Summary: There are a number of vitamins in the B vitamin family. While some early studies suggest that they might help, many of them have been animal studies. Other evidence comes primarily from supplement manufacturers. The best step is to convert to a natural eating style to increase B vitamin intake. Taking a high quality multivitamin may also help.
Dear Curtis: I’ve read that the B vitamins can really help with male pattern baldness. Do you think this is true?
Well, vitamins – believe it or not – are part of the issue. But it goes way beyond that. But, since you asked specifically about the B Vitamin family … lets just focus on them.
Now, before I get into the nitty-gritty facts of this discussion let me address one issue right off the bat. All the miracle hair growth vitamins that are pushed on men everyday are bogus. A miracle vitamin does not exist. Period, End of subject.
Factors That Contribute to Male Pattern Baldness
When it comes to hair loss genetics plays a role. So does stress. In addition to these and other causes, nutrition plays a huge role. So it makes since that supplementing with certain vitamins can help. The following is the evidence that we have to date on B vitamins that have been linked to helping with baldness and hair loss.
Please keep in mind that any vitamin and supplement can only help you if you do two very important things:
- Actually take them in sufficient doses. And…
- Be persistent and patient. Don’t expect results in days or even weeks. More likely it will be months. Usually two to three months. At least that has been my experience.
So, without further adieu, let’s get going:
1. Niacin (Vitamin B3)
We’ve talked before about what Niacin can do. Remember the “niacin flush”? Where niacin causes blood vessel dilation throughout the body? This is considered a usual unwanted side effect of the vitamin…but…it is used sometimes as an advantage. Hair loss is one of those instances. It’s thought that niacin helps increase blood flow to the scalp thus helping bring nutrients to where it’s really needed–the hair follicle.
2. Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5)
The evidence for Pantothenic Acid has to this point only come from animal studies. They showed that animals fed a diet deficient in this vitamin not only started turning grey but their hair follicles also started to waste away.
3. Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)
When combined with zinc some studies have shown that this combination can block the conversion of testosterone to DHT. DHT has been implicated as a major player in hair loss. The problem? Scientists aren’t sure…but…think that the type of vitamin B6 plays a huge role (they just not sure which one yet!)
4. Vitamin B12 (Cyanocobalamin)
An essential nutrient that has been shown to prevent hair loss. But you have to be careful that your not taking too much as it and folic acid can alter each others absorption.
5. Vitamin H (Biotin)
Although called vitamin H for its role in hair loss it is part of the b-complex family. One of the most discussed hair growing vitamins, biotin is often times used by physicians as a diagnostic tool. Because biotin is involved in oxygen transport to all parts of the body, brittle nails and thinning hair are often a sign of a deficiency.
Also a little-known member of the B-complex family. Essential for fat metabolism and vital to your ability to maintain healthy skin (as with other b-vitamins). Also helps prevent hair fallout.
While taking B vitamins is promising, it’s important to understand that your first step should be eating a wide variety of natural, chemical-free foods and invest in a quality multivitamin that has everything you need.
When it comes to B vitamins I make sure and take at least 25mg of vitamin B1, 2 and 6.
So there is some truth to the stories about hair growing vitamins. But, you have to be careful.
In short, don’t fall for all the hype. There is no holy grail to hair loss. It’s a combination of genetics, stress, nutrition and a myriad of other factors (some of which I’m sure scientists aren’t even aware of yet).
- Vitamins For Healthy Hair. Bahney, Jennifer. Your Guide To Hair Loss. http://hairloss.about.com/od/preventinghairloss/aVitamins_p.html
- Vitamins. http://stophairlossnow.com/vitamins.html