Halo Beauty by Tati Westbrook is touted to be the best hair, skin and nail supplement in the world. Skin, hair and nails share some common nutrients and so in this review I'll look at the logic behind the use of the ingredients in Halo Beauty and along the way, touch on some of the science too. I will also address the drama about its use of saw palmetto too. Does Halo Beauty really work or is it a scam? Let's see what we can discover. Also see the reviews of Elysium Basis the hair growth supplement Viviscal.
Who Makes Halo Beauty?
Halo Beauty is a supplement formulated by Tati Westbrook who, since 2011 has been publishing videos on YouTube about make-up and skin care. Shes quite popular and Halo Beauty is her first dietary supplement. As the GlamLifeGuru said in a video about this, she picked the name Halo Beauty as a way to be all inclusive. In her own words, everyone is under the halo and no one is left out. Also, the halo is meant to convey something is pure. Tati is also on Instagram as well as everywhere else. Just google her name or “GlamLifeGuru” and she will pop up.
Halo Beauty Benefits
From HaloBeauty.com, we learn it's touted to provide the following benefits:
- Promotes Thick and Luxurious Hair Growth
- Minimizes Fine Lines and Wrinkles
- Supports Collagen and Keratin Production
- Promotes Strong and Healthy Nails
- With Anti-Gray Fighting Enzymes
Remember these are the claims of the company but like all supplement claims, they have not been confirmed by the FDA.
Halo Beauty Clinical Evidence
At the time this review was created, Halo Beauty did not appear to have any human clinical trials. Lack of evidence doesn't automatically mean something doesn't work. Rather it means we have to look at the evidence for the ingredients in Halo Beauty.
Let's do that next…
Halo Beauty Ingredients
Fortunately, the ingredients were posted on Instagram. Each 2 capsule serving of Halo Beauty has the following ingredients:
|Ingredient||2 capsules||% Daily Value|
|Vitamin C||60 mg||100% DV|
|Vitamin D3||1000 IU||250% DV|
|Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)||5 mg||333% DV|
|Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)||5 mg||294% DV|
|Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine HCL)||2mg||100% DV|
|Biotin||3000 mcg||1000% DV|
|Zinc (Zinc methionine)||10mg||67% DV|
|Copper (copper gluconate)||2mg||100% DV|
|Manganese (manganase gluconate)||2mg||100% DV|
|Rosehip power extract (4:1)||100mg||N/A|
|Saw Palmetto (45% beta sterols)||160mg||N/A|
|Embilca Officianalis (Alma) (45% tannins)||200mg||N/A|
|Grape Seed Extract (85% polyphenols)||60mg||N/A|
|Pumpkin Seed 10:1 Extract Powder (Curcubita pepo)||80mg|
|Ceramide RX Phytoceramides (Rice extract)||40mg||N/A|
|Horsetail Equisetum arvense||20mg||N/A|
|Alpha Lipoic Acid||30mg||N/A|
In the table above, “N/A” means no daily value for the nutrient has been established.
Other ingredients in the product are:
- micro-crystaline cellulose
- hydroxy-methyl-proply cellulose (the veggie capsule)
- silicon dioxide
- vegetable magnesium starate
These other ingredients likely play no role in the effectiveness or benefits of Halo Beauty.
There are a lot of ingredients in this supplement. Let's now take a look at the evidence for those ingredients.
Vitamin C is a well known antioxidant but it also does many other things too including helping to make the protein collagen. Collagen is a key protein in hair, skin and nails. As such it makes sense it would be in a supplement of this type. While most people in the US are probably not deficient in vitamin C, Halo Beauty provides 60 mg which is a good amount just in case. The antioxidant ability of vitamin C – along with the other antioxidants in the supplement might, in theory, help reduce split ends too.
Halo Beauty also contains rose hips, which refers to the fruit of the rose plant. The fruits are called the “hips” of the rose plant. Rose hips provide a lot of vitamin A and C as well as several minerals. If you were to eat the rose hip fruit, you also get a good source of fiber too.
