When it comes to male pattern baldness, or androgenetic alopecia, two factors are likely causing the condition: genetics and male sex hormones. Male pattern baldness occurs when your hair follicles shorten. Eventually, they stop growing altogether.
Historically, vitamins recommended for male pattern baldness included vitamins A and D. This is because androgenetic alopecia was previously linked with deficiencies of vitamins A and D, according to a 2020 paper published in the journal Dermatology and Therapy. Although there is a connection, physicians have found supplements that promote hair growth and limit hair loss even more effectively.
“Most hair loss experts have moved away from recommending vitamins for hair loss of any kind, if they ever recommended it,” Amy McMichael, MD, a professor and chair in the Department of Dermatology at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, tells WebMD Connect to Care.
“The trend now is to recommend supplements that contain a number of micronutrients that have individually shown either in vitro or in vivo effect on the hair follicle," McMichael says. "These supplements may also contain some vitamins within the supplement itself, but the thought is that the combination of active ingredients is what actually is most effective for pattern hair loss, whether for men or women.”
Which Vitamins Help With Male Pattern Baldness?
Most of the vitamins listed on a daily hair vitamin bottle can promote hair growth, but few are proven to actually stop hair loss. The NIH says biotin and raspberry ketone are often-recommended supplements for androgenetic alopecia, but it notes that there is little research on the use of these treatments.
“Research in the area of supplementation for hair loss is in its infancy,” McMichael says. “Most of the supplements are built from ingredients that test individual micronutrients in studies on hair follicles, either in vitro or in vivo in animal models. Effects on various forms of hair loss are now being studied by a number of companies who make these supplements.”
McMichael says there are many ingredients that are commonly found in hair supplements.
“For now, there is no one supplement combination that can be named optimal, but providers who counsel hair loss patients often make the decision based upon the compilation of studies presented on the ingredients and how well they explain the effect on the hair follicle, as well as before and after photos,” McMichael says.
Some of the most common ingredients, according to McMichael, include:
- Polypodium leucotomos (antioxidant)
- Bacillus coagulans (probiotic)
- Soluble keratin
- Murine collagen
- Saw palmetto (anti-androgen)
- Curcumin (antioxidant)
- Ashwagandha root extract
- Vitamins A, E, B6 and B12, C and D
- Minerals like calcium, magnesium and zinc
Don’t Wait. Get Help Today.
Hair loss or baldness can be treated. Your doctor is likely to suggest supplements, according to the NIH.
The sooner you address the symptoms of hair loss, the more likely you are to prevent irreversible damage. Speak to a medical professional today to begin your journey to a fuller head of hair.