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View Full Version : prenatal vitamins as a hair suppliment?



Arden
December 7th, 2012, 04:40 PM
So there seems to be a lot of controversy about this topic. Most web information says its nonsense. Yet there are people who swear by it. I was just curious, what are your thoughts on prenatal vitamins has a supplement for hair growth. Any personal experiences? Raves or rants? I started taking them today because I'm going to start trying for a new baby. The scientist in me started looking up info on the vitamins in the pills. The hair nut in me was curious if they would help condition and or growth rates. The common medical argument is that prenatal vitamin use for hair is a myth perpetuated by the fact that pregnant women produce hormone that extend there adogen phase. However deeper research suggests that the individual nutrients are beneficial.... What are your thoughts?

Lvndrwhsprs
December 7th, 2012, 06:07 PM
I would definitely say that it would be ok to take prenatal vites as a supplement for hair nutrition--in the same way you would take biotin or folic acid for hair strength. I don't think it's some miracle pill to make hair grow its just a convenient way to get the optimum combo and quantity of vitamins all in one place. They help keep your body healthy while growing a baby, so I would think it would be the same while growing your hair. :)

My son is 9 months and I am still taking prenatals because I am nursing and I can say that I went from 21" to 23" from sep to dec and that includes shedding and not treating my hair so nice for a while.

Hope this helps :)

Amorice
December 7th, 2012, 06:40 PM
I have absolutely NO experience or study in this, but I think its not so much that there's a magical ingredient in prenatals that just makes hair grow, but since it makes your body well fueled, it has the spare nutrients to throw at non-vital functions like hair growth.

Arden
December 7th, 2012, 06:51 PM
Oh that's awsome growth considering not only the post partum shed, breast feeding and the fall / winter period. I don't know about you but I notice my hair growth tends to slow down in the fall / winter and picks up in the spring / summer.

My thought process is this. Hair growth is a secondary priority for your body so when your nutrition is good it grows. When its not, not so much. I tend to attribute by slow winter growth to a number of factors bit the main one is that I tend to eat a lot less fresh produce and salads because the qualify of fresh produce goes down and personally I begin to crave more steps and root veggies if any at all. I think adding those extra vitamins might cause a nutrient surplus... And therefore better growth... Just a theory.

I am going to keep an eye on my hair to see if I notice any improvements just for curiosity sake. I'm torn about time frame because while I'd love to conceive right away that would hinder my hair experiment. While on the other hand I know trying to conceive, especially in your
30's can be a long process.

To be hounest I've been trying for a year now. But when I say trying I mean the term loosely. Trying by not trying to prevent it. Since my year anniversary has now come and gone my next step has been to start researching foods and supplements... Zinc, vitamin E, B vitamins, etc are supose to ne helpful in aiding natural fertility. Ironically they also seem to be good for hair

Arden
December 7th, 2012, 06:53 PM
I have absolutely NO experience or study in this, but I think its not so much that there's a magical ingredient in prenatals that just makes hair grow, but since it makes your body well fueled, it has the spare nutrients to throw at non-vital functions like hair growth.


Yes. Exactly what I'm thinking.

henné
December 7th, 2012, 07:28 PM
Some prenatals seem to have absurdly high vitamin A levels. That is one of the few vitamins one can overdose on. I didn't even take prenatals during pregnancy. I couldn't even keep them down anyway. They upset my stomach something fierce. It could work for your hair to an extent (maybe even as a placebo effect), but I think prenatals are just another marketing sham. Here in Sweden there are no prenatal vitamins in the pharmacy and when you're pregnant, no doctor tells you to take any special vitamins, unless there are some low blood levels of ... whatever ... like iron, in which case they tell you to take iron or just simply improve your own diet. Vitamins and minerals are most effectively absorbed by the body from food, not from pills.

Just saying ...

leslissocool
December 7th, 2012, 07:52 PM
I take them, they do work. I have a fast hair growth rate and it was not always this way.

I talked to many doctors, I am anemic and they all suggested taking prenatal vitamins. Henne vitamin A is bad for pregnant women, the prenatal vitamins I take have very low of it (about 1/4 of what regular multivitamins have). If you are anemic, you need iron. I cannot absorb it through food properly, so I take it in as vitamins.

