Nutrafol is a supplement that contains a proprietary blend of ingredients, says New York City dermatologist Dendy Engelman, M.D. These include botanicals like vitamin E extracted from palm oil, ashwagandha, and biocurcumin; vitamins, such as biotin and keratin; and antioxidants such as resveratrol, says Engelman.
All these ingredients, she says, have been clinically tested for efficacy against some of the main causes of hair thinning, including stress and hormones.
How does it work?
Nutrafol aims to restore hair growth by naturally rebalancing stress and androgen hormones, neutralizing free radicals, and combatting inflammatory molecules that alter hair growth signaling, says Engelman. In other words, it combats the many of the major factors (like stress and inflammation) that were causing your hair to thin in the first place—while also providing your hair with a better environment in which to grow.
The core solutions of Nutrafol include supplements for women and men. After a hair wellness evaluation with their team, you can also purchase other targeted boosters such as the stress adaptogen, DHT inhibitor, hairbiotic, digestive enzymes, vitamin B-booster, liver support, and sugar balance.
Most people should start to see an improvement in hair within the first 30 to 60 days, she says—with measurable results by about 90 days. (Check out the images above to see two real women’s before and afters!)
Nutrafol Ingredients – What to Look For
The ingredients that set Nutrafol apart from other hair thinning/loss solutions include:
- Biotin – This is vitamin B7 and is recommended by experts for stronger and healthier hair. While Nutrafol claims it is beneficial, this review from the journal Skin Appendage Disorders claims that there’s no effect if the cause of hair loss is not biotin deficiency.
- Cayenne Pepper Extract – Capsaicin, the substance that makes cayenne peppers spicy, is said to stop hair thinning and promote hair growth according to this journal article from Growth Hormone and IGF Research. It does so through several suggested mechanisms. First, it is involved in the production of proteins that stimulate hair growth. Second, it helps fight stress that can result in hair loss. Lastly, it improves blood circulation around the hair follicles that, in turn, improves the health and growth of hair.
- Ashwagandha – This herb originating in India may help with several symptoms of hair loss. According to the Pharmacognosy Journal and Drug Metabolism and Drug Interactions, it has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties in addition to its ability to improve blood circulation. It may also lower the levels of cortisol, a stress-inducing hormone, and may also eliminate dandruff.
However, there’s a major difference in price from other OTC hair treatments. The pills come at a steep price—$88 for a one-month’s supply. (By comparison, minoxidil a.k.a. Rogaine costs $20 for a two-month’s supply on Amazon, while more traditional biotin supplements cost around $10 to $25 a bottle on Amazon.) The recommended dosage is also four pills per day, which may feel like a lot for the pill-adverse.
Nutrafol Pros & Cons
Despite the good reviews in general, there are still some advantages and disadvantages to consider before using Nutrafol.
- It consists of ingredients with proven hair growth benefits.
- It is said to possess some DHT-blocking qualities.
- It may support the keratin infrastructure of the body.
- It may promote the health of the scalp.
- It may protect the hair follicles against free radical-induced damage.
- It only works on hair thinning/loss resulting from nutrient deficiencies.
- It does not increase hair count.
- Some users reported adverse side effects.
The Bottom Line
Nutrafol uses natural ingredients to help combat hair thinning and loss. Therefore, it may be safer to use than other alternatives that contain chemicals that could potentially harm your health.
However, as with any other supplements such as More Hair Naturally 9, Viviscal Extra Strength, and H-Boost, it may not have the intended effect and for some people, it may result in adverse side effects.