Hairanew vs Hairfinity
Product Comparison Supplements

Hairanew vs Hairfinity

February 16, 2018

Which is the best hair supplement: Hairanew or Hairfinity?

When deciding on a hair supplement to go with, the amount of choice you have can be overwhelming. How do you know which supplement is right for you? What has the best ingredients and which has the best chance of making your hair grow faster and be healthier? Hairanew and Hairfinity are two very popular hair supplements that many women (and some men) are taking in their efforts to grow longer and healthier tresses.

Hairfinity got put in the spotlight a few years ago when celebrity Kim Kardashian spoke about how the popular hair supplement completely changed her hair and made it much healthier. HairAnew didn’t get this attention, but that doesn’t mean it’s an inferior product simply because it wasn’t endorsed by someone famous.

So here’s the deal: you’re inevitably going to get different answers depending on who you ask, so in this comparison of HairAnew and Hairfinity supplements, I’ll take a look at some of the ingredients in a bit of detail and then leave it up to you to decide which one you want to go for.

Hairfinity vs Hairanew: a closer look

Each supplement contains a wide range of ingredients which are purported to support hair growth. Below are a list of the ingredients for each hair supplement and how they might help you in growing longer and healthier hair.


Main ingredients:

  • Vitamin A – This vitamin is crucial for proper cell function and is a powerful fat-soluble antioxidant. However, too much vitamin A can actually lead to hair loss. Hairfinity provides 8150 IU of vitamin A, which is about 163% of your daily needs.
  • Vitamin C – This vitamin helps scavenge free radicals, and it’s most often used for fighting off colds. One of its other function though is to help produce collagen and prevent damage to elastin in the skin. Vitamin C is also important for building up keratin, which is the protein that hair is made up of. A healthy scalp leads to a healthy foundation for healthy hair to grow.
  • Vitamin D + Calcium – Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that we produce from exposure of our skin to the sun. Unfortunately, many people don’t get enough sun, and thus are very low in vitamin D, which can have a seriously detrimental effect on hair growth.  If you have hair loss, vitamin D deficiency could be one of the reasons why you’re losing your hair. Calcium goes well with vitamin D, but there is no indication that it will help with hair growth or is a major cause of hair loss in most people who suffer from it.
  • Vitamin B12 – Crucial for proper nerve function and supports hair growth by helping oxygenated blood get to the scalp where it’s needed to nourish the hair follicles.
  • B vitamins – B vitamins act as cofactors which are important in various reactions in order for cell cycle/metabolism to properly function.  It’s good to see that several B vitamins are included in the supplement because if you just include one, it can cause imbalances and deficiencies in another. Low vitamin B levels can damage hair follicles, increase DNA damage and is a cause of hair loss.
  • Biotin – Of course no hair supplement would be complete without a healthy dose of biotin, which many find helps them grow hair that is healthier and grows much faster.

Other ingredients: Hairfinity also has several other ingredients such as MSM, Hydrolyzed collagen, Horsetail, and Silica. Each of these is known to have benefits for hair and skin. Hairfinity also has gelatin, so it’s not suitable for vegans.

My thoughts: This supplement is a well-rounded hair supplement, however, not much different than what you would get in a regular multivitamin.  And in addition to these vitamins, you also get a complex of various amino acids which may have some benefit in hair growth and skin health.

Most reviews tend to be very positive, and many people say they are showing great results after trying out the supplement. So, it might be worth a try if you’re looking for a good quality supplement to help you grow your hair out.

I also don’t see any serious issues with dosing in this supplement. It has a respectable amount of biotin, and no ingredients which would cause any major reactions in most people.

One word of cautious though: if you are taking this supplement or any supplement which has a lot of biotin in it, then it might be worth trying 1 capsule or tablet a day, and then after a week or two you could increase to a full dose. This gives your body time to adjust to the supplement.  Some people who take high dose of biotin experience acne breakouts. This can be alleviated by taking a zinc supplement (as was the the case for me).

