Nutrafol is a supplement marketed to women (and men) suffering from hair loss. They claims that their unique formula is one of the most comprehensive and scientifically advanced hair loss supplements available.
This supplement targets two specific causes of hair loss:
- elevated stress hormones.
By targeting these causes, in addition to the usual nutritional culprits, Nutrafol claims to be better than other hair loss supplements.
They call this formula a “nutraceutical” rather than a straight-up vitamin or pharmaceutical…clever. Nutrafol includes four patented ingredients, which distinguishes it from most hair loss supplements.
I’ve been taking Nutrafol for several months. If you want to skip to my progress pics, scroll all the way down it’s pretty impressive how well this stuff works.
Giorgos Tsetis was a male model who suffered hair loss. The drug he was prescribed to treat his hair loss had a negative impact on his sexual function, as a common side effect.
This experience motivated him to create the best hair loss supplement without the sexual side effects, and he shifted careers from model to entrepreneur.
Mr. Tsetis spent ten years researching and developing the ingredients for Nutrafol. Nutrafol has been on the market in its present form for over two years.
Tell Me More about Nutrafol…
In their own words, this is why Nutrafol stands out from the competition:
Nutrafol is recommended by “prestige salons” worldwide, as well as prominent dermatologists and plastic surgeons. There are quite a few well known dermatologists who recommend this supplement.
Nutrafol has even been reviewed in prominent women’s magazines like Allure.
So What’s In It Exactly?
Here’s the complete Nutrafol ingredients list:
- SYNERGEN COMPLEX PATENT PENDING Hydrolyzed Fish Collagen Type 1 & 3
- Saw Palmetto
- Valensa SuperCritical CO2 Extract >45%
- BCM-95® Bio-Curcumin (Curcuma Longa) 25:1 extract
- Sensoril® Ashwagandha Root and Leaf Extract (10% Withanolides)
- Tocotrienol (Tocomax® 20%) alpha-,beta-,gamma-,delta-tocotrienol
- Hyaluronic Acid Proprietary Nutrafol Blend: L-Methionine, L-Cysteine Hydrochloride, L-Lysine
- Horsetail (herb) Extract (Equistum arvense) std. to 7% Silica
- Resveratrol (Polygonum cuspidatum 50%)
- Fo-Ti (root) Powder (Polygonum multiflorum)
- Black Pepper Fruit Extract (std. to 95% piperine)
- BioPerine® Red Pepper Fruit Extract (std.. to 2% capsaicin)
- Selenium (as Selenium amino acid chelate)
- Zinc (as Zinc Amino Acid Chelate),
- Camu Camu 4:1 Extract Powder (Vitamin C 20%)
- Vitamin D3 (as Cholecalciferol) (from Lanolin)
- Vitamin A (as Beta Carotene)
But what does all that mean?
If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you may already see some ingredients you recognize that are known for their positive impact on hair regrowth – Biotin, Fo-Ti, Saw Palmetto, Zinc…
We also see some big/unusual names, for those patented ingredients. And we also see fish collagen!
Many of the trademarked and patented ingredients are derivations or extracts of herbs we know to help with hair loss.
For example, Curcuma Longa is more commonly known as Tumeric, an herb widely taken to combat inflammation, which plays a role in scalp health and disease. Inflamed scalps do not grow healthy h air.
My analysis: Nutrafol contains a propriety blend of known micro-nutrients for hair loss and inflammation, known herbal remedies for hair loss, and science-y secrets!
The process of obtaining a patent is arduous and expensive; clearly Nutrafol had some serious R&D dollars at play.
How To Take The Supplement?
Take four capsules daily with any meal, any time of day. At 120 capsules/bottle and 4 pills per day, this means one bottle provides a one-month supply.
Nutrafol comes with a hefty safety precaution disclaimer, which I appreciate.
Quite often these supplement makers fail to take into account their allergies or dietary needs when beginning a supplement, and don’t provide specific enough instructions to their customers.
