Wednesday, December 19, 2012

My History with Hair Supplements

I’ve received many questions regarding the vitamins I currently take (GNC Ultra Nourish-Hair and One-A-Day Womens) so I figured I’d do a quick run-down on what vitamins I’ve taken over the past three years.

Listed in order:
Biotin
Many woman experience acne when taking biotin but luckily, I didn't. I started at a small dose (1 mg) and gradually increased. I eventually started taking b-complex, which also helps minimize the risk of breakouts when taking biotin. Biotin is widely referred to the "hair growth vitamin" on hair forums because it is necessary for cell growth and generates the production of fatty acids. Biotin has definitely helped my hair growth. My eyelashes grew longer and my nails faster and stronger.

Country Life Maxi-Hair
Maxi-Hair and I started off on the right foot but after many months of use it started upsetting my stomach whenever I took it so I eventually stopped taking it.

Nioxin Intensive Therapy Recharging Complex
Nioxin has been the best supplement I’ve taken so far. I got the best growth with them, didn’t experience breakouts or upset stomach. I did monthly check-ins while I was taking Nioxin that you can read: month 1 / month 2 / month 3 - this month includes pictures of new growth.

I eventually stopped taking Nioxin because my BF was very concerned that all the pills in every bottle I had purchased were cracked. I did not experience any adverse effects from taking them, but he argued that cracked pills are most likely old. A few women on the hair boards raised the point that the cracked pills probably did not pass quality inspections and were given to other vendors to sell and listed on Amazon.com (where I purchased all my Nioxin pills from).

These Nioxin supplements were eventually pulled off store shelves as well as from online vendors. At first Nioxin claimed they were reformulating the supplements but weeks ago I read on their Facebook page that the supplements have been scratched completely.

GNC Hair, Skin, & Nails Forumla
These went the same route as Country Life Maxi-Hair. Things started off well. My eyelashes, eyebrows, and body hair grew in faster and my nails stopped chipping but over time, these supplements made me queasy every time I took them. I eventually couldn't take it anymore and ditched them.

Nature’s Bounty Hair, Skin & Nails
This hair supplement was the absolute worse for my skin. Break out city. I have oily, acne prone skin and my problem areas are my cheeks. I never really break out at my temples but while taking these supplements, large painful pimples broke out all over my temples. I didn't pick at or pop them but they still scarred. I want to say the 3mg of biotin is what caused me to break out, but I've taken biotin in the past but the difference was I started out with smaller doses and gradually worked my way up; I didn't do that here. Who knows. I increased my water intake and even started taking b-12 complex again to lessen the break outs but my skin still kept going crazy.  I gave up halfway through the bottle and will never take these supplements ever again.


Currently taking GNC Ultra Nourish-Hair
I have acne-prone skin but haven't experienced an increase in breakouts since I began these supplements about 3 months ago. They're also gentle on the stomach; they haven't (yet and hopefully will not) made me queasy or upset my stomach. Because I've also been using Hair Trigger over the last 10 or so weeks, I can't say for sure that my growth is attributable solely to these supplements. I can say that my eyelashes, eyebrows and body hair have definitely grown faster and thicker while taking these.

GNC is also really great at offering a good sale for these supplements. When I first bought them, I got them for $5 with free shipping and just this week, GNC offered them for 5 for $35 with free shipping so I jumped on the opportunity to restock.


I don't think hair supplements are absolutely necessary if you're eating, healthy balanced meals full of the nutrients our body needs for healthy hair growth like vitamin D, biotin, vitamin C. Check out this article on WebMD on top 10 foods for healthy hair. I think the individuals who will reap the most benefits from taking supplements are those that aren't getting the necessary daily levels of essential nutrients and vitamins. I'm in that boat because I don't eat as well as I can and should, but my juicer and fridge full of veggies and fruits are working on that!

So there you have it, my history and experiences with supplements. What supplements have you tried, loved, or hated?

24 comments:

  1. I also use GNC Ultranourish hair and it hasn't given me any problems so far. I think it also helped me reduce shedding too.

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  2. i heard about hairfinity,never tried any supplement though.

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  3. I have taken biotin off and on (I am terrible at remembering to take pills) and I have seen good results while taking it. I think I should revisit biotin and set an alarm or something so I remember to take it.

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  4. Andrew Lessman Hair Skin & Nails supplement is my hair savior, my heart, my hair everything!

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  5. I'm taking hair formula 37, it's only the second month and I haven't flat ironed for a while so it's hard to say if there's a difference or not. I saw this video on yt yesterday http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ip1X3WOcILw It's Priceless love who was getting 1 to 1.5 inches of growth per month! She takes quite a few supplements. I think its MSM, biotin, silica (or was it sulfur) and a multi vitamin. It's quite a feat to remember to take them every day but probably well worth it for an inch of hair a month right?

