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12 Best Vitamins for Hair Growth

Knox Beasley, MD

Reviewed by Knox Beasley, MD

Written by Geoffrey C. Whittaker

Published 09/17/2017

Updated 04/04/2024

Are you noticing thinning, a receding hairline, breakage or slower-than-normal hair regrowth lately? You might be wondering whether hair growth supplements can solve the problem — and if so, what the best vitamins for hair growth are.

Your hair needs not only vitamins but also minerals and macronutrients to make strong follicles.

Below, we’ll list the most critical things to put in your body (including what to eat and supplements you can take) to encourage healthy hair growth. We’ll also share other ways to stimulate optimal hair growth, prevent hair loss and maintain a nice head of hair in your 30s, 40s, 50s and beyond.

Just like vitamins that strengthen your immune system and give you healthier skin, regular consumption of certain hair vitamins may have a positive impact on the shininess of your strands, scalp coverage and overall hair health.

If you’ve noticed your hair starting to thin, become weaker or split apart toward the ends, it could be due to insufficient vitamin consumption.

Eating nutritious foods rich in these vitamins is vital to keeping your hair strong, thick and healthy. And if you aren’t getting enough through food, a supplement might help.

Hair Vitamins and Male Pattern Baldness

Vitamin and mineral deficiencies don’t directly cause male pattern baldness (aka androgenetic alopecia). But they can play a role in other types of hair loss, such as telogen effluvium.

And although the main causes of male pattern baldness are genetic and hormonal, factors such as the foods you eat and your lifestyle can have a significant impact on the health, appearance and thickness of your hair.

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Even without hair loss supplements, most vitamin or nutritional deficiencies that affect your hair can be fixed with some simple nutritional and lifestyle changes.

These pro-hair habits may also help treat the symptoms of other types of hair loss. As you get older, it’s normal to notice the early signs of hair loss, from a bald patch at the crown of your scalp to a receding hairline.

Some vitamin deficiencies may also cause your hair to gradually become brittle, increasing your risk of broken hairs while brushing, combing or styling.

What Are the Best Hair-Growth Supplements?

Like your skin and nails, each of the approximately 100,000 follicles on your scalp requires vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients to grow effectively.

So, what vitamins are good for hair loss? What are the vitamins needed for hair growth? It depends.

While everyone needs the same micronutrients to support hair growth, the best vitamins for you specifically will depend on medical conditions you may have (such as autoimmune conditions) and the nutritional causes of hair loss you’re trying to treat.

The best vitamins, minerals and nutrients for hair growth include:

  • Vitamin A

  • Vitamin B12

  • Folic acid

  • Vitamin C

  • Vitamin D

  • Vitamin E

  • Biotin

  • Zinc

  • Iron

  • Protein

  • Keratin

To prevent your hair from falling out, becoming overly brittle or failing to grow to its full potential, try to consume more of these.

1. Vitamin A

Vitamin A is essential for optimal immune function, vision and cellular growth. It’s also a critical vitamin for the function and maintenance of internal organs, including your heart, lungs and kidneys.

Because of its role in cellular growth, getting enough vitamin A is essential for the growth of your hair, skin and nails.

Vitamin A for hair is one of the most important and controversial vitamins for hair health. The reason for the controversy is that although healthy amounts can stimulate hair growth, large doses of vitamin A may cause scalp oil issues that could result in hair shedding.

This means balance is key with vitamin A — you’ll want to consume enough to get all the hair-growth benefits without overdoing it and causing thinning.

The recommended dietary allowance of vitamin A is 900 micrograms (mcg) a day for men and 700 micrograms for women.

That said, vitamin A deficiency is very uncommon in developed countries. So there’s usually no need to supplement vitamin A if you haven’t noticed any signs of a potential deficiency.

2. Vitamin B12

One of eight B-complex vitamins, vitamin B12 is found naturally in some types of fish, red meat and fortified foods. It plays a key role in central nervous system function, DNA synthesis and numerous enzymatic reactions within your body.

Research has found that vitamin B12 is likely involved in many hair follicle functions and that deficiencies of vitamin B12 are often associated with hair loss.

Vitamin B12 deficiencies are quite common, especially in older adults. In the U.S., as many as 43 percent of older adults have vitamin B12 deficiency.

Symptoms of insufficient vitamin B12 can include fatigue, palpitations, pale skin, numbness, weight loss, infertility, dementia and megaloblastic anemia (when the body produces large, abnormal red blood cells).

Since some of these symptoms can be severe, it’s important to talk to your doctor if you think you might have vitamin B12 deficiency.

Unlike most vitamins — which are quickly processed by the liver and excreted after consumption — your body can store excess vitamin B12 in your liver to use when it needs it.

This makes it easy to boost your vitamin B12 levels with a supplement or by eating foods rich in natural vitamin B12.

