Last update: May 20, 2024

Hair, Skin & Nails: The Complete Guide

Explore the secrets of hair, skin & nail supplements with our comprehensive guide. Learn about dosage, benefits, sources, and potential side effects for optimal health and wellness.

Stephanie Wright

By Stephanie Wright, RN, BSN

Edited by Dr. Dimitar Marinov, MD, MBA, PhD

Learn more about our editorial standards

Key takeaways

  • Hair, skin, and nail supplements are dietary products containing a blend of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients like biotin, collagen, and vitamins A, D, and E.
  • Signs of nutrient deficiencies affecting hair, skin, and nails include hair loss or thinning, brittle nails, dry and dull skin, and slow wound healing.
  • Supplements offer a convenient and concentrated way to support specific needs, especially for those with dietary restrictions, deficiencies, or increased demands.
  • Excessive consumption of hair, skin, and nail supplements can lead to adverse effects such as allergic reactions, vitamin toxicity, and miscellaneous issues.

    What are hair, skin & nail supplements?

    Hair, skin, and nail supplements are specially formulated dietary products that contain a blend of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients believed to support the health, strength, and appearance of hair, skin, and nails.

    These supplements often include ingredients such as biotin, collagen, vitamins D, A, E, and AE, omega-3 fatty acids, and iron, which work together to promote the production of keratin, a key protein that forms the structural foundation of these tissues [1].

    Supplements promote hair growth and resilience

    The human body sheds around 50 to 100 hair strands per day as part of its natural growth cycle. Hair, skin, and nail supplements can help support this natural process by providing the necessary nutrients for optimal growth and regeneration. These supplements work to nourish the hair follicles, skin cells, and nail beds to promote stronger, healthier, and more resilient tissues.

    While a balanced diet can provide many of these nutrients, hair, skin, and nail supplements offer a convenient and concentrated way to support the specific needs of these areas, especially for those with dietary restrictions, nutrient deficiencies, or increased demands.

    Can your body produce the vitamins found in hair, skin & nail supplements?

    For the most part, No. The body cannot naturally produce all the vitamins found in hair, skin, and nail supplements. Vitamins A and E, for instance, must be obtained from the diet or supplements because the body cannot synthesize them naturally [7].

    Which nutrient is commonly found in hair, skin, and nail supplements?

    Hair, skin, and nail supplements are dietary supplements that contain nutrients believed to support the health and appearance of hair, skin, and nails. These supplements typically include:

    1. Biotin (Vitamin B7): Helps in the metabolism of fatty acids, glucose, and amino acids, which are essential for healthy hair, skin, and nails [8].
    2. Vitamin E: Another antioxidant that protects skin cells from oxidative damage caused by free radicals.
    3. Vitamin A: Supports skin cell turnover and helps maintain skin moisture.
    4. Vitamin D: Plays a role in skin cell growth, repair, and metabolism. It also helps maintain the skin's immune system and may have an anti-inflammatory effect on the skin.
    5. Collagen: A protein that provides structure to skin, hair, and nails. Collagen supplements are often derived from animal sources or plant-based ingredients.
    6. Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Help maintain skin hydration and may reduce inflammation.

    Some supplement formulations may contain more ingredients, while others may contain fewer. The most important thing is that they contain at least biotin, vitamin E, and vitamin A.

    How do hair, skin & nail supplements work in your body?

    What are some benefits of hair, skin & nail supplements?

    Hair, skin & nail supplements contain various properties that may contribute to overall well-being.

    1. Supports healthy hair growth

      The collection of vitamins found in hair skin and nail supplements contributes to improved hair growth, thickness, and strength. They contain key nutrients like biotin, collagen, and vitamins essential for maintaining healthy hair follicles and promoting optimal hair health [2].

    2. Promotes radiant skin

      These supplements can help enhance skin hydration, reduce wrinkles, and improve overall complexion. Ingredients like collagen, vitamins A, C, and E, and omega-3 fatty acids support skin elasticity, repair, and protection against environmental damage [3].

    3. Strengthens and fortified nails

      These supplements also contain many nutrients that support the production of strong nails, prevent splitting, and promote faster nail growth, like vitamins A, E, and D.

    What are some signs of hair, skin & nail nutrient deficiency?

    Signs of deficiency in hair, skin, and nails can vary depending on the specific nutrient lacking, but common indicators include:

    • Hair Loss or Thinning: Deficiencies in nutrients like biotin, vitamins A, C, D, and E, as well as iron and zinc, can lead to hair loss or thinning [4].
    • Brittle Nails: Insufficient intake of nutrients such as biotin, iron, and protein may result in brittle nails that are prone to splitting and breaking [5].
    • Dry, Dull Skin: Lack of hydration and essential nutrients like vitamins A, C, E, and omega-3 fatty acids can cause dry, dull skin with rough patches and a lackluster complexion.
    • Slow Wound Healing: Deficiencies in vitamins C and E, zinc, and protein can impair the body's ability to repair and regenerate skin tissues, leading to slow wound healing and an increased risk of infections [6].

    Never self-diagnose

    If you feel you may have a deficiency or are concerned or curious about taking this supplement, talk to a doctor or healthcare professional. They can accurately diagnose and recommend the appropriate treatment plan for your specific needs.

    Delivery methods

    Hair, skin & nail supplements come in various delivery methods, each offering its own set of benefits and ways of consumption. Here's a brief overview of the different delivery methods:

    Choose a method that fits your routine

    Do not overlook the delivery method. Hair, skin & nail supplements come in tablets, capsules, soft gel, chewable, powders, and liquid forms—choose the one that best fits your daily routine to stay consistent.

