From shampoos to hair growth serums to treatments for the scalp, there are numerous different products available to combat hair thinning and hair loss. However, among the many options out there, there is one oral supplement that appears to be exceptional. It’s Nutrafol — specifically the Nutrafol for Women variety — a supplement that asserts its ability to enhance hair growth and quality, particularly for women with thinning hair. So, how exactly does Nutrafol function? And, the question that everyone wants answered: does it truly work? Here’s the details.
The Fundamentals of Nutrafol for Women
There are four distinct variations of Nutrafol supplements available: Nutrafol for Women, which is the focus of this article; Nutrafol Women’s Balance, specifically designed for women facing hair thinning or loss before, during, and after menopause; Nutrafol Postpartum, a formula suitable for breastfeeding mothers, intended to be used in the year after giving birth or during breastfeeding; and Nutrafol Men. Each variation costs $88 for a 30-day supply (one bottle) and can be purchased on Amazon and Nutrafol.com, or you can opt for one of the brand’s monthly subscriptions for $79, available on the Nutrafol website.
Nutrafol capsules, regardless of the variety, contain a blend of ingredients that aim to address some of the main factors that can trigger and worsen hair thinning and loss in women: stress, a hormone called DHT, micro-inflammation, and inadequate nutrition. According to the brand, all three Nutrafol formulations have been specifically developed and clinically proven to enhance hair growth and thickness while reducing shedding.
And indeed, there is a distinction between hair thinning and hair loss, as reported by Bridgette Hill, a trichologist and the founder of Root Cause Scalp Analysis. Thinning occurs when the strands of hair become damaged and break due to excessive processing, heat styling, or even excessive tension from tight ponytails, explains Hill. A disruption in the hair growth cycle — whether caused by hormonal changes, diet, or lifestyle — can result in excessive shedding, which can also be considered hair thinning if it affects the entire scalp, she adds. On the other hand, hair loss happens when the hair follicles shrink to such an extent that they ultimately vanish and hair ceases to grow entirely.
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Nutrafol for Women Ingredients
The brand’s exclusive Synergen Complex is at the heart of all Nutrafol variations (excluding Nutrafol Postpartum, which contains a different exclusive blend). The Synergen Complex is a combination of five components that have been demonstrated to assist in addressing some of the underlying reasons for hair thinning and loss. More specifically, the components and their particular advantages are as follows:
- Ashwagandha, an adaptogenic herb, helps reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol, says Hill. Elevated cortisol levels have been demonstrated to shorten the hair growth cycle, which can ultimately result in premature shedding.
In addition to that complex, there is also a blend of other vitamins and nutrients in the Nutrafol formula, and each possesses unique abilities that can aid in combating hair loss, according to nutrition and diet expert Nicole Avena, Ph.D., an assistant professor at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. This includes vitamin A, necessary for all cell growth and repair; vitamin C, which counteracts the oxidative stress that can harm cells, leading to hair loss; and zinc, which “assists with cell reproduction, tissue growth and repair, and protein synthesis, which are necessary for proper hair growth,” as stated by Avena.
Nutrafol variations also contain vitamin D, which stimulates hair follicles to promote growth. Furthermore, a deficiency in vitamin D has been associated with hair loss or slowed hair growth, adds Avena. Lastly, the ingredient lists include biotin, a type of vitamin B that has been proven to help strengthen the keratin protein found in hair, as well as selenium, which may aid the body in utilizing hormones and proteins to promote hair growth, says Avena. More specifically, biotin is important for thyroid function and the hormones it produces. Additionally, hair loss can serve as a symptom of thyroid disease.
It’s important to note that the recommended daily dosage for Nutrafol is four pills per day — which is certainly quite a literal mouthful — and it is advised to take them after a meal containing healthy fats (as some of the individual vitamins in the formula are fat-soluble) to enhance the absorption of the supplement. Also worth mentioning: Nutrafol is not recommended for individuals on blood thinners or for those who are pregnant or nursing. Additionally, like any other supplement, it may be wise to consult with your doctor beforehand, especially if you are already taking any of the vitamins found in Nutrafol.
Research on the Effectiveness of Nutrafol for Women
The Nutrafol brand has conducted a study on the Nutrafol for Women supplement variety, which yielded some intriguing outcomes — although it is important to note that the study employed a smaller sample size of only 40 women, and the research was funded by the brand (meaning it was not independently tested).
That being stated, the study discovered that females with self-perceived hair thinning who consumed Nutrafol for half a year documented a growth of 15.7 percent in vellus hair (extra fine hair) and a growth of 10.4 percent in terminal hair (thicker hair). This conclusion was reached through analysis using phototrichogram, a device employed to measure different stages of hair growth.
Nutrafol Reviews by Customers
An expert physician also evaluated all participants in the research (including a second batch of women with self-reported hair thinning, who received a placebo for six months) and observed a notable enhancement in hair quality — specifically aspects such as fragility, dryness, texture, luster, scalp coverage, and overall appearance — in the group that consumed Nutrafol. Furthermore, over 80 percent of those who took Nutrafol reported an improvement in overall hair growth and thickness.
According to Hill, the six-month duration of this study is an adequate period to witness these types of changes, including a decrease in hair shedding, and an increase in hair density and volume. Another advantage is that once the desired results start to show, they should persist even after stopping the supplement. Unlike prescription drugs, Nutrafol has long-lasting positive effects on cells and tissues, preventing drastic reversals such as sudden hair loss when usage is discontinued, according to Hill.
Reviews of Nutrafol for Women
Keeping that in mind, the customer reviews for Nutrafol on Amazon vary. Some users express satisfaction, stating things like, “I’m on my second bottle and have noticed the growth of small hairs and increased volume. I’ll continue taking it,” and “Nutrafol works, my hair has stopped falling and is growing slowly.” Even medical professionals endorse the supplements, with one dermatologist, Dr. Jeanine Downie, stating, “I’ve been using the product for nearly five years and my hair has grown approximately three and a half inches and become noticeably thicker. I now have more confidence in my hair than ever before.”
However, there are also customers who aren’t as pleased, mentioning, “I didn’t observe any difference,” and “no changes in hair growth.” Some reviewers also point out that Nutrafol comes with a high price tag and requires a long-term commitment, which are noted drawbacks for them.
The final verdict on Nutrafol for Women is that, like any other supplement, it is advisable to consult with your doctor before starting it. However, once you have their approval, you can give it a try to see if it works for you. The important thing to remember is that hair loss and thinning cannot be fixed overnight, so it might take at least six months to witness significant improvements in hair growth or thickness, as recommended by the brand.
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