Vitamin D3 is the form of the vitamin we make when we are exposed to sunlight. Vitamin D is actually more of a hormone than a vitamin and like all hormones has global effects in the body. While often being associated with helping bones stay strong, it's important to know that there are vitamin D receptors on every cell in your body -including your hair follicles.
While no studies have yet looked at whether vitamin D can grow hair, there does appear an association between hair loss and low vitamin D3 levels. In other words, the lower the vitamin D3 levels, the more hair loss experienced. Lab animal research has also noted that vitamin D may play a role in the health of hair follicles.
Vitamin D tip: As a rule of thumb, every 1000 IU of vitamin D will raise blood levels of the vitamin by 10. So, if you had a blood level of 30 ng/ml, a supplement providing 1000 IU would help boost that to about 40 ng/ml.
It's possible many people reading this may be low in vitamin D. While a level of 30 ng/ml may be seen to be OK on a blood test, that amount is only for bone health. What about immune health? What about hair health?
While optimal vitamin D levels differ depending on who you talk to, many experts recommend a range of 30-80ng/ml. Given the possibility of rampant vitamin D deficiency, I was pleased to see Halo Beauty providing 1000 IU of vitamin D3.
For the vegans reading this, vitamin D in Halo Beauty is plant-based and comes from lichens. No animal sources are used anywhere in this product.
The Vitamin D Solution is a good book to learn more about this often misunderstood nutrient.
Vitamin B1, B2 & B6
Halo Beauty contains 3 of the B complex family of vitamins. All of the B vitamins take part in a myriad of functions. Relevant to this conversation, these vitamins help us produce the connective tissues, and collagen and elastin. Most healthy adults may not be deficient in these vitamins but they do make some sense from a hair skin and nail health perspective.
Biotin (sometimes called vitamin H) is a common vitamin to hair growth supplements and even some shampoos. This makes sense given that a lack of biotin is can lead to hair loss. While biotin probably doesn't grow hair that's already been lost, it can help existing hair grow faster. The same goes for nails too. While we can't make biotin ourselves, the bacteria that live inside of us can. As such, deficiency is rare although some medications might make this more likely. Medications associated with biotin deficiency include anti-seizure and some antibiotics.
Zinc is a mineral that takes part in many chemical reactions including hair health. One study noted lower zinc levels in men and women who were experiencing hair loss.
The involvement of zinc in hair loss is complex and interesting. One report describes the case of a woman experiencing hair loss, which did not stop even after she started taking levothyroxin (hypothyroid medication). She was later determined to also be low in zinc.
Only after zinc was added to her diet did her hair loss stop and even regrew. An older study of boys seemed to show an association between zinc concentration and hair color.
When it comes to skin health, research suggests zinc may help acne too.
The mineral copper is needed for the production of melanin which gives skin and hair its color. We also use copper to make the connective tissues, collagen and elastin. In addition, copper helps make an important antioxidant called super-oxide-dismutase (SOD) which, among other things, breaks down hydrogen peroxide (H2O2).
The build up of hydrogen peroxide is one of the things thought to be associated with gray and white hair. While it's unlikely eating extra copper restores gray hair to a youthful appearance, this mineral is very important to our health.
Catalase is an anti-oxidant enzyme that – like SOD mentioned above – breaks down hydrogen peroxide, which is a free radical. Free radicals are known to promote wrinkles and a host of other things too (even the aging process!).
I sometimes see catalase in anti-gray hair supplements. In theory, it makes sense because if catalase can reduce hydrogen perioxide in hair follicles, hair color might be restored or maybe we could at least slow down the graying process.
One issue is I can't find any research involving catalase supplements to see if it worked. Nobody seems to have looked into it. There is however research on a cream called Pseudo-Catalase which does seem to restore the color of skin and maybe hair too. This hints that the idea of restoring hair pigment by way of reducing hydrogen peroxide may have some merit.
Read the review of gray hair supplements for more on catalase.
Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) is a popular ingredient in arthritis supplements. With respect to Halo Beauty, one interesting study noted that MSM supplements seemed to reduce wrinkles. This study lasted 16 weeks and involved 20 women who took 3 grams of MSM or a placebo.
OptiMSM was the supplement used in this study.
At the end of the study, researchers noted a statistically significant reduction in wrinkles and crow feet compared to placebo. It was stated that MSM seemed to alter genes related to inflammation. I'd like to see this study duplicated to see if the same effect is observed again.
While on the surface, saw palmetto (serenoa repens) might seem an odd choice for a nutraceutical like Halo Beauty, given it's often found in prostate supplements. But, I understand the logic behind its use. What's good for the prostate might also be good for hair too.
The science is a bit complicated but here's the summary:
- Saw palmeto contains an extract called Beta sitosterol (pronounced beta-sight-toe-stair -all)
- Beta sitosterol seems to decrease DHT (di-hydro-testosterone) which is linked to hair loss
- Reducing DHT levels, might help hair growth
So, whats the evidence for this?
Well, one study involving both men and women noted that a shampoo containing saw palmeto caused a 35% increase in hair density when it was used for 3 months.
In another study 60% of the men reported that their hair had improved after they used a 200 mg saw palmetto supplement (containing 50 mg beta sitosterol). It's worth noting a prescription hair growth medication called Propecia (finasteride) also works by reducing DHT levels.
While there are not much saw palmetto hair growth resaerch, I can see why Halo Beauty would use it. It makes some sense.
Its an understatement to say saw palmetto caused a lot of drama. When Halo Beauty made its debut, lots of women complained it was a bad choice because it interfered with birth control pills, and increased risk of getting pregnant.
An article in Allure Magazine about Halo Beauty didn't help matters. While I can understand hesitation on the part of women about this, I will say, as someone whose been investigating supplements for over 20 years, I've never seen any proof of saw palmetto causing someone to get pregnant.
The evidence cited for possibility is basically test tube studies. There is no human proof women will get pregnant if they take saw palmetto supplements. I discussed this further down in the Side Effects section below and I've written an entire review on this too.
Embilca Officianalis (Alma fruit)
This plant, also known as Indian goosberry and Alma fruit can be thought of as similar to saw palmetto in that it also seems to reduce DHT levels. While lab animal research has documented this effect, human evidence needs to confirm this.
See the Alma Fruit review for more insights.
Grape Seed Extract
Grape seeds contain an abundance of nutritional extracts. The label of Halo Beauty specifically mentions an extract called polyphenols. Polyphenols are a class of powerful antioxidants.
Pumpkin seeds are a rich source of magnesium, zinc and potassium as well as various antioxidants. The oil in pumpkin seeds also appear to reduce the same enzyme involved in DHT production as saw palmetto does. That enzyme is called 5-alpha reductase. Blocking this enzyme in turn helps reduce DHT levels, which in theory might mean less hair loss.
In a study lasting 24 weeks, men who used pumpkin seed oil reported 40% more hair than men who used a placebo oil. Pumpkin seeds also contain essential fatty acids which might help skin retain moisture.
Ceramide RX Phytoceramides
Ceramides are a type of fat found in the skin. As we get older, we tend to make less of it. Ceramides help keep skin cells together. Think of it like a brick wall. Ceramides are like the cement between the bricks. Thus, as we make less of this compound, skin can lose moisture, wrinkle and sag. Laboratory studies suggests ceramides stimulate growth of fibroblasts, a type of skin cell as well as elastin.
Ceramide PCD is a product from a company called True Body Wellness. I believe Ceramide RX is what Tati Westbrooks company (Inside Out Beauty Labs ) is calling it. I view them as the same thing. There is some some unpublished research that appears to show Ceramide PCD might help improve skin moisture. The ceramides used in this product come from rice.
In the study, 33 people with rough skin were given either 44 mg of Ceramide RX or a placebo for 6 weeks. Those taking Ceramide RX reported less rough skin. This is an interesting investigation but whether or not it went through the peer review process I cannot say. Halo Beauty contains basically the same amount of Ceramide as was used in this study.