So far, every single doctor I've spoken to told me women would benefit from taking prenatal vitamins instead of regular multivitamins even when they are not pregnant, when they are on their sexual prime. A sign of iron deficiency is actually hair loss and hard to grow hair and nails.

henné
December 8th, 2012, 03:04 AM
I take them, they do work. I have a fast hair growth rate and it was not always this way.

I talked to many doctors, I am anemic and they all suggested taking prenatal vitamins. Henne vitamin A is bad for pregnant women, the prenatal vitamins I take have very low of it (about 1/4 of what regular multivitamins have). If you are anemic, you need iron. I cannot absorb it through food properly, so I take it in as vitamins.

So far, every single doctor I've spoken to told me women would benefit from taking prenatal vitamins instead of regular multivitamins even when they are not pregnant, when they are on their sexual prime. A sign of iron deficiency is actually hair loss and hard to grow hair and nails.

Yes, in the US doctors do say that because the assumption is that average American woman has really bad nutrition/diet that is high on fast-food and low on vegetables/fruits and high-quality ingredients. It also has to do with folic acid because it doesn't matter how much folic acid you ingest during pregnancy, it's the one you ingested pre-pregnancy that really counts. I read a whole lot about it when I was pregnant and tried to make up my mind whether to go the Swedish (diet centered) way or the American (horse-pill) way. Well, my morning sickness made the decision largely for me ... there was no way for me to hold down them horse pills.

I ended up taking a regular vitamin for women about every other day and I had a relatively easy pregnancy and my daughter is absolutely healthy and full-term. I was told to take iron pills a month or so before delivery because of potential blood loss, but that's it. I was extremely health conscious during my pregnancy - I also gained quite a lot of weight (I was underweight at the beginning).

To get back to the topic. Many women think that by taking that one pill a day, they can just pig out and not eat healthy and that is the biggest problem I have with vitamin pills of any sort. It's psychological: "Well, at least I took that vitamin pill today..." which is not even close to being equal to a proper meal.

But of course, if you have some sort of chronic vitamin deficiency, it's different. Most folks don't have that though, so vitamin pills are just a waste of money for them.

clairenewcastle
December 8th, 2012, 05:26 AM
I'm way of taking any vitamin tablets that contain iodine, other than that I'm convinced from my own experience that pre-natal vitamins help the condition of my hair - although not the growth rate.

LaurelSpring
December 8th, 2012, 11:19 AM
I take half a prenatal in the morning and half a hair, skin and nail vitamin at night. I do know that when I ran out of hair skin and nail for awhile I shed like crazy so I think my body got use to the level of biotin. My nails are growing insanely fast. Im not so sure about my hair but it cant hurt.

RileyJane
December 14th, 2012, 08:19 PM
To be completely honest, i would not. Mainly, you dont know how its going to affect you, or what not. plus, they are designed for women pregnant or trying to be pregnant no bueno if ur just trying to get longer hair. i know it sounds biased since i have used monistat on my scalp with no problems, but taking vitamins that arent designed for your body: never. i deff would just stick to taking the vitamin biotin (no more than 5,000 mg) daily and it will help

torrilin
December 15th, 2012, 11:03 AM
I don't think there's a problem with judicious use of vitamin supplements. Judicious to my mind means that you're making a good faith effort to get your nutrients via diet, and the supplement provides backup.

Doctors can order a blood test that's basically a vitamin and mineral panel. It's a standard thing they do here as part of establishing you with a new primary care doctor, so the doctor has a baseline. If anything shows up as wonky from normal, or you're having symptoms where a deficiency disease is a possibility, then you can try to improve things and get regular tests for the problem nutrient. In my case, vitamin D tends to run a hair short and that can have mood effects, cause problems with healing, and in severe cases it has cognitive effects. Nasty all around. So I try to drink plenty of milk, I take a D supplement, and I try to get regular sun exposure in the summer.

