Ask The Pharmacy: Effectiveness, Results & Risks (Part 4 Of Hair Care & Hair Supplements Series)

Ask The Pharmacy: Effectiveness, Results & Risks (Part 4 Of Hair Care & Hair Supplements Series)

In the final video of our hair care and hair supplements series, nutritionist Mitesh Desai answers FAQs around taking supplements for hair loss, growth and maintenance, including when to speak to a doctor about your hair issues and any risks associated with supplementing.

In this video, we Ask The Pharmacy about what vitamins and minerals can do, when to expect results and what issues might need more than supplements to solve. We’ve included a transcript below with recommended hair growth supplements in italics within the transcript.

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A common theme running through our pharmacy is people’s concerns to do with their hair, and that comes in a variety of forms. People are worried about hair loss, scalp issues, weaker hair, thicker hair, just healthier looking hair in general. And it all comes down to the same thing really, which is, when you hair looks great, you feel great and you’re more confident and happier.

So, just like our skin, there are a number of markers where we can look at that indicate how healthy we’re living and also whether our diet is contributing to good hair health. The most important thing to remember when it comes to hair health is actually your body is always assigning priority. So when your giving it, you know, good things like vitamin B and iron, your body is allocating that based on priority, and, as far as your body is concerned, your hair is always the bottom of the priority list. So if your diet is not really good quality, then your hair is really likely to suffer. 

And that’s why so many people do decide to take supplements. In this video series, we’re going to talk about four common issues: preventing hair loss, promoting hair growth, because the two are obviously quite different, boosts for dry, weak or brittle hair and also solutions for dry and flaky scalps.

Hair Supplement Effectiveness, Results, Risks & When To Consult A Doctor For Hair Issues – 01:32

In the final video of our series on hair care, we’re going to be talking about how long you can expect to wait to see results when taking supplements for hair, the risks involved in taking supplements and when you should consider seeing a doctor about your hair or scalp condition.

How Long Will Hair Quality Take To Improve? – 01:52

It’s a tricky question to answer and in truth it depends on how aggressively you are addressing the issue, i.e. how many supplements you might be taking and what quality of supplements you’re taking. 

The thing to remember is that your hair grows by, generally, between two and three centimetres in a month, for most people – assuming that your hair isn’t extremely long already at which point the hair growth starts to slow down a little bit. So, realistically, your expecting to see a difference between around three to six months if you have relatively short hair, so we’re talking for a man or a woman with hair down to about their shoulders. For a woman with longer hair, you’re probably expecting nearly nine to twelve months of supplementing before you see a big impact, in terms of how the hair overall looks. But you would start to see small changes probably a bit quicker, sort of in that three to six month period as you would with shorter haired people.

Should We Always Be Taking Supplements To Improve Hair Quality? – 03:00

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Broadly that’s kind of true and not necessarily just for people who have hair growth issues, it’s true for all of us, because we all have different imbalances. The unfortunate truth is that modern life is not set up for, you know, eating really five small, incredibly nutritious meals a day. And actually, like, the food industry, increasingly is not catering to our bodies most important needs and you can see that because there are, sort of, a wider variety of crisps and chocolates down the isles than there are fruits and veg. So, nothing is built to support people eating a perfectly balanced diet so in many cases, you know, the result is an obvious imbalances like a lack of vitamin D. 

But, of course, in so many people’s cases, there are apparently millions of people in the UK who complain that they are suffering from hair loss. And you know, we’re not talking about loss as part of the natural aging process, we’re talking about hair loss or weak hair in their twenties and thirties. You know, so, unfortunately, if it’s not, you know, the lack of perfect diet which I mentioned, there’s also a huge number of external aggressors in modern society. The majority of people in the UK live in cities, and guess what, that means that your hair is getting covered in smoke and pollution and a variety of other naturally very unhealthy things. Which is all going to be affecting the quality of your hair, the colour of your hair. So, unfortunately, in my opinion, it’s just impossible to avoid a scenario where you probably don’t have some kind of imbalance, if not because of your diet then because of the environment you live in.

Are There Risks To Taking Supplements? – 05:20

Like with anything, there can be risks. Too many vitamins can be a bad thing, there are two sides to it. 

Number one is, some vitamins, like for example vitamin D, is not water soluble, and what that means is that when you take it, it doesn’t necessarily just break down and pass through your body. So if you take too much of it, actually it can create a build up, which can then put you at risk of effectively overdosing on vitamin D. 

You know, the other thing to remember when it comes to vitamins is that, we’ve talked about your body needing protein, but the other thing to remember is that you can’t just take thousands of milligrams of protein on a Monday and then assume that your job is done. Unfortunately, your body is regularly expelling things it doesn’t need, even if those things are good for it. So if you are taking a huge amount of vitamin C which your body is either struggling to absorb or doesn’t need in that moment, it will just expel it.

So there are two of the key risks when it comes to supplementing. And the other thing, which I’ve already mentioned, which I’ll mention again, is that generally it is always worth consulting with a professional of some sort before you start to supplement. If you extend to supplement a lot, with a lot of different things, I would always recommend having a blood test first. Any good quality healthcare practitioner will be able to look at blood test results and be able to provide you with much better quality advice than if they were trying to do it based on what you were trying to achieve, what you wanted.

When Should You See A Doctor For Hair Issues? – 07:12

If you are suffering from hair loss or weak hair, or a lack of hair growth, it is always worth talking to a doctor, for example. If there are other symptoms around that, so for example, some people can also experience things like heavy fatigue or they might feel that their hair loss is related to some sort of stress, for example, or a hormonal imbalance, like we mentioned people also often lose hair after having a baby. 

You know, people also find they lose hair during traumatic times in their lives. For example, if they lose a loved one, so if you think that there is a sensible behind what’s going on then absolutely speak to a medical professional because it might be that the issues with your hair are a byproduct of something more significant and addressing that will probably resolve your hair loss issues.

End Of Part 4 – 08:25

That was the fourth and final video in our series on hair care and hair supplements. You can check out our website or our YouTube channel to see the other three parts on: preventing hair loss, promoting hair growth and dealing with dry scalps or brittle hair. You can also subscribe to our channel for more videos soon.

Next Time On… Ask The Pharmacy – 08:45

Our next session will be on vitamins and mineral supplements that you can take to help and reduce the symptoms and effects of menopause. This is a topic that is rarely spoken about but which has a massive impact on everyone’s life. So, if you do have any queries, please message and we’ll add it to our events page.

Find us on Twitter @LandysChemist and message us with #AskThePharmacy. We’re also on Facebook and Instagram.

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About Mitesh

Mitesh works at Landys Chemist as a nutritionist. His focus is on ensuring people’s wellbeing and to offer solutions where people are finding an imbalance in their life.


The products offered are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any illness or disease, or to replace the advice of a medical professional. Results are not guaranteed and may vary from individual to individual.