See more details and reviews


Main ingredients:

  • Vitamin C – This is one of the main ingredients in HairAnew, which is not a surprise since as mentioned earlier, vitamin C is crucial in the production of collagen, keratin, and it has a very important role as a powerful antioxidant in the human body. HairAnew provides 750 mg, which is several times above your daily requirement.
  • Vitamin E –  An important fat-soluble vitamin that is also a powerful free radical scavenger. It works well with vitamin C and helps repair the skin and heal damage to hair follicles.
  • Niacin – Important for promoting healthy hair growth.  One of the causes of alopecia with diffuse hair loss is niacin deficiency. Niacin also helps support blood flow to the skin and scalp. Which means more nutrients for the hair follicles to produce hair!
  • Biotin – Not unexpected for a hair supplement to contain Biotin. In HairAnew, you get significantly more biotin than Hairfinity.
  • Pantothenic Acid – This B vitamin has been used in the treatment of hair loss and it’s been shown that a deficiency in B5 is a cause of hair loss.
  • Zinc – The form of zinc included in this supplement is Zinc Gluconate – which is a highly bioavailable form.  Zinc is important for hair growth, it helps reduce DHT, and it’s important for vegetarians and vegans to supplement to ensure they get enough of this important and overlooked mineral in hair loss.

Other ingredients: The supplement contains Kelp, which is helpful in providing iodine and promoting proper thyroid function and faster hair growth. Inositol is another ingredient added, although there isn’t much evidence that this helps promote hair growth.

Ginko Biloba helps promote blood thinning and enhanced blood flow to the extremities and skin.

Bamboo extract is the last ingredient, which contains silica, a crucial mineral for healthy skin and hair. Another good thing about HairAnew is that it’s suitable for vegans.

My thoughts: HairAnew supplement is the supplement that I am most familiar with and it’s currently my favorite. I think the inclusion of zinc in the supplement is super important because high doses of biotin can cause acne breakouts in some people.

After doing much research, and suffering from this problem myself, I found that by including zinc picolinate supplement in my regimen, my acne completely went away and I was able to continue taking biotin.

Now that this supplement has zinc, I can just take this one.  Hair anew is also relatively cheap and can be used in addition to other vitamin and mineral supplements, whereas Hairfinity is basically a multivitamin, providing you many of the vitamins and minerals most people are lacking in their diet.

This is especially true for people who are on a strict diet,  and people who are either vegan or vegetarian.

Hairanew has also undergone assay testing for purity and levels of nutrients. So with HairAnew, you know what you’re getting… (see link below).

See what other people think of HairAnew 

In conclusion: which is better? Hairfinity or HairAnew

Both supplements provide vitamins, minerals and amino acids which are important for hair growth. I feel that Hairfinity is a more well-rounded supplement for someone who has a poor diet and is currently under a lot of stress which might be causing hair loss.

The inclusion of B vitamins in Hhairfinity is important for helping someone who has a lot of stress, anxiety or depression.

And in the video above, Khloe mentions that when she took Hairfinity supplement after a very difficult time (which she said might’ve caused her hair loss), and the supplement was able to help her grow her hair back.

HairAnew is a great hair supplement that would be suitable for someone who wants a basic hair and skin supplement but is also taking other supplements in addition to it.

I really like the fact that it includes zinc with the biotin, as this will help many people prevent breakouts that can come with taking high dose biotin. That being said, Hairfinity contains much less biotin, so it might not be a problem anyway if you go with that one.

Both supplements are good, and I can see why many people are vouching for them. I think it’s safe to say that both worth trying and just simply testing them out to see which makes you feel good and which helps your hair the most.

It’s a close call, but I personally like HairAnew. I could be biased…  🙂  But it was exactly what I need, as someone who is vegan.

For more information and reviews on the supplements, see the links above.

And finally, if you’d like to know how much hair grows per month, then go here to find out.

Can You Take Too Much Biotin For Hair Growth

Can You Take Too Much Biotin For Hair Growth?

February 13, 2018

Taking too much biotin in trying to grow your hair faster

It all started back late in 2016 when I had noticed that my skin was breaking out a lot more than usual. I had been clear of acne for over 10 years, but suddenly it came back – and it was freaking me out! I had also been taking quite a high dose of biotin at the time, but later on discovered that this might’ve only been part of the reason I was breaking out so much.

I also had another issue where I was clearly deficient in zinc, which is known for causing acne and increasing skin oiliness. I never knew at the time I was low in zinc (more on that later), but when I found out the connection between biotin and acne after reading some popular hair forums, I immediately stopped taking it.

Biotin is safe even in large doses

Biotin acts as a coenzyme for bicarbonate-dependent carboxylation reactions. Okay, I’ll spare you the science! Let’s just say it’s important for the body and cell / mitochondrial function.

