Tag Archive for: Vitamins

Nourishing Your Hair with Food: The Power of Cooking for Hair Growth

Nourishing foods that promote hair growth as recommended by Happy Head dermatologists.

You’ve probably heard the saying, “You are what you eat.” Whether it’s the Mediterranean diet, Keto, or gluten-free, what you eat plays a significant role in your health. The food you consume affects everything from your heart to your eyesight. But did you know that food also impacts your hair? 

The Role of Nutrition in Hair Growth 

Hair is primarily composed of a protein called keratin. Therefore, ensuring adequate protein intake — and nutrients necessary for making keratin — is essential for healthy hair growth. Protein is the building block of hair, so consuming an adequate amount of protein is a must for hair growth. Amino acids, which make up protein, play a major role in the production of keratin. And it’s keratin that provides each strand of hair with structure and stability. Without enough protein, hair becomes brittle and weak, leading to breakage and hair loss. Additionally, several other vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants contribute to maintaining scalp health, promoting follicle strength, and keeping hair growing. (01)

Foods to Feed Your Hair 

Healthy hair is not just about using the right shampoo and conditioner. It also involves taking care of your hair from the inside out by eating hair-friendly foods. The following are eight foods that you can add to your diet to promote healthy hair. 

1. Eggs

According to data from the U.S. Department of Agricultural, eggs are a great source of protein, biotin, and vitamin D, all nutrients that your scalp and hair need to remain in good health. Along with vitamins A and C, vitamin D is important for hair follicle health, and a deficiency in this vitamin can lead to hair loss. Just remember to opt for healthier ways of cooking eggs, like poaching or boiling.  (02) The following recipe for Korean boiled eggs is a tasty twist on a familiar kitchen staple. (03)

Marinated Soy Sauce Eggs


  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 3 medium green onions, chopped
  • 2 medium jalapeno peppers, seeded and diced
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 12 large hard-boiled eggs, peeled
  • 3 teaspoons sesame oil

Korean boiled eggs are as simple as marinating your eggs. Combine soy sauce, water, sugar, green onions, jalapeno peppers, minced garlic, and toasted sesame seeds in a large bowl. Stir well to dissolve the sugar, and mix the ingredients thoroughly. Next, place the peeled, hard-boiled eggs into the marinade mixture. Ensure the eggs are fully submerged. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight to allow the flavors to infuse.

Once marinated, remove the eggs from the refrigerator. Slice each egg in half lengthwise and arrange them on a serving platter. Spoon some marinade over the eggs to enhance the flavor and provide a glossy appearance. Finally, drizzle the eggs with sesame oil, which adds a nutty aroma and richness. Serve the marinated soy sauce eggs as an appetizer, side dish, or a topping for salads and ramen bowls.

2. Spinach

Dark, leafy greens like spinach are rich in iron, which boosts hair growth and keeps cells oxygenated. Without enough iron, the hair follicles can become starved of oxygen. Iron deficiency, for example, is a common cause of hair loss in women due to low iron levels during pregnancy and other hormonal shifts. Iron deficiency has also been a risk factor for the following hair loss conditions: alopecia areata, androgenetic alopecia, and telogen effluvium. (04, 05)

Spinach is also an excellent source of vitamins A and C, which help to produce the sebum (an oily substance) required to moisturize the scalp and hair. Add spinach to your weekly dinners through this famous cookbook author Ina Garten’s side dish recipe. (06)

Sauteed Baby Spinach 

  • 1 1/2 pounds baby spinach leaves
  • 2 tablespoons good quality olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic (about 6 cloves)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • Lemon wedges
  • Sea salt or kosher salt (optional)

First, rinse the baby spinach leaves thoroughly in cold water to ensure they are clean. Use a salad spinner to remove excess water, leaving some light moisture on the leaves. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add the chopped garlic and sauté for about 1 minute, being careful not to let it brown.

Add all the spinach to the pot, along with the kosher salt and black pepper. Toss the spinach with the garlic and oil until well coated. Cover the pot and cook for 2 minutes. Remove the lid and increase the heat to high. Continue cooking the spinach for another minute until all the spinach is wilted, all the while stirring.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the sautéed spinach to a serving bowl. Top the spinach with the unsalted butter, a squeeze of lemon juice, and a sprinkling of sea salt or kosher salt, if desired. Serve the sautéed baby spinach immediately while hot. It makes a delicious side dish or a healthy addition to salads, pasta, or grain bowls.

