Update 3/5/20. Hair Essentials is a popular hair growth supplement people continue to ask about. In this review, You'll learn about the ingredients (there's a lot of them) and clinical research on this supplement. Does it have any side effects and more importantly does it really work and by work we mean grow hair? You'll also learn about whether the supplement can turn gray hair dark again.
Other Hair Growth Reviews
- Viviscal Review
- Nutrafol vs. Viviscal Review
- Halo Beauty Booster Review
- Castor Oil Review
- Amplixin Review
- Does Caffeine Shampoo Help Your Hair Grow?
Hair Essentials Research
Hair Essentials is said to be clinically proven to work. As proof, a clinical study is listed on the supplement website (HairEssentials.com). Here is a summary
The study is titled “A single-center clinical trial to evaluate the efficacy and tolerability of Hair Essentials supplement for women with androgenic alopecia (ludwig I and II).” In the study, they call the supplement “Supplement HT1000.”
The words “ludwig I and II is a reference to the Ludwig Scale of hair loss.
- Ludwig I is mild hair loss
- Ludwig II is moderate hair loss
The study lasted 90 days and involved 34 middle-aged women (26 completed the study).
The women were instructed to take 3 Hair Essentials capsules per day for 90 days. At the start, midway point and end of the study, women had their hair washed by researchers, over a cheesecloth to collect any hair that had fallen out. The hairs were counted
Before and after pictures of the women's scalps were taken. The women also completed journals about how they felt their hair was doing during the study.
The researchers stated that the supplement
1. produced a significant improvement in hair loss/hair shedding, thinning and hair growth.
2. Researchers rated that women taking the supplement had better hair coverage after 90 days
1. The study does not appear to be peer-reviewed. In other words, it doesn't seem to be published in a medical journal.
2. The study does not appear to have a placebo group. Its good to be able to compare the results to those who took a placebo.
3. There were only 26 women in the study. That's not a lot.
4. The study consisted of only women. So, does Hair Essentials work in men?.
5. The researchers said Hair Essentials produced a “statistically significant” improvement. But, they didn't tell us the p-value of this significant effect. It's a statistical term and in clinical research, it's very important.
Hair Essentials Ingredients
Every 3 capsules of the supplement have the following ingredients:
|Ingredient||Amount||Percent Daily Value|
|Vitamin A (100% natural beta carotene||5500 IU||110% DV|
|Vitamin C (as calcium ascorbate)||70 mg||117% DV|
|Vitamin E (d-alpha tocopheryl succinate)||35 IU||117% DV|
|Biotin (d biotin)||35 micrograms||117% DV|
|Iodine (from kelp)||155 micrograms||100% DV|
|Zinc (zinc amino acid chelate)||15 mg||100% DV|
|Selenium (selenium amino acid chelate)||75 micrograms||107%|
|Proprietary Hair Essentials Blend Containing :||1500 mg||N/A|
|1 Saw Palmetto Blend||N/A|
|4. Bu Gu Zhi (Psoralea corylifolia)||N/A|
|5. Han Lian Cao (Eclipta prostrate)||N/A|
|6. L Cysteine Hydrochloride||N/A|
|7. L Methionine||N/A|
|8. Bamboo (Bambusa vulgaris) extract||N/A|
|9. Horsetail (Equisetum arvense ) extract||N/A|
|10. Borage Oil (source of GLA)||N/A|
|11. White Tea (camellia sinensis) extract||N/A|
|12. Rice Bran||N/A|
|13. Milk Thistle (silybum marianum)|
|14. Flaxseed Oil (source of ALA)||N/A|
|15. Black Pepper (piper nigrum) extract||N/A|
Other ingredients listed, in order, on the label are the following:
- Rice flour
- Magnesium stearate
- Silicon dioxide
These ingredients likely play no role in any effects of Hair Essentials. The label also says that Pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PA) were not detected.
Pyrrolizidine alkaloids are compounds that plants make that protect themselves from disease. The downside is that they are toxic to the liver, so it's good that Hair Essentials doesn't contain them.
Many of the ingredients in Hair Essentials seem logical. For example:
- Biotin helps hair and nails grow. It does not regrow new hair.
- Iodine helps us make thyroid hormone. A sign of hypothyroidism is hair loss.
- Zinc plays a role in hair growth.
That said, if Hair Essentials really works, the answer is found in its Proprietary blend. Let's take a look at those ingredients now.
Hair Essentials Proprietary Blend
Saw palmetto (Serenoa repens) is the first ingredient listed, so it likely makes up most of the 1500 mg in the proprietary blend. The supplement uses a blend of saw palmetto which consists of saw palmetto berry, as well as a, saw palmetto extract, although what that extract is, they don't say.