In studies, it has been shown that large doses of biotin, up to 200 mg given to humans is safe and causes no adverse effects.

The amount typically found in high dose biotin supplements ranges from 1000 to 10,000 mcg (1 to 10 mg). This is far below what has been tested.

There are known genetic conditions where babies are born who lack an enzyme which breaks down biotin, but this is very rare (1 in 60,000) and not a problem for most people.

The recommended or adequate intake for adults is approximately 30 micro grams per day.

Does biotin cause acne or any other problems?

Most people get more than enough biotin in their diet, and this doesn’t really cause an issue. You only need very small amounts each day.

So, I’ve taken biotin in the past, even at similar doses of 5000-10,000 mcg without any problem whatsoever. The only thing I noticed was improved hair growth and my hair looked much healthier!

People debate on whether biotin works or not, but for me, I’m sure I noticed some difference. I was kind of bummed that I wasn’t able to take it anymore, but there was a good reason for it that I only discovered some months after I stopped taking it.

My story: The zinc connection

After doing my research, and looking at my symptoms on the internet (frequent colds, combination dry/oily rough skin, some hair loss, and acne – it seemed obvious that zinc deficiency could be the reason. I had never been so frequently sick with colds in my life until that point.

I’ve also been a strict vegetarian for 11 years and more recently vegan (like 95% of the time). It seemed that it’d be a good idea to try zinc and see what happened. People who are vegetarians or vegans, and those eating a high plant-based diet can be more prone to developing secondary zinc deficiency.

After I started taking zinc, I noticed that my acne was almost completely going away and my skin was healing! I wasn’t in a constant battle anymore in trying to prevent the next spot from showing up in the morning. I combined that with vitamin D3 and my acne basically cleared up 100%.

And after reading long hair forum I came across a few people who had discovered that biotin never caused them any problems as long as they were taking zinc!

I started taking biotin (with zinc) again for my hair

I cautiously started taking lower dose of biotin for my hair, and gradually increased it over time, and this time I’ve been fine. No breakouts at all. No morning surprises with big pimples. What a relief…

I believe that zinc helps balance the oils in the skin, it prevents overproduction of sebum. Biotin, increases skin oiliness, and can lead to cystic acne in those who are prone to acne in the first place. Or even, as I have discovered, people who are deficient in zinc.

You want to take biotin for your hair growth? Here is my advice

  • Make sure that you drink plenty of water. Keep well hydrated!
  • Make sure that you have plenty of zinc in your diet and/or supplement
  • If you are prone to acne, start off at a low dose and work up
  • Give your body some time to adjust. Usually, when we introduce new things into our body, it takes time for things to settle and adjust to the change

Those are just a few of my simple tips to help ensure that you have a good experience when taking biotin.

Taking biotin is safe and it’s 50/50 on whether you will notice a benefit. There have been surveys conducted over at the long hair community, where some girls and guys notice improvements, and other don’t. It’s probably dependent on many different factors.

If you’ve taken biotin, did you notice any positive or negative effects from taking it? Comment below and share!

Best Fish Oil Supplement For Hair Growth

Best Fish Oil Supplement For Hair Growth

February 11, 2018

Benefits of using Fish Oil Supplements to Prevent Hair Loss and Promote Hair Growth

All throughout my life I have consumed fish oil on a regular basis. In fact, from a young age, my father would give me ‘Cod Liver Oil’ every day, as back then it was assumed that it was good for health.

It gave a healthy dose of omega 3 fatty acids, as well as vitamin A (retinol), Vitamin D, and Vitamin E. Only in the last decade or so, omega 3 has grown in popularity due to its health promoting effects. Omega 3 from fish oil supplements have also been found to reduce hair loss and promote healthier looking and shiny hair.

What are omega 3 fatty acids?


Omega 3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fats and they are essential for the body to function properly. Unfortunately, in today’s diet, many people are lacking omega 3 because they don’t consume enough fish. At least this is the case in countries like the US and UK. In East Asia, eating fish is more common, and perhaps maybe that is one of the reasons for their higher life expectancy and lower disease risk.

There are two components of omega 3: there are EPA and DHA. We are able to convert other fats such as alpha-linolenic acid into EPA, but conversion into DHA is harder for many people because they lack the enzyme necessary. The ability to convert may also decrease with age.

