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Supplements for Hair Loss -- woman looking at hairbrush


Deficiencies in nutrients such as iron and zinc can cause hair loss. Supplementing to offset these may reverse this hair loss. Vitamin D and protein deficiencies are also associated with hair loss.

There is preliminary evidence that saw palmetto, beta-sitosterol, pumpkin seed oil, and Viviscal (a formula that includes marine protein) may provide a benefit for people with androgenic alopecia (male-pattern baldness) or self-perceived hair loss (in women). Applied topically, certain essential oils may be helpful for other types of hair loss.

For details, plus information about supplements such as DHEA, selenium, and St. John's wort that may cause hair loss, see the full answer >>

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September 17, 2021

I have always had fine hair and a normal amount of it. This spring I was put on Dorzolamide /Timolol glaucoma meds. After about a month of using this eye drop, I noticed that the hair around my temples and forehead was thinning quickly. The glaucoma meds were the only thing that was different in my daily life. I googled hair loss caused by eye meds and learned that Timolol causes this in people with alopecia areata, which I have. I had doctor change my meds right away but it is still too early to tell if my hair will regrow. Hair regrowth after an episode of alopecia may take up to a year. Those taking ANY glaucoma eye meds should read about them. Good luck to my fellow hair loss sufferers.

September 17, 2021

I purchased the important ingredient of viviscal (horsetail) and took half a tab a day daily for months. I had forgotten about it because I was just adding it to my daily vitamin, not really giving it thought. After months, I began having "good hair days" without apparent reason. I then realized that the horsetail had been working and my hairline had many, many more hairs, even a return of "baby" hairs along the hairline. My receding areas were gone. Yes, horsetail returned about 10% of new growth--not a full, full head of hair--but greatly improved, unlike biotin that just made my hair grow too fast. I take B2 with it and take a month's break every so often.

June 25, 2021

So boil it down. Is there anything to al least stop hair loss in women. Sorry guys I don't care about male pattern baldness. I do have autoimmune disease. I used to have a lot of hair and now it is getting very thin. Help I can't stand it. I know there are worse things, but for someone who use to get complements on her hair and now have it wash away.......

September 10, 2021

I too have an autoimmune disease, am 64 and was diagnosed with telogen effluvium following a particularly stressful year. I used to have very thick hair and was alarmed at the rate I began losing hair. The dermatologist I saw suggested the Viviscal which I began taking. It took about 3-4 months before I began seeing a benefit and then my hair really did come back to about 90% of what it was prior to the loss. I wondered if perhaps it was a placebo effect or if my hair would have started to return anyway over time. Within a couple of months of stopping the Viviscal, I again began losing my hair. I restarted it and again had the same results of improved hair growth. I decreased to a maintenance dose of one tab daily (after I took the twice daily dosing for about a year) and my hair growth is the same for the last year. I'll stay on it as it worked for me.

December 27, 2020

If I take two capsules of Viviscal daily as directed, that amounts to 20 mgs of iron a day. More than 100% of daily requirement. Should I be concerned?
December 30, 2020

As long as you are not getting more than 25 mg of iron from other sources, the 20 mg would not put you over the upper tolerable intake level (UL) for iron, which is 45 mg for adults. This UL is the maximum amount of iron that you can safely take per day without risk of an overdose or serious side effects. Taking a supplement providing 20 mg of iron per day in addition to dietary intake of iron (which averages 10 to 20 mg daily) would not put you over this limit. You can see the RDA and UL for iron by age and gender here:

December 10, 2020

I just started using it. I have a fairly large spot on the back of my head. I tried the OTC pharmaceuticals, they caused irritation and redness. I read the observational results here and decided to give it a try. To my great surprise, I felt the growth before I could see it. Now it's visible. Both my wife and I are amazed. Whoda thunk!

April 2, 2021

That's great! How has it been progressing? How long did it take to see the results?

September 22, 2019

Has anyone tried Visiscal hair growth supplement? I don’t believe Consumer Lab has tested them.

August 2, 2020

I've used it for 6 years. It made enough of a difference in the first year, that I hesitate to stop using it now. I have been losing more hair over the last year or so, but I think it might have been more if not for Viviscal. I'm in my early 70s and my somewhat younger sister, who doesn't use a hair-growth supplement, has thinner hair than I do. BTW, I started using Viviscal because there was a reference to it in a 2014 article in the NY Times that referred to testing done on Viviscal with positive results.

November 25, 2020

yes I have been using it for a few years. and it does work-for me anyway. I believe there are many factors other than just taking a supplement that help hair growth, like the other supplements/vitamins/ diet choices. But, Vivescal has helped me after I had hair loss due to medication/combined with perimenopause. I am guessing I got about 30% back- hair is still thinner, but loss stopped and some growth occurred.

