Thick, strong, and healthy hair is one of the most desirable physical attributes for both men and women, and vitamins for hair growth can help you achieve this.
Like hair loss treatments, taking a supplement for hair growth can help the strength, thickness, and sheen of your hair follicles really stand out.
A number of compounds, like biotin, pantothenic acid, and the B vitamins have some solid science backing up their use as hair growth supplements.
Our research team looked at what supplements combine these and other ingredients in the most effective way to determine the ten best supplements for hair growth and hair health.
1. Zhou Hairfluence
Zhou is far and away the market leader when it comes to hair vitamins, thanks to the broad range and high dosage of the most effective supplements for hair growth, alongside with a few extras you won’t find in other brands.
Zhou includes the basics, like biotin, B vitamins, and pantothenic acid, but also adds in keratin and collagen, which are the fundamental building blocks of hair. This enables your body to synthesize hair follicles that are stronger, healthier, and more robust.
2. Feelz Good Hairessence
Feelz Good Hairessence is a good choice for people who want to focus exclusively on the vitamins that affect hair growth instead of experimenting with herbal extracts which aren’t very well-studied or understood.
This supplement provides one of the widest ranges of vitamin and especially mineral extracts. It has powerful doses of biotin, vitamin B12, and other essential hair growth vitamins, plus trace elements like copper, selenium, and iodine that you won’t find in many other supplements.
3. New Nordic Hair Volume
New Nordic Hair Volume is a vitamin and mineral-focused supplement that’s got a good dosage of the most important ingredients for hair growth, plus a few extra trace mineral and herbal extracts that could also help hair become stronger and fuller.
It’s a good call if you want more than just the basics but don’t want to overcomplicate things with a large number of possibly untested ingredients.
4. Naturenetics HairAnew
Naturenetics HairAnew is a hair growth supplement that’s focused around biotin, but delivers a a range of other vitamins and herbal extracts to help with hair health as well.
These include B vitamins, pantothenic acid, kelp, ginkgo biloba, and bamboo extract. These additional ingredients are useful, and moreover, there aren’t so many that the supplement gets bloated with extras.
5. Sports Research High Potency Biotin
If you want to keep your supplementation routine simple and stick with only the most proven hair vitamin, Sports Research High Potency Biotin is the way to go.
While the only directly beneficial ingredients are biotin and coconut oil, the very high biotin dosage can do a lot of work on its own to improve hair growth. Other supplements offer a wider variety of ingredients, but biotin is certainly the supplement with the largest amount of scientific evidence supporting its use.
6. Brock Beauty Hairfinity
Brock Beauty Hairfinity provides a nice balance between vitamins and minerals for hair growth as well as additional ingredients for stronger hair, like keratin, collagen, and horsetail extract.
These extras are solid, though they don’t’ provide quite the variety as some other hair supplements. Still, this supplement should deliver all the critical ingredients your body needs to grow strong and healthy hair.
7. Tress Luminous Hair Vitamins 4 in 1
Tress Luminous uses both vitamins and herbal ingredients to boost hair growth. There’s a solid range of ingredients, but the major drawback is that the dosage of the key vitamins and minerals, like biotin and the B vitamins, is somewhat lacking.
On top of that, the per-capsule dosage of the herbal extracts is middle of the road, so they may not be able to make as big of a difference as you’d hope for.
8. SugarBearHair Hair Vitamins
SugarBearHair makes a hair growth vitamin that provides only vitamin and mineral ingredients, without the herbal compounds found in other hair products.
However, the dosage of key ingredients like biotin and the B vitamins is lackluster compared to other products on the market, and some people may not like the artificial coloring agents and added sugar for flavoring.
It’s still a decent source of vitamins for hair growth, but it gets outclassed by some other competitors that do the same job a little better.
9. Ultrax Labs Hair Rush
Hair Rush by Ultrax Labs is a hair growth supplement that delivers a small amount of vitamins, but is mostly focused on herbal ingredients.
Their proprietary hair growth blend includes nearly a dozen different ingredients, but the overall dosage is fairly low—the entire proprietary blend totals less than 150 mg per capsule, which makes it very hard to get a large dosage of just about anything in the proprietary blend.
10. Viviscal Professional
Viviscal Professional provides a modest dose of vitamins, but the prime focus of this supplement is on the exotic non-vitamin extracts that the company claims help promote hair growth.
In Viviscal Professional, the primary ingredients are shark extract, oyster extract, and apple extract. The clinical research to support these supplements is lacking, so if you go with this supplement, you’ll have to trust that the company’s nutritionists know what they’re doing.
That said, it is a popular choice and many people find that it helps slow down hair loss.
Benefits and side effects of vitamins for hair growth
The right supplement can deliver the vitamins, minerals, and other ingredients your body needs to make hair that is strong, healthy, and fast-growing.
