But recently, beauty bloggers, editors, and dermatologists have been buzzing about the hair supplement Nutrafol.
But recently, beauty bloggers, editors, and dermatologists have been buzzing about the hair supplement Nutrafol. Basically: People are obsessed, and several top docs say it really does deliver the lustrous goods. We were curious, so decided to get the lowdown on this apparent miracle treatment.
Nutrafol is a supplement that contains a proprietary blend of ingredients, says New York City dermatologist Dendy Engelman, M.D. These include botanicals like vitamin E extracted from palm oil, ashwagandha, and biocurcumin; vitamins, such as biotin and keratin; and antioxidants such as resveratrol, says Engelman.
All these ingredients, she says, have been clinically tested for efficacy against some of the main causes of hair thinning, including stress and hormones.
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Nutrafol aims to restore hair growth by naturally rebalancing stress and androgen hormones, neutralizing free radicals, and combatting inflammatory molecules that alter hair growth signaling, says Engelman.
In other words, it combats the many of the major factors (like stress and inflammation) that were causing your hair to thin in the first place—while also providing your hair with a better environment in which to grow.
Most people should start to see an improvement in hair within the first 30 to 60 days, she says—with measurable results by about 90 days.
Nutrafol's special blend of ingredients is really what sets it apart from the competition, says Engelman. Sure, other hair supplements also contain vitamins and minerals, which help nourish hair and foster hair growth. But that's not always enough.
"Think of it like watering a plant in sick soil—it doesn't matter how much you water if the roots are in an unhealthy environment," says Engelman.
It's the same with the hair follicle. If you don't address the underlying causes of hair thinning, the follicle likely won't absorb and use the nutrients you feed it, she explains. So while other supplements may help hair health, they don't necessarily fight hair loss.
That's where Nutrafol's botanical ingredients (the above-mentioned ashwaghanda, biocercumin, and palm oil extract) make a big difference.
They address the causes of hair loss, setting the stage for ingredients like biotin and keratin to keep hair healthy. This creates an environment that encourages more and better hair growth, Engleman says.
However, there's a major difference in price from other OTC hair treatments. The pills come at a steep price—$88 for a one-month's supply. The recommended dosage is also four pills per day, which may feel like a lot for the pill-adverse.
While you're waiting for your hair to grow in, here's how to blow dry it to make it look fuller:
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"Nutrafol is suitable for all hair types and ethnicities," says Engelman. It works best for mild to moderate hair thinning caused by stress, aging, and even genetics. It's also a great option for women who are simply looking for healthier hair or to prevent hair thinning from happening as well, she adds.
However, it's not a good choice for patients who have hair loss related to an active disease, illness, or cancer treatment—the ingredients are not designed to treat those causes of hair loss. Pregnant and nursing women should wait until they've stopped nursing before starting the supplement.
If you have a medical condition or are taking anticoagulant and blood-thinning drugs, you'll want to ask your doctor before starting any supplements, says Engelman.
Despite those drawbacks, Englemen still says Nutrafol is a great option for dealing with hair loss. "I've recommended Nutrafol to a great number of patients and they all love it," says Engelman.