3. Sweet Potatoes

Try sweet potatoes if you’re looking for a simple addition to make your diet a little healthier and promote hair growth. This delicious and colorful starch is an excellent source of beta-carotene, which is converted to vitamin A in the body. Sweet potatoes are also rich in vitamin C, encouraging collagen production and hair growth. One of the most convenient and delicious ways to cook sweet potatoes is by “baking” them! 

“Baked” Sweet Potatoes

You’d be mistaken if you think baked sweet potatoes are like regular ones. Sweet potatoes are a vivid orange color and are – well – sweet. To bake these scrumptious gems, start with any number of sweet potatoes and start by pricking the sweet potatoes all over with a fork to create small holes. Place the prepared sweet potatoes in a microwavable dish and cover the dish with plastic wrap or a microwavable plate. This covering helps to trap steam and facilitate the cooking process. Microwave the sweet potatoes on HIGH for 5 minutes. (07)

Carefully remove the dish from the microwave and uncover it. To ensure even cooking, turn the sweet potatoes over. Then, cover the dish again with plastic wrap or a microwavable plate and return it to the microwave. Continue microwaving on HIGH until the sweet potatoes are tender. Cooking time usually takes about five more minutes, but remember that the exact time may vary depending on the size and thickness of the sweet potatoes. Top with anything from sour cream, Greek yogurt, or bacon for added flavor. 

4. Avocados

Avocado isn’t just a great addition to toast; it’s also chock full of omega-3 fatty acids, monounsaturated fats, vitamin C, and collagen. The nutrients in avocado decrease chronic inflammation, keeping your scalp and hair follicles ready for hair growth. Furthermore, the avocado’s anti-inflammatory properties are not only good for your hair — they’re good for your heart. Research indicates that avocados reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. (08)

Easy Avocado Toast

​​To make delicious avocado toast, start by toasting your bread to your desired level of crispiness. Remove the avocado halves from their peel, keeping them intact. Drizzle the toast with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, and let it cool slightly. Place an avocado half on each slice of toast and gently mash it with a fork, keeping it chunky. Sprinkle more salt, add pepper, and squeeze citrus over the top. Customize with garnishes like herbs, red pepper flakes, or feta cheese. Cut larger slices in half and serve immediately. (09)

Avocado toast is a versatile and satisfying meal or snack for any time of the day. Toast the bread, mash the avocado, season with salt and olive oil, and add your preferred toppings. Enjoy this simple and flavorful dish for breakfast, lunch, or a light dinner, and get creative with different combinations to suit your taste.

5. Nuts

Like avocados, nuts are a source of healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals beneficial for healthy hair growth. Walnuts, for example, contain significant amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, biotin, and vitamin E, all essential for healthy hair growth. Almonds also contain plant-based protein, which allows the body to produce the building blocks for hair. (10)

Candied Almonds

  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 cups whole almonds
  • 1 cup white sugar

Line a baking sheet with waxed paper. Combine the white sugar, water, and ground cinnamon in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally. Add the whole almonds to the saucepan and continue to cook and stir until the liquid evaporates, coating the almonds with a syrupy glaze. This will give the almonds a delicious cinnamon flavor. Pour the glazed almonds onto the prepared baking sheet. 

Use two forks to separate clumps and spread them into an even layer. Allow the glazed almonds to cool for about 15 minutes. The glaze will harden during this time, and the almonds will become crisp. These cinnamon-glazed almonds can be enjoyed as a snack or a tasty topping for salads, desserts, or breakfast dishes. Prepare a batch and savor their irresistible cinnamon flavor and satisfying crunch.

6. Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt is an excellent source of protein, but this yogurt comes with another benefit — probiotics. For example, research shows that mice fed beneficial probiotics developed shinier and thicker fur than mice who were not fed probiotics. This type of yogurt is also high in vitamin B5, which helps to improve blood flow to the scalp, increasing the chances for healthy hair growth. 

Greek Yogurt Breakfast Bowl

Anyone wanting a quick, no-cook breakfast should always have Greek yogurt on hand. Greek yogurt makes a great base for any healthy breakfast bowl. Add your favorite granola or nut blend, fruits like blueberries or bananas, and drizzle over some honey for a little sweetness. The yogurt adds some creaminess and makes a healthy breakfast taste decadent. (11)

7. Salmon

Salmon is an excellent source of those all-important omega-3 fatty acids that keep hair healthy. This fatty — and delicious — fish contains almost three times the amount of omega-3 fatty acids per serving than other types of fish. Wild salmon, in particular, has a whopping 4,504 mg per serving of Omega-3. In comparison, anchovies only contain 1,200 mg per serving.  (12)

Salmon Snap Peas Recipe

If you want more salmon to your diet, consider adding Harvard Health’s pan-roasted salmon recipe to your dinner rotation. To make this dish, you will need six salmon filets with skin on, each weighing around 6 ounces, as well as some fresh ginger, low-sodium soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, snap peas, extra-virgin olive oil, lemon juice, mint, salt, and black pepper.

