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Nutrafol Reviews: How effective are Nutrafol hair supplements?

There’s lots of buzz about Nutrafol, so we tested it to see if it works. Here’s our full evaluation.

Last Updated: Feb 7, 2022
Nutrafol reviews

If you’ve made it to your mid-30s without suffering some hair thinning, you’re the lucky exception. According to the American Hair Loss Association, two-thirds of men will experience some degree of noticeable hair loss by the age of 35, and 85% will have significantly thinning hair by age 50. But men are not alone. Women make up 40% of American hair loss sufferers.

It’s little wonder with these statistics that there are so many hair loss products on the market. Minoxidil and finasteride are both effective ingredients targeting male- and female-pattern baldness. But these drugs can cause side effects in some people, including sexual side effects like decreased libido and even erectile dysfunction.

Recently, a new wave of nutritional supplements has emerged, targeting multiple deficiencies and imbalances that contribute to hair thinning. But do they work? This review evaluates Nutrafol’s natural hair supplements and lays out the pros, cons, and details of this whole-body approach to hair loss. Read more to see if Nutrafol may work for you.

Editor's Summary

Overall Rating 8.7 / 10

Nutrafol offers high-quality supplements and serums designed to stop hair loss and start regrowth. Their products are more expensive than some pharmaceuticals, but they tackle hair loss from a much more holistic perspective.

Pros

  • Ingredients in Nutrafol’s Synergen Complex are backed by clinical research
  • Does not carry the risk of sexual side effects like finasteride
  • Addresses whole-body wellness
  • Ingredients are sustainably sourced and derived
  • Natural supplement – 100% drug-free
  • You can save 25% on a subscription using coupon code GROW25

Cons

  • More expensive than most over-the-counter treatments or supplements
  • Not designed to treat hair loss as a result of cancer treatment, disease, or illness
  • Not for those using blood thinners
  • Not for pregnant or nursing women
Our Top Picks

Nutrafol

Nutrafol is a clinically backed plant-based supplement company that addresses the root causes of hair thinning in both men and women. Save 25% off your subscription today!

Nutrafol’s natural supplements focus on whole-body wellness, with supplements tailored specifically to women and men. Duo bundles target important hair thinning factors such as gut health and stress.

Nutrafol Women
Reviewed by Innerbody Research
$79
Nutrafol Men
Reviewed by Innerbody Research
$79
Growth Activator Serum
Reviewed by Innerbody Research
$69

Why you should trust us

At Innerbody Research, we extensively test each health service we review, including Nutrafol. All told, our team has spent over 185 hours testing and researching the products and services of Nutrafol and their chief competitors in order to provide an accurate, unbiased analysis of how the products and services compare, free of marketing jargon and gimmicks.

In testing Nutrafol, our team used the product for three months — half the expected time for significant results — and were already impressed with its impacts on thinning hair. Within one month, testers experienced additional growth and thickness. Best of all, we felt the overall health benefits of the ingredients in day-to-day life, including lower stress levels and better sleep. While we know that not everyone can afford this supplement, we believe if you can commit to the high price point, you can experience these improvements in your life.

Over the past two decades, Innerbody Research has helped tens of millions of readers make more informed decisions to live healthier lifestyles. We evaluate health products and services based on adherence to quality, the latest medical evidence and health standards, and a simple question: would we buy or subscribe to it ourselves if it weren’t part of our job, and would we recommend it to family and friends?

Additionally, like all health-related content on this website, this review was thoroughly vetted by one or more members of our Medical Review Board for accuracy.

How we evaluated Nutrafol

Effectiveness

Rating: 9.0/10

Nutrafol offers a wide range of products containing ingredients that boast a respectable amount of scientific legitimacy. Many ingredients have been the subject of numerous studies related to hair loss. Our testers saw definite improvements in hair thickness and growth pattern taking only the core haircare supplement.

Safety

Rating: 9.2/10

Because none of these products are prescription strength, their side effect profiles are minimal. Some users may experience an upset stomach, but it rarely gets any more serious than that. Participants in studies that looked at these ingredients showed high tolerances and exhibited few to no adverse reactions. We would require large-scale studies of Nutrafol’s specific ingredient combinations to rate it any higher, but we’re confident in their product’s safety.

