Answer:

There is some very preliminary evidence that saw palmetto, beta-sitosterol, and pumpkin seed oil may provide a benefit for people with androgenic alopecia (male-pattern baldness). Applied topically, melatonin and certain essential oils may be helpful for other types of hair loss. For details, plus information about other supplements, as well as deficiencies that can cause hair loss, see the full answer >>

Also see the Encyclopedia article about Alopecia.

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9 Comments

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Jeanne8028
November 1, 2015

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

Terri18442
September 22, 2019

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

Robin20496
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.

Carol17150
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.

Rose20470
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 Germany...now I see it comes from Russia ...I may get some again. Let me know if you us

Patricia15526
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.

Paula15517
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.

Ann15516
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.

Lawrence15502
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.

Patricia15542
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.

ConsumerLab.com
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: https://www.consumerlab.com/reviews/_/Huperzine_A/ and this Encyclopedia article: https://www.consumerlab.com/tnp.asp?chunkiid=21761

Vivien14042
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.

ConsumerLab.com
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.

Theresa16274
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!

ConsumerLab.com
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: https://www.consumerlab.com/reviews/Review_Best_B_Vitamins_and_Complexes_Energy_B6_B12_Biotin_Niacin_Folic_Acid/bvitamins/#kummer

Barbara18255
August 25, 2019

My endocrinologist stated that Biotin supplementation can interfere with thyroid medication

ConsumerLab.com
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: https://www.consumerlab.com/reviews/Review_Best_B_Vitamins_and_Complexes_Energy_B6_B12_Biotin_Niacin_Folic_Acid/bvitamins/#kummer. Also see the CL Answer about supplement interactions with thyroid medication: https://www.consumerlab.com/answers/do-any-supplements-interfere-with-thyroid-hormones/hypothyroidism_and_supplements/.

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