Over the years, I’ve had steroid injections, considered microneedling and tried every alternative therapy going. Nothing helped my alopecia areata on a long-term basis: until I focused on nutrition. In this Nutrafol reviews post, I’ll explain how taking certain vitamins might be the best – and most natural! – way to treat hair loss.
Because while I still don’t believe there’s a miracle cure for thinning hair, I’ve seen firsthand how a daily supplement, which focuses specifically on stress and hormone-related hair loss, can be MUCH more effective than topical treatments like minoxidil.
The 5 Nutrafol supplements include: Women, Men, Postpartum, Peri and Post-Menopausal and Vegan supplements. Combined with natural haircare products that include proven hair-boosting ingredients, they can help your immune system AND your hair health. Woohoo!
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 a tiny affiliate commission. Learn more here.
Brought to you by a team of doctors and scientists who know their s**t when it comes to skin cells, Nutrafol make a range of award-winning hair growth supplements and boosters for men and women.
Technically, they’re ‘nutraceuticals’, because they’re comprised of medical-grade, bio-optimized botanical ingredients. But I’ll refer to them as ‘supplements’ here because well, it’s just a more familiar word.
Nutrafol’s hair growth supplements are designed specifically for stress, age-related, hereditary and hormonal hair loss, for both men and women with thinning hair. It’s the go-to brand recommended by hundreds of physicians, hair care specialists, and prominent celebrities, too.
Chief Innovation and Product Officer, Roland struggled with hair loss for over 15 years after being diagnosed with thyroid cancer and rheumatoid arthritis. Like many alopecians, he tried dozens of ineffective treatments – so he began studying and researching nutraceuticals. Alongside a team of doctors, he helped formulate Nutrafol’s revolutionary approach to combat hair thinning.
Chief Medical Advisor, who suffered hair loss after the chronic stress, lack of sleep and poor diet of medical residency. She specializes in integrative hair health and she’s an expert on the side effects of botanicals, nutrition and follicule biology. She works to open the conversation and change the taboo around women’s hair thinning (see her great article here) and for that, I heart her very much.
Former model and entrepreneur. After experiencing hair thinning in his 20s and sexual dysfunction side effects from drugs like finestrade, he started working to create a safe and effective alternative, free from testosterone impairing compounds. Nowadays, he’s a good face for a haircare product – just look at those locks!
Nutrafol’s clinically tested ingredients – manufactured in New York by Nutraceutical Wellness, Inc. – are 100% drug-free and have been reported to improve hair growth by 80%. It’s the most popular hair loss supplement for men and women out there – with a hefty pricetag to match its success.
Over-the-counter (OTC) supplements are A LOT kinder to the immune system than many topical hair loss treatments, which typically include finasteride or minoxidil and can include side effects like decreased libido, erectile dysfunction, headaches and dizziness.
Sure, minoxidil can offer a ‘quick fix’…but soon your skin can become immune to that, too. So what then – a stronger dose? Unfortunately, this is the path many dermatologists will take you – but without addressing the root cause triggering hair loss, it won’t return for long. And you could do some long-term damage as a result.
Nutrafol’s hair growth supplements are a more natural solution, targeting six causes of poor hair health – not just the symptom of hair loss. These supplements address whole-body wellness to find the underlying causes of thinning – stress, hormones, inflammation and free radicals – to promote better hair health, from within.
Nutrafol prides itself on its 100% drug-free formula, with vitamins and minerals that are third-party and clinically tested for purity. “We wanted Nutrafol to be the leader in defining a new category of hair health – showcasing that all-natural ingredients are effective and proving that scientific standards are necessary,” says Peralta.
Unfortunately, the only FDA-approved treatments for alopecia are compounds like minoxidil and finasteride. But there are studies showing just how effective natural treatments can be: like this 2014 Korean study, which showed peppermint essential oil to be just as effective on mice as minoxidil, without any nasty side effects).
Nutrafol supplements include saw palmetto, which is a natural DHT blocker. As this study shows, it inhibits the enzyme that can lead to DHT production (a hormone linked to hair loss) while having an anti-inflammatory effect.
Many hair loss treatments block DHT; however, they typically contain harsher chemical compounds that can lead to dodgy side effects. Saw palmetto does the same job, in a much gentler way. Oh, and the antioxidant properties of saw palmetto protect the scalp and help hair follicles recover from damage, too. Bonus.
