Hair Vitamins & Treatments:
Oral and Topical
If you are experiencing hair loss, there are many treatment options including oral and topical supplements, prescription medications, and hair transplants.
Although thinning hair is a common condition,
it can have a devastating impact on your self-esteem.
What topical treatments are available for thinning hair? /
There are a number of topical treatments on the market which claim to mitigate the effects of thinning hair, including Minoxidil, collagen based shampoos, and Rene Furterer products.
Minoxidil is an antihypertensive vasodilator treatment that is applied topically to the scalp in order to treat hair loss, particularly that caused by male pattern baldness. However, it is not effective in treating receding hairlines. Rogaine is a well-known topical treatment that contains Minoxidil.
Rene Furterer products
Rene Furterer is a natural hair care line that offers products designed to target various hair concerns. Their thinning hair collection works to improve scalp health and stimulate hair growth. It is comprised of four products: Triphasic VHT, a regenerating treatment, Forticea, a stimulating shampoo, Complexe 5, a weekly scalp treatment, and Vitalfan, a dietary supplement with key ingredients such as Vitamins A and E and Biotin.
What oral supplements are available for thinning hair? /
There are a number of oral supplements that work to stimulate hair growth, including Biotin, Selenium, Nutrafol, Vitamin A, Cercumin, Vitamin B3, B12, B5, Zinc, Omega 3, Vitamin C, ASA 81 mg, and Vitamin D.
The benefits of each supplement are outlined below.
Biotin and other vitamin blends
Since hair loss is an indication of a biotin deficiency, biotin is an effective oral supplement to encourage hair growth. It helps to strengthen your hair by repairing hair shingles that are naturally damaged overtime as a result of environmental factors, hair care, and styling products.
This mineral nutrient has a number of benefits including hair loss prevention. Selenium encourages hair growth by weakening free radicals in the body that damage hair follicles.
Nutrafol is a hair-thinning supplement comprised of 20 natural ingredients, such as Vitamin C, Hydrolyzed Marine Collagen, and Hyaluronic Acid. It works to strengthen weakened hair follicles and is formulated to take into account the various factors of hair loss including stress, aging, hormonal imbalances, and inflammation.
Viviscal is a hair growth supplement which contains Biotin, Vitamin C, and Iron, which are all recognized as natural hair growth stimulants. However, its main ingredient is AminoMar®, an exclusive marine complex, made up of Silica and Horsetail (stem) extract, which nourishes tresses to encourage hair growth.
Also referred to as retinol, Vitamin A’s ability to encourage sebum secretion helps to prevent hair damage, which makes it an effective supplement for individuals experiencing hair loss.
Cercumin, which comes from the ginger family, is touted for its ability to prompt hair growth. While there is little evidence to suggest that it makes hair grow, it can prevent the inflammation of hair follicles, due to its anti-inflammatory ingredients.
Vitamin B3, B12, B5
B-complex vitamins that include B-3 (niacin), B-5 (pantothenic acid) and B-12 (cobalamin), are known for their ability to regulate the nervous system, however, they also play an important role in maintaining healthy skin and hair. B-12 in particular is credited for its ability to strengthen and soften weakened hair.
Zinc supports healthy hair by improving hair follicle health and preventing the loss of hair follicles. Conversely, a deficiency of zinc can weaken the hair follicle’s protein structure.
Omega 3 from fish oils
Omega 3 is one of the most effective vitamins for hair growth due to its ability to minimize scalp inflammation, which is one of the causes of hair loss. In addition, the fatty acids in omega 3 nurture and moisturize hair, resulting in thicker, healthier locks.
As a result of the natural aging process, your cellular structures become damaged over time and the antioxidative enzymes that work to preserve your body dwindle, which results in hair loss and causes your hair to turn gray. Vitamin C works to counter these effects by fighting oxidative stress, thereby minimizing hair loss and delaying hair graying.
ASA 81 mg
While most people think of ASA, or Aspirin, as a pain relief medication, it is also now recognized for its ability to improve the appearance of hair. The salicylic acid in Aspirin helps restore hair’s shine while its ability to inhibit prostaglandin may prevent hair loss.
Alopecia, or spot baldness, has been directly linked to a Vitamin D deficiency. As such, experts suggest that in addition to improving the condition of your skin and bones, Vitamin D supplements can encourage hair growth, by triggering the development of new hair follicles.
What prescription medications are available for thinning hair? /
Propecia, also known as finasteride, is a medication that can be prescribed to treat male pattern baldness. It slows hair loss by ensuring that the body’s testosterone is not converted to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Since DHT is a known cause of androgenic alopecia, Propecia has been proven effective in preventing hair loss and stimulating hair growth. However, this medication is not suitable for pregnant women or women who are of child rearing age, as it can cause birth defects.
Why should I consider hair transplants for my thinning hair?
While many of the oral and topical treatments listed above can be effective in strengthening hair and encouraging hair growth, they are all temporary solutions; if their use is discontinued, your hair will return to its previous state. Hair grafting or hair transplants are the only permanent solutions for thinning hair. Their benefits and drawbacks are outlined below.
The Follicular Unit Strip (FUS) is a hair transplant method that involves removing follicular units from a donor site, where hair growth is plentiful, and transplanting it to the areas where hair is thinning. This procedure requires a strip of skin to be removed from the donor area, which results in scarring where the incision was made. Although this technique is more invasive than the alternative, Follicular Unit Extraction, it is less expensive as it does not require grafts to be removed individually so the procedure itself is not as painstaking.
Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE), or hair harvesting, is an innovative hair transplant treatment. During this procedure, hair follicles are carefully extracted from a donor site, typically at the back or sides of your head, and relocated to the area of concern, typically at the front of the head. The follicles are individually grafted into the scalp and consequently, naturally blend in and effectively restore your receding hairline. This incredibly effective procedure is less invasive than the FUS method and consequently does not result in scarring. However, it requires patience, as the results may not be visible for 9-12 months after the procedure.