Prenatal Vitamins for Hair Growth-Do Prenatal Vitamins help make your Hair Grow?

Is using Prenatal vitamins for hair growth a viable idea? How do prenatal vitamins help or make your hair grow fast? Can these vitamins be taken when you are not pregnant? Can men take prenatal vitamins for hair growth/loss? Read on to find more in addition to reviews, results and if crushing these vitamins in shampoo works.

How do prenatal Vitamins help or make your Hair Grow?

How do they work & what are their benefits?

There isn’t substantial scientific evidence but anecdotal evidence on which you can base this discussion on. The hearsay arose when women who were pregnant and subsequently taking prenatal vitamins had the most desirable hair. However, when they stopped taking them after they have delivered; their hair begins to shrink to their prenatal state.

The reality stands that vitamins are essential for hair growth but during pregnancy, the level of estrogen rises. These hormonal changes that occur during this time are responsible for the change in skin texture, color and even hair growth.

Therefore, prenatal vitamins may have little to do with hair growth during pregnancy as the mother and her baby suffer deficiencies in various nutrients. Any supplement and dietary enhancement is duly utilized completely to the aid of the mother’s health and the baby’s growth and development.

prenatal vitamins vitamins for hair growth
Prenatal Vitamins

So do they work?

Vitamins have been shown to improve hair growth and there even exists such supplements in the market with great reviews such as folic acid. Despite awesome reviews for folic acid, most of the positive reviews were linked to fortified supplements. This is due to the fact that most preparations in the market that aid hair growth also contain other B-vitamins. Vitamin B 12 and vitamin B 6 are in most occasions added as co-vitamins such as in Dasgro hair formula[1].

“In a study conducted in Ontario Veterinary College, folic acid was shown prevent hair loss. A three week old calf with hair loss, crusting and brown patches was administered a folic acid supplement in a doses of 1mg/kg/day. Remarkable results were seen weeks after with disappearance of patches and steady hair growth months after.”

In addition, trace elements such as selenium also promote hair growth. Some prenatal vitamins that have selenium includes prenatal vitamins-selenium-ferrous fumarate-FA (WebMd)[2]

This researched article looks at each vitamin that enables the growth of hair through the hair cycle process.

What are these Vitamins?

There are 11 essential vitamins that aid hair growth. Having these vitamins in your diet in the correct daily quantities and even supplementing them could see to it that your hair grows properly. These vitamins include:

Vitamin C

Ascorbic acid (vitamin C) is important as an antioxidant in the body. In hair products. It is usually added to fight off oxidative stress and free radicals. While oxidation is a natural process, smoke, air pollution, toxic substances and radiation could have a negative impact on the dermal papillae cells. It in these cells that you have androgen receptors and fibroblasts that enable follicle growth.

B Vitamins

The B Vitamins are the most important group of vitamins that you wouldn’t miss in any hair product. As prenatal vitamins contain a high quantity of these, they may aid in hair growth if used.

Vitamin B 12 is the most important for its prevention of premature hair loss and maintaining the healthy look hair requires.

  1. If the body is not able to process vitamin B 12, hair loss and slow hair growth rate result. Undernourished hair follicles slows hair growth rate. During the anagen phase of the hair cycle, there is rapid multiplication of keratin cells. Keratin cell act as amplifying cells and are necessary for the proliferation of follicles.
  2. Formation of red blood cells relied on the availability of vitamin B12. This prevents pernicious anemia. In the case of anemia, there is below optimum distribution of oxygen to the dermal papillae cells. Hair will not grow in low oxygen especially in the anagen phase. It is this anagen phase that need to be prolonged for long and healthy hair.
  3. Re-pigmentation and maintenance of the original hair color is also an indication of this vital vitamin.

Folic acid, also a vitamin, (B 9), is particularly important for DNA synthesis. For hair cells to multiply, you need DNA synthesis and replication during the cell cycle. The benefits of using this vitamin for hair include:

  • Prolongs the anagen phase implying that the hair grows longer, with a higher density, highly pigmented and strong – Hardy, M.H. (1992)
  • Ensures normal functioning of the sebaceous glands keeping the hair oiled and not dried out.
  • Prevents hair loss that result from use of drugs such as methotrexate.
  • Aids in the management of hair loss diseases such as:
  • Telogen effluvium – temporary hair loss
  • Androgenic alopecia – hair loss caused by increased testosterone levels in the body
  • Estrogen drop can be controlled in women in menopause by consuming folic acid – Cash, T.F. (1999)

Vitamin E

When combined with other vitamins, though overlooked, provides a healthy scalp. This encourages hair growth.

Vitamin A

This vitamin also acts as an anti-oxidant and eliminates toxic radicals that may damage the scalp. However, vitamin A, in higher quantities can lead to hypervitaminosis and toxicity. Hence, may otherwise cause the reverse effect.

Vitamin D

According to a 2012 study published in the journal ‘Stem Cells Transitional Medicine’ [3] vitamin D has been mentioned to be able to ‘wake up’ follicles to promote hair growth. A research done in Harvard, shows that follicles that are dormant can be ‘awakened’ with vitamin D.

How do you use Prenatal Vitamins for Hair Growth/Loss?

Vitamins are not digestible but have to be absorbed into the system. It is through the system that the vitamin will be well distributed even to the extremities.  It is also through the proper metabolic pathways, that the vitamins will be converted into their active forms for use by the cells.

Choose to take the prenatal vitamins orally.

Can you take Prenatal Vitamins for Hair Growth when not Pregnant?