Mix the minced ginger, soy sauce, and balsamic vinegar. Then, place the salmon in a deep dish and coat it with the marinade by tossing it lightly. Let the salmon sit at room temperature while you cook the snap peas.  (13)

Next, boil 2 quarts of water in a saucepan and add the snap peas. Cook them for about 2 minutes until they are crisp-tender, then drain them in a colander and refresh them in cold water. After draining them again, blot them dry on paper towels.

To cook the salmon, start by heating two tablespoons of olive oil in a large frying pan over high heat. Place the salmon steaks in the pan with their coating facing down, leaving the pan partially covered. Depending on how thick the salmon filets are, cook for around 5 to 6 minutes on the first side. When the skin is crispy, and the flesh begins to turn opaque, flip the salmon over with a spatula and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes until it is just cooked through.

Once the salmon is fully cooked, arrange the filets on a serving platter and place the snap eas on top. Finally, whisk together the ingredients for the mint dressing, including the extra-virgin olive oil, lemon juice, chopped mint, salt, and black pepper. Serve the salmon filets with the cooked snap peas and drizzle the mint dressing over both.

Feed Your Hair by Growing Your Health

While there’s no magic bullet that can remedy hair loss,  what you eat does play a significant role in the health of your hair. A balanced diet that includes protein, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins (such as A and C), and minerals (such as iron and zinc) provides the foundation for stronger, thicker hair. And even if a diet full of leafy greens, nuts, and fish don’t result in Chris Hemsworth-like locks, you’ll find that good nutrition isn’t just about looking good but also feeling good from within.

Whether you’re combating hair loss or you’re looking to prevent it, Happy Head’s Hair Growth Supplements have what you need to augment your diet. With hair-friendly ingredients like probiotics, collagen, keratin, and vitamins and minerals, Happy Head’s supplements help bridge any dietary gaps you might have regarding your hair. Purchase our Hair Growth Supplements or hair care products today. Or answer a few questions and schedule a consultation to develop an individualized program to regrow your hair!



(01) https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s13555-018-0278-6

(02) https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/748967/nutrients

(03) https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/284468/korean-marinated-hard-boiled-eggs/

(04) https://www.jaad.org/article/S0190-9622(05)04745-6/fulltext

(05) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4828511/

(06) https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/garlic-sauteed-spinach-recipe-1944598

(07) https://www.southernliving.com/quick-baked-sweet-potatoes-7109849
(08) https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/318620

(09) https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1019420-avocado-toast

(10) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5748761/

(11) https://thedomesticdietitian.com/greek-yogurt-breakfast-bowl-mediterranean-diet-recipe/

(12) https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/pan-roasted-salmon/


What are the Best Nutrients for Hair Growth?

A few aspects of hair growth are out of your hands. Your genetics and age, for example, are set in stone and can’t be changed. Fortunately, there is one factor that is well within your control – the nutrients you consume. Nutrients have a significant impact on hair growth. And fortunately, you can choose which nutrients you take in. 

How do vitamins and minerals help with hair loss? 

Your hair is important for your self-image, but it’s not ultimately necessary for keeping you alive. Hair thrives in a well-nourished environment. But when your health is compromised, your body diverts nutrients from areas like your scalp to more life-sustaining vital organs. Therefore, good health keeps more hair on your head. 

Although the hair you see on your head is made up of cells that are not “living,” those precious strands grow from tissues that are very much alive. Each strand grows from a follicle on the scalp, which is part of the body’s largest organ – your skin. Small blood vessels at the base of each follicle nourish the hair root to keep it growing.

The average person has about 100,000 hairs, all at various stages of growth. Hair grows, rests,  falls out, and is replaced through a naturally occurring cycle. Some stages of development require specific vitamins and minerals to keep the process going smoothly. 

As a result, your diet and health play a significant role in how quickly your hair grows. Good nutrition creates the framework for healthy hair and can help slow hair loss. So, while there’s no magic bullet that will regrow your hair instantly, there are nutrients that help keep more strands on your head. 