Value

Rating: 7.7/10

This is where things get a little less exciting. Yes, Nutafol’s products are safe and effective, but you’ll have to pay for that quality. A simple combination of a core supplement and one of their boosters will set you back at just under $100/month. It’s not a great deal compared to minoxidil, which you can get elsewhere without a prescription for a fifth of that cost. But if you’re concerned about side effects and want a treatment that can address your hair loss needs holistically, then this is a great place to start.

Customer Service

Rating: 8.5/10

With average response times for shipping and email responses, our testers were initially unimpressed by Nutrafol’s customer service. There weren’t any problems, but nothing stood out as exceptional. Then we attempted to use their chat interface while there were no operators around, and we found one of the most intelligent and helpful chatbots we’ve ever encountered. It gave thorough and accurate answers to nuanced questions and could correctly interpret what we needed to know from a few simple words. If you have any questions about Nutrafol’s services, it’s an invaluable resource.

What is Nutrafol?

Founded by Giorgos Tsetis in 2015, Nutrafol is a fast-growing nutraceutical supplement manufacturer addressing hair thinning and hair loss in both men and women. Tsetis’s introduction to the hair health industry arose from personal experience when he began losing hair during the prime of his modeling career. After using over-the-counter hair regrowth products for seven years and suffering from sexual dysfunction side effects, he set out with a business partner and friend to research all-natural hair supplements free from testosterone-impairing drugs.

What emerged was Nutrafol, a premium supplement with a proprietary blend of botanicals called the Synergen Complex. These natural extracts combine to address several different factors that lead to hair thinning and loss. Since their inception, Nutrafol has gained the backing of over 400 physicians, hundreds of hair care specialists, and several prominent celebrities.

Nutrafol products

Nutrafol’s primary products are supplements for men, women, and peri- or postmenopausal women. You can purchase any of these through their website at $88 for a one-month supply, but we recommend the subscription option for the most significant savings.

Nutrafol also offers targeted boosters for stress, digestive health, and more. You can only access these if you take a hair health quiz, after which Nutrafol will recommend a specific combination of one supplement and one or two boosters. The single booster plan is called Hair Growth Duo, and the double booster option is called the GrowthPlan.

Nutrafol Hair Quiz

A final product that Nutrafol only offers as a stand-alone option with no bundling or subscriptions is their Growth Activator. This solution is a concentrated ashwagandha exosome that you apply to the scalp like minoxidil.

We’ll dive a little deeper into Nutrafol’s product specifics below, but here’s a quick breakdown of savings for Nutrafol’s product bundles:

  Single Bottle Subscription Billed Monthly Subscription Billed Quarterly Boosters Included
Nutrafol (for all men’s and women’s formulas) $88 $79/bottle $75/bottle None
Hair Growth Duo N/A $98 N/A 1
GrowthPlan N/A $117 N/A 2

Subscription plans also grant you access to one-on-one consultations with Nutrafol’s team of naturopathic doctors. After six months of treatment and every six months after that, Nutrafol provides you with a hair mineral analysis that measures the health of your hair so you can make adjustments to your regimen, diet, and lifestyle as you go.

How does Nutrafol work?

Nutrafol addresses hair loss through a whole-body approach to wellness. Their proprietary blend of botanicals and other ingredients targets imbalances in the body that contribute to hair loss, including hormones, nutrition, stress, metabolism, and environment.

While the exact amounts and additional ingredients vary between the three Nutrafol supplements (Men, Women, and Women’s Balance), their central essence is the Synergen Complex. This proprietary blend of botanicals, stress adaptogens, and antioxidants addresses several factors contributing to hair thinning.

These clinically tested, plant-derived extracts work together to address imbalances while accounting for the differences between male and female biological needs.

In addition to the Synergen Complex, Nutrafol contains the company’s Nutrafol Blend, a combination of amino acids and botanicals that works in concert with the complex to drive regrowth.

Nutrafol also includes several vitamins and minerals and a healthy dose of biotin. Biotin is one of the most heavily researched hair health ingredients in Nutrafol, and the scientific community has validated its ability to thicken and strengthen hair.