There are a number of key vitamins your body needs for creating healthy and robust hair follicles, including biotin, the B vitamins, and several trace minerals.
In addition, there are some herbal extracts that may help increase either your rate of hair growth or the strength and thickness of the hair that you do grow.
Biotin is a good bet for maintaining healthy, strong hair. A review article by D.H. Rushton at the University of Portsmouth in the United Kingdom reviewed a number of nutritional factors that contribute to hair health and hair loss (1).
One of the key vitamins that Rushton identified for preventing hair loss is biotin: in experimental studies, biotin deficiency is reliably known to induce hair loss.
While further research is needed on the effects of biotin on hair health, some research has supported its role in growing thicker and stronger hair.
The Office of Dietary Supplements at the National Institutes of Health cites a number of small studies that found benefits to biotin supplementation in children with damaged hair, though there is less evidence for the effects of biotin in adults (2).
However, does not appear to be toxic even at high doses, so a cost-benefit analysis makes biotin look pretty favorable when it comes to hair health.
A good hair supplement will include iron to prevent hair loss. Iron deficiency is quite common even in developed countries, and there is a lot of scientific evidence that low iron levels can cause hair loss.
Research published in 2006 in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology by researchers at the Cleveland Clinic showed a direct link between iron deficiency and hair loss, both in men and women (3).
According to the authors, as well as other scientific studies that they cite, a decrease in blood levels of iron affects the body’s ability to maintain healthy hair follicles, and thus they die off and fall out.
At the Cleveland Clinic, all patients with diffuse hair loss are screened for iron deficiency, so it makes sense that a good vitamin for hair growth would include iron.
B vitamins are lower in people with hair loss. A scientific review article in 2017 in the American Journal of Clinical Dermatology by researchers at Brown University cited a number of studies that compared blood levels of micronutrients in people with hair loss versus people with healthy hair (4).
These studies found lower levels of folate and vitamin B12, suggesting that they are very important for maintaining healthy hair.
Research published in the Journal of Dermatological Treatment also supports the use of B vitamins to boost hair health and growth (5).
According to the researchers, several B vitamins are linked to hair health Biotin (vitamin B3) can enhance blood flow to the scalp and reduce cholesterol levels, which in turn reduces the level of alpha-5-reductase, an enzyme that’s linked to hair loss.
Other B vitamins prevent damage to the scalp from free radicals, and decrease accumulation of cholesterol in the scalp. All of these lead to stronger hair follicles, and in turn, stronger, healthier hair that is less likely to fall out.
The trace elements zinc and copper could be linked to hair health as well. The same study cited a couple of studies which also found that higher levels of zinc and copper, which are trace elements that can be found in many hair supplements, were associated with less hair loss, though not all studies came to this conclusion.
Pantothenic acid could help support hair texture. Back in 1946, a British doctor noticed that malnourished people with a deficiency in pantothenic acid had particularly poor hair health (6).
Not only were the affected people losing hair; their natural hair curl had disappeared. This suggested that pantothenic acid plays a role in creating hair that is strong and maintains its natural curls or waves.
If your hair is looking flatter than usual, and especially if you notice that you are losing hair as well, you might be low in pantothenic acid.
Fortunately, many of the key ingredients in a good hair growth vitamin are not known to cause harm, even at high doses.
Zinc and iron, two trace elements important for hair growth, do have negative effects at high doses. Iron can be particularly problematic in people with a condition called hemochromatosis, which affects about one in 200 people in the United States.
In these people, excessive iron intake can cause serious health problems, because their body allows iron to accumulate and cause tissue damage.
With supplements that employ a large number of herbal extracts, side effects are harder to predict.
Some users of hair growth supplements with length lists of herbal ingredients have complained of headaches, stomach cramps, and breakouts of acne on their skin, but it’s hard to trace which herbal extract could be linked to these symptoms.
With no direct clinical trials measuring the effects of vitamins for hair growth, it is difficult to determine precise dosing guidelines.
Biotin and pantothenic acid can be taken at several times their recommended daily intake, and intake should likely be high if you think you have a deficiency that is affecting your hair.
The same goes for other B vitamins, which is why you’ll find high doses of these nutrients in many high-quality hair growth supplements. In the case of trace minerals like zinc and iron, your supplement should not exceed 45 mg for iron or 40 mg for zinc.
Beyond these intakes, adverse health effects can occur, so be sure to stick below these thresholds unless you’re under a doctor’s orders.
Several vitamins and minerals play a role in hair growth and hair health. Deficiencies in biotin, pantothenic acid, and trace minerals like zinc, copper, and iron are linked to hair loss and loss of your hair’s natural waves and curls.
Taking a supplement that includes vitamins for hair growth can prevent these deficiencies; moreover, they might even help your hair become healthier than before.
While evidence to date is circumstantial, a supplement that provides these key hair nutrients could be the gateway to stronger, thicker, and healthier hair.