Hair Growth and Nutrients

Some vitamins and minerals are more effective at keeping hair healthy than others. So, if you’re attempting to prevent hair loss or regrow your hair, a targeted approach is the way to go. Boosting your intake of specific hair-friendly nutrients offers you the best prevention for hair loss — and keeps you healthy overall. The following is a list of the best nutrients for hair loss.


Hair and nails are primarily made of a protein called keratin, so it’s no surprise that keratin is a vital nutrient for strong hair. This structural protein provides the structure and strength required for hair health, making strands less likely to break off or become damaged. Without enough keratin, cells within each strand of hair overlap unevenly, making their bonds weak and vulnerable to breakage. Keratin — as well as nutrients that encourage keratin formation— allows more hair to remain on your head and keeps every hair shaft strong. (01)


Vitamin B7 or vitamin H, otherwise known as biotin, aids in keratin production. Without enough biotin, the hair shaft becomes weak, brittle, and slow to grow. Keratin cells, also known as keratinocytes, are like the bricks that make up each strand of hair. Without enough materials to make the bricks, hair can’t grow or form well enough to maintain its strength. Although biotin deficiency is rare, excessive alcohol consumption and some medical conditions can result in a lack of biotin. Biotin supplementation, whether administered through topicals, shampoos, or orally, can boost hair growth and thickness. (02)


Most people are familiar with collagen in regard to skincare, but collagen is also essential for healthy hair. In a recent study published in the International Journal of Trichology, targeted nutritional supplementation primarily consisting of collagen was found to increase hair density in participants with a hair loss condition called telogen effluvium. Collagen improves hair growth during crucial growth cycles and limits hair loss during hair’s telogen phase – when hair typically falls out naturally.  (03)

Saw Palmetto

Individuals who experience male or female pattern baldness typically have an overabundance of a hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Excessive levels of DHT impact hair follicles by shrinking the follicle, increasing the chances of premature hair loss and preventing new growth. Saw palmetto, a plant extract, has been found to have DHT-blocking solid effects and can slow hair loss caused by DHT.  For people experiencing problems with baldness, saw palmetto supplements may offer relief when used with other boosts. (04)

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is a powerful micronutrient that significantly impacts hair growth. The body breaks vitamin A down into retinoic acid and retinol, which both regulate hair follicle stem cells and hair growth cycles. Therefore, a deficiency in vitamin A may lead to poor hair growth and hair loss. Furthermore, oxidative stress may hasten hair loss – especially in the case of alopecia areata. Antioxidants like vitamin A can help counter oxidative effects on hair. 

(05, 06)

Vitamin D

Despite the fact that the human body generates vitamin D from sun exposure, most people don’t get enough vitamin D.  Vitamin D deficiency can occur due to: 

  • A lack of vitamin D in the diet. 
  • Too little time spent in the sun. 
  • Difficulty absorbing vitamin D from food. 
  • Medical problems prevent the body from converting vitamin D. 
  • Medications that interfere with vitamin D levels. 

Fortunately, vitamin D is also found in foods like eggs or fatty fish and in vitamin-fortified foods. Even then, however, some people still don’t obtain enough vitamin D to grow healthy hair. Vitamin D keeps hair follicles in good shape and maintains robust hair growth. A deficiency in vitamin D may result in hair loss and bald patches. (06)


Recent studies indicate intestinal (gut) health plays a more prominent role in overall physical health than previously thought. Within the intestinal tract are bacteria, called the “intestinal microbiome,”  that depends on a specific environment to help break down food and keep the body functioning. An unbalanced microbiome can lead to inflammation, digestive problems, and skin conditions affecting the hair. 

Probiotics are bacteria and yeasts ingested to keep the intestinal microbiome healthy and stable. Current research shows that regulation of the intestinal microbiome using probiotics can boost immunity, help treat a myriad of metabolic conditions, and may even help alleviate the symptoms of some mental health conditions. Healthy intestinal health through probiotics can also give you thicker, more lustrous hair! (07, 08)


According to a recent study published in the Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, ashwagandha supplementation was shown to reduce hair thinning in a cohort of both men and women. Data from the study indicate that supplements with ashwagandha can reduce hair loss on all types of hair, encompassing many ethnicities. At the end of the 24-week study, 83% of men and 79% of women showed improvement in hair quality, scalp coverage, volume, and thickness. (09)

Healthy Hair Through Nutrient Supplementation 

The process of growing hair calls for specific nutrients. Without enough nutrients to feed the follicles, hair becomes brittle grows slowly. So, if you’re looking to keep your scalp and hair healthy, you’ll need to start from the inside. 