Click here to download a PDF of that study.
Astaxanthin is a type of plant nutrient called a caratonoid. Astaxanthin has a reddish color to it contributes to the colors of some foods. As a carotinoid, it's also an antioxidant so it can neutralize free radicals and reduce inflammation.
In the skin, research suggests astaxanthin might have a sun protective effect against UVA rays. Ultraviolet A rays cause wrinkles and skin aging. Another interesting study noted that 6 weeks of topical astaxanthin supplementation improved crowfeet, the size of age spots and skin elasticity.
An even more interesting study compared astaxanthin supplements to a placebo in 65 women. This study noted women getting the placebo showed evidence of more wrinkles and a loss of skin moisture while those taking astaxanthin did not. This hints that astaxanthin might offer some protection against skin aging.
Glutathione And Alpha Lipoic Acid
Glutahione is one of the master antioxidants in the body. Just a few of the things it does include:
- neutralize free radicals
- regenerates vitamins C and E
- protects cells from stress
- helps our mitochondria (fat burning batteries) work better
There is evidence lack of glutathione may be related to the loss of hair color. Glutathone levels also tend to drop as we get older. As such, anything that could bolster glutathoine levels would be a good thing.
Alpha lipoic acid is another in the list of anti-oxidants found in Halo Beauty. As an antioxidant, it's been shown to improve sun induced phto-aging and might even help reduce smoking induced skin damage too. It might also improve blood flow as well.
Is Halo Beauty Gluten Free?
Yes. The supplement is gluten free. It's also:
- soy free
- sugar free
- cruelty free
I can appreciate Tati Westbrook mentioning it's cruelty free. I like the fact the product creation did not involve cruelty to animals. I don't see this said often enough in the supplement world.
Halo Beauty Questions
Now lets address several questions and issues women might have about this supplement. If you think of a question or problem I missed, leave a comment below and I'll investigate it for you and get back to you promptly.
Does Halo Beauty Have Shark Cartilage?
Halo Beauty is vegan, so it contains nothing from animals -including sharks.
Can Women of Color Use It?
I see nothing in the supplement which would be contraindicated for women of different ethnic backgrounds.
Does Halo Beauty Contain Any Drugs?
There are no prescription mediations in this supplement. Given the lack of oversight in the supplement industry, I was glad to see Tati addressing this issue up front.
Why Doesn't It Have Collagen?
I was glad to see that Halo Beauty did not contain any collagen? Buy why you ask; Isn't collagen important? Yes it is, but when you eat collagen, it's really not absorbed as collagen. Rather, it's absorbed as individual amino acids -just like any other protein is.
See the review of weight loss scams for more insights.
Halo Beauty Cost
A bottle of Halo Beauty is $39.95 for a one month supply. Tax and shipping may be extra. Free shipping is offered when purchasing 3 or more bottles at a time.
Where Can You Buy Halo Beauty
Currently, You can only get it at HaloBeauty.com. It's not available in stores like Costco, Kholes, Walmart, Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid, Target or Sam's Club, although I would not be surprised if it eventually was.
Is It Sold Internationally?
Halo Beauty is sold internationally to countries like Canada etc., although shipping to other countries may add extra to the cost of the product.
Is There An AutoShip Program?
No. Halo Beauty does not have an autoship program. Many supplement companies these days sign people up for automatic shipments when they order the product. More than one person has been slapped with a big bill if they don't cancel auto-shipments before a per-determined time. I was glad to see no auto-ship program with Halo Beauty.
How Do You Take It?
Take 2 capsules per day. If you don't like swallowing capsules, open them up and add the contents to juice or water.
Will It Grow Hair All Over The Body?
There is no evidence Halo Beauty causes Hirtiusm – which is the medical term for excess body hair. I've never seen cases of excess body hair associated with any of the ingredients.
Does It Help Acne?
