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by Natalie K. Bell
Sometimes getting those long luxurious locks takes a little extra work. Deficiency in your diet might be one of the reasons for lackluster hair, but there are also plants shown to help hair grow. Whether supplements or shampoos, there are a few ways you can improve hair growth.
The Claim: From Hollywood to the follicles of many admirers, marine protein, particularly Viviscal, a supplement intended specifically for hair growth.
The Research: There have been a few studies done on Viviscal and products like it. One tested how it affected people with alopecia areata and found that it worked to treat androgen-related hair loss (Journal of International Medical Research). As for how it works, one study proposed that it worked because it adds missing proteins to the hair follicle (Journal of International Medicine). Another suggestion is that the silica compound component, which has been linked with increased hair growth but hasn’t been studied much (Hair Savers for Women).
The Claim: Hibiscus is a flower that grows in warm temperate and tropical regions and many believe that it has the possibility to make hair grow faster (Encyclopedia Britannica).
The Research: One study with rats showed that Chinese hibiscus — or China rose — found that it helps grow hair (Journal of Pharmachology). Albino rats were shaved in one area and hibiscus extract oil was rubbed on the bald area once a day for 30 days. The control groups had slower and sparser hair growth. The study also found that rubbing placebos made hair grow better and hypothesized that stimulating the blood flow in that area, but the hibiscus group still hard the best growth rate and volume.
John Masters Organics John Masters Organics Honey & Hibiscus Hair Reconstructor 4 fl oz ($28, Amazon.com) — With moisture seals like olive and jojoba oil, antioxidant-rice white tea, and hibiscus, this hair reconstructor has ingredients that will protect, soften, and help grow your hair.
The Claim: By taking a daily supplement of biotin, you can grow and strengthen your hair.
The Research: According to Dr. Audrey Kunin, board certified Kansas Dermatologist, and creator of DERMAdoctor.com cites biotin deficiency as one of the things that makes hair thin and brittle. There is evidence that taking biotin may reduce hair loss and even improve hair growth (MedlinePlus). One study looking at a biotin-deficient child found that within just two weeks of taking supplements, she had increased hair growth (The New England Journal of Medicine). Another study done on sheep found that it was important in follicle growth (PubMed).