Does Fish Oil For Hair Loss Really Work?

a pretty fish swimming

Guest Post From A Nutrition Expert


LA Says: This guest post is from Valentina Gallani, a nutrition scientist at a personalized vitamin and supplement company called hundred. In it, she explains the benefits of fish oil for hair loss. Valentina holds a Bachelor’s degree in Food Science and Technology, and a Master’s degree in Human Nutrition from the University of Milan. 

If you’ve been losing your hair lately, you know how stressful it can be.

In today’s society, many hope to find a “magic pill” that can reverse hair loss and get our manes growing thick and lush. But there’s literally hundreds, if not thousands, of supplement options out there, and deciding which is best for you can be both confusing and time-consuming.

Unfortunately, many wind up blindly choosing a product to combat hair loss — and end up taking expensive supplements that are often ineffective.

Fish oil pills are a popular supplement, touted for their effectiveness at reducing hair loss and promoting healthy hair growth. But does fish oil for hair loss really work? And what if you’re vegetarian or vegan and can’t take a fish oil supplement?

That’s why I’ve rounded up a helpful list of science-backed nutrients that are suitable for a wide range of health needs – so you can decide which one might be best for you.

Discount Fans! If you’re interested in any of the personalized vitamins or supplements mentioned in this post, you can benefit from an exclusive offer that are giving Lady Alopecia followers right now. Use the code LADYALOPECIA30 to get 30% off your first order!


Emma's 'not a doctor' disclaimer

Hi there, I’m an alopecian, I’m not a doctor! Any advice I give is based on my own research and personal experiences. This site is however reader-supported. When you buy through external links, I may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more here.

fish oil in hands

Omega-3: The Best Fish Oil for Hair Loss

There are 3 different kinds of omega fatty acids: omega-3, omega-6, and omega-9.

While all three are important dietary fats, it’s actually not recommended to supplement with omega-6 and omega-9. This is because the standard Western diet already contains far too much of these fatty acids already.

In fact, omega-6 and omega-9 fats are abundant in vegetable and seed oils (like olive oil, soybean oil, and peanut oil), as well as in nuts and seeds. They don’t actually come from fish at all.

It’s just omega-3 fats that are mostly found in oily fish and other marine sources – making omega-3 the only real fish oil supplement that people can use for hair loss.

The Lady Recommends: Wiley Alaskan Omega-3

Numerous studies have shown the positive effects that supplementing with omega-3s can have on hair growth. For example, one 2015 study found that women who took a fish oil supplement had significantly increased hair growth and reduced hair loss over the course of three months.

Another randomized comparative study discovered that women who supplemented for six months with a mix of omega-3, omega-6, and antioxidants experienced improved hair density and thickness, as well as reduced hair loss.

To get more fish oil into your diet, you can either take a daily fish oil supplement, or you can increase your consumption of:

  • Salmon
  • Mackerel
  • Herring
  • Sardines
  • Anchovies
  • Caviar

Types of Omega-3 Supplements

Vegan Omega-3: For a plant-based diet

Ok, so now you know the benefits of omega-3s in fish oil… but what if you’re a vegetarian or vegan? 

The good news is that you can also absorb omega-3 fats from non-animal sources as well. 

Lower quality vegan omega-3 supplements just contain cheap seed oils, but the most effective vegan omega-3 supplements are algae-based. Microalgae is what fish eat, the very thing that makes them so rich in omega-3 fatty acids in the first place. 

This means that algae-based vegan omega-3 supplements are just as effective as fish oil supplements.

A capsule of Astaxanthin

Astaxanthin: An antioxidant from microalgae

Though difficult to say (and spell!), astaxanthin is another great supplement that comes from the sea and that can help combat hair loss.

Astaxanthin is a powerful antioxidant that gives salmon, lobster, crab, and shrimp their pink hue. 

It can provide numerous health benefits, from improved skin elasticity to strengthening the immune system

But when it comes specifically to hair, astaxanthin’s anti-inflammatory properties have been shown to help reduce inflammation chemicals on the scalp which may be inhibiting hair growth. 

Moreover, Astaxanthin has been shown to reduce levels of DHT (dihydrotestosterone), a hormone that’s the main culprit of hair loss conditions (such as male and female pattern baldness). 

Psst…for a great natural shampoo that blocks DHT, check out my Revita post!

Lady Alopecia happy with her revita nottle

Krill Oil: A more bioavailable option

Here’s one last marine-based supplement to consider for hair loss: krill oil. 

Krill are tiny crustaceans that are rich in both omega-3 fatty acids and astaxanthin. There’s even evidence that suggests the omega-3s found in krill oil are more bioavailable than those in traditional fish oil supplements. One study found that EPA and DHA (types of omega-3 fats) in krill oil had a higher 72-hour bioavailability than in fish oil. 

Another benefit to choosing krill oil is that it contains very low levels of mercury and other heavy metals commonly found in larger fish. 

Due to the more difficult harvesting and distillation methods, however, krill oil supplements tend to be more expensive than regular fish oil supplements. Plus, if you have a seafood allergy, you should stay away from krill oil. 

However, if you want a cleaner, more potent supplement, krill oil could be a good choice for you. 

Can a Supplement Help Alopecia?

Sure it can! Check out my top supplement for hair loss.

Miliacin: A compound clinically proven to reduce hair loss

This compound may not come from the sea, but it’s worth exploring if you’re looking to reduce hair loss.

Miliacin is a rare triterpenoid compound found in millet seed oil. 

Early research suggests that miliacin can stimulate hair production and strengthen the connective tissue sheath around hair follicles. This may result in less hair loss, improved hair density, and an overall healthier head of hair. 

capsule of kerenat oil

Scientists have discovered that hair loss may be related to lower levels of IGF1 – a growth factor that promotes cell multiplication and regulates the hair cycle. Regularly supplementing with miliacin significantly increases the excretion of IGF1, which results in increased cell proliferation in the hair follicles – causing improved growth and less hair loss.

Note: Miliacin supplements are difficult to find, but one of the most effective on the market are these ones from Keranat.


The bottom line

The truth is, there’s no single “one-size-fits-all” supplement solution to reducing or reversing hair loss. Everyone’s nutrition needs are different. Although, if you are looking for a great all-round supplement that Lady Alopecia readers have recommended to reduce thinning and help hair growth, Folexin is a great place to start

That’s why it’s important to figure out what your unique health needs might be, and find the fit that’s right for you!


Valentia Gallani

LA Says: Thanks so much to Valentina for her input! If you’re interested in any of the personalized vitamins or supplements she mentions here, remember: you can snap up an exclusive offer of 30% off your first order by using the code LADYALOPECIA30 upon checkout. Yay!

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Useful links:

Interested in topical treatments as well as supplements? Then check out these posts for size!

1. Nioxin Shampoo Review – Read about my personal experience with the shampoo.
2. Keranique Reviews – Another of the top dogs when it comes to alopecia treatments.
3. Top Hair Loss Shampoos – I look at the best ones on the market.
4. Lady Alopecia talks Neem – An intensive oil, but in a natural way!
5. L’Oreal’s Bald Spot Cover Spray – A handy addition to your bathroom cabinet.

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