3. Folic Acid

Folic acid is a synthetic form of folate, a B vitamin found naturally in many foods. If you eat lots of dark leafy greens (like broccoli, spinach and asparagus), beans, nuts, seeds and whole grains, you’re likely getting enough folate.

Most adults need about 400 micrograms of folate daily, but many can tolerate up to 1,000 micrograms. If you’re not getting enough, you might notice changes in the health of your skin, hair or nails.

By supplementing with folic acid or eating more folate-rich foods, you might be able to turn things around.

4. Vitamin C

While you might not think of it as an essential vitamin for hair health, vitamin C plays a key role in scalp health and hair growth.

Your body uses vitamin C for many critical functions. This includes making certain neurotransmitters needed for mental function, creating collagen and supporting protein metabolization, which is necessary for healthy skin and muscles.

Getting the recommended daily intake of vitamin C is fairly easy, as it’s one of the most abundant vitamins found in foods.

Fresh fruits — including oranges, grapefruit, cantaloupe, tomatoes, strawberries and kiwi — are natural sources of vitamin C. Lots of vegetables — like red pepper, green pepper, broccoli and brussels sprouts — are also rich in vitamin C.

If you find it difficult to eat more fruits and vegetables, you can increase your vitamin C intake by taking a multivitamin supplement.

5. Vitamin D

Vitamin D (or calciferol) is essential for healthy bone growth, muscle function and calcium absorption.

Most people know vitamin D as the "sun vitamin," as it’s a byproduct of cholecalciferol synthesis, which happens when your skin is exposed to sunlight. It also occurs naturally in a few foods, including fatty fish, beef liver, cheese and egg yolks.

Vitamin D deficiency is one of several causes of telogen effluvium, a stress-related hair loss that can cause you to rapidly shed hair. With this condition, up to half of your anagen hairs (hair follicles currently in active hair growth) may fall out over the course of several months.

The Office of Dietary Supplements recommends getting 15 micrograms of vitamin D a day. Research suggests that low vitamin D levels may also play a role in other common forms of hair shedding, like alopecia areata and the hair-pulling disorder trichotillomania.

If you don’t get very much sun exposure and have noticed sudden, unusual hair shedding, low vitamin D levels could be the culprit.

Luckily, there are several potential ways to solve this problem. The first option, which is more of a temporary fix than a permanent solution, is to use a vitamin D3 supplement.

A better long-term approach is to get a little more sunlight exposure. An easy way to do this is to spend five to 30 minutes a day outside, preferably in an environment with moderate amounts of natural sunlight.

Remember not to overdo it, as excessive sun exposure can damage your skin and contribute to premature aging and an increased risk of skin cancer.

6. Vitamin E

Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps build and repair body tissue. Research suggests that some of the antioxidant compounds in vitamin E may play key roles in the process of growing and maintaining healthy hair.

For example, a 2010 study published in the journal Tropical Life Sciences Research found that supplementing with tocotrienols (chemicals found in vitamin E sources) contributed to increased hair growth in men and women with hair loss.

There are several ways to give your hairline a boost with vitamin E. The first is to eat more foods rich in vitamin E, such as spinach, broccoli, avocados, almonds, peanuts and sunflower seeds.

Another good option is to take a vitamin E supplement, either on its own in capsule form or from a multivitamin.

7. Biotin

Biotin (vitamin B7) supports healthy hair growth. Studies have found that 38 percent of those with hair loss issues have biotin deficiencies.

Most people get enough biotin from food. Common foods such as meat, fish, eggs, broccoli, spinach, sweet potatoes, seeds and many nuts are rich in vitamin B7.

Although biotin deficiency can result in hair shedding, this B vitamin doesn’t have any role in hormonal forms of hair loss, such as androgenetic alopecia.

Some research has found that biotin may stimulate more rapid hair growth and promote thicker, healthier hair. In one study published in the Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, researchers found that taking a biotin supplement for 180 days resulted in a reduction in hair loss and an increase in terminal hairs (long, thick hairs that grow from the scalp).

Some small studies have also found that biotin may improve nail thickness and hardness.

If you think you might be deficient, the best course of action is to talk to your healthcare provider. A biotin deficiency is easy to detect with a quick blood test, and if your levels are low, your provider can give you advice on getting them back up.

You boost your biotin consumption quickly and easily with our biotin gummies, which contain biotin and a range of other essential vitamins for hair, skin and nail health.

Read our blog to learn more about the connection between vitamin deficiencies and hair loss.

8. Iron

Iron plays an essential role in many internal bodily functions, including producing hemoglobin — a protein in red blood cells that transports oxygen from the lungs to organs and tissues.

Low levels of iron can result in iron deficiency anemia. This means your body doesn’t have enough functional red blood cells to transport oxygen.

Iron deficiency anemia can cause a range of symptoms, including dizziness, heart palpitations and physical weakness. There’s also a link between iron deficiency anemia and hair shedding.

