What are hair loss vitamins?
Effectiveness: No evidence
Avg. cost: £479 per year
Time to take effect: Unknown
Hair loss vitamins are nutritional supplements that aim to improve the quality of your hair and treat male pattern baldness. There are various vitamins and minerals linked to hair health, and these are often sold as an effective way to reverse hair loss.
Hair loss can be caused by a variety of things, including (in rare cases) a vitamin deficiency. If a vitamin deficiency is the cause of your hair loss, then taking a supplement for that particular vitamin may be an effective solution. But if you don't have a deficiency then supplementing extra vitamins will have no effect whatsoever upon your hair loss.
Where can I buy hair loss vitamins?
Because hair loss vitamins are not endorsed by the NHS as a treatment for hair loss, they are usually not available for free. However, if you walk into any high street pharmacy or health food shop, you are likely to find an array of hair loss supplements and vitamins.
What kinds of hair growth supplements are there?
The most common vitamins contained in these supplements are:
- Vitamin C
Do hair loss vitamins work?
There is very little scientific evidence to suggest that any of these vitamins specifically promote hair growth, however it is true that a severe deficiency of biotin, zinc, niacin and iron can lead to hair loss but this is very rare.
When can supplements help?
As stated above, hair loss vitamins may be effective if your hair loss is caused by a deficiency in a particular vitamin. However, if you are suffering from a severe vitamin deficiency which is causing symptoms as extreme as hair loss, it is very likely that you will need medical treatment. If you believe you have a vitamin deficiency then please see your doctor.
Are hair loss vitamins dangerous?
Ultimately, taking vitamin supplements is not thought to be particularly detrimental to your health as long as you do not take too many. According to the NHS, these are the recommended upper limits for each of these vitamins:
- 0.9mg of biotin per day
- 0.35mg of selenium per day
- 25mg of zinc per day
- 500mg of nicotinamide supplements (niacin) per day
- 1000mg of vitamin C per day
- 17mg of iron per day
- If you do take daily vitamin supplements for hair loss, check the ingredients to ensure you are not consuming more than the recommended daily dosages, as listed above.
How can I avoid hair loss?
A normal balanced diet, should already contain all of these vitamins. The best way to increase your vital minerals and vitamins is to increase the proportion of fresh vegetables and fruits in your diet.
Generally, it is important to remember that healthy hair is an extension of a healthy body - if you are in good health, exercise regularly and eat a balanced diet containing all the vitamins and nutrients you require, then you significantly reduce the likelihood of losing your hair. However in some instances, hair loss is unavoidable.
If you suffer from male pattern baldness or female pattern baldness, then your hair loss is a genetic condition and will not respond to hair loss vitamins.
Medically endorsed hair loss treatments
In the UK, only two hair loss medicines are actually endorsed by the medical community, and have been proven to treat hair growth.
The most effective treatment for male pattern baldness is Finasteride (often sold as "Propecia"). This prescription treatment is not available on the NHS, but you can order it through affordable services like our own LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor. Finasteride has been proven to stop hair loss in 90% of men with male pattern baldness.
Minoxidil is a lotion or foam that is applied to the scalp every day as an effective hair loss treatment. It is not as effective as Propecia, but has still been proven to stop hair loss and promote hair regrowth in 60% of men with male pattern baldness. Minoxidil is available without a prescription, through high street pharmacies or supermarkets. You can also order it online from our website.