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Are Nutrafol’s supplements effective?

Every day, it’s normal to lose between 50 and 100 hairs. But many people have about anywhere from 80,000 to 120,000 hairs on their scalp, so it’s understandable why a few strands can go missing each day and it’s not noticeable.

While new strands typically replace those lost hairs, this doesn’t always happen. Hair loss can be a gradual process that occurs over the years, or it can happen suddenly. It can be permanent or temporary, too.

It’s also extremely common. In fact, 80 percent of men experience male pattern baldness (MLB) by age 80 and over 50 percent of women experience female pattern hair loss by the time they’re 80.

Hair loss may affect people differently at varying points in their lives, and there are a few reasons why your hair may thin. Genes play a factor in pattern baldness for both men and women. Other reasons include medical treatments, stress, age, and overstyling. Some people may even experience temporary postpartum shedding.

But regrowing hair, or even slowing the hair loss, is possible.

Nutrafol, for instance, is an over-the-counter supplement that works to relieve mild or moderate hair thinning due to age, stress, or genetics. The supplement also aims to strengthen hair to prevent breakage.

Nutrafol is manufactured by Nutraceutical Wellness Inc., a company based in New York City that reports making 100 percent drug-free products.

The product was co-founded by Giorgos Tsetis, a former model and entrepreneur with an engineering background. Nutrafol is the fastest-growing supplement for healthy hair and hair growth.

There are many hair loss products on the market, but Nutrafol has been clinically studied and proven to improve hair regrowth by 80 percent.

Research shows hair loss has multiple causes, ranging from your diet to hormones and stress. In order to find out what might be affecting your hair, it’s recommended to start out by taking Nutrafol’s Hair Wellness Quiz.

Nutrafol aims to restore hair growth by reducing stress and androgens in the body, a hormone that contributes to growth and reproduction in men and women.

Ingredients found in the supplements, like Sensoril ashwagandha, help build resistance to stress by balancing levels of cortisol, a hormone that plays a role in the body’s stress response. Cortisol can also signal to hair follicles to prematurely shift from growth to rest, where the hair can no longer grow. This means that chronic stress may have a hand in disrupting hair growth.

Nutrafol’s supplements also work to neutralize free radicals and inflammatory molecules that affect hair growth.

For hormonal hair loss

Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is an androgen hormone that is usually responsible for hormonal hair loss. DHT is more present in men, but women also make it. DHT causes the hair follicle to slowly shrink, a process called miniaturization. Eventually, DHT can make the follicles close so the hair can’t grow back.

Lifestyle factors like nutrition, metabolism, and stress levels may influence hair thinning, but hormonal changes from pregnancy, menopause, and stress are also significant contributors to a DHT imbalance in women.

Saw palmetto, an extract from the ripe berries of the American dwarf palm, is one ingredient in Nutrafol that may correct DHT sensitivity. In a 2009 study, researchers found that saw palmetto was shown to inhibit DHT receptors.

Meanwhile, maca, part of the mustard family, is included in the company’s Women’s Balance supplement, which is for people experiencing postpartum and peri- and post-menopause. Maca is highly nutritious — it contains a fair amount of fiber, vitamin C, and iron — and may help relieve symptoms of menopause.

Stress-related hair loss

Nutrafol includes Sensoril ashwagandha, a medicinal herb that may help build resistance to stress by balancing elevated cortisol levels. A 2012 study of 64 people showed that high levels of ashwagandha safely reduced their stress and anxiety levels.

Nutrafol also contains tocotrienol complex, chemicals in the vitamin E family, and astaxanthin, a keto-carotenoid that can be found in fish and may help reduce oxidative stress to promote scalp and hair health. Note that astaxanthin is only included in the Women’s Balance supplement.

Primary ingredients like vitamin E have shown improvements in correcting oxidative stress, or an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants in your body that may contribute to health conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

As a 2019 study points out, results are conflicting, but there is good reason to believe these vitamins can help with hair loss and damage caused by oxidative stress.

Metabolism-related hair loss

Your cellular metabolism provides energy for your hair follicles to grow. Inflammation, a high glycemic diet (foods that raise the blood sugar quickly), a hormone imbalance, or thyroid imbalance may all lead to poor metabolism, which can leave your body with less energy for healthy hair growth.

Nutrafol targets metabolism with curcumin, an anti-inflammatory compound found in turmeric. Curcumin has been used for thousands of years as a medicinal herb.

Curcumin is packed with vitamins and nutrients. Some studies show that curcumin may help alleviate metabolic syndrome and related disorders. Hair loss, like metabolic syndrome, can be exacerbated by chronic inflammation in the body, which curcumin may help reduce.

Personalized recommendations

With a subscription to Nutrafol, you’ll get access to the company’s naturopathic doctors. Based on the results of your quiz, the doctors can make personalized recommendations about products and lifestyle changes to help with your hair growth.

Nutrafol offers four different supplements: Women, Men, Postpartum, and Women’s Balance, which is designed for both perimenopausal and postmenopausal women.

