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View Full Version : Do supplements actually help growth rate?



Idreamlong
October 26th, 2015, 09:14 AM
As title, I am currently taking Cod liver oil, Sea Kelp & MSM tablets daily, as well as 2 tablespoons of a liquid zinc/iron supplement. Some days, when itís 10pm and I realise Iíve forgotten to take the tablets and have to faff around doing so, I wonder if there is going to be any benefit to taking them anyway. It makes me feel better, Iíve only been taking them for 6 weeks so obviously donít expect to see any results yet.


Has anyone had an increase in growth or an improvement in their hair by taking supplements?

Horrorpops
October 26th, 2015, 09:29 AM
I am very skeptical about supplements being effective for most health things - unless a person has a noted deficiency, is pregnant or mal-absorption problems.

I have a better growth rate now I've stopped taking my biotin, iron, zinc, silica, fishoils and multivitamins! :o Mostly you just excrete the supplements anyway, and some studies have linked vitamin supplements with negative health outcomes.

And thats a lot of money and time for no effects or negative effects - IMO :p

ETA: as long as your diet has sufficient micronutrients in it - but mostly in developed countries with access to such varied foods this isn't a problem. However I actively try to eat a varied nutritious diet with fruit, vege, dairy and oily fish etc.

sweetaj
October 26th, 2015, 09:32 AM
I'm sure results vary by person. From December 2014 to August 2015, my hair grew 2 inches. I started taking biotin in July. Since August 7 until now, my hair has grown about 3 inches (hard to measure with wavy hair). That's the only thing I changed in my daily diet.

Nique1202
October 26th, 2015, 09:39 AM
Unless you have a specific deficiency that's being remedied, then there's no proof that supplements increase hair growth that couldn't be explained by the placebo effect or other factors (wishful thinking, paying closer attention than previously, seasonal shifts in growth pattern, etc) which is why I'm a firm believer in "see your doctor if you think something's wrong, and let them use the tools at their disposal to fix you if there is". Supplementing on your own isn't even always harmless-at-worst, since many brands of supplements don't undergo ANY testing to make sure they've got the right ingredients in them, and some contain things that aren't on the label that could cause allergic reactions. (There was a study released earlier this year about this (http://gizmodo.com/most-store-brand-herbal-supplements-dont-even-contain-t-1683515706).)

Horrorpops
October 26th, 2015, 09:45 AM
Unless you have a specific deficiency that's being remedied, then there's no proof that supplements increase hair growth that couldn't be explained by the placebo effect or other factors (wishful thinking, paying closer attention than previously, seasonal shifts in growth pattern, etc) which is why I'm a firm believer in "see your doctor if you think something's wrong, and let them use the tools at their disposal to fix you if there is". Supplementing on your own isn't even always harmless-at-worst, since many brands of supplements don't undergo ANY testing to make sure they've got the right ingredients in them, and some contain things that aren't on the label that could cause allergic reactions. (There was a study released earlier this year about this (http://gizmodo.com/most-store-brand-herbal-supplements-dont-even-contain-t-1683515706).)

Yes, this too!! :) well said Nique

Knifegill
October 26th, 2015, 09:52 AM
My hair has grown faster since I dropped vitamins. Ironically, I never thought they would be good for me, I just hoped they would make my hair grow faster.

Night_Kitten
October 26th, 2015, 12:32 PM
The results depend on the initial state of your vitamin levels - if you have some deficiencies then supplementing them should definitely have good results on your health (and possibly hair growth), however if you have no vitamin deficiencies it's unlikely the supplements will have a noticeable effect...
However things are more complicated than just the pure physical effect of the vitamins / supplements - if taking the vitamins makes you feel better and feel like you're doing something for your health, it could have a psychological effect and actually improve your physical health (the placebo effect)...

There's no way to say for sure, as it's very individual, so the only way to be sure is to see what happens over the course of several months...


