The Truth About Those Hair Supplements You’ve Seen On Instagram

Are they really worth the money?

blue gummy bear looks like a hair supplement

My Instagram feed has recently seen a resurgence of sponsored posts and ads for SugarBearHair, a hair supplement made popular by the Kardashians and a handful of Bachelor contestants. SugarBearHair is a chewable multivitamin with a formula that claims to support the strength and shine of your hair. Though hair and beauty supplements have been around for decades, SugarBearHair exploded onto the market with celebrities and social media influencers claiming that these tasty gummies gave them Rapunzel-style hair. Of course, these “#sugarbearambassadors” were all paid to make those claims. With questionable marketing tactics and a cost of $65 per month, I decided to dig into the research and try SugarBearHair myself. Here’s my honest review.

The Research

SugarBearHair contains 13 vitamins and minerals associated with optimal hair health. Most notably, taking two SugarBearHair gummies daily will provide 167x your daily biotin needs, a B vitamin also known as vitamin H due to its long time association with hair health. SugarBearHair also provides 100 percent of your daily B12 needs, as well as significant amounts of both folate and zinc. Research shows that severe deficiencies of these nutrients can visibly impact the health of hair leading to increased hair shedding, dullness, and loss of colour. (Here’s more on why your hair is falling out.) When treated with a supplement, these symptoms can be resolved and hair can return to its natural shine and fullness. The limitation of hair formulated supplements is that there is no evidence to suggest that their use will improve the quality of your hair when a deficiency doesn’t exist. In other words, consuming more doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll continue to see an improvement beyond that.

SugarBearHair also contains 100 percent of your vitamin D needs, as well as significant amounts of vitamins A, C, and E. While these nutrients are known to be involved in the hair follicle cycle in some way, their exact role is not fully understood.

My Review of SugarBearHair

The Kardashians were right about one thing – these gummies really are delicious. As someone with a sweet tooth, I had no problem remembering to take my two gummies daily. I often use heat styling tools on my highlighted hair, so I’m always open to trying a new product that can reduce hair damage or give my hair an overall shinier and healthier appearance. After trying this supplement for 30 days, I can’t say that I noticed a difference in the growth, shine, or overall appearance of my hair. I’ll keep my $65 per month to spend on groceries. (Add these 15 hair-healthy foods to your grocery list.)

Alternatives

Nutrition is closely related to the health and appearance of hair. Poor nutrition, in particular, can have a dramatic impact on hair health. For example, prolonged restriction of calories and macronutrients, including for the purpose of weight loss, can cause increased hair shedding and dullness. (Read more about what your hair could be trying to tell you about your health.)

In Canada, as much as 35 percent of adults have low intakes of vitamin B12, B6, folate, and zinc, however, severe deficiencies of these nutrients are uncommon. If you’re worried about the appearance and health of your hair, consider seeing a dietitian to assess overall adequacy and quality of your diet before investing in expensive supplements. You may also want to try a topical hair treatment.

And if you’re interested in trying out a hair supplement, there are other options on the market with similar formulas at a fraction of the cost. Look for a supplement that contains vitamin B12, folate, and biotin, but don’t get caught up in supplements providing beyond 100 percent of your daily needs because there’s no proven additional benefit. Consider a B-complex supplement or try Centrum MultiGummies Multi+Beauty, which has a multi-vitamin nutrient formula with significant amounts of B vitamins, including biotin, folate, and B12. Plus, at $19 per bottle (90 gummies), it’s a much more affordable option.

Next, don’t miss these 38 secrets your hair stylist won’t tell you.

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