Happy Head’s Hair Supplements offer the essential vitamins, minerals, and probiotics you need to strengthen and grow your hair. Formulated by our team of dermatologists, our daily Happy Head Hair Supplements come from natural ingredients like biotin, saw palmetto, and ashwagandha to nourish your hair. Subscribe and save today to supercharge your hair growth in 3 to 6 months for visibility thicker and healthier strands! 


(01) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6095591/

(02) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK554493/

(03) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9069902/

(04) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11337315/

(05) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9324272/

(06) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5685931/

(07) https://www.mhanational.org/fitness-4mind4body-gut-brain-connection

(08) https://www.aafp.org/pubs/afp/issues/2017/0801/p170-s1.html

(09) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8903234/

The Real Story Behind Vitamins that Prevent Hair Loss

I hate to start with a spoiler, but I’m going to start with a spoiler.  Neither vitamins nor supplements are FDA-approved or regulated for any type of hair loss.  Or, for any other health condition for that matter.  This means that information required to establish safety and effectiveness has not been submitted to or approved by the FDA.  Yet, do an Amazon search using the terms “vitamins for hair loss,” and pages and pages of products appear with assurances that the vitamins will help you regrow your hair.  Biotin, keratin, saw palmetto, and proprietary collagen blends are just a few that pop up on the first page, with prices varying from $11 to over $176.  Trying to figure out which ones are effective and worth the investment can make your head spin.   

If your hair is thinning or balding, it’s smart to question whether vitamins will help or if manufacturer promises are too good to be true.  So which ones do dermatologists and hair specialists recommend?  We’re here to answer your questions and set the story straight.  

Get Diagnosed Before You Buy Vitamins to Treat Your Hair Loss

Before you even think about trying any vitamins, you need to start with a diagnosis.  After all, you need to know what condition you’re treating.  Here are the three most common types of alopecia that cause either temporary or permanent hair loss:

  • Telogen Effluvium

Telogen effluvium is a type of temporary hair loss that can occur up to several months after a traumatic or stressful incident.  The condition can be triggered by various events, including high fevers, surgery, certain medications, nutritional deficiencies, and autoimmune diseases.  When physiologic stress occurs, hairs that would normally be in a growing phase are abruptly pushed into a resting phase, resulting in shedding.  The shedding can occur in either small or large amounts.  While hair loss from telogen effluvium can be upsetting in the short term, the long-term prognosis for regrowth is good.  No medication is typically needed.  Hair usually grows back within six months to a year.  

  • Androgenetic Alopecia

Androgenetic alopecia is also known as male or female pattern baldness.  The hair loss condition occurs when too much testosterone converts to an androgen called dihydrotestosterone (DHT).  The condition is genetic and can come from either the maternal or paternal sides of your family.  The hair loss pattern among men with androgenetic alopecia differs from that of women.  Men tend to lose their hair on the front and top of their heads.  Women usually notice their hair loss first along their widening center parts.  Oral and topical medications have been proven to help prevent further hair loss and facilitate growth.  

  • Alopecia Areata

Alopecia areata is an autoimmune hair loss condition that can affect women, men, and children.  Hair loss is usually noticed first in small round or oval patches.  In some cases, hair spontaneously regrows, and in others, the hair loss becomes permanent.  Treatment usually focuses on treating any underlying conditions and using topical and oral medications.

Determining whether you have one of these forms of alopecia is a multi-step process.  Your dermatologist will likely order blood work as part of the diagnostic process.  The lab results will indicate whether vitamin deficiencies could be contributing to your alopecia.  If so, you may benefit from supplementation.  

Vitamins are Helpful When People with Alopecia Have Deficiencies

Much conflicting information exists about the role that vitamins and supplements play when it comes to hair loss.  More research is clearly needed.  The general rule of thumb when it comes to vitamins is to supplement if there’s a deficiency.  Particular deficiencies can be associated with the three types of alopecia we discussed.  Here are the three most common:

Vitamin D

Research has demonstrated that people with telogen effluvium, androgenetic alopecia, and alopecia areata are likely to have vitamin D deficiencies. (01)  The greater the deficiency, the greater the hair loss.  Vitamin D is absorbed into the skin by keratinocyte cells.  The cells process keratin which is found in your hair, nails, and skin.  When your body has a vitamin D deficiency, the keratinocytes in your hair follicles have difficulty regulating the growth and resting phases of the hair cycle.  


