I was on the Internet recently doing some research on vitamin supplements and how are they regulated to ensure they contain what they say they contain, and other safety and quality regulations. An interesting question popped up in my Google search results, ‘do prenatal vitamins work for hair growth?” I thought, hmmm this might be a topic worth looking in to and sharing with the KCCM community! I’ve often heard, and saw for myself when my best friend Stephanie was pregnant, that women who are expecting do have an increase in hair growth and thickness. I was under the impression that it was due to the prenatal vitamins that all pregnant women are encouraged to take. This common belief has a lot of women who are not pregnant taking prenatal vitamins in an effort to stimulate hair growth.
When we think about improving hair growth, we have to think about the hair follicle cells that are producing the hair. These cells are the root (no pun intended) of hair growth, and they benefit from the vitamins and minerals that we take in. However, the extra vitamins contained in prenatal vitamin supplements won’t make the hair grow faster unless you are truly vitamin deficient. Besides the increased amounts of iron and folic acid that are found in most prenatal vitamins, there is no significant difference in what you would find in a basic multivitamin. Additional iron and folic acid are needed during pregnancy for the fetus, but neither affect hair growth significantly. As I discovered in my research, the important thing is to make sure the company you purchase from is a reputable brand that uses an outside agency to do quality checks to verify their supplements contain the vitamins and minerals in the quantities listed on the bottle. Otherwise, you may not be getting the nutrients you think you are.
So why is it that pregnant women seem to have strong, faster growing hair than the rest of us if its not due to the prenatal vitamins they are taking? Its a result of pregnancy hormones, which cause increase blood flow to the skin – including the scalp. This increase blood flow then results in stimulating of the hair follice, which results in increase strength and hair growth. Now if they could just bottle those pregnancy hormones, I’m sure there would be naturalistas standing in line to get that supplement! Unfortunately, that effect can’t be duplicated, yet. Hopefully some hair care company is out there working on that as I type (and as you read).
Here’s the deal – prenatal vitamins can increase hair growth and strength, sorta. The truth is that they don’t help your hair grow anymore than a regular multivitamin would for a person who is vitamin deficient. Eating a healthy diet that are vitamin-rich and mineral-rich, especially fresh fruits and vegetables, often meets our body needs and will give the same results as taking a multivitamin. As you’ve probably heard before, and have definitely heard from me in previous posts here on KCCM, a healthy lifestyle including nutrient-rich foods and regular exercise are the keys to healthy hair and hair growth. Without those things as a foundation to build on, vitamin supplements will not have the lasting results to maintain healthy hair growth.