I can't say for sure it would help everybody but I've seen before and after pictures on Instagram which are interesting. Several people are saying it helps. Some of the ingredients like zinc, have some efficacy for improving acne. If it helped you, let me know below. Here are some Before and After Pics I found online:
Can Men Use Halo Beauty?
I get a lot of emails from men looking for anti-aging supplements. Can they use Halo Beauty too? I see no reason why not. There's no “women only ingredients” men need to worry about. It's not going to raise a mans estrogen levels or lower testosterone either. This is a gender-neutral supplement.
Can You Use It While Tanning?
None of the ingredients are thought to be bad for someone who goes to a tanning salon or lays out on the beach. I think in most people it should be OK.
What About Keratosis Pilaris?
Keratosis pilaris is a medical condition where people make too much of a protein called keratin which blocks hair follicles, causing little bumps to show up on the skin. I have not seen any research on Halo Beauty treating keratosis pilaris. If you have this condition and Halo helped, leave a comment below and let me know.
Halo Beauty vs. The Competition
One thing I can say about Halo Beauty is it's different than many of the other skin, nail and hair supplements I've seen. Most hair growth nutraceuticals tend to contain only one ingredient – biotin. I've never thought biotin, by itself, was enough to get the job done. By providing more than just biotin, Halo Beauty is at the least, a more broad spectrum supplement. That said, let's take a quick look at how it compares to other supplements.
Halo Beauty vs. Viviscal
Viviscal is arguably the most popular hair growth supplement on Earth. While Viviscal does have some hair-growth research, no head-to-head clinical studies have tried to see which might work best. Because their ingredients are so different, I could not say which was better.
See the Viviscal review for more insights.
Halo Beauty vs. Nutrafol
Another popular supplement for hair growth is Nutrafol. Like Halo Beauty, Nutrafol also contains saw palmetto. While there are similarities in their ingredients, no research study -so far- has compared these two supplements to each other.
Halo Beauty Side Effects
Halo Beauty is expected to be safe in healthy people. No side effects are known. With healthy people, I doubt there would be any bad side effects. With any new supplement, start with less than is recommended for the first week, to see how you respond. Like all supplements, a few other things to consider include:
- Stop taking Halo Beauty at least 2 weeks before surgery
- Speak to your doctor if you are pregnant/nursing
- Speak to your pharmacist/doctor if you take any medications or have health problems
- Not intended for people younger than 18 – and if you are that young, odds are you don't need it anyway.
Again, if none of this applies to you, I see no issues with this supplement.
What about saw palmetto and pregnancies? Some women discuss the possibility of saw palmetto interfering with birth control pills and raising the risk of pregnancy. While it's possible some herbs might do this – such as St. Johns wort – when it comes to saw palmetto, I don't see the proof.
Tati's website correctly states “There is no scientific or medical proof that Saw Palmetto makes birth control ineffective.” I have looked into this and agree, there is no direct proof. To be fair, there is some evidence from lab animal /test tube studies suggesting this. This is where the hype is coming from. So while nobody can say for sure, saw palmetto has been around a long time. I'd think if it did cause unwanted pregnancy, we'd have heard of it by now.
Saw palmetto is in many skin, nail and hair supplements including Nutrafol, which is one of the most popular hair thinning supplement out there. Nutrafol is now in business with consumer goods giant, Unilever. Do you really think Unilever would risk a lawsuit over unplanned pregnancy over one of their products? I don't think they would.
Aside from Halo Beauty and Nutrafol, Amazon lists almost 100 different hair skin and nail supplements which contain saw palmetto. I have not heard anybody yelling about those and birth control pills.
All that said, given the drama over this I would not be surprised if saw palmetto was eventually removed from the supplement.
Does Halo Beauty Work?
I didn't try Halo Beauty so I can't be sure although when I scanned Instagram, I saw several before and after pictures of women saying their skin had improved. For the most part, the ingredients in Halo Beauty seem logical for a skin, hair and nails supplement. Will you look like Tati Westbrook after taking Halo Beauty for 30 days? I do think results will vary. Like all beauty supplements, don't expect miracles and you should be OK. That's sage advice for all supplements.