Will vitamin supplements make my hair grow? Episode 224

Welcome to the Beauty Brains, a show where real cosmetic chemists answer your beauty product questions and give you an insider’s look at the cosmetic industry.

Hosts: Perry Romanowski.

On today’s show we’re going to answer questions about…

  • Whether beauty supplements can make hair & skin look better
  • What exactly is skin pH
  • And whether you have to mix products exactly to get them to work?

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Beauty Questions

Question 1 – Clare –  I want to grow my hair longer – it’s taking too long – Vita gummy hair growth products – Do they work?  or are they a load of rubbish?

There are a number of compounds popularly believed to affect hair growth. These include Protein, Vitamin C, Biotin, Vitamin B12, Zinc, Niacin, Essential fatty acids, iron, Copper, Selenium, Vitamin A and Vitamin D. I mention these because these were the ones mentioned in a review paper. The paper also says that there is no evidence that any of these will affect the hair growth of anyone who is not malnourished. So, unless you have a eating disorder, you are not going to see any benefit from using a supplement to grown hair.  The paper specifically calls out that Biotin has not been shown to increase hair growth in people who are healthy.

Question 2 – Danielle – Halo beauty supplements – Hair skin and nails formula – Before and after pictures 

Before and after pictures are never a good measure of whether a product works. First, they are easy to trick (photoshop anyone). But the pictures on the website are not even that complicated. Most of them are just different lighting. 

The other thing that before and after don’t tell you is the idea of if you did nothing. That is, if you had no treatment what would your skin look like?   When you are evaluating any treatment remember there are three things that can happen.

  1. The condition gets better
  2. The condition gets worse
  3. The condition doesn’t change

Now, these three things can all happen if you do nothing too. So you need more evidence than just before and after pictures.

If you add to this the fact that supplements are a practically unregulated industry and you really have no way of knowing what you are buying, I don’t recommend them. 

Unless you’re malnourished, or your doctor recommends it, I would suggest you avoid any dietary supplements, even ones publicized by social media influencers. 

Question 3 – Tinks – Skin doesn’t have a pH. – Does skin have a pH? What are they matching? Where are they getting that it does have a pH?

You are actually measuring the pH of the material that is on the skin, not the skin itself.

Question 4Christina – Some serums require mixing 2 products before use. Unfortunately,  you don’t always mix it perfectly. Will it still work if you don’t mix exactly the right ratios? (Niod peptide)


Yes, it will still work. Which isn’t saying that it will work much.

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