by Tori (pictured above)
When you go to a pharmacy or supplement shop, you can find a supplement for pretty much anything. And, if you ask someone who is on his or her hair journey what their goals are, it would probably be to have healthier and/or longer hair. With the increasing desire for longer hair (in particular), several companies have been marketing hair vitamins at increasing rates in recent years.
Now, before I continue, here’s my disclaimer: I have never taken any hair vitamins and the purpose of this article is not to judge or bash any of the companies who make these products or their consumers. What I want to discuss is what seems to be a new ‘trend’ and my personal thoughts about taking hair vitamins.
Why take hair vitamins?
The main reason most people take hair vitamins is to improve their hair’s overall health. Individual goals may vary, but it is usually to acquire thicker, stronger, longer, healthier hair (or nails). As human beings, we can be impatient. We want results instantly and I can certainly relate to having that feeling. When I started my fitness journey, I saw small changes but I felt that maybe I could achieve more if I took weight loss supplements.
The temptation to turn to supplements was there, even in the beginning of my hair journey. I still had relaxed hair and I read somewhere that taking a high dose of biotin would help with my damaged hair. Of course, I was willing to try anything that would help. I quickly realized it wasn’t for me because I would feel nauseous every time I took the pills and my face started breaking out. I stopped taking them after a week. But, I said all that to say that I understand if someone is on their hair journey and are not seeing results in the time frame they expected. A company’s product, whose marketing strategy is to target to those who want faster, more amazing results, I can see how it would be appealing.
Any drug you put in your body comes with side effects. The effects may affect some worse than others but it is still cause for concern. Many ‘specialized’ supplements contain high doses of certain vitamins/minerals, which can increase the side effects for some people. It is best to consult a physician prior to adding any supplements to your diet.
When you are adding supplements to your diet, there is always the possibility that you could be ‘over supplementing’ yourself. The fact is that many of the essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals we need, can be found in the foods we eat. Therefore, if you are eating well AND taking multiple supplements you may be taking in way more than the required amounts of certain minerals or vitamins. It’s always best to research and again, always consult a physician before taking supplements.
“It’s all in your head” syndrome
I believe for some people, the notion that their “hair isn’t growing” or their hair “will never get longer” is all in their head. Our hair is always growing; some at faster rates than others. Therefore, I believe some people who take supplements may not necessarily increase their hair growth rate, but because they believe it will help, they begin to see the length they were actually already gaining without the supplements.
“But Tori, what else can I do to improve my hair’s health besides taking hair vitamins?”
Some alternatives to vitamins:
Healthy diet and lifestyle
When you focus on your overall health, your entire body will benefit, including your hair. Try to incorporate healthier foods and make wiser lifestyle and health choices and you will see an overall improvement with time.
Try a regular multivitamin.
If you don’t always eat a balanced meal or feel you may need a little dietary supplementation, how about trying just a regular multivitamin. Many multivitamins will provide reasonable amounts of all the possible vitamins and nutrients you may need versus a hair vitamins that may only focus of high doses of a few vitamins and minerals.
Healthy hair regimen and routine
Healthy hair starts from within, but how you care for your hair is also important. Treat your hair well and stick to a healthy hair care routine.
Are you all tired of hearing me talk about patience yet? Well, quicker isn’t always better. Wait it out.
Also, check out my previous article for tips on how I grew my hair without taking hair vitamins.
What are your thoughts on hair vitamins? Have you tried any? What were your results/experience with the hair vitamin you tried?
About Tori: I’m Tori, a Jamaican-born natural currently living in Texas. I was reunited with my natural texture in January 2012 when I big chopped, after transitioning for a year and a half. I am still learning about my natural hair, and hope to share the knowledge and experiences I gain as I continue on my natural hair journey. You can find me on Instagram @bonafidestyle.