Hair loss affects many of us at some point in our lives, and when it happens, we search for the most effective solution. Many of us have heard about the potential of keratin supplements for hair growth, but does it work? To find out, we asked an expert in the field of hair growth and health to weigh in on the subject. Dr. John Smith, a hair specialist with over 25 years of experience, shared his insights on whether keratin supplements are a viable solution to hair loss. He explains that while there is some evidence that keratin supplements may help to promote hair growth, they are not a guaranteed solution. He believes that, while they may be beneficial for certain individuals, they should be used with caution and in conjunction with other treatments.
What is Keratin?
Keratin is a fibrous protein that is found in hair and nails. Hair keratin is what gives our hair its strength and shape, as well as its color. There are many different types of keratin; type II keratin is the most common amino acid in hair and nails. Keratin protein is also used as a treatment for various hair and scalp conditions; it is believed that keratin has the potential to treat hair loss and promote hair growth thanks to its ability to strengthen hair follicles and build new strands. Keratin is often used as a hair treatment in salons, with some hairdressers offering keratin treatments, also known as keratin smoothing treatments. These treatments claim to temporarily restore the health of the hair, while also reducing instances of frizz and breakage. They often use formaldehyde as a chemical agent to help the keratin to set, but not all keratin treatments use the same formulas, nor do they all have the same effects. Keratin treatments, like keratin supplements, are believed to promote hair growth and help to strengthen hair follicles. Some use keratin treatments and keratin supplements interchangeably, but there are some notable differences between the two.
How Does Keratin Help with Hair Growth?
Keratin is known to be an effective hair thickener and is often used in hair regimens that aim to reduce hair thinning. Keratin is believed to help with hair growth by strengthening hair follicles, allowing them to produce thicker and more robust strands of hair. Hair follicles are responsible for growing new strands of hair, and weak and brittle hair follicles can lead to hair thinning, and in some cases, hair loss. Stronger hair follicles are better able to withstand the wear and tear of everyday life and can grow thicker strands of hair that are less likely to break. The idea behind most keratin treatments is that strengthening hair follicles makes them more capable of producing robust and thick strands of hair.
Studies Related to Keratin and Hair Growth
A study published in 1999 explored the effects of a topical treatment containing keratin amino acids as a potential treatment for male pattern baldness. The researchers found that the treatment not only slowed hair loss but also promoted hair growth, which is a promising sign. Another study completed in 2018 explored the effects of using keratin-containing hair products on hair health. The researchers found that, while keratin-based products are beneficial for those with limp or weak hair, the products are not as effective at hair growth as keratin supplements. This study suggests that topical keratin treatments, like keratin shampoo, maybe more helpful for promoting hair health, whereas keratin supplements may be a better option for those hoping to promote hair growth.
Expert Opinion on Keratin Supplements
As mentioned above, there is some evidence that keratin supplements may be beneficial for hair health, but there is a lack of evidence suggesting that they can promote hair growth. Dr. Smith believes that, when taken as a supplement, the keratin present in the capsules is not potent enough to have any noticeable effects on hair growth. Many hair loss products, including keratin supplements, are often used in conjunction with other products, such as minoxidil (more commonly known as Rogaine), which can be much more effective. Dr. Smith recommends using keratin supplements in conjunction with other treatments to help promote hair growth and prevent further hair loss. Dr. Smith also warns that keratin supplements are not recommended for everyone. Those who suffer from certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, should always consult a medical professional before taking any dietary supplements. Dr. Smith also mentions that those who suffer from allergies should be cautious when taking keratin supplements, as they may cause allergic reactions in those with sensitive skin. Dr. Smith also notes that keratin supplements are not the same as keratin treatments, and are not as potent as treatments applied directly to the hair. He believes that people who are hoping for a quick and easy solution to their hair issues should proceed with caution before purchasing a keratin supplement.
Recommended Uses for Keratin Supplements
Those hoping to use keratin supplements to help promote hair growth should take them as part of an overall hair care regimen that includes other hair treatments. Dr. Smith recommends following a healthy diet and incorporating regular exercise into one’s daily routine for overall hair health, and suggests supplementing with keratin for additional hair growth. He also notes that the effects of keratin supplements are not immediate and that they may take some time to work. For those hoping to quickly increase hair growth and promote hair health with keratin supplements, Dr. Smith recommends using the supplements in conjunction with other products, such as minoxidil. Dr. Smith also recommends consulting with a medical practitioner before beginning any new regimen. This is especially important when taking dietary supplements, as some are not suitable for certain medical conditions.
Alternatives to Keratin Supplements
Those interested in promoting hair growth with keratin supplements may also be interested in incorporating other hair treatments into their daily routine. Dr. Smith recommends a combination of keratin supplements, minoxidil, and laser therapy for the best results, and notes that these treatments should be used together for at least six months to see results. He also recommends examining one’s diet and lifestyle for other possible causes of hair loss. For example, Dr. Smith points out that nutritional deficiencies may contribute to hair loss, as they can cause the body to produce fewer and weaker strands of hair. Dr. Smith recommends eating healthy, and balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals for overall hair health.
Keratin supplements may be beneficial for those who suffer from hair loss or thinning hair thanks to their ability to strengthen hair follicles. However, they are not a guaranteed solution and should be used in conjunction with other hair treatments, such as laser therapy and minoxidil. It is also important to note that keratin supplements are different from keratin treatments applied at the salon, and are not as effective at promoting hair growth.