Can Hair Growth Vitamins Really Grow Your Hair?

Long before I started a healthy hair journey, it always seemed like my hair stayed at or above my shoulders.  Out of frustration I decided to search online for a solution.  I was met with several ads for hair growth vitamins.  At the time, it made sense to me that maybe I was lacking nutrition in my diet.  I thought I needed a supplement to help my hair grow.  I quickly ordered a bottle from some company I don’t even remember and waited for them to arrive.

If I knew then what I know now, I might never have even placed the order.  My hair at the time was relaxed (chemically straightened) and color treated.  Both of which were damaging chemical processes.  Combine that with the fact that I used heat daily and you’ve got a trifecta of unhealthy hair practices happening all at once.  After I had zero result from taking the hair growth vitamins I was back to the web to find a solution to why my hair wasn’t growing.

Naturally Curly Hair side view

It’s All About Length Retention

Thing is, hair is always growing.  The real way to seeing those inches is to retain all of the hair you grow.  I made this connection when I found information on how deep conditioning would help with length retention.  Length retention is when you take extra measures to care for your hair.  This in turn keeps the hair nourished and strong so that it won’t break off.  You are basically caring for your hair and watching the length increase as a result.  Once I started deep conditioning I began to see fuller and longer hair than I had before.

This is why so many people will tell you that a there is no magic pill for hair growth.  Length retention is how you hold onto those hard earned inches.  Sometimes though, you might want a little boost in growth.  Can a supplement help you get past a hair growth plateau?

Can Hair Growth Vitamins Boost Hair Growth?

I looked into two of the most popular hair growth supplements recently and found mixed reviews.  Over and over again people kept saying how they felt duped by one of the companies.  Taking their vitamins was similar to using a multi-vitamin with Biotin added in they complained.  Biotin has been known to boost hair growth but you can purchase that anywhere that vitamins are sold.  Why pay a premium when you can head to the store and buy it yourself?  The other company received rave reviews but some people said their initial hair growth slowed  down after the first couple of months.

In my opinion, the only way a hair growth vitamin will work is if you are truly lacking something in your diet.  Let’s face it, for optimum nutrition it is suggested that you eat 2 to 3 cups of vegetables per day.  If you’re not getting enough vitamins through diet alone, then yes, you probably should consider taking a good multivitamin.  Does it have to be an expensive hair growth vitamin?  Probably not.

hair growth comparison
My hair growth over time while only taking a good multivitamin and sometimes fish oil supplements

Vitamins and Supplements Worked for My Skin and Scalp

A good example is how I recently fought hard to clear up my psoriasis with vitamins and supplements.  My skin and scalp were so dry and flaky it was crazy embarrassing! Turns out my body was lacking nutrition because I fell of with eating right and even quit taking my multivitamin.

First, I began taking a fish oil supplement with vitamin d3 added.  Psoriasis is a type of inflammation of the skin so I chose fish oil for it’s anti-inflammatory properties.  The d3 was important for healthy skin.  My edges and eyebrows began to thicken up after taking the supplement for a few months.  Since the skin on my scalp and under my brows was covered in flakes, when the psoriasis cleared up,  I saw new growth.  The only other thing I took during this time was a women’s multivitamin.  In my case, yes, vitamins and supplements worked for my skin because I was missing some important nutrients in my diet.

There can be pros and cons to taking vitamins and  supplements for hair growth.  Truth is, it doesn’t have to be much more than a multivitamin and adding more veggies to your daily meals.  For a boost you can add in a few other supplements here and there for additional nutrition.  If you feel like you ARE eating right and in pretty good shape health wise, then maybe you’re not retaining your length.  That is the real key here.  How you care for  your hair once it’s grown is so important.  Throw in a good 8-10 hours sleep per night, exercise and increase your water intake and you’ll see your hair, skin and nails flourish.  Overall health and wellness will always show itself in how you look and feel.  What could be better than that?

DISCLAIMER:  I am not a medical practitioner so this information is not medical advice.  If you are experiencing hair loss or a skin condition, be sure to check with your healthcare provider before adding vitamins and supplements to your diet.  Always do your own research before taking anything for an extended period.  The intent of this post is to share my experience with others who may be having the same experience.

