Hair regrowth supplements often get overlooked but when you’re treating your hair loss, you need make sure you have all the bases covered when you put together your holistic hair regrowth system. Of course, choosing the best hair growth supplement can be confusing. The supplement landscape is crowded and filled with shiny packages that compete for your attention. There are boisterous claims such as “Best Biotin supplement for hair growth” and a variety of manufacturers touting “special proprietary blends.” Let’s separate the facts from the fiction. We’ve compiled a list of what to look for when putting together an effective supplement regimen. To make this list, each ingredient had to fulfill at least one of these three criteria:
- It supports your body’s internal environment, as is necessary to grow hair.
- It is a blocking agent, preventing the harmful effects of overproduction of dihydrotestosterone or DHT, a leading cause in male pattern baldness.
- It nourishes the scalp, ensuring a perfect environment for hair growth.
Here is the list of the ten ingredients along with some information on how they can help your body regrow hair.
Bald men often refer to it as the king of hair growth supplements. It packs a powerful punch, supporting your body’s repair of damaged follicles. You may see it listed as Vitamin B7 on nutritional labels. A biotin deficiency may also be the cause of your hair loss.Even if your hair loss is not caused by a biotin deficiency, additional biotin can speed up the hair growing cycle. Any product you choose should contain this ingredient.
Supplement labels may list niacin as vitamin B3. Like all B-complex vitamins, it is water soluble. This allows your body to use as much as it needs and excrete the rest. There are no issues with toxicity. Niacin supports your body’s healthy environment. It works by improving blood circulation, bringing more nutrients and oxygen to the scalp. This allows the hair follicles to efficiently produce more hair.
3. Vitamin B6
You may also see this vitamin referred to as Pyridoxine. This ingredient serves as both a supporter and a blocker. It supports your body by encouraging protein metabolism in the hair follicles. It acts as a catalyst in the formation of keratin the largest building block of hair. Vitamin B6 also prevents excess DHT. A component of vitamin B6, Pyridoxal 5-Phosphate (PLP), helps regulate the release of powerful hormones including testosterone which is converted to follicle-damaging DHT.
4. Pantothenic Acid
This ingredient is classified as a supporter and a blocker. Just like vitamin B6 it helps regulate hormone production in the adrenal system. This ensures proper hormone levels and blocks conversion to DHT. It also has the benefit of supporting the production of red blood cells (RBCs). RBCs are important because they carry oxygen to the body’s cells. More oxygen to the scalp and follicles means better conditions for hair regrowth. If you do not see pantothenic listed on a supplement’s ingredient list, check in the area with other B vitamins. It may be listed there as vitamin B5.
It is widely known that a zinc deficiency causes hair loss. Even if your hair loss is not due to zinc deficiency, ensuring that your body has enough zinc is vital to regrowing hair. Zinc supports your body’s hair growth by inhibiting hair follicle regression. This mineral also supports recovery of damaged hair follicles. While zinc is easy to get via supplements, you can also get it in many animal proteins and fruits such as blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, avocados, pomegranates, cantaloupes, and apricots.
There is a well-known relationship between hair loss and a diet lacking in iron. That said, most supplements marketed towards men do not contain iron because men are seldom anemic and excess iron can build up in the body. This build-up can be dangerous, so if you choose a supplement containing iron, you will want to pay attention to the amounts it contains and monitor your blood levels.
7. Folic Acid
This is the synthetic form of Folacin or Vitamin B9. It is always prescribed to pregnant women, but it can play a role in the healthy development of your hair as well. Folic acid plays a dual role. It ensures that cells can get enough energy and oxygen by supplying needed Adenosine Triphosphate or ATP. ATP is what supplies your cells with energy. If these levels fall too low, hair follicles look for DHT to supply the energy. Proper folic acid levels can block DHT formation by ensuring adequate ATP. Folic acid is also a nourishing agent. It ensures that the hair itself has enough nutrients to grow health and thick. Folic acid may also delay premature greying.
8. Saw Palmetto
This natural herbal remedy is an extract from the berries of the saw palmetto plant. It is generally accepted that saw palmetto reduces prostate enlargement. However, it also plays a vital role in your hair’s health. It can block the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase. This enzyme converts your body’s testosterone into DHT. It is this blocking mechanism that allows your scalp to regrow hair. Scientists believe that it works like the medication Finasteride. It must be noted that if you are already taking finasteride, you need to avoid any supplement containing saw palmetto as the two compounds can negatively interact in the body.
9. Vitamin A
The stressful world we live in produces elevated levels of free radicals in our bodies. Vitamin A is a powerful anti-oxidant, meaning it can stop the production of these free radicals. Free radicals can cause damage to the hair follicle and cause your hair to stop growing. In addition to supporting your body, it also nourishes your hair by preventing dryness of the hair and scalp. Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin, this means that it can build up over time, so pay attention to dosage.
10. Amino Acids
Amino acids are also essential to hair regrowth. There are over 20 amino acids that play a role in your health. There are four that are important to for your hair: cysteine, lysine, arginine, and methionine. You may sometimes see amino acids hidden under “proprietary blend” but look for supplements that include these four.
- Cysteine is the biggest component of keratin. Keratin is the foundation of hair itself. Logic tells us that we cannot produce hair growth without adequate keratin production. Cysteine also improves your hair’s texture.
- Arginine is a non-essential amino acid. This means that the body can produce it on its own. However, if you are losing your hair, it is possible that your body is having difficulty meeting its needs. Arginine supports your hair regrowth by improving blood flow to the follicles, delivering needed oxygen and nutrients.
- Lysine is great for its restorative properties. It also stimulates collagen production. Collagen is what gives hair its volume and a fuller appearance. As we age, our bodies struggle to maintain adequate collagen production.
- Methionine plays a few roles in maintaining your hair. It is a great pre-cursor to collagen, supporting lysine’s job in collagen production. Methionine is also a good anti-oxidant, reducing free radical damage to follicles. It also may help slow down the thinning and graying process as well.
Where to find them
All of the ingredients chosen are found in a variety of different hair regrowth supplement brands. This gives you the ability to consider a manufacturer’s reputation for quality. You will want to ensure that the brand you choose adheres to quality guidelines set forth by the USP, the industry’s leading testing agency. This will guarantee that what you see listed on the package is indeed what it is in the product.
While it is easy to ignore the role of proper supplementation for hair regrowth, pay attention to the ingredient labels the next time you are supplement shopping. Using the list above will help you sort out the good from the bad. It is important to not see supplementation as a stand-alone treatment. Think of supplementation as an essential component of your overall holistic hair regrowth.