Nutrafol Women

Price: $88 per bottle

This Nutrafol supplement is designed to improve hair growth, thickness, and strength. The formula is recommended for women ages 18 to 44. It doesn’t contain all the ingredients in the Women’s Balance supplement, but it does contain collagen, a protein found in the body that provides structure to your skin, bones, and teeth.

Collagen may also boost hair strength, fight damage to hair follicles, and prevent hair thinning associated with aging. The Nutrafol Women supplement also includes ingredients such as maca, astaxanthin, and extra saw palmetto.

Key ingredients: Sensoril ashwagandha, tocotrienol complex, marine collagen

Nutrafol Men

Price: $88 per bottle

The men’s formula contains saw palmetto to restore hair thickness and scalp nutrition caused by stress, poor nutrition, and metabolic changes. When taken consistently, Nutrafol claims that men may begin to see results within 3 to 6 months, but results vary.

In clinical trials, 83 percent of users experienced improved hair quality, while 72 percent saw improvement in scalp coverage.

Key ingredients: saw palmetto, tocotrienol complex, Sensoril ashwagandha

Nutrafol Postpartum

Price: $88 per bottle

After giving birth, estrogen and progesterone decline abruptly. In some women, cortisol starts to increase, thus having an impact on hair. According to 2013 research, hair loss may occur about 2 to 4 months after giving birth. The research also noted that typical hair shedding is delayed during pregnancy, so the loss may appear more dramatic.

Nutrafol’s formula uses theanine, an amino acid that may help reduce anxiety and stress, and shatavari, an herb in the asparagus family that has been found to help the body cope with physical and emotional stress.

In the Nutrafol Postpartum supplement, these ingredients aim to manage stress hormones and promote relaxation to support a healthy growth cycle. This formula also includes collagen and other antioxidants.

The hair cycle generally resets 15 months after giving birth. Nutrafol says this supplement complements postnatal vitamins, but it’s not meant to be taken while pregnant. The website also claims the ingredients are breastfeeding-friendly, but you should always check with your doctor first.

Key ingredients: theanine, shatavari, DHA omega-3, marine collagen

Nutrafol Women’s Balance

Price: $88 per bottle

Women’s Balance aims to restore thickness due to hair loss caused by the loss or fluctuation of hormones during perimenopause or menopause.

There are 21 ingredients in the Women’s Balance supplement. It’s a blend — meaning it contains a large group of additives — and is not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The full list of ingredients is on the website, but it does include vitamins A, C, and D, biotin, iodine, zinc, and more.

Per Nutrafol’s website, this formula can be used with hormone replacement therapy. Women’s Balance differs from Women’s Nutrafol because it has an emphasis on maca, astaxanthin, and extra saw palmetto to support waning estrogen and progesterone.

The formula is recommended for women who are 45 or older, but if you notice a widening part or hair thinning, you can take Women’s Balance.

Key ingredients: saw palmetto, maca, Sensoril ashwagandha

After taking the Hair Wellness Quiz, Nutrafol may recommend one of their hair boosters as extra support. These boosters can only be purchased if they’re offered to you after taking the quiz.

  • Vitamin-B Booster: A 1.7-fluid ounce tincture for people with hair loss caused by stress. It’s $30 per bottle.
  • DHT Inhibitor: A hair wellness supplement that aims to lower the production of DHT and replace it with botanicals that support hair growth and hormone health. It costs $30, and you’ll receive 60 capsules. Nutrafol recommends taking two each day.
  • Hairbiotic: A hair wellness supplement that supports a balanced microbiome and better digestion. For $30, you’ll receive 30 capsules. Nutrafol recommends taking one every day.
  • Liver Support: This supplement targets hair loss caused by your environment. It promotes healthy hair growth by promoting liver health and reducing oxidative stress. It’s $30 for 60 capsules, and Nutrafol recommends taking two every day.
  • Stress Adaptogen: Geared toward those experiencing hair loss from stress, this supplement uses potent botanical stress adaptogens to help the body. It costs $30. You’ll receive 60 capsules and should take two each day.
  • Sugar Balance: This supplement supports a healthy metabolism and helps the body break down carbs. You’ll receive 30 capsules for $30, and Nutrafol instructs users to take one each day.
  • Digestive Enzyme: The hair wellness supplement contains 16 enzymes to help improve digestion and absorption of nutrients essential for building healthy hair. The $30 bottle contains 60 capsules with a dosage of two per day.

Nutrafol has three payment options:

  • Per bottle: Each bottle costs $88.
  • Monthly delivery: If you opt for monthly deliveries, it’ll come out to $79 a month. You’ll receive a 1-month supply and free doctor consultations. You can pause or cancel your subscription at any time.
  • 3-month delivery: A 3-monthly supply of supplements is $225. You’ll receive 3 months’ worth of supplements on a trimonthly basis, along with free doctor consultations. With this subscription, you can also pause or cancel at any time.

While studies of Nutrafol have shown positive results, this supplement is best if your hair loss is minimal.

If you’re experiencing telogen effluvium (TE), a condition where your hair falls out after a stressful experience, Nutrafol could be a good option for you. This is because TE is temporary, and getting on track with your nutrition via supplements may be helpful.

