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Supplements for the hair - How a supplement works on your hair

by Kasper Lindgren on Mar 07, 2023

Read through by Dorthe Kristensen

Hairdresser and former co-owner of the award-winning hairdressing chain Zoom by Zoom
With many years of experience in the hairdressing industry, Dorthe has advised many customers about hair and hair care. Dorthe has read through this blog entry to ensure high quality and professionalism. This blog post is professionally updated on April 10, 2024.

Table of contents

Hair supplements are becoming increasingly popular as an important tool for maintaining normal hair. With the large selection of products, it can be overwhelming to find the right dietary supplement for your specific hair needs. From ingredients like biotin and collagen to keratin and probiotics, there are plenty of options that can help you achieve your desired outcome with your hair. But how do hair supplements work? And what should you really be aware of in this jungle of food supplements?

The key to achieving optimal results with any dietary supplement is to understand how each individual ingredient works together in your body to support the maintenance of normal hair. Different nutritional supplements have different ingredients that work in different ways. Let us take you through the most important questions when choosing food supplements for hair here.

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What are hair supplements?

Hair supplements are specially formulated vitamins and minerals designed to maintain normal hair growth. Hair supplements typically contain a combination of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that have a number of functions that help to either maintain normal hair, metabolism or cell division, for example. Popular ingredients that are often found in hair supplements include biotin, Vitamin C, zinc, iron, folic acid, silica.

Hair supplements are designed to be taken daily to achieve maximum effect.
Most food supplements for the hair differ in their composition and are therefore difficult to compare. Likewise, the effect can also be difficult to get a clear answer to, as there are no fixed standards for the effect of ingredients. There are also many different forms and flavors of hair supplements, everything from wine gum with strawberry flavor to the more traditional tablets.

Do I need hair supplements?

The most optimal way to ensure you get the vitamins and minerals needed to maintain normal hair is through a healthy and varied diet.

However, it can be difficult to achieve a diet that meets all the nutritional requirements hair makes in relation to being able to maintain normal hair.

It's really quite simple. The body does not perceive the hair as a necessary part and therefore if you do not get the right amounts of vitamins and minerals, the body will distribute these to parts of the body that are more relevant/vital. This will thus lead to the hair follicles not getting the nutrition they need to maintain normal hair growth.

It is in these situations that a dietary supplement for the hair may be relevant for you. Food supplements for the hair as previously described specifically made on the basis that you get the vitamins and minerals that either maintain normal hair or have supporting functions. Thereby, your hair strands are guaranteed the necessary nutrition so that they can produce normal hair. But as with all other nutritional supplements, you should talk to your doctor before you start, as it can be very individual.

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What are the symptoms of vitamin deficiency?

The symptoms of vitamin deficiency can vary depending on which vitamin is lacking. In general, the common symptoms include fatigue, weakened immune system, skin problems such as dryness, rashes or acne, hair loss. The causes of vitamin deficiency can be due to many things, for example dieting, stress or general poor nutrition can be the cause of vitamin deficiency. A vegetarian or vegan diet can also lead to vitamin deficiencies. This means that the hair is not supplied with the vitamins and minerals necessary to maintain normal hair.

If you are in doubt as to whether you lack vitamins, it is always a good idea to consult your doctor where you can have a sample taken.

Which vitamins and minerals play a role in my hair?

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is a vitamin the body's cells need. It helps create normal sebum, which is an oily substance that keeps the scalp and hair moist and healthy. In addition, the vitamin plays a role in the cell specialization process and the maintenance of normal energy production

Vitamin C

Vitamin C helps the body form collagen, a protein that helps with hair strength and elasticity. In addition, vitamin C acts as an antioxidant, which contributes to protecting the cells against environmental damage to, for example, the hair follicles.

D vitamin

Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium, which plays a role in keeping your scalp and hair strong. In addition, it helps maintain a normal immune system and plays a role in the cell specialization process. Several different studies believe that low levels of vitamin D and hair loss have a connection. However, it is not established, but it may be a good idea to get the necessary amount of vitamin D to be on the safe side.

B vitamins

B vitamins have many different functions. Vitamin B6, for example, helps maintain a normal formation of red blood cells. Among other things, these red blood cells help bring oxygen and nutrients to the hair follicles. You can read more about b vitamins for hair here.

Biotin

One of the most popular ingredients in hair supplements is biotin. Biotin is one of the ingredients that can be claimed to contribute to normal hair. This is, among other things, because the vitamin also contributes to a normal turnover of macronutrients. This means that biotin helps to break down the proteins you eat and at the same time helps to maintain a normal production of the proteins that, for example, your hair and nails consist of. Read more about biotin for hair here.

Iron

Iron is important for maintaining normal blood circulation in the scalp - as it transports oxygen through the bloodstream - which helps ensure the necessary nutrition and oxygen for the hair follicles. Low iron levels have been linked to hair loss or thinning, so an adequate intake of iron-rich foods such as red meat, dark leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds and beans is key to many supporting functions for the body.

Zinc

Zinc has many benefits for maintaining normal hair, including normal cell renewal in both the scalp and hair follicles. Zinc has many different functions for the body, which is one of the reasons zinc is often a popular ingredient in food supplements.

Silica

Silica is another very popular mineral when it comes to hair. It has many functions in relation to both repairing the hair, but also strengthening it.

How long does it take before I can see an effect with hair supplements?

Although it is generally agreed that it typically takes 3 months to see a real effect from using a hair supplement, this can actually vary depending on the individual's age and overall health. Generally speaking, younger people with a healthier scalp tend to see results faster than older people or people with pre-existing diseases or other hair problems.

A minimum of 8 weeks of consistent use is usually needed before effects can be observed. In some cases, it can take up to 6 months before users can expect visible changes in their hair. It is also important to note that while results begin to become visible after several weeks of using the product, many of these benefits will not last if use of the hair supplement is discontinued or done irregularly. That's why it's important to have patience when using any type of hair supplement, as consistency is the key to achieving optimal results!

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