, B-complex might be right for you.
Key ingredients: Eight B vitamins, raw probiotics, enzymes, 23 powdered fruits and vegetables
What key ingredients should I look for in the best hair growth vitamins and supplements?
Nutrients: Your hair health requires a variety of nutrients to be strong and healthy, including B vitamins (you’ve likely heard of the buzzy ingredient biotin) and Vitamins A, C, D, and E, plus minerals like selenium and silica. Besides supporting healthy growth, these micronutrients prevent oxidative stress that can damage hair production or cause hair fall.
Botanicals: Botanicals can address hair fall in a number of ways, such as blocking the production of the hormone DHT, the cause of one of the most common causes of thinning, androgenetic alopecia, says Hadley King, a board-certified dermatologist in New York.
”The herb saw palmetto inhibits dihydrotestosterone [DHT],” says King. She also says curcumin can be beneficial for its anti-inflammatory properties, while ashwagandha, an adaptogen that can help decrease stress and cortisol, can help keep hair follicles in the growth phase longer in the case of stress-related hair loss.
Vitamins: Vitamins that are beneficial for stress-related hair loss (called telogen effluvium) include vitamin D, zinc and iron. Biotin, a B vitamin, is another big player in the realm of hair-loss supplements, but maintain some skepticism around this one.
“Keep in mind that although oral biotin is an ingredient that’s often recommended for hair growth, there isn’t enough evidence to evaluate its effectiveness in the treatment of hair loss,” says King. “However, hair loss is a symptom of biotin deficiency, so biotin supplementation is thought to benefit people with hair loss or thinning hair who have a biotin deficiency,” she adds.
When should I see my doctor about hair loss?
Seeing a doctor right away can help make treatments more effective. This is especially important if you’re a female experiencing a receding hairline (frontal fibrosing alopecia), which carries a risk for significant permanent baldness.
If you experience sudden hair loss, it could be a sign of a medical condition.
You should also see a doctor in the following cases:
Losing hair in an unusual pattern
Losing hair rapidly or at an early age (for example, in your teens or 20s)
Experiencing pain or itching with the hair loss
The skin on your scalp under the involved area is red, scaly or otherwise abnormal
Experiencing hair loss accompanied by acne, facial hair or an abnormal menstrual cycle
You’re a woman and have male pattern baldness
You have bald spots on your beard or eyebrows
Experiencing weight gain or muscle weakness, intolerance to cold temperatures or fatigue
Areas of infection on your scalp
How we selected the best vitamins and supplements for hair growth
To select the best vitamins and supplements for hair growth in 2023, we consulted with nine board-certified specialists, including dermatologists and trichologists, to discuss the causes and cures for hair thinning and loss, did a thorough assessment of over 65 of the best hair growth products, and vetted each for the number of ingredients included proven to support hair health, efficacy, cost, user and tester reviews and overall safety. Brands with awards, certifications, or a reputation for high-quality bioavailable nutrients also made it to the top of the list.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do hair growth vitamins and supplements work?
Vitamins and supplements work in a variety of ways. Certain vitamins may work by correcting nutritional deficiencies brought on by physical, mental, or emotional stress (like childbirth or other life events). Some vitamins and herbal supplements may address hormonal changes causing hair loss, while still others simply stimulate new and healthy hair growth after significant hair thinning.
For example, saw palmetto works by controlling DHT levels, which can cause hair loss, while vitamin C helps support hair growth by preventing oxidative stress that leads to hair fall. Supplementing with vitamin D helps people who lose hair due to traumatic or highly stressful events that cause a deficiency in the vitamin.
How long does it take for hair growth vitamins and supplements to work?
“Because of the hair growth cycle, consisting of distinct anagen, catagen and telogen stages, it is fair to give a hair supplement six months before assessing its effect,” says King. Additionally, people with full baldness may take up to a year to see results.
Are hair growth vitamins and supplements safe for everyone to take?
It’s always best to consult with your doctor before taking any new vitamins and supplements. Make sure you list your existing medications and any underlying health conditions you may have. It's also important to note that some prescription strength hair growth products and topical treatments are formulated specifically for male and female genetics, so make sure you use the best hair growth products that are formulated for you.
How else can I stop my hair from thinning and shedding?
Dr. Mier recommends that people “avoid excessive heat styling, harsh chemical treatments and tight hairstyles that can put strain on your hair follicles.” Instead, opt for natural and nourishing products for thinning hair that are suitable for your hair type, such as a shampoo for thinning hair. If you suffer from an itchy scalp or very dry hair, then a vitamin or supplement for hair loss may be the better bet. Above all, what ever you choose, stick with for a few months for the best results.
Meet our experts
Amy Forman Taub, MD, FAAD, Board-certified dermatologist
Michelle Henry, MD, Board-certified dermatologist and Harvard-trained Mohs surgeon
Glenn Vallecillos, MD, Board-certified plastic surgeon
Jose Diego Mier, MD, Board-certified dermatologist
Jake Woods, MD, Board-certified dermatologist
Andy Goren, Board-certified dermatologist, trichologist and professor