Although the precise link between low iron intake and hair loss isn’t completely understood, you’re wise to try to get enough of it.

Increase your dietary iron intake by prioritizing iron-rich foods, such as oysters, beans, beef liver, lentils, tofu, spinach and fortified cereals. You can also add an iron supplement or iron-rich multivitamin to your daily routine.

9. Zinc

Zinc is an essential mineral found in many seafoods and meats, including oysters, crab, beef, lobster, pork and chicken. You can also get it from certain types of beans, seeds and fortified cereals.

Although zinc isn’t directly involved in male pattern hair loss, zinc deficiency is associated with temporary hair shedding. This type of shedding generally reverses when the person’s zinc intake returns to normal.

In addition to eating zinc-rich foods, you can get more of the mineral by taking a supplement. Just make sure to check the label for elemental zinc — the form that’s absorbed and used by your body.

10. Protein

Dietary proteins are the building blocks of your muscles, organs and every cell in your body. As such, it’s crucial to get protein to ensure your body can produce new cells and maintain existing ones.

Protein also helps keep your hair healthy. If you don’t eat enough of it, you might have a higher risk of developing a hair-shedding disorder like telogen effluvium.

While there’s no one-size-fits-all amount to consume, try to get 10 to 35 percent of your daily calories from a protein source.

You can do this by eating plenty of poultry, fish or lean red meat, along with eggs, lentils, beans, tofu, nuts, seeds and low-fat dairy products.

You can also use a protein supplement, like our collagen protein powder, which is formulated for healthy skin and muscle recovery.

11. Keratin

Keratin is a vital protein that forms cells both inside and outside your body, including within your hair, nails and skin.

Your body produces most of the keratin it needs. However, using a keratin supplement to increase your intake may help with healthy hair growth while preventing some forms of hair loss.

A study published in the Scientific World Journal found that women who used a supplement containing keratin (as well as other vitamins and minerals) for 90 days had improvements in hair and nail growth.

However, there’s currently no scientific evidence to suggest that keratin deficiency is involved in permanent forms of hair loss, such as male pattern baldness.

12. Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are found naturally in some foods. This includes flaxseed oil, walnuts and chia seeds, as well as fatty fish, like salmon, herring, mackerel and sardines.

The relationship between omega-3 fatty acids and hair isn’t totally clear. But supplementing with these nutrients for six months or more has been shown to boost hair density and reduce the number of hairs in the telogen (dormant) phase of the hair growth cycle.

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Though vitamins play a key role in promoting healthy hair growth, they’re not the only options available for growing thick and healthy hair. And as noted, increasing your vitamin intake isn’t necessarily an effective way to treat male pattern baldness.

If you’re starting to develop a receding hairline, a bald spot around your crown, diffuse thinning or other signs of pattern hair loss, take action as soon as you can.

Acting quickly can help reduce the severity of hair loss and (in some cases) regrow hair you’ve lost around your hairline and crown.

Here’s a rundown of your options for preventing hair loss and stimulating healthy hair growth — from daily habits for thicker, healthier hair to hair loss medications approved by the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration).

Hair Loss Medications

Currently, the most effective way to prevent, slow down and reverse male pattern baldness is by using medication, such as finasteride and minoxidil.

  • Finasteride. Finasteride is an oral prescription medication. It prevents your body from converting testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT), the hormone responsible for damaging hair follicles and causing male pattern baldness.

  • Minoxidil. Minoxidil is a topical medication you can get over the counter (without a prescription). It doesn’t block DHT and instead stimulates hair growth by increasing blood flow to the scalp and moving hairs into the anagen (growth) phase of the hair growth cycle.

While finasteride and minoxidil are both effective on their own, they work particularly well when used together.

In a study published in the journal Dermatologic Therapy, more than 94 percent of men with visible hair loss showed improvements after using minoxidil and finasteride for 12 months.

In comparison, just 59 percent of guys who used minoxidil on its own and roughly 80 percent who used only finasteride showed improvements.

We offer finasteride online, following a consultation with a licensed healthcare provider who’ll determine if a prescription is appropriate. We also have minoxidil liquid and minoxidil foam. You can get both finasteride and minoxidil in our Hair Power Pack and combination spray.

Habits for Healthier, Stronger Hair

While hair loss medications like minoxidil and finasteride are the best options for preventing hair loss from male pattern baldness, a few changes to your haircare habits can also make a big difference.

Try the following habits and lifestyle changes to promote growth and improve hair strength:

  • Use a hair-loss prevention shampoo. Look for a shampoo containing saw palmetto or ketoconazole — ingredients that may help limit hair loss and stimulate hair growth. Our hair thickening shampoo calls on saw palmetto to target DHT buildup on the scalp and promote healthier, fuller hair. We also carry volumizing shampoo and conditioner.

