SUPPLEMENTS! How to know if they are worth the investment… 
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Unless you’ve been living in a cave in the last five years, you’ve probably seen these food supplements for the hair peddled on Instagram and every other social media platform available (and by almost every Instagram model on earth).
These supplements make all sorts of claims – from making your hair shinier and stronger to adding volume to speeding up your hair growth, the whole package that makes up the hair of your dreams.
But do they really work? Are these pills and gummies, which are rather pricey, worth their weight in gold?
Hair Supplements: The Science Behind It (or the Lack Thereof)
Most of these hair supplements claim to contain antioxidants (i.e. Vitamins A, C, E), fish oils, and selenium although many highlight their Biotin (Vitamin B12) content as its primary superfood that enriches and speeds up hair growth.
The thing is: there is not enough science to back it up. Existing scientific literature on how supplementing with biotin affects general hair health is limited at best, and dubious at worst.
The results of these studies are also contradictory and the findings inconclusive due to data and testing group limitations. In short, we cannot yet trust the science behind the claims.
This explains why authorities in the EU and USA’s Food and Drug Administration only regulate these food supplements as food items and not as anything with health- or medicinal value.
This lack of regulation means that there is no way of knowing whether they are good or bad for you and that they can overstate their prices disproportionate to their actual effects if there are any.
What we do know is this: every other ‘vitamin content’ in these gummies is easily available and accessible elsewhere: namely, in regular food.
Eggs, for example, are a rich source of selenium as well as biotin, and so are certain nuts, spinach, and sweet potatoes. Berries and other fruits are also rich sources of antioxidants that these hair gummies should contain.
And while we’re on the subject of supplements, biotin, selenium, and normal vitamins are already included in almost every food supplement on retail so if you are already taking these supplements, taking the hair supplements is redundant.
That means they are at least pointless but did you know that too much biotin can actually cause a whole array of negative side effects? That includes skin rashes, acne, and kidney problems. In the face of those side effects, it begs the question...
Do you really need these supplements?
Experts on hair and skincare and physicians agree that the only time one needs to take special doses of these vitamins in supplement form is in the case of actual deficiencies or suffering from conditions that affect your body’s capacity to absorb certain nutrients and vitamins.
Crohn’s disease, for example, affects the digestive system and makes it difficult for the body to digest biotin in food so sufferers of these conditions must take capsules to make up for this lack.
Otherwise, there is no need to flush cash down the drain to obtain extra amounts of most of these hair supplement mineral contents.
When it comes to hair supplements, it is best to be prudent. Please don’t take the social media photos that accompany these vitamins at face value: they are highly filtered, heavily staged, and usually created with the help of professional make-up artists and hairstylists.
Put as much thought and doubt into these Instagram vitamins as you would every other item you put on your hair. Do your research and expand your knowledge of these products before trusting them.
Remember: a well-balanced diet, healthy lifestyle (i.e. not smoking), and a dose of dedicated haircare routine can do the job just as well.
You can learn more from our 14-Day Better Hair & Health Challenge. If you accept the challenge you will learn how to overhaul your diet for better hair so you don't have to rely on supplements at all. We'll also clean up your existing hair care routine and build a morning routine that sets you up for a healthy day with healthy hair.