Hair loss | February 26, 2020 | Author: Naturopath
Hair supplements - what are the ingredients and which product is right for you? Finding the right ingredients to help with hair problems can be confusing and expensive. Alleviating hair loss, dry or brittle hair, dull lifeless hair and slow growing hair often requires different help and rather than just take any product it can be helpful (and less expensive) knowing what each ingredient is useful for.
It is pointless taking products if those products will not help the underlying cause. A visit to the doctor and/or naturopath can often identify a problem. Common problems can be caused by hormonal issues (menopause, testosterone imbalances, pregnancy) nutritional deficiencies/over-load (iron, zinc, vitmamin A, silica, essential fatty acids), hereditary (male pattern baldness), endocrine disorders (thyroid), alopecia, genetics, medication or medical conditions, a stressful event or even hair products used or the way hair is styled. Conditions such as greying hair can occur simply due to a deficiency of some micronutrients.
Most of these conditions can be helped, but any hair concerns will often take 4 – 6 months to show a real result and in some conditions, on-going supplementation is required.
Micronutrients are major elements required in the normal hair follicle cycle. They are involved in cellular turnover which happens frequently in the matrix cells in hair follicle bulbs that are rapidly dividing.
Vitamin C plays an important role in iron absorption and can help restore hair loss associated with iron deficiency. It is a powerful antioxidant against free-radical damage.
The vitamin B’s. Out of the 8 water-soluble vitamin substances known as vitamin B complex only riboflavin (B2), biotin, folate, and vitamin B12 deficiencies have been associated with hair loss.
The other vitamin B’s found in hair supplements may be included to address other health issues associated
with hair loss, such as stress or hormonal
Riboflavin (B2). Too much alcohol or coffee, stress poor diet and malabsorption are just some of the factors which increase the demand of vitamin B2.
Niacin (B3). Poor diet, malabsorption, alcohol excess and low protein diets may increase the need for B3.
Cobalamin (B12). Plays an essential role in the formation of red blood cells and DNA and the proper functioning of the nervous system. Folate metabolism is reliant on B12 and many health conditions increase the demand of B12. It is synthesized in the gut by bacteria and mainly sourced from the diet by eating foods such as meat, egg yolk, oysters, milk and swiss cheese. Elderly people, those taking ant-acid medication long term, people who have had part of their bowel removed and vegan/vegetarians are at risk of B12 deficiency.
Folate. A poor diet, alcoholism, and malabsorptive disorders can result in a folate deficiency leading to changes in hair, skin and nails.
Biotin is often found in hair supplement but whether it is useful might be dependent a deficiency of biotin. Insufficent biotin may cause hair loss or thinning and could be due to alcoholic excess, an over consumption of raw egg, genetics, digestive disorders and some medications.
Vitamin E is involved in the balance of oxidation/antioxidant and protects against free-radical damage. Some cells are extremely sensitive to oxidative damage.
Vitamin D appears to offer an anti-inflammatory and immunoregulatory effect and is connected to auto-immune disorders (such as alopecia).
Zinc deficiency can occur in people who consume large amounts of grain. Alopecia is a sign of established zinc deficiency and regrowth has been shown to occur when zinc is supplemented.
Silica is a mineral with a high content in the human body and, in regard to hair, it is believed to be responsible for a lower rate of hair loss and hair brightness.
Iron deficiency is common in women with hair loss.
Selenium helps the body process iodine for healthy thyroid function.
Horsetail (equisetum debile) contains a high amount of the mineral silica and also selenium, copper, zinc, manganese, magnesium, sodium, iron, iodine, potassium and calcium and the vitamins B5, vitamin C and E. Horsetail shows a high inhibitory action against 5α-reductase, IL-6 secretion and lipid peroxidation inhibition (associated with male pattern baldness).
Kelp (fucus vesiculosus) - contains a naturally high iodine content which may aid normal thyroid function. Hair loss is related to thyroid dysfunction.
Millet seed promotes hair growth possible due to its high nutritional content.
Essential fatty acids - Fish oil, flaxseed and evening primrose oils support the growth and condition of hair– possible due to the nutritional value and the ability to reduce inflammation, a contributor to hair loss.
Shark cartilage - is a tough elastic tissue that provides support similar to what bone does. Nutritionally it contains proteins, proteoglycans, glycosaminoglycans, minerals, carbohydrate and lipids. Components needed for the building blocks of connective tissue.
Viviscal Advanced Hair Health Supplement for males contains Aminomar C™ - shark cartilage, acerola fruit powder, horsetail extract, flaxseed extract, vitamin c and zinc. For females - AminoMar C™ acerola fruit powder, horsetail extract, millet extract, vitamin c, zinc, biotin, vitamin B3 and iron.
Click Here for product
Result of a 6 month study showed a dietary supplement Aminomar c™ decreased hair shedding and promote hair growth in men with thinning hair. A previous study found the product effectively promoted significant hair growth in women with temporary hair thinning.
Acerola fruit is a rich sourch of nutriton offering a large content of vitamin C and also contains vitamin A, thiamine, riboflavin, and niacin.
Alopecia traction causing hair loss is a result of hair being pulled too tight (such as in pigtails and ponytails).
Hot hair treatments and permanents can cause inflammation of the hair folicles and result in permanent hair loss.
Hair colour treatments. Sudden and severe hair loss can occur as a result of an allergic reaction to ingredients in hair dye.
Click Here for further reading
Hypervitaminosis or over-supplementing a vitamin can also result in hair loss. This may be especially true with the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. Whilst water-soluble vitamins easily leave the body (which is why they need to be replaced more often) the fat-soluble vitamins are stored in the liver and adipose tissue and are released into the blood stream for distribution throughout the body when needed.
Choosing the right supplement to support healthy hair starts with finding the cause.
Click Here for further reading
The Role of Vitamins and Minerals in Hair Loss: A Review https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6380979/
A Double-blind, Placebo-controlled Study Evaluating the Efficacy of an Oral Supplement in Women with Self-perceived Thinning Hair https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3509882/
Fat-Soluble Vitamins: Clinical Indications and Current Challenges for Chromatographic Measurement https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4810759/
Appendix I, Shark Cartilage: Prototype Monograph Summary1 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK216050/
Use of silicon for skin and hair care: an approach of chemical forms available and efficacy* https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4938278/
Inhibition of 5α-Reductase, IL-6 Secretion, and Oxidation Process of Equisetum debile Roxb. ex Vaucher Extract as Functional Food and Nutraceuticals Ingredients https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5691721/
Review of Finger millet (Eleusine coracana (L.) Gaertn): A power house of health benefiting nutrients https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2213453016300726
A 3-month, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study evaluating the ability of an extra-strength marine protein supplement to promote hair growth and decrease shedding in women with self-perceived thinning hair. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25883641
Effect of a nutritional supplement on hair loss in women. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25573272