Nutrafol Safety Information:
Important Reminders: Nutrafol does not contain gluten, wheat, shellfish, binders, fillers. While Nutrafol contains natural ingredients free of the side effects that may come with drugs, on very rare occasion there is always a possibility of an allergic reaction. If this occurs, please stop use and consult your doctor.
Do not take Nutrafol if you are pregnant or nursing
If you take oral contraception/birth-control pills, consult with your doctor before starting Nutrafol. Saw palmetto may decrease the effects of estrogen in the body and may decrease the effectiveness of some birth-control pills.
If you are using hormone replacement therapy (HRT) or other hormonal medications, please consult your doctor before using Nutrafol If you are taking anti-platelet drugs or blood thinners do not introduce this product unless you have consulted your physician first. [Note: this last one is likely because of the pepper content, which can act as a blood thinner.]
Nutrafol contains a powerful anti-oxidant tocotrienol / tocopherol complex, a next-generation vitamin E that is 200-percent more bio-available than in traditional formulations. Vitamin E has no known toxicity or side effects except the potential in very high doses to act as an anticoagulant. If you are taking any medications, always best to consult with your doctor.
IMPORTANT: Nurtafol is not suitable for vegetarians or vegans, or people with fish allergies.
However, Nutrafol does not contain shellfish, so it is acceptable for those who keep kosher.
Nutrafol for Hair Loss: Yay or Nay?
Nutrafol has a 4/5 star rating on Amazon.com, with nearly 230 reviews at the time of this blog post. Let’s piece together what makes it great for some and not so great for others. I’m intrigued enough by the ingredients list and background to look closely at the reviews.
Women who love Nutrafol say that it takes some time (2-6 months) but that they see real change. Others say it is absolutely worth the cost for how effective it is.
Some women note that they take only two pills a day vs. the recommended dose of four, and still notice improvement.
Many of the positive reviewers have burned through many other hair loss products before starting Nutrafol.
Their relief in finding something that works for them after the long hunt is truly enviable – most readers of this blog can probably relate!
One woman implored us to give the Nutrafol supplement 3-4 months before coming to judgment.
This woman had tried everything she could find and heard Nutrafol recommended on The Doctor Show by a dermatologist. She used it for two years before writing the review, so I’m gonna take her at her word.
In another positive review, a woman was recovering from bald spots after heavy hair extensions. She started slow, with two capsules daily, and moved up to the four capsule daily dose. She noticed her bald spots filling in and thicker hair.
Many of these positive reviews were written after Nutrafol was taken for some length of time, so I’m inclined to take them more seriously, than, say negative reviews which were written after trying it for only a month or so.
To Recap the Pros:
- Works if you give it time
- Works when other supplements have not
- Fills in bald spots
- Long-term Nutrafol user reviews are online adding a lot to its credibility
- Kosher/does not contain shellfish
Hands down, the price. Everyone who had a bad or neutral experience with this product gripes about its price. $88/month is steep compared to the competition, including Propidren.
I found another interesting tidbit tucked away in both the positive and negative reviews – because of the pepper content in Nutrafol, some people may experience burning or swelling of the gums.
I would posit this is more of an allergic than normal reaction to pepper…I mean, we all use pepper all of the time, practically ever recipe on earth calls for it.
Some also experience stomachaches – again, I would attribute this kind of reaction to a potential allergy, or not taking Nutrafol as recommended (with food).
Finally, because it takes a few months to work, most people will not be able to take advantage of the 30 day guarantee for their full investment.
But, honestly, that’s gonna be true for most hair loss products because of the inherent nature of hair growth cycles – it just plain takes a few months to notice a difference with anything.
To Recap the Cons:
- Inappropriate for those with fish allergies
- Pepper content can be irritating
- Takes time to start working
Is It Worth A Try For The Expensive Price Tag?