I don't think supplementing at random is a good idea. Multivitamins don't necessarily have sensible nutrient balances, whether they're "prenatal" or meant for adults or kids. It takes pretty careful label reading to work out what would be best in your own particular case, and working it out without testing your vitamin levels is going to be pretty dicey.

dollyfish
December 17th, 2012, 11:16 PM
Assuming you buy vitamins without any iron, or other nutrients that you could overdose on if you build up too much in your body, taking "extra" vitamins isn't bad for you. We excrete excess naturally. You can't really take too much vitamin C, for example, at least not practically. Though do your research because things like biotin actually *can* be potentially harmful in large doses if allowed to accumulate over time. As far as I know, most prenatal vitamins are made of the good stuff you can't practically poison yourself with, assuming you follow the dose instructions.

Nutrition isn't my specialty, but I do know there isn't any one way to literally make your hair grow. But I agree that the most plausible thing you can do to speed up natural growth is to make yourself as healthy as possible. Stress--either direct physical stress like malnutrition, or psychosocial stress--will slow down and generally mess with all the "non-essential" bodily functions, in the more immediate sense via things like digestion, salivation, blood pressure, and in the long-term sense like fertility, cellular growth, metabolism, etc. If you can be sure you have excess nutrients and lead a generally healthy life your hair should be able to grow at its optimum :)

SerinaDaith
December 17th, 2012, 11:28 PM
Most Doctors recommend starting prenatal vitamins when you start trying to get pregnant. Our doctor does, that and we are still nursing. I don't think taking prenatals would be horrible for people trying grow out hair either but unless I am supporting some other life I tend to forget to take pills.

Mayflower
December 18th, 2012, 07:01 AM
Yes, in the US doctors do say that because the assumption is that average American woman has really bad nutrition/diet that is high on fast-food and low on vegetables/fruits and high-quality ingredients.

(snip)

To get back to the topic. Many women think that by taking that one pill a day, they can just pig out and not eat healthy and that is the biggest problem I have with vitamin pills of any sort. It's psychological: "Well, at least I took that vitamin pill today..." which is not even close to being equal to a proper meal.

But of course, if you have some sort of chronic vitamin deficiency, it's different. Most folks don't have that though, so vitamin pills are just a waste of money for them.

I totally agree. Unless you have some sort of deficiency or your body has trouble getting enough of a certain vitamin/mineral out of food, I would suggest to re-think your diet and making sure you get your vitamins out of fresh, whole foods.

For years my diet hasn't been the best (not as bad as the standard American diet though), not extremely unhealthy but still too much sugar, processed foods and meat, and not nearly enough fruit and vegetables. I took hair, skin and nail vitamins which made a huge difference in the speed of my growth, and the quality of my nails.
I now completely changed my diet, and even though it wasn't that bad before, I now get everything I need from my food and my hair is growing faster and thicker than ever, my skin's clear and my nails are stronger. Without pills.

The only (small) deficiency I have is vitamin D, because in winter we get very little sun here. I take pure vitamin D for that, in oil-form.

I guess I'm just saying that our bodies are made for getting our vitamins out of a healthy diet, not out of (sometimes shady) pills that have additives in them. Having a healthy and complete diet is better for you and the (future) baby.

dollyfish
December 18th, 2012, 10:20 AM
Just want to add that, though it used to be true that we could easily get our daily required nutrients from our food, this is no longer the case. Especially with foods grown in the US, or with genetically modified foods (as most are these days). The soil just doesn't have the mineral content. The majority of people have several vitamin deficiencies and don't realize this, because most deficiencies have minor cumulative effects.

Our bodies are made for getting vitamins out of a healthy diet, but the food we have access to is sub-par relative to, say, 20,000 years ago or even 50 years ago. Supplementing a healthy diet with vitamins is practically essential at this point if one wants to have adequate supplies of all the required nutrients.

And remember, this goes for locally grown organic foods too. It's all about the soil content. This is why doctors and nutritionists so heavily push vitamins these days, even on those who eat a well balanced diet.

