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Question:
Do any supplements help for hair loss?

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.

Also see these related CL Answers:

I am female and just purchased a saw palmetto supplement for hair loss. However, it says on the bottle that it is only for use by men. Is it really unsafe for women? Lots of sites suggest its use, but I'm fearful of trying it now. >>

What is the difference between cysteine and cystine? >>


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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

Jeanne8028   November 1, 2015
I have read about topical melatonin (sold outside US) for hair loss. Has anyone used this product with success?

This CL Answer initially posted on 11/1/2015. Last updated 8/2/2017.

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