Women also have a higher amount of these conversion enzymes, so they are able to more adequately convert plant sources of fats to DHA as needed. This makes sense, as DHA is crucial for proper brain development of children. So breast milk, for example, tends to be high in DHA.

Where can you get omega 3 from?

There are many different sources of omega 3:

  1. Salmon
  2. Mackerel
  3. Cod Liver Oil / Fish oil (see this one by Naturelo)
  4. Flaxseeds
  5. Walnuts

As mentioned earlier, getting omega 3 from fish oil is better because you don’t have to rely on your body doing the work to try and convert plant fats into these beneficial fatty acids DHA and EPA.

More Omega 3 for better skin and hair health

One of the things I’ve noticed about taking omega 3 is the effect it has on my skin and my hair. It really helps promote shiny hair, as the scalps natural oils increase, but it doesn’t make your hair feel overly greasy. It just gives it a nice shine and makes the hair look very healthy.

Omega 3 from fish oil also helps your skin and makes it “glow”. If you have any issues with dry skin, taking omega 3 supplements could be very helpful.

What is the evidence? Fish oil hair growth studies and results

There have been several studies which have been shown that omega 3 alone or in combination with other ingredients is able to help promote hair health and prevent or slow down hair loss in men and women.

Clinical Study 1

In this study, people who took omega 3 in combination with other ingredients saw a significant improvement in their hair. In fact, 80% of those questioned said they noticed an improvement after 24 weeks.

Clinical Study 2

In another study, women who took omega 3 for six months, 89.9% of them experienced a reduction in hair loss and over 86% showed improvements in hair diameter and hair density.

Clinical Study 3

And finally, in another study, women who took fish oil for 180 days experienced less hair thinning. Taking a supplement containing omega 3 was effective at significantly promoting hair growth in women with temporary hair thinning.

Does fish oil promote hair growth?

When you take fish oil, you are providing a good and healthy environment for which hair to grow well. Fish oil promotes better healing, increased skin moisture levels, blocks inflammation, and helps coat the hair with oils to prevent the hair from breaking which causes hair loss and split ends.

How long will it take for fish oil to work?

When using fish oil, it is important to understand that it takes time for the oils to be incorporated into the cells and body. Hair growth won’t change overnight, but if you consistently take fish oil, then you will most likely notice an improvement after a few months.

Sometimes, when you change your diet or improve your hair growth regimen, you might notice an initial hair fall, where the bad and weak hairs fall out, but once they then come out of ‘resting phase’ – which can take 3-4 months – you will have healthier hair taking its place.

Choosing the best fish oil supplement for you

When it comes to choosing a fish oil, you always want to go for quality. I would recommend that you normally stay away from brands in the supermarket, and go for high-quality fish oils which have not been contaminated and are proven quality.

Seven seas cod liver oil is one brand that I have taken over the years and I’ve never had any problems with it.  It’s a company that I trust, especially since they have been going since 1935 and have a lot of experience selling these products.

I didn’t mind the taste of cod liver oil, so I would always choose the liquid form and put it on some toast. However, if you don’t have the stomach haha! (honestly, it’s not exactly the nicest taste in the world!) There are other options such as capsules or orange flavor liquid cod liver oil as well. You have been warned! 🙂

A good quality fish oil supplement that I recommend is this one by Naturelo.  You get two months supply, you don’t have to taste of the fish oil because they are soft gels, and it seems that most people are happy with this omega 3 supplements. This would be my recommendation if it’s the first time you’ve tried taking an omega 3 or fish oil supplement.

There is a wide range of omega 3 supplements to choose from. You can browse them by clicking the above links for more information.

And finally: Don’t choose the cheapest when choosing a fish oil supplement. You want a fish oil that is as pure as possible and filtered so that it doesn’t contain any harmful substances (remember fish oil comes from fish, who are exposed to all sorts of pollutants in the sea).

Important: If you choose the liquid form

Omega 3 tends to go rancid pretty quickly when exposed to heat, light, and air. You should always store omega 3 in the fridge if possible. Actually, any supplement which contain omega 3, I would personally put in the fridge to increase the shelf life and lessen the oxidation that happens over time.

Best form of zinc

Best Form of Zinc for Hair Loss

February 4, 2018

What Is The Best Zinc Supplement For Hair Loss?

50 mg zinc picolinate capsules for hair

When it comes to hair loss, zinc deficiency can be one of the overlooked reasons for hair loss in both men and women. I’ve personally experienced the effects of zinc deficiency from being on a vegan diet for many years, and it affected my health in many different ways, including obvious hair thinning.

