It seems every day we get a new claim about a vitamin doing this or supplement
doing that, and no two segments of beauty see more of these claims than
the hair and nail industries. We all crave stronger, shinier hair and
seemingly indestructible nails that grow longer by the minute, so the
question is simple: what vitamins help your hair grow and give you stronger nails?
For the answers to our burning questions, we went straight to two of the
industry’s top experts on hair and nails. Here’s what you
need to know about which vitamins and supplements you should be taking
for stronger nails and a serious head of hair.
Beauty High: Why would you recommend vitamins and/or supplements to a hair client?
Devin Toth, Senior Stylist and Director of Education for Ted Gibson Beauty:
Usually we would recommend vitamins for hair growth, but to understand
it you need to know that vitamins and supplements fall under three categories:
- Vitamins that are always good for hair: These are vitamin A (needed by
all your cells for growth), and B vitamins (B6, B9, B12, and B complex/Folic
Acid, needed to help create iron so cells work properly).
- Vitamins that prevent hair loss: vitamins C, E and zinc help repair damage
to the body on a cellular level since they’re high in antioxidants.
Besides repairing obvious damage you can see (cuts and bruises), they
help repair the damage created by the digestive process of turning food
into energy. Repairing damage from the inside out helps with overall body
healthy and, by default, healthy hair growth.
- Vitamins that are lost from a deficiency/poor diet: If your diet contains
too much salt, sugar, alcohol, caffeine and carbonated beverages, you’re
probably poor in iron and magnesium, which can lead to hair loss. You
can take iron quite easily, but magnesium is a bit tricky; it has to be
absorbed with equal parts calcium and potassium. The great news is that
magnesium doesn’t have be taken as a supplement. You can add more
nuts to your diet as a great way to take in more. Also, if you take it
right before you go to bed, magnesium is a great muscle relaxant, so it
will help you sleep, which is great because hair grows fastest at night.
Which supplements work best for which types of hair/hair issues?
Biotin increases the density of your hair and it helps you produce more
hair. Fish oil just makes hair really shiny and smooth by collapsing the
cuticle to make it shinier from the inside out the way some conditioners
coat from the outside. Even if you’re not into supplements, if you
get more and better sleep, eat more nuts and vegetables and cut out processed
and damaging foods, you should see an improvement in the condition of
your hair growth. Really, anything that helps your cells work more efficiently
will help the condition of your body, which will help the health of your hair.
How long does it take to see results?
Vitamins work immediately, which is why you take them. You’ll feel
differently immediately, but you’ll see the effects in 2-3 months.
Supplements are called supplements for a reason: they supplement the nutrients
you should be taking in from your regular diet. If you supplement your
vitamin intake and have an exemplary diet, you’ll look and feel
stronger and your hair will respond in kind by growing stronger and healthier.
Beauty High: What are the telltale signs that someone should be taking
vitamins or supplements when it comes to their nails?
Skyy Hadley, Celebrity manicurist and Owner of As U Wish Nail Spa: Ridges,
dents and discoloration or an unusual nail shape can be a telltale sign
that something is wrong with your nail health. Also, If your hands are
regularly exposed to water, soap or harsh chemicals, your nails may become
soft or brittle, and break or chip easily.
What type of vitamins and supplements are most effective for nail growth
and health? What do they do?
Biotin, or vitamin B7, is crucial to maintain protein production and can
help strengthen weak or brittle nails. Since your nails are made of protein,
L-Lysine supplements can be taken to help build healthy proteins and help
maintain healthy nails.
How long does it take to see the effects of taking vitamins and/or supplements?
These supplements begin to work on your growing nails, not your currently
visible nails, so it could take a few months to see results. It all depends
on how quickly your nails grow.
Article originally featured on Stylecaster.com