Have you ever brushed or styled your hair, only to have a huge wad of hair intertwining your fingers or covering your bathroom floor? Or what about struggling to grow out long, pretty nails when yours are consistently brittle and breaking? I’m guilty of both! And from what my girlfriends say, we’ve all been there. Determined to keep my precious locks and regrow my nails, I’ve researched all of the hair, skin, and nails vitamins around to try and save my self-esteem. Just when I thought I was making some headway and finally getting answers, each turn of the page and click of an article just presented more confusion and contradiction than clarity. My head was spinning, my hair was still falling out, and my nails were still nubby, little messes. 😫
Instead of trusting magazines and advertisements, I took matters into my own hands and did my own research. You’ll be surprised to read that so many things we’ve been told (and sold!) as women are complete malarkey. So, from my science-backed, home-schooled beauty lessons, I present to you my extensive guide to finding the best hair and nail vitamins, myth-free!
Here’s what we’ll cover:
- What to look for in a hair, skin, and nail vitamin
- What to avoid & red flag ingredients
- Gummy vitamins: friend or foe?
- Best vitamins for hair, skin, and nails
- Essential nutrients for hair, skin, and nails
- Important minerals for hair, skin, and nails
- #1 hair, skin, and nails vitamin for 2019
Choosing The Right Hair And Nail Vitamins
Again, I have totally been in your shoes. Panicked, balding (whether an exaggeration or not) and totally confused as to which supplements are worth the money. This guide will help you navigate the world of vitamins for hair and nails—what to look for, how to differentiate a good supplement from a bad one, and ultimately, how to make the best decision for Y-O-U.
What to look for in a hair, skin, and nail vitamin
Aside from specific ingredients, it’s important to look for these key indicators in hair and nail vitamins to ensure they’re safe and effective.
I go into a full ingredient deep-dive later on in this article, but if you can remember to avoid those four simple call-outs, you are off to a great start!
What to avoid: Red flag ingredients
Navigating the world of vitamin shopping is daunting—especially with so many unrecognizable (or pronounceable!) ingredients. So, what’s a guy or gal to do? While we can’t scrutinize over every single ingredient at the store or online, there are a few standout ingredients you should do everything to avoid.
- Artificial colors—One of the biggest groups of ingredients to avoid in vitamins for hair and nails is artificial colors. If you spot a color followed by a number (ex: red 40, yellow 5, etc.), then stay away! Artificial colors come from, more often than not, synthetic sources. You know, the sources that are completely overly processed and unnatural. Some dyes are even extracted from bugs! 
- Hydrogenated oils—Another thing to avoid are hydrogenated oils. Hydrogenated oils are often used as fillers in supplements, and have a high chance of being genetically modified. This is an especially important ingredient to avoid in vitamins, and in general! The FDA agrees that hydrogenated oil consumption should be kept as low as possible in a healthy diet. [2, 3]
- GMOs, Gluten, Dairy, and Soy—There’s no reason for a vitamin to contain gluten, such as wheat, barley, and rye, or genetically modified ingredients. Also, soy and dairy have their own inherent challenges on their own, that they have no place in a vitamin that’s meant to improve your overall appearance. [4, 5]
Are gummy vitamins healthy?
While gummy vitamins have their allure for being tasty, easy, and ‘healthy,’ a majority of them are quite the contrary. Okay, yes, they may be tasty and easy to remember to take because of that, but healthy is reeeeally stretching it. Even if a gummy vitamin has all the same vitamins and minerals as a pill or powder form, it also contains colors, additives, and tons of sugar (both in the gummy itself and sometimes coated in it!).
Gummy vitamins are marketed to attract people who 1) aren’t great at remembering to take their daily vitamins and 2) who hate the taste of the brands and products they have tried. Yes, they’re also a lot ~sexier~ to take pictures with on the ‘gram than a plain white capsule or powder, but that’s really all they’re good for—photo ops.