I’m intrigued enough to give this one a shot. I’ll be returning to update this blog post, just as I’ve done with other products after trying them out.
Why? Because I like that Nutrafol is up front about how you need to take a large dose (4 pills is a lot!). This may be a little simple, but it makes me feel like maybe I’ll be getting “more” medicine that way.
This may be a little nerdy, but I like their extensive safety warning – it makes me think Nutrafol isn’t just another BS “formula” slapped together in China and marketed thoughtlessly in a rush to make a fortune on the backs of those of us desperate for a cure for our thinning hair.
There’s also something undeniably good to be said for so many named dermatologists and surgeons recommending Nutrafol.
All people taking a supplement (Nutrafol or otherwise) should ALSO be using a DHT blocking shampoo, or a quality caffeine shampoo. Period. Hair loss needs to be treated from the inside and from the outside.
For men and women with a robust hair loss treatment budget, starting Nutrafol is a no-brainer. Because of the ten years of research and development, and the fact that it’s recommended by so many physicians: Nutrafol is worth the investment.
The Nutrafol creator Mr. Tsestis has an interesting perspective, and I’ll share his words on hair loss in closing:
When it comes to hair loss for men and women, there are several causes that disrupt the natural hair growth cycle. Basic vitamins and minerals only act as a temporary bandaid for hair health deficiencies, which is simply not enough. Hair loss and thinning hair means your body is imbalanced and there’s something off, because hair follicles are mini organs.
I love that last line – our hair is not just this dead decoration – it’s a product of thousands of miniature organs, and we have to treat it like a living thing especially when dealing with hair loss due to weakened follicles.
Do come back and check in for my updated review. In the meantime…
Updated Review – October 2017
I’ve been using Nutrafol now for close to three months. I started with two pills a day, rather than the recommended four pills a day, just to make sure I could handle it and the ingredients would not be irritating for me. I recommend that you do the same.
After a week with no reactions or issues, I moved up to the full dose and I’ve only forgotten to take it a handful of days.
While it’s true that Nutrafol contains the fancy marine collagen, I also take a separate bovine collagen supplement. Because why not surf & turf this crap?! (hahaha sorry about that) I’m making up for lost time here with the collagen!
The result? My uncomfortably high hairline and empty temple areas have been filling in with vellus hairs. This helps so much because my hair is dark and I’d much rather see dark hair than empty space on my scalp, even if they are short vellus hairs or “baby hair”.
I will continue to take Nutrafol and report back again in three more months.
Update – December 2017
I’ve been asked to come back and report with pictures of my new growth.
I’m going to ask you to use your imagination for the before pictures- the areas that are thinned in these were in fact empty before I went on this journey. It’s not hard to imagine that. My “about me” photo shows my uncomfortably high hairline and attempt to hide it with hair over my temples.
But now? It may not seem like much to have short vellus hairs framing my face and filling in those gaps, but to me, this is huge.
I hope that as I keep up my treatments that these hairs get longer and stronger, and that these follicles come back to life enough to produce long strong hair.
One result of this new growth is that I’m more comfortable wearing my hair up. I couldn’t do that before (with the exception of having a loose but carefully constructed bun at the nape of my neck) because pulling it back exposed the bald spots.
Product images for this stuff now include a ton of before/after pics: check it out. You can see other women’s hairlines and how they’ve also filled in after a few months of taking Nutrafol.
Update, March 9 2018
I’m still using Nutrafol, and my hair still is filling in. The “baby hairs” are about the same length as my last update, but there is a greater density of them along my hairline.
Take a look!
Does Nutrafol Cause Weight Gain?
For the six months I’ve been taking it, I’ve actually lost about 15 lbs. Of course, I have been exercising quite a bit more, but as a heavier person who tends to put on weight, it’s worth noting that hasn’t happened to me on Nutrafol.
I can only speak for myself, but for me, the answer is no.
Please reach out with any questions, comments, ideas…anything at all. I always look forward to your feedback.