  • Avoid tight hairstyles or “strong hold” styling products. Though these don’t cause male pattern baldness, they can pull on the roots of your hair and contribute to a form of hair loss called traction alopecia.

  • Eat balanced meals. Many foods are rich in vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that promote thicker hair growth. Our guide to the best foods for hair growth goes over what to eat for a full, healthy mane.

If you smoke, make an effort to quit. As discussed in our guide to smoking and hair loss, smoking can reduce blood flow to your hair follicles, potentially affecting hair growth.

Hair loss treatments, delivered

Vitamins are essential for just about every aspect of your health, from cellular metabolism and immune protection to maintenance of your skin, hair and nails.

Here’s a recap of what we covered:

  • The best vitamins, minerals and nutrients for hair growth include vitamin A, vitamin B12, folic acid, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, biotin, zinc, iron, protein, keratin and omega-3 fatty acids.

  • For healthy hair growth, try to eat balanced meals and healthy snacks with various foods rich in the vitamins and minerals listed above.

  • If you’re starting to lose your hair, act quickly to prevent it from worsening with lifestyle changes, medication or both.

Our range of hair loss treatment products includes FDA-approved medications, shampoos and hair supplements formulated to prevent shedding and promote sustainable hair growth.

Worried about losing your hair? Take part in an online consultation for treating hair loss, or learn more about your options in our detailed guide to the best treatments for thinning hair.

17 Sources

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  2. Almohanna, H.M., Ahmed, A.A., Tsatalis, J.P. & Tosti, A. (2019, March). The Role of Vitamins and Minerals in Hair Loss: A Review. Dermatology and Therapy. 9 (1), 51–70. Retrieved from
  3. Vitamin A. (2021, March 26). Retrieved from
  4. Vitamin B12. (2021, April 6). Retrieved from
  5. Boyera, N., Galey, I. & Bernard, B.A. (1998, June). Effect of vitamin C and its derivatives on collagen synthesis and cross-linking by normal human fibroblasts. International Journal of Cosmetic Science. 20 (3). 151-8. Retrieved from
  6. Karna, E., Szoka, L., Huynh, T.Y. & Palka, J.A. (2020). Proline-dependent regulation of collagen metabolism. Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences. 77 (10), 1911–1918. Retrieved from
  7. Vitamin C. (2021, March 26). Retrieved from
  8. Khan, Q.J. & Fabian, C.J. (2010, March). How I Treat Vitamin D Deficiency. Journal of Oncology Practice. 6 (2), 97–101. Retrieved from
  9. Vitamin D. (2021, March 26). Retrieved from
  10. Vitamin E. (2021, March 26). Retrieved from
  11. Beoy, L.A., Woei, W.J. & Hay, Y.K. (2010, December). Effects of Tocotrienol Supplementation on Hair Growth in Human Volunteers. Tropical Life Sciences Research. 21 (2), 91–99. Retrieved from
  12. Trüeb, R.M. (2016, April-June). Serum Biotin Levels in Women Complaining of Hair Loss. International Journal of Trichology. 8 (2), 73–77. Retrieved from
  13. Biotin. (2021, January 15). Retrieved from
  14. Ablon, G. (2015). A 3-Month, Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study Evaluating the Ability of an Extra-Strength Marine Protein Supplement to Promote Hair Growth and Decrease Shedding in Women with Self-Perceived Thinning Hair. Dermatology Research and Practice. 841570. Retrieved from
  15. Badri, T., Nessel, T.A. & Kumar, D.D. (2021, April 13). Minoxidil. StatPearls. Retrieved from
  16. Zito, P.M., Bistas, K.G. & Syed, K. (2021, March 27). Finasteride. StatPearls. Retrieved from
  17. Le Floc'h, C., Cheniti, A., Connétable, S., Piccardi, N., Vincenzi, C., & Tosti, A. (2015). Effect of a nutritional supplement on hair loss in women. Journal of cosmetic dermatology, 14(1), 76–82. Retrieved from
Editorial Standards

Hims & Hers has strict sourcing guidelines to ensure our content is accurate and current. We rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We strive to use primary sources and refrain from using tertiary references. See a mistake? Let us know at [email protected]!

This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment. Learn more about our editorial standards here.

Knox Beasley, MD

Dr. Knox Beasley is a board certified dermatologist specializing in hair loss. He completed his undergraduate studies at the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY, and subsequently attended medical school at Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans, LA. 

Dr. Beasley first began doing telemedicine during his dermatology residency in 2013 with the military, helping to diagnose dermatologic conditions in soldiers all over the world. 

Dr. Beasley is board certified by the American Board of Dermatology, and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Originally from Nashville, TN, Dr. Beasley currently lives in North Carolina and enjoys spending time outdoors (with sunscreen of course) with his wife and two children in his spare time. 





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