I love that Nutrafol doesn’t offer a catch-all solution. We’re all different, and have different reasons for shedding – so Nutrafol has specific supplements that address whatever might be triggering yours.
Get started with the Nutrafol Hair Wellness Evaluation, and their naturopathic doctors will create customized recommendations about products and lifestyle changes for your hair’s needs. Ok, so the quiz mightn’t cover EVERY eventuality; but it includes the most common triggers, like:
Nutrafol helps relieve chronic stress in the body with ingredients like ashwagandha, a medicinal herb that balances high cortisol levels. This 2012 study shows that amongst 64 people with a history of chronic stress, high levels of ashwagandha significantly reduced their stress and anxiety levels when compared to the placebo group, with minimal side effects.
Astaxanthin, a keto-carotenoid, is in the Women’s Balance supplement to reduce oxidative stress (an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants in your body) to help scalp and hair health. All supplements contain tocotrienol complex, chemicals in the Vitamin E family – and Vitamin E helps with oxidative stress, too.
DHT is a hormone that causes hair follicles to slowly shrink. Eventually, the follicle can close altogether so hair can’t grow back. Hormonal changes from pregnancy, menopause and stress can have a major impact on DHT imbalances in women.
Nutrafol’s Women’s Balance supplement is for people experiencing postpartum, perimenopause and postmenopausal hair loss. It includes saw palmetto as a natural DHT blocker, plus maca – part of the mustard family – that’s highly nutritious and contains fiber, Vitamin C and iron to help relieve the symptoms of menopause.
I can relate to this, having been diagnosed with gut dysbiosis and chronic inflammation (thanks to my use of corticosteroids for alopecia in the past). As a result, I couldn’t process the nutrients from my food so I needed supplements to correct the issue.
With a healthy microbiome, you can regulate glucose metabolism and provide enough energy for basic cellular functions like hair growth. But when inflammation or imbalances in blood sugar, hormones or thyroid are present, you might have a poor metabolism (IBS, anyone?!) – leading to symptoms like brain fog or headaches and, you got it, less energy for hair growth.
Nutrafol includes curcumin, an anti-inflammatory compound present in turmeric that studies show to alleviate metabolic syndrome and in turn, reduce hair loss. (See my full turmeric post for more or check out these great supplements!)
Nutrafol’s hair supplements are made with a patented Synergen Complex: a proprietary blend of concentrated plant ingredients including stress adaptogens, DHT-targeting botanicals and antioxidants. Together, they target the internal imbalances that lead to hair thinning and promote a healthy hair growth cycle.
Just like another popular hair supplement, Viviscal, Nutrafol is a 100% drug-free option. The supplements are free from hormones and artificial additives and are third-party tested for heavy metals, pesticides and chemicals to guarantee purity.
Read my full ingredients post for more but the active ingredients are:
Even my favorite shampoos for hair growth don’t have much time to ‘work their magic’ on the scalp. They simply can’t get to the root cause of the issue or affect hair health in the long-run like a hair growth supplement can.
As Dr Kogan says: “the follicle is a sensitive mini organ that’s impacted by everything that happens within the body…it’s health is reflective of the internal environment and should be treated from within.”
Hormonal imbalance is a massive cause of shedding, as are environmental factors and the stress surrounding them (of which we usually aren’t aware). When we have chronic stress, heightened cortisol can signal the hair follicles to prematurely shift from the growth stage to the resting stage, where the hair can’t grow.
So when subjected to stressful factors, the growth cycle can be disrupted; leaving us in an extended resting stage (telogen) or shedding (exogen) phase – so our hair falls, but doesn’t regrow. Conversely, when our hormones are balanced and the cycle is working as it should, we can move into the hair regrowth (anagen) phase without trouble.
Start with their Hair Wellness Quiz (check it out here!). Based on the results, Nutrafol will recommend one ‘core solution’ (the type of supplement best for you) plus one or two targeted ‘boosters’ (ranging from digestive enzymes to Vitamin B complexes). The single booster plan is called Hair Growth Duo and the double is called the GrowthPlan.
The Hair Wellness Quiz covers the multiple factors of hair loss:
I haven’t tried Nutrafol yet but I did their test to see what they’d recommend in my case. Some of the questions were really interesting – I hadn’t thought that using plastic water bottles could affect my alopecia but there you go!
