Why biotin isn't always the best vitamin for hair growth (and what to try instead), according to experts
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When you've tried trims, masks, or scalp-stimulating products and your hair simply doesn't seem to want to grow, the best hair vitamins for faster hair growth can help to nourish strands from the inside out. Still, it's important that you choose one that's well-suited to your needs and contains high-quality ingredients. That's why I got in touch with two experts for more guidance: Andrea Paul, M.D., a medical advisor to the brand Illuminate Labs, and Kasey Nichols, N.M.D., a licensed naturopathic doctor and medical contributor to RaveReviews.org.
"Vitamin and mineral intake affects biological processes like hair follicle growth and shedding," Dr. Paul writes in an email to Mic. "For people with a documented vitamin deficiency, fixing the deficiency through supplementation may normalize processes like the hair follicle cycle."
It's worth noting that over-the-counter supplements are not interchangeable with a prescription medication you might get from your doctor for the same concern, and what works for one person may produce no results for another. For example, you may have noticed that many hair growth products are loaded with biotin (also known as vitamin B7), but according to Dr. Nichols, it's likely not the most effective ingredient for most people."Unfortunately, many studies have shown that biotin is not that useful in hair growth in most kinds of hair loss [...] For the most part, biotin is only beneficial for increasing hair growth in those with a biotin deficiency (which is rare)." Instead, it's best to look for a supplement that features a wide variety of active ingredients and, ideally, is backed by clinical testing.
"When it comes to finding a hair growth supplement that will be effective for you, it’s important to remember that the right supplements will be dependent on the underlying cause of your hair loss," Dr. Nichols says. "If you are deficient in certain nutrients such as iron, zinc, or omega fatty acids, supplementing to restore your nutrient levels is essential. If your hair loss is hormone related, you have to address the hormone imbalances to get the hair growth [you're] looking to achieve."
For this reason, it's always important to talk with your own doctor before taking a new supplement. With all of that in mind, read on for more guidance from the experts along with four of the best vitamins for hair.
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