Key Ingredients In High-Quality Hair And Nail Vitamins
The easiest way to choose hair and nail vitamins is based on ingredients. There are key vitamins and minerals to look for that will ensure you get the silky, smooth locks and strong hair and nails you are longing for. Without them, you might as well save your hopes and money. Store shelves and online stores are packed with pills, powders, and gummies that make strong, promising claims without ANY ingredients to back them up. This ingredient guide will help you identify the princes from the paupers, and have you looking like a queen in no time!
Best vitamins for hair, skin, and nails
- Vitamin B-6—B-6 aids in protein metabolism and amino acid metabolism, both of which are the building blocks of healthy hair, skin, and nails. 
- Vitamin C—Vitamin C is a more well-known vitamin, often revered for its ability to repair body tissue. That’s because vitamin C is required for the biosynthesis of collagen, which plays a vital role in both protein metabolism and wound healing. Note that vitamin C may also be referred to as ascorbic acid in some supplements. 
- Vitamin E—This beautifying supplement is responsible for anti-inflammatory properties as well as immune-boosting effects. Hello, glowing, smooth skin! 
- Biotin (Vitamin B or H)—Biotin is involved in the metabolism of many things such as fatty acids, glucose, and amino acids. These processes are all contributing factors to stronger hair due to the strengthening of keratin. 
Best nutrients for hair, skin, and nails
- Collagen—80-90% of the body’s collagen is made up of type I, III, and V. Type I collagen has been shown to interact with the podoplanin gene, which directly affects hair growth. Collagen is a great way to supplement hair, skin, and nail health, all-around because it provides structural support to the body. Without collagen, blood vessels, tendons, and skin would become weak and fragile. [10, 11, 12, 13]
- Keratin—This fibrous protein is what hair, skin, and nails are made up of. By supplementing with keratin, you will help to strengthen keratin cells and reduce external stress and damage on existing cells. 
- Hyaluronic Acid—Hyaluronic acid has been used to help retain moisture in the skin and is a simple, non-surgical option for people looking to improve their skin’s appearance. 
- Kelp—Kelp contains high levels of iodine, which works to keep thyroid hormones balanced. Kelp, among an array of benefits, has been speculated to reduce hair loss as well as help with effective weight management. 
Best minerals for hair, skin, and nails
- Calcium—Finding a supplement with calcium is especially important because calcium nutrition deficiency has shown to affect nail growth in some manner. 
- Zinc—Necessary for cellular metabolism, zinc is especially important for anyone hoping to prevent dull, lifeless locks and unwanted hair loss. 
- Selenium—Selenium deficiencies have been shown to present premature greying during childhood and young adulthood. By supplementing with this important mineral, you may help prevent unwanted hair whitening. 
- Copper—If you’ve got unruly, unusually kinky hair, copper may be your saving grace! When searching for a hair supplement, be sure to look for copper on the label. 
- Manganese—Manganese is another nutrient that may help prevent hair depigmentation. Deficiencies in manganese, though rare, may also contribute to skin rashes, making it another important ingredient for vitamins for hair and nails. [21, 22]
What Are The Best Vitamins For Hair, Skin, & Nails?
Even after clearing the air on all this confusion, I know that it may still seem difficult to confidently shop on your own for the perfect hair, skin and nails vitamins. The two supplements I would recommend are:
- Daily Glow—My favorite part about Daily Glow is that it’s a vegan pill. So rare! It also contains a blend of all the recommended ingredients of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients like vitamin B-6, C and E, and biotin, calcium, and zinc. Add in the fact that it’s gluten-free, non-GMO, soy-free, and dairy-free, and that pretty much seals the deal for me!
- Super Youth Collagen Peptides—Collagen is best known and praised for its structural protein properties—something that a lot of hair, skin, and nails vitamins seriously lack. Most collagen supplements only contain one or two collagen types, whereas Super Youth collagen contains all five types of collagen. This allows for a variety of benefits for hair, skin, and nails. Super Youth collagen comes in so many flavors, making it easy to take and something I actually look forward to every day!
I hope this guide helps debunk some of the myths you’ve been told, and better guides you toward an effective supplement worth your time and money. Share with your girlfriends, your mom, anyone that struggles with hair, skin, or nail insecurities. Your health (& beauty) is worth it!
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