Fortunately, correcting zinc deficiencies can be relatively easy, but it’s important to choose the best form of zinc that will be most bioavailable to the body.

The question is: which zinc supplement is the best one? Results are below!

One of the most bioavailable zinc supplements you can get is called Zinc Picolinate. It is much better than the typical zinc supplements you’ll find in a store – which are usually zinc oxide (the least bioavailable).

This is the zinc supplement I take.

Why does zinc deficiency cause hair loss?

When a person is deficient in zinc, it can affect the entire body and how it functions. Zinc is important for proper gene regulation, enzymatic reactions, hormone production, and regulation of the immune system. So as you can imagine, if you’re low in zinc, then it’s certainly going to have an effect on your hair growth as well.

Zinc deficiency has long been known to cause telogen effluvium, a condition where the hair sheds in large amounts because the hair goes into the resting phase of hair growth, otherwise known as telogen phase.

Another condition that is common with zinc deficiency is called Alopecia Areata. This is a result of the immune system attacking the hair follicles and affecting growth.

Zinc deficiency may cause hair loss for various reasons, these include the following:

  • Autoimmunity from dysregulation of the immune system
  • Cause low levels of thyroid and sex hormones
  • Increased level of DHT from a higher conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone
  • Depressed cell proliferation and dysregulation of the cell cycle.

Taking a zinc supplement stopped my hair loss and made my hair much thicker again!

As I said earlier, I’ve been a vegetarian and vegan for a long time (since 2007), and it was only recently that I became more complacent about my diet and supplements. After some time, I noticed some strange things happening, such as getting sick a lot, dry skin, acne, and my hair were becoming much thinner.

There were some other odd things going on, but those were the main things.

When I began to look for a cause and got a few blood tests, I started looking at my diet in some detail by using an app to crunch all the numbers to see what nutrients I was lacking in.

It seemed like zinc was an obvious issue for me, especially considering that I eat a plant-based diet which is loaded with copper. It makes zinc deficiency much more likely as zinc and copper both compete for absorption in the gut.

I also had stumbled across a forum post on long hair community which gave me a bit of hope that this was the solution. It was pretty soon after that I began taking a zinc supplement and my whole world changed.

My immune system got much better, and haven’t been properly sick since. My hair took a bit longer to recover though! It’s been over a year now, and the difference is huge compared to what it was like back then.

I should mention also that I had been using zinc in the past, but it was a one from the local store, and after doing a bit of research, it seemed it was the least bioavailable! It was zinc oxide. You’ll probably run across this one in supermarkets more of often than some others which are much more effective in correction zinc deficiency.

Who is at most risk of developing a zinc deficiency?

Anyone can develop a zinc deficiency, but certain groups of people might be more prone to be low in this mineral.

  • Strict vegetarian or vegan
  • Eat a plant-based diet which is high in copper but low in zinc
  • Breastfeeding women
  • Excessive alcohol use
  • Digestive disorders which impair absorption
  • Low calorie intake and restricted diets.

Which zinc supplement should you take to stop hair loss?

There are many different forms of zinc. The mineral is hard to absorb by the body, so it’s usually attached to amino acids or chelated

You might also get along better with some forms of zinc than others. I personally take Zinc Picolinate because I feel it works great and doesn’t give me any stomach problems, even at high doses of 50-100 mg. Such dosages are not recommended long term, because of the risk of toxicity.

Study 1 – Zinc Picolinate is the best form of zinc to take

In a study conducted in 1987, researchers studied 15 people and split them up into 4 groups.

  • The first group took zinc picolinate
  • The second group took zinc citrate
  • The third group took zinc gluconate
  • The fourth group took a placebo

At the end of four weeks, they looked at hair samples, as well as urine and erythrocyte zinc levels.

Only in the zinc picolinate group did levels of zinc increase significantly (study).

Study 2 – Zinc absorption in healthy adults 

In a more recent study, researchers looked at young healthy adults observed which zinc supplement had better absorption without food. They tested zinc citrate, zinc gluconate, and zinc oxide.

Looking at the fractional absorption of zinc, it was observed that both zinc citrate and zinc gluconate were absorbed well. However, there was a bigger variation in absorption in the zinc citrate group.

