By Jessica Chia. Photos: Hannah Choi/Allure.
Ouai hair supplements are just about officially here. Celebrity hairstylist Jen Atkin’s new hair supplements are hitting theouai.com next week, and Sephora.com on May 1st. There's one for dry hair, one for an oily scalp, and one for thinning hair — the three most common hair issues Atkin says she hears from clients and friends. “The whole reason I started a hair care line was to do supplements,” Atkin says. “For years I was sending clients [Atkin works with the Kardashian-Jenner clan] to Whole Foods and natural markets to get biotin, omegas, and fish oil, all of those things. I just felt like it was time to create my own.”
Atkin created the line with the help of Lamees Hamdan, a Dubai-based doctor who founded a skincare line in the United Arab Emirates. “A year ago we had the formula down — but you had to take two pills a day,” Atkin says. “There is no way I would even remember to take two pills a day so we reformulated and worked on it for another year.” The final product, per Atkin’s request, is a one-a-day deal. Convenient? Absolutely. But what will they actually do anything for your hair? That depends.
If the healthiest-possible hair is what you’re after, or you’re on a restrictive diet, these pills can deliver. “I recommend supplements, especially for women who are eating low protein and low fat,” says Whitney Bowe, a dermatologist in New York City. “Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. You need them for healthy hair. Omega-3 fatty acids in olive oil, avocado, nuts, and salmon are also essential for shiny hair.” You'll find both in Ouai's supplements. The pills’ biotin, on the other hand, is essential for hair’s growth and elasticity, and its vitamins A, C, and E help regulate hair-moisturizing sebum production, boost the absorption other supplements, neutralize free radicals from pollution, respectively, says New York City dermatologist Howard Sobel.
If your hair is truly thinning, however, a dietary supplement can only rarely help. The main causes (genes, hormones, extreme stress) can’t be fixed with a dietary pill. “For men and women dealing with hair loss, topical minoxidil is one of the few strategies that has conclusive evidence,” says New York City dermatologist Robert Anolik. The exception: If low iron intake is the root cause of your thinning hair. “Many women, especially with heavy periods, don’t have great iron stores,” says Bowe. “Although they aren’t technically anemic, it can impact their hair growth.” To know for sure if that’s your issue, you’ll need to visit your dermatologist for bloodwork, she adds.
A final word of caution: As good-for-you as the ingredients in these supplements are, avoid mixing them with other supplements or multivitamins unless your doc clears it first. “Too much vitamin A can be toxic, and too much vitamin E can cause excessive bleeding, if for example, you’re having surgery,” Sobel says.
This story originally appeared on Allure.
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