You're right to be skeptical about
beauty vitamins: If they're such miracle workers, why do so many end up in sponsored posts?
Still, their popularity keeps growing and growing among the Instagram generation. And, we're curious and eager to discover which of these
internet-friendly supplements are bullshit and which are actually worth the cash.
Rated on taste, likability (basically, can we swallow these without gagging), and efficacy, we rounded up the ones we would actually recommend to our best friend who can't stop complaining about her hair. Click ahead to check out our favorites and decide for yourself which one (if any) is right for you.
Hum Nutrition Hair Sweet Hair Taste: Remember Gushers? The texture of these gummies is really similar and can slightly stick to your teeth. However, it isn't far off from an Arnold Palmer, only with a slight metallic aftertaste. Key Ingredients: There's zinc, biotin, and folic acid to strengthen hair, along with fo-ti, an herb commonly used in Chinese medicine for hair loss. What The Pros Say: Nutritionist Paula Simpson tells us that while folic acid is a common ingredient in hair supplements, it's not necessarily meant to strengthen hair. Instead, it increases cell metabolism and hair growth leading to longer — but maybe not stronger — strands. Our Results: If you're growing out a bob that went wrong or you're sick and tired of your bangs in this heat, then these gummies will help you out. You could be just as well off taking a traditional supplement of biotin you can find at the pharmacy — these just taste better. Hum Nutrition Hair Sweet Hair, $20, available at Sephora.
Sugar Bear Hair Taste: So good we had to lock them in our desk to keep ourselves from over-doing it. There's a chance these are the most delicious-tasting gummies ever, which makes sense given two of the first ingredients are sugar. Key Ingredients: The supplements are packed with folic acid, iodine, zinc, biotin, coconut oil, and vitamin C, B, A, and E. Coconut oil is an added benefit other hair supplements don't often include, which the brand claims is hydrating for the scalp. What The Pros Say: There are a lot of ingredients in here that basically do the same thing, says Simpson, but here's what matters: The vitamin A should help your scalp retain moisture. Simpson also mentions that fatty acids like vitamin E keep your hair from feeling like straw. But most importantly, there's some truth in the juice thanks to the iodine. If iodine levels are low, your thyroid will produce fewer hormones, leaving you with unexpected hair loss, Simpson says. So adding some iodine back into your diet makes a lot of sense, she explains. Even better, Stephanie Clarke and Willow Jarosh, registered dietitians and the duo behind C&J Nutrition, tell us that zinc works alongside your body's iron levels in strengthening the hair follicle so you'll actually see hair growth over time. Our Results: Many of our staffers who tested the gummies broke out on their face within a few days and Simpson says the reason is fairly obvious. "Gummies contain a lot of sugar and fillers. If you already have blemish-prone skin and you're taking excess iodine that can aggravate sebum production in the skin, that could cause breakouts." Sugar Bear Hair Vitamins, $29.99, available at Sugar Bear Hair.
Ouai Hair Supplements Taste: These aren't gummies, but there's certainly hype around the brand name itself. Created by Jen Atkin, the woman behind the Kar-Jenners' long, sleek hair, these soft gels capsules have zero taste or after-taste. Key Ingredients: Omega-3 fatty acids and biotin are two obvious heroes to boost hair's elasticity and give you Bardot volume, but the rest are unlikely allies. There's green tea extract to rebalance an oily scalp, ashwagandha for reducing cortisol levels (which could prevent graying and fall-out), and vitamin E and iron. What The Pros Say: According to Clarke and Jarosh, if you're looking to manage an oily scalp, it's better to topically treat the problem. There are few studies proving that ingesting something like green tea extract will balance your hair's oil, so the jury's still out on that one. On the brighter side, the other options don't mess around. Ashwagandha could actually thicken your roots thanks to it's hormonal balancing adaptogens. And amino acids? Simpson tells us, "Now this is a more rational formulation because [amino acids] are the building blocks to proteins in your hair and nails and silica is a mineral that's important for the connective tissues in skin, hair, and nails." As for dry hair, the vitamin E will help your scalp with moisture, Simpson tells us. The omega 3 fatty acid only further contributes to the cause. Our Results: Depending on your scalp's needs — thinning, dry, or oily — you'll see different results. If we were to invest our money in one, we'd go for the thinning or dry formula. Ouai Hair Supplement, $28, available at Sephora.
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