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  6. I take Natures Bounty and had to work my way up to taking them. They say take them 3 times a day so I started off with 1 every other day, then 1 everyday. Now I take them twice a day only because I usually forget to take one in the middle of the day.

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  7. I've only used GNC products. I started with Healthy Skin & Nails but that felt like it was making me break out constantly. I switched over to Ultra Nourish Hair and love it. My hair has gotten thicker and looks much healthier. I can't say they alone are doing it because I'm also taking a multivitamin and have been more diligent about taking care of my hair but I know it's helped out cause my diet is all over the place.

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  8. I started with biotin and it gave me hard painful bumps, then I got hair skin and nails (can't recall which brand). Currently taking fish oil and biotin. In my opinion biotin doesn't make my hair longer but stronger shrug* I take biotin on a FULL stomach. Otherwise I'm not having it.

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  9. Google "Bargello's vitamin regimen" and you will find a FANTASTIC listing of vitamins. I followed this regimen for about 9 months, albeit with some slight modifications (no Silica for me and I never used flaxseed only fish oil). I made sure to always use MSM, a multivitamin, hair/skin/nails vitamin, evening primrose, fish oil, and biotin. Also high amounts of protein, for me it was in the form of chicken chicken and more chicken thanks to the menu's at my dorm cafeteria. I saw great results, probably because I used the vitamins consistently for a long period of time. Even my hair stylist took notice of the improved health of my hair. It definitely says something when even your stylist notices a boost in your hair health.

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    1. Yep that's when I knew I had the right routine and regimen going. My stylist first noticed some thickness and then at the next relaxer she was happy to see it growing and looking better overall. She went natural about the same time I got serious and it's been interesting and fun for both of us.

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  10. I'm taking Biotin from Trader Joe's. I do notice that my hair is thicker and (maybe my imagination) growing quicker. Problem is I'm concerned that my peach fuzz on my face is also getting thicker/darker. Maybe after the bottle of Biotin is done, I'll be done. Love the hair tips on this site. This has saved me after a bad haircut last year. Thanks Jeni.

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  11. Hello! Has anyone tried Natrol Biotin 10000 mcg? I've been taking it but I seem to break out. I started out taking a pill a day then I reduced it to every other day. The break out has reduced but not gone completely. I switched from spring valley biotin to Natrol because I noticed it making me put on weight.

    So is there any hair vitamin out there that does cause weight gain, break out and very effective in hair growth? Pls let me know. Thanks!

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  12. after years of neglect,my hair became rather patchy in places and stopped growing in front. a health food store assistant recommended a product called 'superior hair'.at first i was sceptical, but it worked wonders for my hair.no more patches and hair grew back thicker.a bottle of 90 capsules for a months supply,it contains biotin,msm along with several herbs and minerals.for best results you do need to take it for between 3 to 6 months.a little pricey,but you wont need to combine it with other hair loss pills.excellent product. http://www.victoriahealth.com/product/Superior-Hair/2423/0/

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  13. Hairfinity is the worst pleas don't waste your money on it. I experienced now growth what so ever and it broke me out all over my body. Try hair revive or the gnc

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  14. Have you tried Hair Formula 37?

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  15. I used Hair Obsession vitamins I only take two daily capsules, I been taken them April 2012 and still take them . They work my hair has gotten back healthy and stronger and yes longer . The are all natural you can find them on amazon.com or www.hairobsessionstore.net. You will get result of fast hair growth. I found out the hard way, ladies you have to drink water and there website explain that .

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  16. Ive been taking 2400 mcg biotin daily for the last 3 weeks - spilt into 2 intakes of 1200 mcg with decent results (dont want to say it too early but I think I see some new growth). Ive recently up it to 3000mcg yesterday (1200 + 1800 mcg) and so far only once today at 1800 mcg but WOoooAh...Ive a new big red pimple on my cheek now. Other than that, Im also experiencing some brain-fog within 2 hours of taking the 1800 mcg dosage, so I think I will revert to my old regime. When I first started on biotin, I do get the occassional headache, brain-fog and tiny pimples but its manageable. Cystic pimples -- yikes no way!

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  17. Try Functionalab hair, skin and nails. You can get it on beautybay.com Thank you for your blog.

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  18. do you need to continue using these pills after you gained the results you wanted like a head full of thick hair or can you just stop using them and the results remain the same with ofcourse a good diet?

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  19. I haven't tried those brands, but I did try a brand called Nourage (the one Kyle Richards from Real Housewives uses) and they make really good hair supplements with keratin and they work really well. I am always interested to hear about all of the brands though, so thank you for this info!

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  20. I swear by Futurebiotics with L-cysteine, MSM and biotin supplements.

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  21. Im taking Biotin 10,000mcg the 1 a day pill and its absolutely AMAZING!!! I also do hot oil treatments every two weeks with olive oil and coconut oil! I use a protein treatment, simply by adding an egg to my conditioner. I have been doing this for two months and Ive seen results...ALOT OF NEW GROWTH!!!

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