If, like us, you’re on a never-ending quest for long, long hair then you will doubtless have encountered hair growth tablets and supplements on your quest for lengths worthy of Blake Lively.
However, the question we’re all asking is: Do hair growth tablets work? Can oral supplements really help you get fantastic, Gisele-worthy tresses? And if so, what are the best hair-growth supplements out there for women?
Do hair growth tablets actually work?
Can taking a pill every day really make your hair grow faster? And is it safe to do so? We'll clear things up. While we all dream of Rapunzel-worthy lengths, the fact is that we will each hit a point where our hair stops growing, which is determined by genetics. The average head of hair grows one inch every month but if your tresses are damaged (too much colour, GHD abuse, tight ponytails, we could go on...) this will certainly put a block on your natural growth cycle.
But, all is not lost... As well as eating the right foods and treating your hair with some TLC (check out our guide to treating dried out and damaged hair for tips), some women find that taking a dedicated supplement makes their hair grow thicker and faster. But with a plethora of products on the market, all promising luxuriant locks in a matter of weeks, it's difficult to know where to begin. These are the vitamins that you should look out for...
Part of the B Vitamin complex, biotin helps metabolize fats and carbohydrates, and has been linked to healthier hair and nails. It's now often found in skincare and haircare products, but it's not yet clear how effective it is when applied topically - which is why you're best off taking it orally if you want to notice the benefits.
When it comes to hair growth, the names in the Vitamin B group to know are thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, B6 and B12. Got that? B6 is of particular importance: it activates the metabolism of proteins in the hair follicles.
This fatty acid has a whole host of health benefits. As an anti-inflammatory, it can help open up the hair follicles to aid growth, and can leave hair looking and feeling more lustrous.
If you've noticed that your hair isn't growing as fast as it used to, is looking dull or suffering from serious breakage, it may well be thanks to low iron levels or anaemia. Contact your doctor if you've noticed other symptoms like tiredness, dizziness and shortness of breath, and they will prescribe you a supplement - it's imperative you follow the correct dosage, as overly high levels of iron can prove very dangerous.
Which foods should I eat for faster hair growth?
It goes without saying that we are what we eat, and for super-strong hair, nutritionists swear by the powers of protein. In the morning, incorporate eggs and avocado, for lunch keep an eye out for dark leafy greens like kale and spinach and for dinner stock up on lean proteins like fish or chicken. Snack on walnuts too, which are great for scalp health. Eggs, almonds and cold water fish (also rich in omega 3s) are good sources of biotin.
Which hair growth tablets does Kim Kardashian use?
If you follow her on Instagram (and of course you do), you’ll know that the Kim Kardashian West has been a long-term fan of hair growth supplement Hairfinity, which landed in the UK two years ago and is still one of Amazon’s top selling beauty supplements. Hairfinity pills promise longer, stronger, faster growing hair, and are high in B vitamins, which can help to increase cell growth. A two month supply will set you back £49.
What's the best way to take a hair supplement?
While it's important to remember that your diet and genetics are the primary factors when it comes to hair growth, popping a pill can make a huge difference too - but only if you remember to take it correctly. You'll need to take your supplement twice a day, religiously, and always with a meal (make sure you've had a thorough read of the instructions inside and consulted your doctor beforehand).
Which multi-vitamins are the best for faster, thicker hair growth?
If you aren't keen on splashing out on dedicated hair growth pills, the humble multi-vitamin tablet could provide a useful alternative. Look out for formulas that include B vitamins, or iron if you're suffering from bald patches and hair loss - Wellwoman's Original tablets are a good place to start, and available from most high street pharmacies. Remember to consult your doctor before embarking on any sort of supplement programme.
Which are the best and safest hair growth supplements?
Click through the gallery below to discover the top 5 supplements that are tried and tested – not just by us beauty ladies, but by some long-haired A-listers, too...