In addition to checking for Vitamin D3 deficiencies, dermatologoists typically check their patients’ iron levels. Iron deficiency inhibits hemoglobin production which produces the oxygen responsible for hair cell growth and repair.  Low iron is a common cause of alopecia and can easily be remedied with a supplement.  


People don’t typically have Biotin, Vitamin B7, deficiencies in industrialized countries.  A regular diet typically provides enough nutrients to ensure adequate levels.  However, some research studies have demonstrated that biotin deficiencies often exist in people with hair loss. (02)(03)  Experts have conflicting views on whether biotin supplements are necessary, even when there’s a deficiency.  It’s best to consult with your dermatologist on this one.  

Should You Take Vitamins if You Don’t Have a Deficiency?

Even if you don’t have a deficiency, it’s tempting to take vitamins to see if they will help regrow or thicken your hair.  More isn’t always better though, especially in this case.  Taking too many supplements or the wrong type of supplements can create issues.  For example, extra vitamin A or vitamin E can cause hair loss, which is what you are trying to prevent in the first place.  

Prescription Medications Are Often Used With Vitamins to Get Better Results

If your dermatologist doesn’t think that you are a good candidate for vitamin supplementation, prescription medications may be a good alternative.  This is especially true if you have been diagnosed with male or female pattern baldness.  Medications commonly prescribed include:

Minoxidil (FDA Approved)

A vasodilator designed to enlarge the hair follicles so you can start to regrow your hair.  

Finasteride, Proscar, Propecia (FDA Approved)

A medication that blocks the conversion of testosterone into DHT that attacks your hair follicles.

Dutasteride, Avodart (Not FDA Approved)

A DHT blocker prescribed as a second-line medication if Finasteride does not give the desired results.

Spironolactone (Not FDA Approved)

A DHT blocker prescribed only to women as a second-line medication if Finasteride does not give the desired results.

Minoxidil and Finasteride are both available in oral and topical formulas.  Topicals are often preferred, especially among men, because they do not cause sexual side effects such as lower libido.  Topical medications have been proven to be just as effective as oral medications.

The most effective hair loss plans often combine vitamins and other over-the-counter treatments with prescription medications. Vitamin D, Minoxidil, and Finasteride would be a logical combination if a person with androgenetic alopecia has a vitamin D deficiency.  Prescriptions that effectively combine multiple topical medications into one are available and are convenient and easy to use.  

Some Supplements Have Shown Moderate Improvement in Hair Loss

Although they are supplements rather than vitamins, there has been a lot in the news lately about pumpkin seed oil, saw palmetto, and rosemary oil.  While not quite as effective as Finasteride, these supplements have demonstrated a significant increase in hair growth. (04)  These supplements may be a good adjunct therapy when combined with prescription hair loss medication.

Curcumin, the active ingredient derived from turmeric, is known as a natural anti-inflammatory.  Interestingly, curcumin did not improve hair growth on its own, but it did give positive results when combined with Minoxidil.  The hypothesis is that the curcumin helped the Minoxidil better penetrate the scalp.  However, more research still needs to be conducted.  

Garlic gel, derived from onions, scallions, shallots, leeks, and chives, doesn’t live up to the hype.  Users did not see a significant difference in hair growth.  

As with any product you try as a hair loss solution, make sure to consult with your dermatologist first.  Even products that seem innocuous can have side effects or contradict other medications.  Your dermatologist is the best person to evaluate your treatment plan and determine the best mix of prescription and over-the-counter options.  

What To Do If Vitamins Aren’t the Answer to Your Hair Loss

Vitamins can be helpful if your bloodwork indicates that you have certain deficiencies.  If not, proceed with caution.  Even the most effective supplements aren’t typically as strong as prescription medications to slow hair loss and stimulate growth.  If you need an alternative solution for your thinning or balding hair, Finasteride, Minoxidil, and other medications are effective and are available by prescription.  For more information about your options, contact us.  Our board-certified dermatologists and hair specialists are available to answer your questions and make recommendations based on the type of alopecia you have.  We can even customize a formula to meet your specific needs.


(01) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34553483/

(02) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4989391/#:~:text=Biotin%20deficiency%20was%20found%20in,risk%20factors%20for%20biotin%20deficiency.

(03) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6388561/

(04) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6388561/

(05) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6388561/