There are a mind-boggling array of hair, skin and nail vitamins and supplements available on the market, and choosing the right one for you can be confusing. We have put together this list of the best vitamins available, along with some great supplements to boost hair growth and reduce thinning hair.
Our Top 5 Vitamins for Hair, Skin and Nails
1. Vitamin A
Vitamin A is the first of our proven hair growth vitamins due to its powerful antioxidant properties. Antioxidants work to neutralise molecules called free radicals which cause oxidative stress, leading to premature ageing as well as weakening the hair follicles and causing hair loss. Vitamin A helps to keep the skin healthy, supple and well moisturised, making it one of the best vitamins for skin, hair and nails.
Some of the best dietary sources of vitamin A include:
- Dairy products
- Seafood, especially shrimp and fish
- Orange coloured vegetables such as carrots, sweet potatoes and pumpkin
- Leafy green vegetables
2. B Vitamins
The B vitamins are actually a group of eight vitamins; B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9 and B12. The most important for healthy hair, skin and nails are vitamins B3 (niacin) and B7 (biotin).
Niacin stimulates the production of proteins in the body. This includes keratin, a major component of hair and nails. It also protects the skin and scalp from harmful free radicals, environmental factors and inflammation.
Biotin in also involved in synthesising keratin, as well as being involved in cell growth, protecting the skin and controlling moisture levels on the scalp. This top vitamin for hair, skin and nails has been well researched in recent years and is an ingredient in many hair, skin and nail supplements.
B vitamins can also be found in the following foods:
- Dairy Products
- Beans and pulses such as soybeans, black-eyed beans and chickpeas
- Whole grains
3. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is another vitamin with antioxidant properties. Like vitamin A, it protects hair, skin and nails by neutralising free radicals and minimising damage from oxidative stress. It also plays a role in collagen synthesis. Collagen is the protein which makes our skin strong, supple and elastic.
Vitamin C can be found in many foods, including:
- Citrus fruits
4. Vitamin D
Vitamin D is an important nutrient which aids the absorption of essential minerals calcium, magnesium and phosphorus. It also regulates the cells which produce keratin and helps maintain hair follicles to promote healthy hair growth.
One of the best sources of vitamin D is sunlight, but it can also be found in some foods, including:
- Dairy products
- Oily fish
- Whole grains
5. Vitamin E
Vitamin E is another top vitamin for hair, skin and nails with antioxidant properties. It helps to fight free radicals along with vitamins A and C, slowing down oxidative stress and preventing premature ageing of the skin and hair.
Vitamin E can be found in:
- Dairy products
- Leafy green vegetables
- Sunflower seeds
- Whole grains
These five vitamins are essential for healthy looking skin, good hair growth and strong nails. It is also important to get enough essential minerals, especially zinc, selenium and iron.
The best way to ensure you are getting enough of these nutrients is by eating a healthy, balanced diet with a wide variety of different foods. Aim for at least five portions of fresh fruit and vegetables every day, eat fish twice a week (one portion should be an oily fish such as salmon, mackerel or sardines) and snack on plain yogurt, nuts and seeds.
Avoid processed foods and those high in saturated fats, trans-fats and refined sugars which may contribute to oxidative stress and unhealthy skin, hair and nails.
If you feel that you need a little extra help to get all of the nutrition you need, then you might want to consider taking a skin, hair and nails supplement. There are plenty to choose from, and it can be hard to find the right one for you. We have put together this list of some of the best hair, skin and nail vitamins on the market today to help you make your choice.
The Best Supplements for Hair, Skin and Nails
Perfectil is one of the oldest and best known brands of skin, hair and nail vitamins in the U.K. It is a good all-rounder, containing over 20 ingredients including vitamins B, C, D and E and the minerals zinc, selenium and iron, all of which are known to be important for healthy hair growth, glowing skin and strong nails.
Perfectil is perhaps the most comprehensive skin, hair and nails supplement in terms of its vitamin and mineral content. It can be taken for as long as necessary without the need for additional multivitamins and minerals.
Regaine (known as Rogaine in the U.S.) is more of a medication than a supplement, but it is one of the most well-known treatments for thinning hair on the market. It contains the active ingredient minoxidil, a drug which was originally researched for reducing high blood pressure. The researchers found that as a side effect, minoxidil stimulates hair growth, and a topical scalp application was formulated soon after.
Minoxidil works by causing small blood vessels and hair follicles to widen, encouraging hair to grow thicker. It can also stimulate hair growth on patches where it has already been lost. The catch is that it does not work for everyone. It relies on the presence of an enzyme known as sulfotransferase. If you have enough of this enzyme, Regaine should work well, but if not then you will likely see no effects at all. The other downside to minoxidil is that you will need to use it indefinitely, as its effects will be lost soon after you stop.
TRX2 is a newer, more natural alternative to Regaine for reducing hair loss and promoting thicker, healthier hair. It mimics the effects of minoxidil using the active ingredients potassium chloride, L-carnitine-L-tartrate, BCAA and nicotinic acid. Despite their long names, these are naturally occurring chemicals which are safe to take as a daily supplement.
TRX 2 works by stimulating potassium ion channels which transport nutrients into the hair follicles. This helps to maintain follicle health and promote healthy hair growth. It also contains the essential minerals and vitamins for hair, skin and nails; zinc, selenium, niacin (B3) and biotin (B7). This means that it promotes healthier skin as well as thicker, stronger hair.
Its innovative formula means that this new product is fast becoming a serious contender when it comes to choosing a vitamin for hair, skin and nails.
Viviscal is a supplement primarily formulated to promote hair growth. It was developed based on the Inuit diet, which is rich in marine based amino acids. The idea came from scientists’ observations that in general, the Inuit people seemed to have extremely healthy-looking skin and hair. They put this down to their diet rich in fish and other seafood.
Viviscal’s main ingredient is a blend of marine based proteins which are important for healthy skin, hair and nails. This is complemented by vitamins niacin (B3), biotin (B7), vitamin C and the minerals iron and zinc.
The downside of Viviscal is that since it contains proteins from marine animals, it is not suitable for those with fish or shellfish allergies, vegetarians or vegans.
Nourkrin is another supplement based on fish oils and is one of the oldest products on the market for promoting hair growth and health. It has a range of products specially formulated for men, women, the over 20s, over 45s and post pregnancy. All of its products contain their trademark compound Marilex® from fish oils and biotin, with a variety of other ingredients depending on the product.
With over 20 years of brand history, Nourkrin is definitely one of the most well-known and trusted supplements available on the market today.
Do You Need a Hair, Skin and Nails Supplement?
There are many different factors which can lead to dull, dry or blemished skin, thinning hair or brittle nails. If you are suffering from any of these, your first course of action should be to take a look at your diet and lifestyle.
Poor nutrition, stress and hormonal changes can all lead to symptoms such as unhealthy skin and increased hair loss. There are also a number of different medical conditions which may be at the root cause of your problems. If you are worried, or have any other symptoms, you should see your doctor to rule out the possibility that anything more serious is going on.
If you have confirmed that there are no underlying issues, but you are still suffering from bad skin or thinning hair, try one of these supplements for skin, hair and nails. Just bear in mind that with all of these products, you will be treating from the inside, out. This means that it may take a few months before you start to see any real results.
So choose your favourite vitamin, take it regularly but most importantly, be patient. Soon you will be well on the way to beautiful hair, skin and nails!