You’ve heard the stories and seen the evidence. You may have even experienced it yourself during pregnancy. Pregnant women usually have the most beautiful, shiny, luxurious head of hair. Many people attribute this amazing phenomenon to the multivitamins that most women take when they’re pregnant. They believe that there must be some vitamin or mineral combination in these supplements that makes the hair healthier. They wonder if prenatal vitamins for hair growth are the secret.
Keep reading to find out the truth.
Prenatal vitamins for hair growth?
Do prenatal vitamins for hair growth really work? Do they live up to the hype and stories about quick, thick and beautiful hair? Or is something else going on here?
Let’s start by discussing what hair is. It’s important to understand that hair itself is not living tissue. Just like your fingernails, hair is made mostly of keratin. Keratin is a protein that also makes up the hooves of some animals like horses and cattle. It has no blood circulation or nerves to revitalize it.
Once the hair has grown out of the follicles in your scalp, there is little that vitamin and mineral supplements can do to improve it. Some shampoos, conditioners and topical treatments can affect the quality of existing hair. But internal supplements such as prenatal vitamins for hair growth can’t do much.
Hair can be impacted at the follicle level by vitamins and minerals. With the right combination of supplements, such as biotin, individual hairs will leave the scalp stronger, thicker and healthier. Also, some natural supplements can help to unclog and revitalize old hair follicles. This may allow them to start producing hair again. This can make your entire head of hair thicker and fuller.
Organic Prenatal Vitamins: Name Brand vs. Generic
Now, let’s understand a little about prenatal vitamins. A lot of people talk about prenatal vitamins and hair growth, and rightfully so. A woman’s nutrition needs are different when she is pregnant. Not only is she responsible for her own health, but also the health of the child growing within her. Pregnant women usually aren’t taking prenatal vitamins for hair growth. They are taking them for general health during pregnancy.
A non-pregnant person can benefit a lot from the use of a daily multi-vitamin. Just remember that the ingredients in prenatal vitamins are combined in different amounts. These formulations support the needs of the mother’s changing body and the needs of the growing baby. As an example, iron is found in higher amounts in prenatal vitamins than in regular multivitamins. Too much iron can cause painful constipation in a non-pregnant individual. The level of iron in prenatal vitamins is just right for most pregnant mothers.
In the United States, prenatal vitamins, except for specially labeled formulations, are made to be almost identical from brand to brand. Whether you buy name brand vitamins, organic prenatal vitamins, or generic vitamins, you can expect nearly the same ingredients and formulation across brands. And, as we already said, there is little difference between a regular multivitamin and prenatal vitamins, other than the amounts of some of the ingredients.
It’s easy to verify this. Simply pick two or three different kinds of multivitamins or prenatal vitamins off the store shelf. Compare the nutrition information on the back. Some formulations highlight extra benefits or higher potency of some components, but they are all similar. If you’re asking “what are the best prenatal vitamins?” the answer is easy. It’s simply the one that you can afford and that you most trust.
So, What Are the Best Prenatal Vitamins for Hair Growth?
The short answer here is that prenatal vitamins for hair growth aren’t any more beneficial that regular multivitamins. Most prenatal vitamins don’t have any ingredients in them that differ from regular multivitamins in amounts that make any difference to hair growth. If your hair isn’t healthy while using a common multivitamin regularly then switching to prenatal vitamins for hair growth in hopes that it will improve your hair health is an exercise in futility.
Let’s state this one more time: if your hair is thin, weak or generally unhealthy, a multivitamin or other prenatal vitamins for hair growth probably won’t help. We’re not saying that multivitamins aren’t part of a healthy daily regime. They can be helpful. But, they aren’t meant to improve the health of your hair. Purchasing prenatal vitamins for hair growth is probably a waste of money.
Why do pregnant women have such beautiful hair?
So, all of this begs the question: why do pregnant women have such beautiful, healthy looking hair? The answer is actually pretty simple. It has nothing to do with the supplements they are taking. Pregnant women experience a lot of hormonal and physical changes. This happens especially in the first two trimesters of their pregnancy. Those changes are associated with increased blood circulation throughout the body. These changes occur in order to support the needs of the developing child.
You’ve probably also noticed that pregnant women are often described as having glowing, healthy skin. This is a direct result of the extra blood flow. It also has a major impact on the nails, and, you guessed it, on the scalp. During pregnancy the hair follicles receive more blood flow, and therefore nourishment, than at almost any other time.
This means that before the hair leaves the follicles, it has benefited from a large infusion of everything necessary to make it strong, thick, beautiful and generally healthy. Prenatal vitamins might support that, but no more so than a healthy diet or regular multivitamins. And prenatal vitamins for hair growth aren’t the reason for their great hair.
Less often noted are stories of women who have tried taking prenatal vitamins for months in an attempt to improve their hair growth. They note that there is no noticeable change to their hair. Then they become pregnant and within just a few months their hair is healthier than ever. After giving birth they continue to take the prenatal vitamins for hair growth. But within a couple of months their hair returns to the same condition it was in before pregnancy.
All of this proves the point that it is not the prenatal vitamins that are helping with hair growth, but that it is in fact the condition of being pregnant that improves the overall health of the hair. Prenatal vitamins are important to a healthy pregnancy, but they should not be counted on to improve hair growth and health. Other type of supplements are much more suited to this.
Have you ever used prenatal vitamins for hair growth? What were your results? Tell us your experience in the comments section below.