Updated: October 23, 2019*
Labdoor tested and ranked 5 of the best-selling hair vitamins in the United States, including the widely popular, Kardashian-endorsed hair product, SugarBearHair Hair Vitamins. Products were reviewed based on measured vitamin and mineral content and heavy metal contamination so consumers can find products that are effective and safe.
Hair Vitamins Tested (in alphabetical order):
- Nature's Bounty Optimal Solutions Hair, Skin & Nails
- SugarBearHair Hair Vitamins
- Vitafusion Gorgeous Hair, Skin & Nails Multivitamin
- Zenwise Labs Hair Growth Vitamins
- Zhou Nutrition Hairfluence
Hair Vitamins Market Trends
Worldwide, hair loss prevention and restoration is a multi-billion dollar industry, and the market for hair loss fixes is only increasing. The international market for hair restoration surgery, for example, increased 28% since 2012, from $1.9 billion in 2012 to $2.5 billion in 2014. In the US alone, hair loss affects 35 million men and 21 million women. Hair vitamins are often the first line of action. According to a survey by the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery in 2014, 28% of those seeking professional help for hair loss were prescribed "other nutritionals, herbs, and vitamins" . "Hair vitamins" is also an evergreen search term, boasting an interest of 60% or higher for the past 5 years according to Google Trends .
Testing Reveals Label Inaccuracies, Dangerous Vitamin Levels, and Lead Contamination
Testing revealed that label accuracy was an issue in this batch. Measured quantities of vitamins and minerals deviated from label claims by an average of 38%. 2 products had less than 10% of what they promised for some of the nutrients they claimed. In other cases, products had almost double the amount of some vitamins - vitamins which have established limits for how much you can ingest before risks like liver damage and birth defects in pregnant women begin . This is an important caution to consumers to find out exactly what is in their supplements before taking them. Heavy metals were also a concern in SugarBearHair Hair Vitamins; its lead levels would exceed California Proposition 65's safe limit for lead  if just one more gummy was taken above the serving size recommendation.
Marketing Claims vs. Scientific Studies
Labdoor's research also shows how the cost of hair vitamins may relate more to marketing claims than to how effective they really are. In clinical studies, supplementation has only been found to help with hair quality if a person is deficient in any of 9 nutrients: vitamin C, biotin, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin B3, vitamin B12, zinc, iron, and selenium. Additionally, ingredients like amino acids, collagen, and keratin add no real benefit to hair growth, although listing them may help manufacturers increase the price of their products.
Cost Analysis of Hair Vitamins
Labdoor's value rankings show that the most popular hair vitamin on Amazon.com today, SugarBearHair Hair Vitamins, costs about 3 times more per serving than the highest-quality hair vitamin reviewed by Labdoor, Vitafusion Gorgeous Hair, Skin & Nails Multivitamin, even though Vitafusion does a better job at correcting hair-related nutrient deficiencies. Although not marketed for hair, multivitamins could be another viable option for consumers. Labdoor's Multivitamin Rankings show that the leading-value (gender-neutral) multivitamin, TwinLab Daily One Caps, costs 3 times less per serving than Vitafusion's hair gummies, will help prevent hair-related nutrient deficiencies, and has other vitamins and minerals on top of those in the typical hair vitamin.
Labdoor factors in label accuracy, contaminants, nutritional value, safety, and efficacy into product testing and scoring. Comprehensive testing reports, grades, and rankings are available for each of the 5 tested hair vitamins products at https://labdoor.com/rankings/hair-vitamins.
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- International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery. (2015). 2015 Practice Census Statistics. ISHRS Statistics & Research.
- Google Trends. (2016). Search term: "hair vitamins".
- NIH Office of Dietary Supplements. (2016). Vitamin and Mineral Supplement Fact Sheets.
- OEHHA. (2013). Proposition 65 in Plain Language.
*Note: Labdoor has edited this article to remove some links to products that opted-out from our rankings.