I was prescribed the Hair Growth Duo Plan: including the Nutrafol Women supplement plus its Stress Adaptogen Booster. This supplement contains reisi mushroom extract, schisandra extract and rhodiola root extract, which Nutrafol claims “targets physical and emotional stress”.
This plan would cost me $98 monthly – not cheap, but it does include 1-on-1 consultations with naturopathic doctors for growth guidance, optional referrals to local doctors, plus in-depth lab tests to analyze hair minerals every 6 months. Those add-ons make a massive difference, if you ask me!
How you use Nutrafol is dependant on what treatment plan you get, but if taking just the Nutrafol Women’s supplement, you’d take 4 supplements daily – all in one go, with a meal.
Nutrafol offers the following five supplements to support hair growth, each priced at $88 per bottle – or if you choose a subscription package, it would be: $79 monthly, $224 for three months and $422 for six months.
Designed for women between 18 and 44 who aren’t breastfeeding, pregnant or peri/post-menopausal. Nutrafol Women supplements include medical-grade natural ingredients like ashwagandha, biotin, iodine and zinc, plus Vitamins A, C, and D to reduce hair shedding and promote healthy hair growth.
It’s amazing how many of use are deficient in certain vitamins and minerals (for women, it’s often magnesium, zinc and iron), which are needed to promote hair growth. The ingredients in Nutrafol Women address that imbalance – to promote thicker hair, improve hormone health and even reduce female pattern baldness.
For men over 18, Nutrafol Men targets the multiple root causes of hair thinning or androgenetic alopecia, like hormonal imbalances, stress and poor nutrition. It’s made with natural DHT blockers like saw palmetto to address hormonal hair loss in particular, without affecting sexual performance as oral finasteride can.
Nutrafol Men is bio-optimzied for maximum absorption and efficacy. It’s ideal for men who want to restore hair thickness and boost scalp health. In clinical trials, 83% of users experienced improved hair quality, while 72% saw an improvement in scalp coverage.
Formulated by a team of OB-GYNS, designed for women to take in their first year postpartum – by managing stress hormones and promoting relaxation. Man, I could’ve done with this to help my own postpartum hair loss – if only I knew it existed then!
Postpartum hair loss typically appears after 2–4 months of giving birth. Nutrafol Postpartum works to decrease this common form of shedding caused by hormonal changes and nutritional depletion with a large vitamin profile that includes DHA Omega-3s, amino acids and a Vitamin B complex.
It also contains theanine – an amino acid that helps reduce anxiety – and shatavari, a herb which helps the body cope with physical and emotional stress. Nutrafol says these supplements can be taken alongside postnatal vitamins and they’re safe for breastfeeding (several of the ingredients can even boost your milk supply).
Still, check with your doctor or midwife, just to be sure – especially if you’re taking another postnatal vitamin as the vitamin profile of Nutrafol Postpartum may actually be too high for some.
For women over 45 who are experiencing menopause: before, during and after, when estrogen and progesterone levels decline and androgen hormones decrease.
The 21 ingredients in Nutrafol Women’s Balance supplements include: extra saw palmetto, an adaptogen called maca (to naturally balance sex hormones as they decrease) and astaxanthin (to reduce oxidative stress and hair loss that’s caused by aging or a slowing metabolism).
Postmenopausal women can use these supplements alongside any HRT (hormone replacement therapy) they might be on. But even if you’re under 45 and you notice a widening parting or hair thinning, you can try Women’s Balance.
Like most hair loss treatments, customer reviews are mixed (see my post on the bad reviews for the downside). But the people who love it REALLY love it. Sure, it’s expensive…but it’s worth it for the dramatic results and renewed confidence!
One Nutrafol review complained of gastric troubles and another of acne breakouts, but they just reduced the dose by half and still saw an improvement in hair thickness.
I have been using Nutrafol for 3 months and I see a great improvement in hair growth and stronger nails! I will continue to use it and think it has been incredible. I take my pills daily and do not skip so that my regime is static.
– Allyson, January 2023 on Trustpilot
Let me tell you, it works. After about a month and a half, the first thing I noticed was new hair growth at my temples. The crown is slowly but steadily thickening as the new hair grows in. And my hair feels so good! I’ve even noticed new growth in my eyebrows. I highly recommend this product.