September 5, 2018

I've had some stress filled years (job, eldercare, loss and a fall). I suffered with constant bouts of hair loss and needed help in keeping my strength up. Over the past couple years I've added collagen and bone broth in an effort to rebuild cartilage along with making me stronger in general. A hip transplant was out due to Illius when using anesthesia. My hair loss has almost completely stopped and I am feeling stronger. The hip will take time, but thank you for your research on best brands of bone broth. The old ways really are better.
UPDATE: 5.24.20
Some time has passed since my last post and I thought I might update my progress with hair loss, general body strengthening and replacing lost cartilage in a hip joint due to a fall. I am still taking Great Lakes collagen each morning with my normal vitamins. I am also making soup or a slow cooker dish using bone broth each week. Recipes usually make a few days meals, so I freeze meal sized portions. While I am still walking with a cane, I feel continued improvement and am starting to do steps using alternate lags more often. Progress is being made in general strengthening and my "new" hair" is so nice! I see continued improvement in all ways.

July 29, 2020

HI! I appreciate your comments. I am curious if you are using any specific supplements for the hair oth than the broth and collagen? I have been using collagen for 2 months. My hair is thinning in the front. Are you using anything in particular? I used Pantogar in the past and it works after about the 3rd month. You see results. I used pantograph from I see it comes from Russia ...I may get some again. Let me know if you us

September 13, 2017

I asked a Dermatologist for suggestions on what works to slow hair loss 4 years ago. She suggested 5,000 mgs. of Biotin daily. So my son I have been taking Natrol Biotin 5,000 mg. daily for 4 years and it did nothing to alleviate continued hair loss for both of us. But it
did greatly strengthen our nails.

September 13, 2017

I found that Biotin absolutely helps with hair loss. I noticed that I need to take 10mg daily. 5mg is not enough. taking 5mg has no affect on my hair.

September 13, 2017

I tried supplementing with zinc for thinning hair. Initially (1st month or 2) my hair stopped shedding. But as I continued supplementing every day (not sure of dosage) my hair began falling out more than before. After researching more deeply into zinc for hair loss I learned that both inadequate and excess amounts in your system cause hair to fall out. So I stopped supplementing with it daily and only take one every now and then.

September 13, 2017

Are you aware of any studies for long term hair loss due to cancer therapy? My wife had cancer 13 years ago with chemo therapy; of course she lost her hair but it grew back albeit thinner. She then had a second incident three years ago with radiation therapy. Over time, her hair keeps getting thinner. She fears losing it all within several years.

September 16, 2017

I too did chemo and radiation and my hair is slowly growing back, but much thinner. Coconut oil only on my scalp did help with the itching I had as the hair was beginning to grow. It is now about two inches long. No I am trying a mixture of half caster oil and coconut oil and a little of vitamin E as a preservative to my scalp at night. I just started it so I am not sure if it is working. Too soon to tell!

Susan 15426
August 21, 2017

I've found three things that contribute to loss of hair:

1. Not eating enough protein.
2. Huperzine, which is used for memory. Anything over 50 mcg daily isn't good. But, it removed hair from my head and the hair didn't grow back.
3. Rx prescription for over-active Thyroid: Tapazole (Metamizole). Hair gone; but, not bald.
August 22, 2017

Hi Susan - Thank you for sharing your experience with this. You can find more information about Huperzine A in the Huperzine A Supplements Review:

May 19, 2017

I had 3 surgeries within a 2 week period and my hair which use to be very thick began to fall out and became thin. I researched online as to what I could use for that problem and Biotin supplements were suggested. I took one every day and after 3 months noticed how much thicker my hair was getting. It did nothing for my nails however or my skin but I was very pleased with what it did for my hair. I also used a biotin shampoo during that time then stopped using it when my hair became thicker. Maybe this will help someone else with thinning hair after surgery.
May 25, 2017

Hi Vivien - We aren't aware of any clinical studies showing improvement with shampoos containing biotin, but thank you for sharing your experience with this.

December 14, 2017

I was just wondering what dosage Vivien used (mcg/day) to get such good results for her thinning hair. Others here have noted that 10,000mcg/day worked for them when 5000 mcg/day did not. Thanks!
December 19, 2017

Hi Theresa - Please be aware that high doses of biotin can interfere with a number of laboratory tests. You can learn more about this in the "Biotin" section of the B Vitamin Supplements Review:

August 25, 2019

My endocrinologist stated that Biotin supplementation can interfere with thyroid medication
August 26, 2019

Hi Barbara - As noted above, high doses of biotin can interfere with thyroid laboratory tests. You can find more information about this in the B Vitamins Review: Also see the CL Answer about supplement interactions with thyroid medication:

November 1, 2015

I have read about topical melatonin (sold outside US) for hair loss. Has anyone used this product with success?

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