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:
- Cod Liver Oil / Fish oil (see this one by Naturelo)
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 on 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.