– Amazon Customer, March 2023
I’m on my second round; I take as suggested and already notice a difference. Not only is the hair on my head growing faster but all hair is. My mood is also improved from experiencing less inflammation/pain in my body overall. These ingredients are beautiful and are helping me to feel more beautiful from the inside out.
– Katie, March 2023 via Amazon
The product is good. Customer service is NON EXISTENT though. Extremely unprofessional and sketchy.
– Murat, October 2022 on Trustpilot
This lightweight hair serum consists of an ashwagandha exosome, designed to boost cell renewal for thicker hair. Most botanical products use an extract but this is so highly concentrated, you get a greater efficacy from less of the serum to last longer.
Good news – none of these supplements are prescription strength, so their side effects are very low. However, they do exist – check out my post on side effects for more info.
For instance, some people with biotin sensitivities might experience skin rashes, nausea, cramping and diarrhea, but it doesn’t seem very common. And like some Amazon reviewers did, you can reduce the dose by half.
The main bad side effect might be “a lack of effectiveness” – as the best results are typically for those with minimal or sudden hair loss.
So if you have recent male or female pattern hair loss, telegen effluviam or are experiencing hormonal hair loss as a result of pregancy or menopause, it’s a great option. Perhaps not so great for those trying to treat chemo-related hair loss, long-term androgenetic alopecia or extended loss from another illness. In these cases, reviews and results are mixed.
If you can’t take or afford Nutrafol, check out these other supplements to increase hair growth – I’d highly recommend either of them!
A FAR cheaper option (a third of the price of Nutrafol!) that still contains great ingredients like saw palmetto, biotin and caffeine. It’s also a natural DHT blocker.
I’ve heard only positive things about Folexin from my readers and they’re happy to continue using it for stronger, healthier hair. Check out my comparison post between Nutrafol and Folexin here, or see my full Folexin review below.
In a word? Delicious! Vegamour’s natural strawberry-flavored CBD gummies with MCT oil are loaded with Vitamins A, C and E, a Vitamin B complex and other great hair-supporting ingredients like biotin, folic acid and collagen. Just take one a day – if you can restrain yourself!
Another much cheaper option with some of the same great hair growth ingredients, plus a special marine protein complex, Viviscal is a hugely popular brand for supporting hair growth. Read my comparison post between Viviscal and Nutrafol here, or my full review below.
Stock up on all these products on Amazon or from the manufacturer’s site. Wherever you get it, it’s more cost-effective to do it as a subscription for perks like free doctor consultations/hair analysis.
Although Nutrafol recommends a minimum use of 3 months, you may start seeing results in as little as a month. Plus, with their 6-monthly hair mineral analysis (included in each subscription), it’s easy to track your results! You’ll also have access to their team of doctors, where you can update them on any progress and they can adjust your treatment plan if necessary.
Bottles start at $88 for a one-time purchase. If you choose to get a subscription, with some great free perks, you’re looking at: $79 monthly, $224 for three months or $422 for six months.
If recommended a booster, you can add it to your monthly subscription for $19. The Growth Activator Serum costs $69 and will last up to 3 months. US shipping is free and international shipping comes with a flat rate of $32.
Nutrafol offers clinically-backed hair growth pills that address changing bio-specific needs according to your stage of life: including postpartum and menopause. It draws on a large team of doctors and scientific advisors to tackle the root cause of hair loss, which (in my experience) isn’t all that common in the hair loss industry.
For me, it’s a great sign that people in the medical community are now taking a holistic approach and focusing on whole body wellness. I fully support the idea of healing from within and believe that focusing on your nutritional needs is far more effective than lathering yourself with strong chemicals.
However, Nutrafol isn’t affordable for everyone. It certainly isn’t for me at the moment, which is why I’ve yet to try it. Then again, I’ve spend a fortune on doctors, shampoos and other supplements in the past – so why not invest in a bottle that seems to have it all? And that, for many, many people, actually works? I’m leaning towards the idea more and more…
Have you been using Nutrafol? Has it helped you? I’d love to hear your own Nutrafol review below!
Love & hugs,
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Alopecian. Yoga Teacher. Copywriter. Here to share information, offer support and show people the adventures that can lie in hair loss. I’m proud to have alopecia and I want to help others embrace their baldness, too!