It's possible the extract used may be beta-sitosterol. Some evidence tells us beta sitosterol may help hair loss.
On the product website, it's said that Fo Ti (along with Han Lian Cao) promotes thicker, fuller hair. While there are clincal studies suggesting Fo Ti may help hair loss, most of the proof involves test tube and mouse studies.
Human proof of Fo Ti hair growth effects cannot be located. Fo ti supplements have been linked to liver damage. Recall from above, that the Hair Essentials label states it has no Pyrrolizidine alkaloids. This may be a reference to Fo ti.
Methyl sulfonyl methane (MSM) is often found in arthritis supplements. MSM helps make collagen. Collagen is a big part of what makes up the hair. So while in theory, it makes sense, proof that MSM grows hair cannot be located.
Bu Gu Zhi
The scientific name for this herb is Psoralea corylifolia. Another name for it is “babchi.” Its an herb but does it grow hair? Proof cannot be located.
Han Lian Cao
Other names for Han Lian Cao include Eclipta prostrate, False Daisy and King of Hair. In spite of the hair reference, no proof for hair growth could be located.
Horsetail also called, Equisetum arvense is popular for hair growth but direct proof it works cannot be located. Still, that doesn't stop other popular hair supplements from using it too.
Borage (Borago officinalis) is a plant that grows in various places on Earth. The seeds of borage contain the omega-6 fatty acid, gamma-linolenic acid (GLA).
Gamma-linolenic acid, can help reduce inflammation and this may be at the root of why it might be in hair loss supplements. By reducing inflammation, the GLA in borage oil might allow the body to heal itself and get hair growth started again. it sounds plausible but proof can't is located.
Its scientific name for white tea is Camellia sinensis. All types of tea contain antioxidants. While natural antioxidants are good whether they help grow hair is debatable.
Rice bran contains beta-sitosterol. This is also found in saw palmetto which is also in Hair Essentials. Beta sitosterol can reduce DHT levels. DHT stands for dihydrotestosterone. High levels of DHT are linked to hair loss. This is actually how the hair loss drug Finasteride works too.
Milk thistle (Silybum marianum). is popular in liver cleanse supplements but proof for it growing hair can't be found.
Flax Seed Oil
Flax seed is a source of omega 3 fatty acids called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). ALA likely has many benefits in the body but its not known if
Many supplements these days contain black pepper. The reason is black pepper increases the absorption of supplements. It plays no role in hair growth but it helps you absorb the other ingredients better.
What's The Active Ingredient?
The ingredients in Hair Essentials appear to be chosen for the following reasons:
- Help the thyroid
- Help support natural hair production
- To provide building blocks for hair
- To reduce DHT levels
That said, if the supplement really works, its because it contains saw palmetto. Saw palmetto is a source of beta-sitosterol. It blocks DHT which can cause hair loss. So by by blocking DHT saw palmetto may help hair restoration. There's more hair growth evidence for saw palmetto than the other ingredients.
Does It Darken Hair?
Hair Essentials is designed to grow hair, not restore hair color. Products that are supposed to return hair to its natural color often contain an enzyme called catalase. For more insights see these reviews:
Who Makes Hair Essentials?
The company called Natural Well Being Distribution Inc. The website is Naturalwellbeing.com and their address is 438 Westridge Parkway, Building 100 McDonough, GA, 30253. This is the same address of another company called “Pet Wellbeing.”
The Better Business Bureau gives Natural Well Being Distribution a rating of “A+” See the BBB file for updates and more information.
Contact Hair Essentials
To contact NaturalWellbeing.com, call (800) 536-9353 or (604) 733-2470.
Does Hair Essentials Contain Gluten?
No, the bottle says certified gluten-free.
Hair Essentials Side Effects
The supplement is probably fine in most healthy people. That said, here are some general things to keep in mind. This list is not complete:
- Start with less for the first week to see how you respond
- If you take any medications like blood thinners ask your doctor first
- If you take any medications ask your doctor
- Stop taking Hair Essentials at least 2 weeks before having surgery
- Pregnant and nursing women should speak to their doctor first
- Fo ti has been associated with liver damage.
Some may have heard saw palmetto is bad for birth control pills. See this review for more insights.
Does Hair Essentials Really Work?
While the ingredients sound good on paper, it would take a couple of clinical trials to know for sure. If Hair Essentials works it may be because it contains beta-sitosterol, which is known to reduce DHT levels.