DinaAG
December 18th, 2012, 11:02 AM
well i take futurbiotics hair skin and nails and they work fine for me and for my body's health generally

Mayflower
December 18th, 2012, 12:09 PM
Just want to add that, though it used to be true that we could easily get our daily required nutrients from our food, this is no longer the case. Especially with foods grown in the US, or with genetically modified foods (as most are these days). The soil just doesn't have the mineral content. The majority of people have several vitamin deficiencies and don't realize this, because most deficiencies have minor cumulative effects.

Our bodies are made for getting vitamins out of a healthy diet, but the food we have access to is sub-par relative to, say, 20,000 years ago or even 50 years ago. Supplementing a healthy diet with vitamins is practically essential at this point if one wants to have adequate supplies of all the required nutrients.

And remember, this goes for locally grown organic foods too. It's all about the soil content. This is why doctors and nutritionists so heavily push vitamins these days, even on those who eat a well balanced diet.

Oh I agree, I'm not against vitamins an sich, I just think we should do all we can in terms of eating well, before looking at supplements etc.

I don't know about the specifics of the soil content in America, but it could be that the quality of even organic food and produce isn't that great there. What I've read does suggest that the general American diet is pretty bad and vitamin deficient.

Like Henne said, taking a supplement doesn't mean you (general you) can eat crap the rest of the day, supplements should only be used when needed. I just got my blood tested and everything's perfect, and I haven't been taking vitamins for 1 year!

dollyfish
December 18th, 2012, 12:41 PM
Like Henne said, taking a supplement doesn't mean you (general you) can eat crap the rest of the day, supplements should only be used when needed. I just got my blood tested and everything's perfect, and I haven't been taking vitamins for 1 year!

Totally! I think the best way to get the best growth possible is to get your whole body in ship-shape! :) Vitamins help, but vitamins alone won't make a person healthy.

SerinaDaith
December 18th, 2012, 06:00 PM
I eat well however when you are growing or feeding another person I would rather be safe then sorry about my vitamin intake. Granted I am not on prenatal vitamins for hair growth. I also take flaxseed oil since anything fish like is tasty death for me. I think keeping omega 3 in my diet is a good thing and the supplements are the easiest way for me to make that happen regularly.

jeanniet
December 18th, 2012, 07:00 PM
Just want to add that, though it used to be true that we could easily get our daily required nutrients from our food, this is no longer the case. Especially with foods grown in the US, or with genetically modified foods (as most are these days). The soil just doesn't have the mineral content. The majority of people have several vitamin deficiencies and don't realize this, because most deficiencies have minor cumulative effects.

Our bodies are made for getting vitamins out of a healthy diet, but the food we have access to is sub-par relative to, say, 20,000 years ago or even 50 years ago. Supplementing a healthy diet with vitamins is practically essential at this point if one wants to have adequate supplies of all the required nutrients.

And remember, this goes for locally grown organic foods too. It's all about the soil content. This is why doctors and nutritionists so heavily push vitamins these days, even on those who eat a well balanced diet.

Do you have statistics for this? I'm particularly interested in stats for the part about most people having deficiencies. I think the opposite is true, actually. I don't think vitamins are necessary for the most part, and in fact, I think people take way too many vitamins as a sort of cure-all. I took prenatals when I was pregnant and nursing, as prescribed by my doctor, and I take D now, again on doctor's advice, but other than that I've never really taken them. My kids never have, either. None of us are deficient (except for my D levels), and we have a pretty standard diet--relatively healthy, but not superlative, and at times my diet is pretty darn poor. We almost never get sick, either. On the other hand, I have relatives who are constantly taking vitamins and they're sick far more than we are; not that I'm saying the vitamins are making them sick, of course, but I don't see that they're doing much good, either. Frankly, I think the "You can't be healthy unless you take vitamins" line is mostly propaganda put out by the supplements manufacturers. If you think you're deficient, ask your doctor to run blood tests; if you're pregnant, take your prenatals. Otherwise, what's the point? If you're healthy, vitamins won't make you more healthy.

ETA: I know that there is evidence for soil depletion, and that does make sense. I'm just not convinced that most people have significant deficiencies, or that vitamins are the answer--especially since so many people typically eat fortified foods already.