Zinc oxide was the least well absorbed, and 3 of the patients had no change whatsoever. Indicating they were unable to absorb it at all. (study)

Breaking it down

  • Zinc citrate absorption was 61.3%
  • ZInc gluconate was 60.9%
  • Zinc oxide was 49.9%

Based on these two studies in humans, it appears that taking either zinc picolinate or zinc gluconate would be the best forms of zinc to take.

Now Foods – Zinc Picolinate – 50 mg

Now foods are one of my favorite supplement brands that I’ve stuck to for years. It was this supplement which helped me to correct my own zinc deficiency, and this is why I’m recommending it. But not only that, Zinc Picolinate is one of the most bioavailable forms of zinc.

This zinc supplement is suitable for vegans and vegetarians.

This supplement is also not recommended for long-term use. If you are considering taking it long term, please consult with your doctor.

See more details here

Pure Encapsulations – Zinc Picolinate – 30 mg

If you don’t want to take a very high dose of zinc, but would like a more moderate dose, then this supplement would be suitable for you.

One of the things this company emphasizes is its natural and hypoallergenic formulations, so you don’t have to worry about allergic reactions to any of its ingredients.

Free from: gluten, dairy, soy, and it’s labeled as non-GMO.

Suitable for: vegans and vegetarians.

Tested: The manufacturing of their products is done in a state-of-the-art facility and ensures purity.

The supplement has a lot of great reviews.

See more details here

Bulk Supplements – Zinc Gluconate

Zinc gluconate is a favorite form of zinc for many people because it’s much easier on the stomach and has a relatively high bioavailability.

Being a powder, and not in capsule form, you can easily mix this supplement with your favorite juice or drink of your choice.

How to take: 225 mg (1/16 teaspoon) to 450 mg ( (1/8 teaspoon) per day.

A 450 mg dose of Zinc gluconate equals around 60 mg of elemental zinc.

See more details here

Are there any side effects from taking Zinc?

It’s recommended that you take zinc with some food to avoid any stomach upset. However, the two forms of zinc that I have recommended here are quite easy on the stomach and shouldn’t give most people any problems.

Do not take over the stated dose of the supplement.

Signs of taking too much zinc include nausea, pain, vomiting, and diarrhea. However, large doses of zinc are needed in the excess of 300 mg a day.

One of the harshest forms of zinc on the stomach is zinc sulfate, and I do not recommend this form of zinc.

If you’re planning on taking zinc for months or indefinitely, you should consult with your doctor and lower your dose over time, as it’s not recommended you take high doses of zinc long term.

Zinc: Copper balance

Use tools like CRON-O-METER to ensure that your zinc to copper balance is correct. Aim for a 10:1 ratio. That is 10 mg of zinc for every 1 mg of copper in your diet.

This will help avoid any imbalance of these minerals.

In conclusion

Taking zinc has literally changed everything for me in the past year. It has made me feel much more healthy and not only improved my hair but also has improved my immune system, my skin and I have a lot more energy.

Zinc deficiencies are quite common in the world, but severe deficiencies are more often seen in poor areas of the world.

Give zinc a try and see if it helps you! 🙂


1. The Therapeutic Effect and the Changed Serum Zinc Level after Zinc Supplementation in Alopecia Areata Patients Who Had a Low Serum Zinc Level

2. Zinc Deficiency Associated with Hypothyroidism: An Overlooked Cause of Severe Alopecia

3. Oral zinc therapy for zinc deficiency-related telogen effluvium

4. Analysis of Serum Zinc and Copper Concentrations in Hair Loss

soy isoflavones for hair loss
Food and Hair Hair loss

Soy Isoflavones For Hair Loss

January 30, 2018

Can Soy Isoflavones Help Prevent Hair Loss?

Soy isn’t such a common staple of the diet in the west, but in many East Asian countries, soybeans are used in many ways and are a staple of the diet for many people. Soy has a good nutritional profile and a great source of plant-based protein, which is why many vegetarian and vegan products use soybeans instead of meat. Something that you might not be aware of is that Soy could potentially prevent hair loss and promote hair growth in some people.

Soy isoflavones for hair growth in men and women

Research conducted over the two decades or more has shown that on the whole, soy isoflavones have many beneficial effects on human health and also improves both skin and hair health. There a few different ways in which soy protein can promote better hair growth, below I will go into the main ones

Soy could slow down or prevent hair loss by inhibiting DHT

Unlike finasteride (also known as Propecia) which decreases 5-alpha reductase, that is responsible for the conversion of testosterone into DHT, this equol works in a different way. Equol simply binds to the DHT to stop it from binding to the androgen receptor.

