How to Use Folic Acid For Hair Growth

Jennifer E. Engen

When it comes to hair loss and thinning, finding a cause can be . . . complicated. It’s normal to experience occasional shedding — we typically lose anywhere from 50-150 strands of hair per day — but if you’re finding more loose strands in your hairbrush than usual these days, it could take a little time to pinpoint the culprit of the issue. Some common contenders are hormonal changes, vitamin deficiencies, and heredity, though no matter the cause, it’s typical to want to find a solution ASAP.

Sure, there are tons of hair growth and volumizing products on the market, but narrowing down those that deliver on their promises of luscious hair isn’t as easy. While these hair products work to give the appearance of thicker and healthier strands, real hair health starts on the inside. That’s where folic acid comes in. And yes, we mean the same vitamin prescribed to pregnant women to support growing babies. To understand folic acid beyond pregnancy, we checked in with a dermatologist to explain the vitamin’s benefits.

What is folic acid?

According to Joshua Zeichner, MD, board-certified dermatologist in New York City, folic acid is a B-vitamin that the body uses to produce red blood cells.

“It’s commonly given as a supplement to help treat patients who have anemia,” he explains. “It’s also given as a vitamin to pregnant women to help ensure the proper development of the baby’s nervous system.” Even if you’re not expecting, you can still reap the benefits of the popular supplement since it promotes new cell production and, thus, contributes to the growth of hair and nails.

How does folic acid actually benefit the hair?

The underlying cause of hair loss and thinning could be chalked up to a variety of things including heredity, hormones, or medical factors, and many times, these hair issues result from vitamin deficiencies.

“Folic acid deficiency may be associated with anemia as well as dry hair, brittle nails, and thinning hair,” Dr. Zeichner says. “It is unclear whether the folic acid is directly associated with these signs or whether they develop as a result of related anemia.”

Unfortunately, Dr. Zeichner notes that no actual data confirms that folic acid supplements genuinely affect hair growth, though, according to him, there are enough studies that show “anemia is a common thin hair culprit.”

This, of course, shouldn’t discourage you from adding folic acid to your daily routine. If you’ve noticed that you’re losing more hair than the typical 50-150 strands a day, give it a shot — it can treat the unknown anemia that is ultimately causing those pesky hair issues.

How do you use folic acid for hair growth?

Using folic acid is pretty straightforward, especially if you plan on implementing a supplement daily. But the first thing you should know is how much folic acid you should take. The Center for Disease Control recommends taking 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid daily to help with hair follicle production and healthy, full hair. And even though the vitamin is safe to take, Dr. Zeichner recommends talking to your primary care doctor before starting any new medications or vitamins.

Ready to kick hair loss and shedding to the curb? Keep scrolling to learn more.


Sugarbear Hair Vitamin Gummies



Those hard vitamins are no fun to get down every morning, but these soft and chewy gummies change the game. The vitamins are formulated with strengthening folic acid and eight other ingredients, including biotin and zinc, which also contribute to healthy hair.


Hum Hair Sweet Hair Vegan Gummies



This hair stimulating vitamin makes folic acid the hero ingredient for stronger and longer hair. The zinc adds an extra dose of protection that helps to stimulate hair follicles which are responsible for preventing hair loss. The best part? The subtle berry flavor of the vitamins (finally, ones that don’t taste like vitamins).


Vegamour Gro More Kit



This dynamic duo revives your hair from the inside out. The set includes a one-month supply of vitamins packed with folic acid to restore the hair’s density. The vitamins also reduce shedding so that your hair stays thick and full. The serum completes the set and delivers nourishing vitamins to the scalp — the source of hair health.


Ritual Essential for Women Prenatal Multivitamin

If you’re expecting, Ritual’s daily supplement will give you and your baby the right amount of folic acid needed throughout the pregnancy. If you’re not, you can still reap the benefits of luscious hair. The bottle of vitamins incorporates 12 nutrients that support healthy hair, like biotin, another B-vitamin that works with folic acid to increase follicle production.


Nature’s Truth Folic Acid

Nature’s Truth

There’s nothing wrong with sticking with OG vitamins. This potent supplement gives 800 mcg of folic acid, which is enough to meet your daily intake. The vitamins are also smaller than others, making them a breeze to take.

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