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Do Prenatal Vitamins Help Hair Grow? No, and Here is Why!

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Do prenatal vitamins help hair grow? Should you be taking them even if you are not pregnant or planning to have a baby? While there are some benefits of these vitamins for hair regeneration, you should not be taking them if you’re not taking them for two. Here’s what to expect if you’re not expecting and you still take prenatal vitamins!

1. What are prenatal vitamins?
  1.1 What is the connection between prenatal vitamins and hair growth?
2. What are the benefits of taking prenatal vitamins when you're not pregnant?
3. What are the disadvantages of taking prenatal vitamins if you’re not pregnant?
4. Is it a good idea to take prenatal vitamins when not pregnant?
5. What vitamins, minerals, and nutrients make hair grow faster?
  5.1 Omega-3 fatty acids  
  5.2 Copper
  5.3 Zinc 
  5.4 Iron 
  5.5 Calcium 
  5.6 Folic acid 
  5.7 Vitamin C 
  5.8 Vitamin D 
  5.9 Vitamin A 
  5.10 Choline 
  5.11 Biotin 
  5.12 Niacin 

What are prenatal vitamins?

Doctors recommend prenatal vitamins to pregnant women to reduce the risks of pregnancy complications. Such vitamins are involved in the development of the baby. They are also meant to keep pregnant women healthy enough to sustain life. Omega-3 fatty acids, essential amino acids, calcium, iron, and folic acid are all recommended for pregnant women. They fulfill the nutritional needs of both mother and child. Somehow, though, they’ve also become famous as vitamins for hair growth for women who are not expecting.  

What is the connection between prenatal vitamins and hair growth?

How are prenatal vitamins different from hair growth supplements? Prenatal vitamins contain many of the nutrients needed for stronger hair and nails. Still, the amounts are very different!

How come someone thought of taking prenatal vitamins for hair growth? During pregnancy, there’s a peak in estrogen levels. That causes hair to remain in the growth phase for a longer time.* 

And then there's the similar composition of both vitamins and hair supplements. That is why many women consider taking prenatal vitamins for hair even though they are not expecting, planning to have a baby, or breastfeeding.

*After pregnancy, there’s the possibility that all that extra hair will shed, so don’t be jealous of that, ladies!

What are the benefits of taking prenatal vitamins when you're not pregnant?

Some specialists recommend women continue to take them during lactation to boost their nutritional intake. Some doctors suggest taking prenatal vitamins for hair. Even celebrities have sworn by prenatal vitamins for glowing skin and healthy hair. And they may indeed have some positive effects on hair health after all. However, if you want to avoid side effects, think twice before taking prenatal vitamins for hair growth or hair thickening. You can get the results you want from taking regular hair supplements.

What are the disadvantages of taking prenatal vitamins if you’re not pregnant?

Prenatal vitamins contain key nutrients for both mom and baby. Some of these nutrients can be found in women’s multivitamins. And yes, the body does need these nutrients, but in a different dosage. The levels of nutrients should be adjusted to your needs and your body must be ready to eliminate the excess, as it can only process what it needs. The rest? It will typically go down the drain, but it can also cause serious damage.

Side effects are diverse:

  • Too much iron can cause nausea, constipation, vomiting, diarrhea, losing weight, weakness and lack of energy. In time, too much iron can start affecting vital organs such as the heart and the liver. 
  • Too much folic acid can be dangerous as well. It’s linked to colorectal cancer and can mask a vitamin B12 deficiency. 
  • Too much calcium can cause kidney stones and imbalances in heart function.
  • Too much biotin from prenatal vitamins can cause rashes and digestive issues.
  • Too much vitamin A is toxic to the liver, causing digestive issues.

Is it a good idea to take prenatal vitamins when not pregnant?

Is it true that prenatal vitamins help hair growth? While prenatal vitamins contain essential nutrients for hair strength and regeneration, it’s not a good idea to take them if you’re not pregnant. If your doctor notices any deficiencies, you will be recommended a suitable supplement. And, of course, you can always get your nutrients from a healthy, balanced diet. That’s how you can avoid the side effects of taking prenatal vitamins when not pregnant. 

What vitamins, minerals, and nutrients make hair grow faster?

So what should you do for super healthy hair and nails? Well, taking vitamins and minerals for women can help. It can also help to take supplements that were created for stronger nails and hair regeneration. Most of them contain the same nutrients found in prenatal vitamins, only the dosages are suited for a non-pregnant woman: 

  • Omega-3 fatty acids contribute to a healthy formation of the brain in the child. And in preventing perinatal depression. When it comes to hair care, these fatty acids boost hair growth and luster.  
  • Copper helps form the baby’s skeleton, muscles, and blood cells. In haircare, it stimulates hair follicles, keeping hair nourished and strong.
  • Zinc is linked to the healthy weight of the baby at birth. Healthy zinc levels prevent preterm births. Zinc also repairs the hair, balances the oil glands in the scalp, and boosts growth.
  • Iron is involved in creating new blood cells. Healthy circulation is beneficial to both pregnant women, as well as women who want beautiful locks. 
  • Calcium keeps the bones strong and is involved in the health of the cardiovascular system. It also keeps nails and hair strong.
  • Folic acid is associated with the healthy neuronal development of the fetus. It’s also responsible for new cell regeneration, hence it could boost hair growth. 
  • Vitamin C is linked to bone and teeth development, immune regulation, collagen production, tissue repairment, and the baby’s ability to absorb iron. For your hair, you need it to curb the effect of free radicals.
  • Vitamin D helps support the immune function during pregnancy. But it’s also linked to keeping hair follicles healthy. Healthy follicles = strong hair. 
  • Vitamin A is involved in the development of vital organs for the fetus and tissue regeneration for the mother post-partum. Vitamin A also keeps the scalp healthy and protects the hair strands from becoming brittle and vulnerable to breakage. 
  • Choline sustains brain development for the baby. When it comes to hair growth, it prevents hair thinning.
  • Biotin is involved in gene expression and new cell development for both baby and mother. In haircare, biotin is associated with hair growth (producing keratin) and follicle health. A lack of biotin can cause hair breakage and hair loss. 
  • Niacin is involved in healthy blood circulation. Specifically to your hair, it sustains follicle nourishment, aka strong hair.

It should be mentioned that most of these vitamins and minerals can be found in a balanced diet. A healthy diet that includes leafy greens, asparagus, broccoli, eggs, beets, avocado, beef, salmon, cucumbers, yeast, seeds, sweet potatoes, cauliflower, almonds, yogurt, and berries can have the same positive impact on your tresses. Just like adjusting to a healthier, balanced lifestyle altogether. Just like proper care with natural products can add the nourishment your hair needs. 

The conclusion, ladies? Less is more when it comes to adding supplements to your routine. Even more so if the doctor did not order them. While we’d do anything for beauty, it’s better to be safe than sorry. There might be some perks in taking prenatal vitamins, but there are other healthier ways to help your tresses grow strong, thick, and luscious. Not to mention the fact that your men could have a big scare seeing you take prenatal vitamins. Or even worse, some may even love the idea!

Iulia Claudia Dumitru

I feel happy when I get to tell meaningful stories. About people. About the world. About life. About what people need to feel good. Healthy food, a balanced lifestyle, a grateful approach to relationships with others and ourselves. That is how I keep myself grounded and purposeful. That is how I aim to contribute: striving to make ourselves the best we can. Creating life in the little things. Living every day with the joy, wonder, and curiosity of a child. Trying to #seeKbeauty. Inside and out.

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