You can have them for vitamin deficiencies that indirectly result in proper hair growth but at the expense of your health. As mentioned, prenatal vitamins have high amounts of each component including high doses of iron and calcium. Which is better? Going for prenatal pills that are for the pregnant, TTC (trying to conceive) and lactating or going for the straight forward hair medication. The hair multivitamins are properly calculated for hair growth without causing any toxicity.

There is no evidence apart from hearsay that support the use of prenatal vitamins. Go for the normal multivitamins.

Can men take Prenatal Vitamins for Hair Growth?

Can men take prenatal vitamins?
Men and prenatal Vitamins

Prenatal vitamins are made for expectant mothers, lactating mothers and those who are trying to get pregnant. They contain vitamins that may be very useful to men with deficiencies to some of them. This means that vitamin B 12 and folic acid deficiency can be dealt with using prenatal vitamins. However, the doses in the prenatal vitamins result in intolerances that would lead to adverse effects. The doses in these pills may lead to toxicity effects of prenatal vitamins. Men should opt to go for multi-vitamins that are specially formulated for the nourishment of hair follicles and dermal cells.

What is most worrying is the large amount of iron that is found in prenatal multivitamins. Normally, iron is not added to multivitamins for men. This iron may lead to iron toxicity and may cause adverse gastrointestinal symptoms and signs. Constipation, diarrhea, vomiting that may be both bloody. Stomach pain and cramping are also felt.

The amount of calcium is also very high in prenatal vitamins and in men, may lead to hypercalcemia. Hypercalcemia is associated with kidney stones, kidney failure and irregular heartbeat (Livestrong)[4]

So me, get multivitamins without iron if you desire the best outcomes.

What are the Best Prenatal Vitamins for Hair Growth-Reviews?

Reviews show that prenatal vitamins are not the correct medication to boost hair growth though they may contain the necessary vitamins. It has been noted in most online platforms that most people think they really worked. However, they are wrong due to the following reasons:

Reason1# They do not contribute much

Pregnant women seem to have the perfect hair while taking prenatal vitamins. In real sense, the vitamins attribute a small percentage of hair growth in pregnant women as most is used to bridge their vitamin deficiencies. Their hormones account a large chunk of their admirable hair#

Reason2 # Crushed Prenatal Vitamins

Those who suggest that they crushed their prenatal vitamins and applied them to their scalp are doing the wrong thing altogether. (see sections below)


“You should just take biotin; prenatal vitamins are made to support you and a growing fetus. A lot of people think it’s the vitamins but it’s just the increase in hormones and estrogen that help with nail and hair growth.”

“There are other pills out there for helping your hair grow. My doctor suggested resorting to prenatal vitamins only when you are about to begin TTC or you’re already pregnant.

Take a biotin supplement” []

Crushing Prenatal Vitamins in Shampoo for Hair Growth

Are there shampoos/conditioners with prenatal vitamins?

Based on very little evidence on the viability of prenatal vitamins for hair growth, and there being alternative multivitamins for hair growth, there are no known shampoos with the former.

Does crushing, smashing or putting prenatal vitamins in shampoo for hair growth work?

Some users claim that smashing or crushing the supplement pills in shampoo or soap may help. This probably may not be helpful.

Prenatal vitamins need to be absorbed by living cells of the dermal papillae and not the dead cells of the hair follicle. The active form of the vitamin also needs to be absorbed by the cells and not a degraded less bioactive product as a result of oxidative effect of UV which is in the environment. UV has been shown to degrade folic acid into its less active metabolites and non-bioactive form of folic acid. The bioactive form of folic acid is methyl tetrahydrofolate. This is the compound that is required for the synthesis of DNA. UVA radiation showed that UVR exposure results in the cleavage of folic acid to form p-aminiobenzoyl-L-glutamic acid and 6-forml pterin (Off et al. 2005)[5]

To add, these vitamins are protein coated and are not formulated in their free form as derived from dietary sources.  For instance, vitamin B 12 in its protein bound form; it should first be degraded by proteases in the stomach and the duodenum. Afterwards it will bind to the R-binder in the walls of the duodenum. In the duodenum, it will undergo further degradation. After the second phase in the duodenum, the pancreas then secretes proteases that degrade the R-binders holding the vitamin B 12. (Lieberman) [6]

With knowledge of the complex pathway the vitamins have to undergo before they are fit for use by the dermal cells, it is quite evident that applying crushed prenatal vitamins to your scalp will not help. The scalp and the dermal papilla cells lack the proteases and the R-binders for the absorption of vitamin B 12. Furthermore, folic acid is degraded into forms that cannot be utilized by the cells for DNA synthesis.

Prenatal Vitamins for Hair Growth Before and After Results

You already know that hair growth during pregnancy is stimulated by hormones. When not pregnant the vitamins play almost no role in growing your hair.
However some users claim that there are some brands that work. The reason as to why they work is biotin. That means checking for biotin when buying these vitamins.
Here is a video testimonial from a youtuber






[5] Ultraviolet photo degradation of folic acid. Off MK, Steindal AE, Porojnicu AC, Juzeniene A, Vorobey A, Johnsson A, Moan JJ Photochem Photobiol B. 2005 Jul 1; 80(1):47-55.

[6] Lieberman M, Marks AD.  Tetrahydrofolate, Vitamin B12, and S-adenosylmethionine.  Lieberman M, Marks AD. Eds. In: Mark’s Basic Medical Biochemistry: A Clinical Approach.  3rd Ed.  Wolters Kluwer/Lippincott Willaims & Wilkins.  Philadelphia, PA.  2009.

Hardy, M.H. (1992) The secret life of the hair follicle. Trends Genet. 8, 55–61

 Cash, T.F. (1999) The psychosocial consequences of androgenetic alopecia: a review of the research literature. Br. J. Dermatol. 141, 398–405


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