Deep Conditioning with Joico K-Pak Intense Hydrator Conditioner

I love watching hair videos on YouTube.  I’m afraid to even think about how many hours I’ve spent doing so.  One thing I’ve noticed that natural hair gurus say over and over is how important it is to deep condition your hair.  After treating my scalp psoriasis recently left my hair damaged and broken, I figured it was time to take some YouTube advice.  I picked up the Joico K-Pak Intense Hydrator conditioner in hopes that it would bring my hair back to it’s former glory.  

woman with natural hair using conditioner

My Hair Needed Protein & Moisture

I heard about the Joico K-pak conditioner line before.  I knew it would give my hair a much needed protein boost.  For that I usually reach for my go-to, which is Aphogee’s 2 Minute Reconstructor.  You can watch a demonstration on how I use it here.

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Recovering from Psoriasis: My Hair Journey Setback

Sideview of woman with natural hair
There has been a lot of trial and error throughout my natural hair journey.  I’m currently recovering from psoriasis which I’ve been battling for the past six months.  It left me with unbearably dry itchy skin and my scalp was out of control.  My hair ended up suffering as well since I was forced to cleanse my scalp more often.  This wasn’t my first experience with the condition but this time it came with a vengeance.     

What is Psoriasis?

Psoriasis is an auto immune disease that results in inflammation of the skin.  The skin cells rapidly form new skin in patches which have a dry, flakey appearance.  It not only effects my skin but my scalp as well.    A few years ago I wrote a post about how I cleared up my psoriasis with diet and supplements. The condition never truly went away but I was successful at keeping the flare-ups under control.  It turns out that my best chance at healthier skin was to follow some of my own advice.  

I didn’t always know what worked for my psoriasis.  I gained a much better understanding of how to recover from it after watching the documentary, Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, by Joe Cross.  In it he talks about inflammation, what causes it and what the body needs to help shut it down.  After taking some supplements, which I talk about here, the good news is I’m beginning to see some results!  Each week I’m noticing a difference in my skin and my scalp.  Now it’s time to turn my attention to my hair which suffered greatly during this time.

sideview of hair and scalp during psoriasis outbreak
My edges lost fullness after a recent bout with psoriasis. The flakes and dry itchy scalp were unbearable.

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How I Avoid Shrinkage with My Curly Hair Routine

I hate shrinkage.  That seems to be the one thing that I don’t like about my natural hair journey.  My hair loves to shrink up into a tiny afro so I’m always looking for ways to get more hang time.  I used to think that  the hair products I used for my  curly hair routine would give me more length.  Lately though, I’m finding that it has a lot more to do with technique.  

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My Curly Hair Routine with Less Shrinkage

Whenever I wear my hair curly I usually only use three products.  I always reach for a leave-in conditioner, a moisturizer and a styler.  The only other thing I use is water which I keep in a spray bottle so that I can spritz each section when needed.  Currently my wash and go combo is Aussie Moist conditioner, a Shea Moisture product for, well, moisture and Eco Styler Gel with Argan Oil.  Now, I didn’t specify which Shea Moisture product because I have been getting great results from multiple items in their line.  The Curl n’ Style Milk is a keeper while the Raw Shea Butter Extra Moisture Transitioning Milk and Restorative Conditoner also work for my hair.  Lastly, to combat frizz and give curl definition, I use the hair gel.  Eco Styler gel and I go way back so be sure to check out some of my other posts on this product.

Side view of woman with naturally curly hair
My hair has more “hang time” when I use my new technique when I style my wash and go style.

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A Brief Natural Hair Journey Story

big chop, afro textured hair, natural hair, kinky curly hair
My TWA after the Big Chop in Spring 2009

 

I was on Instagram going through my timeline the other day when I realized how many naturalistas I have met since joining in late 2013.  It occurred to me that I haven’t really talked about the beginnings of my natural hair journey which is now going on eight years.  I honestly can’t get over the fact that I have been natural since the spring of 2009.  Prior to that, I had relaxed hair and didn’t even know there was such a thing as, “going natural.”  So I thought that I would share a brief “natural history” with all of my new readers and followers.

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