    What to look for in hair, skin & nail supplements

    When selecting a supplement, several key factors must be considered to ensure you choose a high-quality product that effectively supports your health goals and overall well-being.

    • Dosage and potency

      The dosage of nutrients found in each supplement manufacturer varies, so it's important to choose one that aligns with your specific needs. This includes considering your age, gender, and health status, like pregnancy or existing deficiencies. The hair, skin & nails supplement formulation can impact its potency and bioavailability, which affects how effectively your body can absorb and use it.

    • Quantity and delivery method

      The delivery method is crucial. Hair, skin & nail supplements come in various forms, including tablets, capsules, powders, chewables, and liquid forms. Your choice may depend on factors like ease of swallowing, convenience for traveling, or personal preference regarding taste and texture. Also, evaluate the quantity to determine how long it will last based on your daily requirements.

    • Quality and manufacturing

      Quality is paramount when selecting hair, skin & nail supplements. Look for products manufactured under strict quality control guidelines and those that have undergone third-party testing for purity and label accuracy. Certifications from recognized bodies can be a reliable indicator of a high-quality product. Additionally, consider the manufacturer's reputation and transparency in their production processes.


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    How and when should you take hair, skin & nail supplements for maximum absorption?

    To get the most out of your hair, skin & nail supplement, it's crucial to consider the timing and method of consumption. The following dos and don'ts offer guidance on optimizing absorption, efficiently supporting your health and wellness, and minimizing potential discomfort.


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      Follow recommended dosage instructions

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      Maintain a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle


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      Don't expect instant or dramatic results

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      Don't rely solely on supplements for healthy hair, skin, and nails

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      Don't continue if you experience adverse reactions or side effects

    Who should take hair, skin & nail supplements?

    Taking hair, skin & nail supplements has its potential benefits, but it may not be for everyone.

    Recommended dosage

    Hair, skin, and nail supplements often contain a combination of various nutrients, each with its own recommended daily allowance (RDA) or safe upper limit. As a result, it's not possible to provide a single recommended dosage for the entire supplement. The appropriate intake level depends on the specific formulation and the individual's needs.

    However, here are the RDAs or common dosages for some of the key nutrients often found in hair, skin, and nail supplements.

    Side effects of excessive hair, skin & nail supplement consumption

    While hair, skin & nail supplements are generally safe when taken within recommended limits, excessive intake can have adverse effects:

    • Allergic Reactions: Rare but possible, symptoms can include skin rashes, itchiness, or even more severe reactions.
    • Vitamin Toxicity: Consuming high doses of fat-soluble vitamins like vitamins A and E can lead to toxicity symptoms such as nausea, headache, and dizziness.
    • Miscellaneous Effects: Overconsumption might cause skin rashes, digestive upset, problems with insulin release, and kidney problems in some cases.

    Always consult your doctor

    If you're experiencing side effects, consult your healthcare provider. They may recommend a different hair, skin & nails supplement formulation or adjust your dosage. Balancing your hair, skin & nail needs with any discomfort is crucial and should not be overlooked.

    Health made easy: your go-to resource for essential vitamins and supplements

    Frequently asked questions about hair, skin & nail supplements (FAQ)

    Our library of expert-authored articles covers just about every question you might have about vitamins, minerals, and supplements — along with some you might not have known you had.

    Final thoughts

    Hair, skin, and nail supplements can be valuable additions to your wellness routine, providing support for your overall appearance and vitality. However, it's essential to use them responsibly, following recommended dosage guidelines and consulting with a healthcare professional if you have any concerns or underlying health conditions.

    By incorporating these supplements mindfully and maintaining a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle, you can help nourish your hair, skin, and nails from within, promoting a radiant and confident you.

    Sources and references

    1. Hair-Growth-Promoting Effects of the Fish Collagen Peptide in Human Dermal Papilla Cells and C57BL/6 Mice Modulating Wnt/β-Catenin and BMP Signaling Pathways
    2. Efficacy and Safety of Skin Radiance Collagen on Skin and Hair Matrix: A Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial in Healthy Human Subjects
    3. Bioactive Compounds for Skin Health: A Review - PMC
    4. An overview of the genetic aspects of hair loss and its connection with nutrition
    5. Unveiling Skin Manifestations: Exploring Cutaneous Signs of Malnutrition in Eating Disorders
    6. Vitamin C and Immune Function
    7. Vitamin A Update: Forms, Sources, Kinetics, Detection, Function, Deficiency, Therapeutic Use and Toxicity
    8. Biotin Deficiency


    Stephanie Wright avatar

    Stephanie brings over 13 years of diverse nursing experience to the table, having honed her expertise in critical care, mental health, and utilization management. Her journey as a registered nurse across these various healthcare sectors underscores her adaptability and deep commitment to patient care.

    Fact checker

    Dr. Dimitar Marinov avatar

    Dr. Marinov has years of experience in scientific research and preventive and clinical medicine. His publications in peer-reviewed journals are on nutritional status, physical activity, and musculoskeletal disorders among adolescents.

    At VitaRx, we're not just passionate about our work — we take immense pride in it. Our dedicated team of writers diligently follows strict editorial standards, ensuring that every piece of content we publish is accurate, current, and highly valuable. We don't just strive for quality; we aim for excellence.

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    Get your personalized vitamin recommendations in less than 3 minutes.

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