Equol is created by gut bacteria when you frequently consume soy. Some people produce equol better than others, and I  talk about later in this article.

Genistein and daidzein are the two main phytoestrogens found in soybeans which helps reduce DHT levels while improving the ratio of testosterone to DHT. Unlike equol, you can find these in supplement form.

In a study published in 2013, low intake of soy in Taiwanese communities was associated with higher levels of androgenetic alopecia (the most common cause of hair loss in men).

Soy may increase hyaluronic acid production

Soy also might be able to help produce hyaluronic acid (HA) in the skin, which can decrease with age. This will help keep the skin and hair healthy for better hair growth and shiner hair.

Hyaluronic acid’s main job is to help create a barrier and moisturize the skin. This stops it from breaking, becoming sore and inflamed. After about age 40, level of HA will drop in the skin to about half of what we used to produce, and this can cause many common skin complaints.

Keeping the scalp healthy is important for healthy hair growth.

Soy can increase local IGF-1 production in the skin and hair

In humans and mice, the growth of cells is affected by growth hormones such as IGF-1. In men, it has been found that those who do not respond to drugs such as finasteride, can often have lower levels of IGF-1 in the scalp compared to people who respond very well to finasteride.

In this study, researchers discovered that Soy is able to increase levels of IGF-1 at dermal papillae and is most effective when used in combination with capsaicin.

Researchers found that promotion of hair growth was achieved in 64.5% of those using the combination compared to just 11.8% of those using the placebo. See the study here.

How do I know if I’m a converter of equol?

Ever since this finding, people have been wondering how they can become a producer of equol. The evidence shows that only a small number of people are able to effectively produce equol from the fermentation of soy germ in the gut.

The answer is having the right bacteria present to do the conversion. If you are a good converter, then you will gain even more benefits from consuming soy. Below is a video from where Dr. Greger goes into the studies on how to become an efficient producer of Equol.

As I mentioned earlier in this article, Korean and Japanese people tend to eat a lot more soy-based products than people in the west. One interesting study published in 2004 showed that the percentage of producers from Japanese and Koreans was 46% and 59%, while only 14% Americans produced equol,

Another interesting fact came 2 years later, showing that the best equol-producers were vegetarians! 59% of vegetarians were able to produce equol, compared to just 25% of nonvegetarian adults.

What are soy isoflavones and what’s the controversy about? 

Soy has had its fair share of controversy in the past because of the compounds that are found in the soybean. Two main components called genistein and daidzein, which are thought to be responsible for the health benefits of soy, are also known as phytoestrogens.

Genistein and Daidzein have a similar function to the estrogens found in humans but are nowhere near as potent. In fact, it’s believed that the phytoestrogens may displace estrogen or block the more potent form of acting on the receptor.

Since the discovery of two subtypes: ERα and ERβ, it’s been found that soy mainly acts on ERβ, which has an antiproliferative effect, and may help reduce breast cancer, prostate cancers and others types of diseases that results from out of control cell growth.

In many Asian countries where soy is consumed on a more regular basis, they report fewer rates of cancer, not more.

And one other worry men have  (you see it a lot on bodybuilding forums) is the potential for soybeans to have negative side effects on men. This has been proven to be untrue in many studies. See this review and this paper. If there was any significant effect on men’s endocrine system from an increased level of estrogen, you would see a significant decrease in testosterone as a result.

Should you include soy in your diet or hair growth regimen? 

Soy is consumed by millions of people and has numerous health benefits associated with it. Although there was a lot of scaremongering a few years ago, it was largely unfounded and not backed up by research.

It is my belief that soy can be an important addition to one’s diet, especially if you are already vegetarian or vegan, as it provides an excellent source of protein and minerals.

Soy by itself is unlike to completely cure hair loss in men with aggressive hair loss, but it can be an important component of an overall hair growth strategy. You can either include soy-based products in your diet on a frequent basis, or you can simply take a soy isoflavones supplement.

For women who are post-menopausal, soy has been found to be a relief from symptoms such as hot flahses and muscle pain, and even improved appearance of skin aging. 

Also, some women do suffer from androgenetic hair loss with age, and soy might be more effective than in men in this case because they have much less testosterone, so there isn’t as much to bind to.