Want longer locks? You're not alone. Whether you're growing out bangs or want floor length tresses, we know just how frustrating it can be to wait for an inch of hair to grow. To speed up the hair-growth process, we reached out to dermatologist Dendy Engelman, MD, for her recommendations on the best vitamins for hair growth.
According to Engelman, "genetics as well as life changes, pregnancy, menopause, and weight loss, contribute to the interference of hair growth" as do "chemical treatments, hot tools, brushes, and other styling tools." So, if you want long, strong locks, it's essential to give your hair and body the nutrients it needs, not just a weekly conditioning mask (although it couldn't hurt). For Engelman's hair growth tips as well as vitamin recommendations for longer healthier locks, keep reading.
The main culprit for female and male pattern baldness is DHT and androgens. To combat these hormones, Engelman recommends using the supplement Nutrafol, a combination of anti-inflammatories and antioxidants that work to reduce damage, natural vasodilators, which "revive follicles and increase scalp circulation," and a variety of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids to "regrow and support hair building blocks." Essentially Nutrafol works to "rebalance hormone levels to reduce follicle damage," Engelman says.
Engelman says nourishing the body with keratin is essential for promoting longer and stronger locks, as keratin is an essential "building block of healthy hair," helping hair to grow "thick and strong throughout the growth cycle." She recommends using Reserveage's Keratin Powder, which "contains Cynatine HNS Keratin powder that is processed into easily absorbed protein peptides" as well as "biotin and vitamin B3, B5, B6, copper, and zinc" all of which are beneficial to overall hair health.
Iron plays an important part in hair health, as "low levels [of iron] can lead to hair loss, and the fix may be as simple as adding an iron or vitamin supplement or adding lentils, eggs, and spinach to your diet," Engelman says. If you think iron might be the culprit for your lack of hair growth, have a doctor check your levels, and look for a proven hair supplement that includes iron as one of the main ingredients.
An important vitamin when it comes to hair and scalp health is vitamin A, as it "is used by cells to produce sebum, which helps keep the scalp moisturized," which in turn "supports healthy hair growth," Engelman says. If you think vitamin A could be the culprit for your lack of hair growth, Engelman recommends adding dairy to your diet, or if you want to take a supplement, consult your doctor for the correct dosage of vitamin A for your body.
Biotin deficiencies are associated with hair loss. If you think that might be your hair health issue, talk to your doctor about taking biotin, which Engelman says is "an essential vitamin for body tissue including hair, skin, and nails." By taking biotin, you are supporting "the growth of hair, skin, and nails by helping to break down fats and carbohydrates." If you don't want to take a capsule, Engelman recommends incorporating hearty foods like beef, chicken and potatoes to your diet.
For more hair growth tips, check out these hair-growth secrets from real women.
Opening Image: Chriselle Lim