ETA
Nique 1202 has a good point, not all the supplements are necessarily harmless... A negative effect is also possible...

furnival
October 26th, 2015, 03:29 PM
Unless you have a specific deficiency that's being remedied, then there's no proof that supplements increase hair growth that couldn't be explained by the placebo effect or other factors (wishful thinking, paying closer attention than previously, seasonal shifts in growth pattern, etc) which is why I'm a firm believer in "see your doctor if you think something's wrong, and let them use the tools at their disposal to fix you if there is". Supplementing on your own isn't even always harmless-at-worst, since many brands of supplements don't undergo ANY testing to make sure they've got the right ingredients in them, and some contain things that aren't on the label that could cause allergic reactions. (There was a study released earlier this year about this (http://gizmodo.com/most-store-brand-herbal-supplements-dont-even-contain-t-1683515706).)
I'm with you this one.
Certain vitamin deficiencies can cause hair loss, but this does NOT mean that taking more of them than you need will boost growth. If you're healthy and eating a sensible diet you're unlikely to be deficient in vitamins, and taking supplements may result in having higher levels of some vitamins (particularly the ones stored in fat) in your body, which can be harmful.

Are you taking the zinc/iron because you are deficient?

sarahthegemini
October 26th, 2015, 03:40 PM
You should only take supplements if you have an actual deficiency. There is literally no point otherwise.

Ingrid
October 26th, 2015, 04:03 PM
Deficiencies are pretty rare, and not all of them cause hair loss, or slowed growth. Supplementing with iron is pretty dangerous actually since it's toxic to the body so make sure you're not experimenting with it unless you have an actual diagnosed anemia or deficiency, and have regular tests and medical professional supervision.

I was severely iron-deficient for a long period of time (nearly 8 years) due to my inability to handle ingredients in oral iron supplements and vegan diet so when I finally found supplements I could tolerate (and changed my diet) my hair shedding decreased significantly and the quality of hair improved. I'd lost about 6cm in hair circumference prior to taking supplements. However, my hair growth rate did not change with or without supplementation.

juniperjetcat
November 3rd, 2015, 09:52 AM
I am also very skeptical of supplements but as a vegetarian I have to take iron. I have definitely found a difference when I don't use iron in terms of my hair loss. These days I use Biotin and Iron because I was told that Iron is absorbed better when taken with vitamin C or Biotin.

ravenheather
November 5th, 2015, 04:47 PM
My year long stall/shed ended when I began supplementing with vitamin d. Now I grow half an inch a month.

hennalonghair
November 5th, 2015, 05:12 PM
Yes ! (...more letters)

curlylocks85
November 8th, 2015, 08:05 AM
I can only speak for myself and I have had some increase in growth taking some of my supplements. I take Biotin with Keratin and a Hair, Skin and Nail supplement. I believe that taking these supplements has increased my natural growth potential, rather than increasing it on its own. I hope that makes sense?

Happy growing everyone!

lapushka
November 8th, 2015, 08:10 AM
If your bloodwork comes back with zero shortages, there is NO need to supplement.

There is one vitamin I take and that is a multi, and there is one supplement I take and that is a glucosamine/chondroitine (some are + msm) tablet.

My growth rate hasn't changed one bit. It always has been and still is half an inch a month!

daniibee
November 10th, 2015, 02:09 AM
I'm sure results vary by person. From December 2014 to August 2015, my hair grew 2 inches. I started taking biotin in July. Since August 7 until now, my hair has grown about 3 inches (hard to measure with wavy hair). That's the only thing I changed in my daily diet.

I agree. some may work on you but it doesn't for others. So results are not really justifyable I think

AutobotsAttack
November 10th, 2015, 02:27 AM
For me personally, I think everyone's body is vastly different, and reacts to vitamins and supplements differently. Some people have bodies where they have all the nutrition they need, some people's bodies actually need the vitamins, and then there are some folks like me take vitamins and it just racks up more bonus points for me. If I take a vitamin or supplements it just gives my body all the more vitality and springiness. I do eat healthy and exercise and taking vitamins just makes my body and hair all the more happy. And if I don't take them then my body really doesn't care anyways. So I think everyone's body is different and has different reactions to vitamins and supplements.