Nutrafol’s website notes the supplement won’t change things overnight, but if you use the treatment regularly, you’ll likely begin to see some benefits.

It’s important to adjust your expectations, though. Nutrafol is not hair transplantation, a surgical technique that removes healthy follicles from one part of the body to another. However, some Nutrafol customers say they’ve experienced healthier, shinier hair after use.

As with any supplement, Nutrafol is not regulated by the FDA. Before starting a new supplement regimen, always talk with a doctor. Pregnant or breastfeeding women should always speak with a healthcare professional before starting supplements.

You should also talk with a doctor if you have allergies to any of the ingredients in Nutrafol or have pre-existing health conditions before trying the supplement.

Nutrafol has a wealth of competitors that offer other services and products beyond supplements.

Keeps

Keeps is an online telehealth company that specializes in preventing or reversing hair loss. The company sells three hair loss treatments:

  • Finasteride: a 1-milligram prescription-only pill that’s the generic version of Propecia
  • Minoxidil: a tincture that you apply to your scalp or as a foam on your hands; it’s the generic version of Rogaine, and you don’t need a prescription to use it
  • Kentoconazole: a shampoo with 2 percent topical kentoconazole, the generic version of Nizoral

Like Nutrafol, you can start out by taking a hair quiz. In addition, there’s another method that allows you to fill out a questionnaire about your hair goals and concerns, and attach photos of your head. A doctor will prescribe you a plan based on your answers.

Since some of the treatments require a prescription, a doctor will have to approve your results and make sure you’ve selected the right plan.

Regardless of the method you choose, you’ll need to supply a photo of a valid driver’s license or a government-issued ID.

Keeps is also a subscription service, so products will automatically be sent to you every 3 months unless you cancel. Your initial consultation with the doctor is free, but membership prices vary between $20 and $120 depending on your plan.

Hims

Hims is also a comprehensive telehealth company that focuses on personal wellness. They offer products that improve hair and skin health, nutrition, sexual wellness, and more.

Before you’re able to buy anything or sign up for a subscription plan, you’ll have to set up a Hims account. You’ll fill out a questionnaire about your hair loss status, along with any other products you’ve tried before.

Within 24 hours, you’ll receive a response from a doctor who may give you a prescription for finasteride, the same pill offered by Keeps. You’ll also be given the option to order the medication through Hims.

There are other hair loss treatments offered by Hims that don’t require a prescription. These products — including thick lather shampoo, thickening conditioner, biotin gummies, and more — can be bought once or delivered regularly through the company’s subscription options.

Does Nutrafol work?

Reviews are largely mixed when it comes to the effectiveness of Nutrafol’s supplements. Although some clinical trials and reviews found the products to gradually work over time, other users were unhappy with the results.

Nutrafol would most likely work for those who are experiencing minimal hair loss, as the supplements promote healthy hair growth and thickening.

Where can you buy Nutrafol?

You can buy Nutrafol supplements on Nutrafol.com or on Amazon.

Is Nutrafol safe?

Nutrafol is made with clinically backed, medical grade ingredients. The supplements are free of drugs, hormones, and artificial additives. The products are also third-party tested for heavy metals, pesticides, chemicals, and microbiological safety.

Since formulas, ingredients, and supplements are all reviewed by scientists, no data suggests that Nutrafol products are unsafe. However, talk with a doctor before deciding to introduce the supplements into your diet.

Nutrafol’s website has several before and after photos of customers who have had positive results with taking the supplement. Most have slight thickening at the crown of the head or at the part line.

On Amazon, Nutrafol has thousands of reviews for all formulas. More than half are 4- or 5-star ratings. But many reviews say the product did not regrow their hair.

Here are two reviews for comparison:

One 4-star review on Amazon says, “I think this works for people who have experienced a sudden hair loss and still retain the follicles necessary for regrowth.”

Meanwhile, a 1-star review mentions, “I have purchased four bottles of this and have taken them religiously. Absolutely no effect to their claims.”

Nutraceutical Wellness, Inc. is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB). An advertising review said the BBB asked Nutraceutical to provide evidence to substantiate the claim that 80 percent of people who used the product experienced increased hair thickness and regrowth.

Nutraceutical Wellness has an F grade with the BBB. They’ve received 10 complaints over the last year. Some customer complaints listed on the BBB’s website say shipments were not received. Other customers mention they were overcharged and that customer service was unhelpful with these issues.

Hair loss is a common problem in men and women, and it can have a big psychological impact on one’s self-confidence and mental health.

Nutrafol offers hair loss supplements to increase hair thickness and growth, and the company claims clinical studies have proven this. Some customers mention positive results with hair growth after using the product, while others say it didn’t really work for them.

If you’re experiencing hair loss or starting a new supplement to relieve it, talking with a dermatologist or another healthcare professional is a good first step.


Tracee Herbaugh is a writer and journalist who lives in the Boston area. She writes about culture, lifestyle, health, and family relationships. You can view her work online or find her on Twitter.