Sweets
November 10th, 2015, 02:33 AM
You never know until you try, and a self-study is the best way to find out for YOU. Get bloodwork done first to check for deficiencies, and give yourself a year to really try a new regimine, and then go back in your history to check growth rate. It's really quite hard to determine if it helps. A multi-vitamin isn't a bad idea, because it's difficult to get 100% of your RDAs every day with food alone. Most of us don't eat perceftly every single day. A good whole-foods supplement is best for absorption, but they can be expensive.

I personally supplement with D3 (northern climate, not a lot of sun-exposure due to work schedule), biotin (don't get it from diet), and kelp with iodine (worried about wild-caught fish and radioactive-ness). When I was recovering from a long illness (I dropped 1/3 of my body weight) I also supplemented with Floradix, as I had low iron. Sometimes I take a multi, but I don't bother with it most of the time. I manage a casino buffet and get to eat lots of good protein, fruits and veggies 5-10x/wk. I'm very fortunate in that regard, I know that most are not.

I studied Exercise & Wellness at university, so that's where I get my opinions. Everyone's studies will lead them to a different conclusion, and that's ok! Pay attention to how you feel at your best and what makes you feel that way, and keep that up. Mind/body health is just as important - whole health is the key.

Annalouise
November 10th, 2015, 02:11 PM
I have been taking iodine (kelp) (for hypothyroidism) and a multivitamin/mineral (WITH iron) for the last few months and I find that I am shedding less.

Silverbrumby
November 10th, 2015, 02:20 PM
No change in growth rate. I came back very low in Vit. D and Iron. Iron was not a surprise. I supplement with both now. I have less shedding but the 'why' of that is not clear. I'm sure taking supplements is a good idea because I'm short on two things but I don't think it helps growth rate.

I do also take biotin and biosil. Now those two things have dramatically changed my fingernails. From 40 years of soft and peeling nails I now have long, strong non peeling nails. This happened before I took the Vit D. or Iron so that was not related. I took both of those for my hair. Instead I got far less lines on my face and strong nails. It might have helped the hair.

ladycaladium
February 29th, 2016, 04:55 AM
I know this is an older thread

The short answer I think is no. But the long answer is it depends. A supplement when you aren't deficient isn't going to help and may be harmful.

I also would say yes if you are deficient in something it can help. You have to know what you are deficient in and how deficient you are. I was extremely deficient in vitamin D for years. It took at least 6 months to see any improvement. It wasn't so much growth rate as much as less shedding. I was losing so much hair due to the deficiency. So yeah, I saw (and continue to see) improvement, but that is due to having closer to proper levels of vit. D. Basically giving my body what it needs to reach it genetic potential. Having excess of a vitamin isn't going to make it grow faster.

I do take a multivitamin to make sure I'm getting what I need as my diet does range from okay to, um, yeah, not so okay.

I did just start taking a kelp supplement since I've been living in a country without iodinized salt for over two years now and I don't eat most things containing seaweed here (allergic to red and green, not brown - the kelps). However, I mentioned this to my doctor and they are keeping tabs on my blood work.

diddiedaisy
February 29th, 2016, 08:07 AM
Agree with ladycaladium, unless you are deficient it will not increase your growth rate. They can however help with shedding and also with hair health, which will help you retain what you grow. I've taken supplements since starting on here, they have definitely helped with shedding and I hope hair health but that I couldn't swear on, and they have helped my general health (I have absorption issues) so I will continue taking them for that reason alone. My growth rate has remained consistent much to my disappointment, so I presume it grows to its genetic pre-disposition. I'd love to chuck an inch out one month though!!!