Nutrafol Ingredients

Nutrafol’s products are free of most common allergens and additives, including:

  • GMOs
  • Soy
  • Eggs
  • Dairy
  • Shellfish
  • Peanuts
  • Tree nuts
  • Wheat
  • Gluten
  • Yeast
  • Artificial flavors
  • Artificial colors

Nutrafols capsules are also plant-derived and made of cellulose, so they’re vegan-friendly. Inside the capsules, you’ll find a host of vitamins and minerals, Nutrafol’s Synergen Complex, and their Nutrafol Blend for hair loss.

The core botanicals in the Synergen Complex include the following:

Saw palmetto

This USA-grown saw palmetto extract is commonly sold as a supplement to improve prostate gland enlargement symptoms. Clinical evidence does not show effectiveness for this purpose, but studies show its ability to lower testosterone’s conversion into DHT without sexual side effects. DHT is one of the main contributors to thinning hair in androgenetic alopecia.

Marine collagen

Collagen provides amino acids and proteins that make up keratin, the core substance of your hair. Nutrafol sustainably sources its marine collagen from wild-caught North Atlantic cod.

Sensoril ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is an ancient medicinal herb, wild-harvested in India for Nutrafol, with many health benefits. It’s an adaptogen, meaning it has demonstrated abilities to lower elevated cortisol levels, reduce stress, and boost brain function. Ashwagandha’s other potential benefits include reducing blood sugar levels, impeding cancer growth, reducing symptoms of depression, boosting testosterone and fertility in men, and increasing muscle mass and strength.

Curcumin

A compound in turmeric, curcumin is an antioxidant extract that counters inflammation. Many hail curcumin for multiple health benefits, including boosting brain function, lowering the risk for heart disease, and preventing and treating both cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.

Full-spectrum palm extract

This extract provides the body with tocotrienol, the antioxidant properties of which one study suggests play a crucial role in its ability to thicken and regrow hair in test subjects.

Hyaluronic acid

Used in various beauty products, hyaluronic acid helps the body lock in moisture where you apply it. For hair care, it allows your strands to stay moist without interfering with oversaturating. This prevents the strands from drying and breaking, so hair appears thicker and stays healthier.

The Nutrafol Blend contains:

L-Cysteine

This amino acid is a primary component in the cortex of a hair follicle. Decreased absorption in your gut can lead to a deficiency, accelerating hair loss. Supplementing is one way to combat a deficiency, as is a probiotic approach that may improve nutrient absorption.

L-Lysine

Lysine is another amino acid that’s significantly responsible for hair health, affording hair its shape and volume. Like L-Cysteine, lysine can be in short supply if your diet is insufficient to provide it or if you have absorption issues.

L-Methionine

This amino acid’s sulfur content protects hair from oxidizing free radicals. This protection enables keratin to do its job.

Keratin

This is one of the essential ingredients in Nutrafol. It’s one of the primary building blocks of human hair. Studies show its efficacy in supporting the growth of healthy hair and nails.

Keratin

This is one of the essential ingredients in Nutrafol. It’s one of the primary building blocks of human hair. Studies show its efficacy in supporting the growth of healthy hair and nails.

Horsetail

The horsetail extract in Nutrafol provides silica to improve hair and nail strength.

Japanese knotweed

This is one of the least-studied ingredients in Nutrafol, but its most common association is liver health. Liver disease can often lead to hair loss, so keeping this organ healthy is a good idea.

Black pepper

Black pepper is densely packed with vitamins and minerals that can improve the health of your hair. Many of these are already in Nutrafol, but this natural source may be absorbed more easily in some users.

Capsicum

In a roundabout way, capsicum increases insulin growth factor I (IGF-I), which plays a vital role in hair growth.

In addition to these ingredients, Nutrafol’s Core products contain supplementary vitamins and minerals to promote hair growth and repair, including:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Zinc
  • Biotin
  • Selenium
  • Vitamin D
  • Iodine

Pricing, payment, and insurance

Nutrafol’s hair growth supplements cost $88 for a single bottle. With a monthly subscription, you’ll save 10% for a price of $79 per bottle. You can also save 15% if you sign up for quarterly billing.

If your hair health quiz results qualify you for one or two targeted boosters, you can add those to monthly subscriptions for $19 each. Quarterly billing is not available for subscription plans that contain boosters.

You can also purchase the Growth Activator for $69. One bottle lasts the average user 1-3 months. You can’t bundle the Growth Activator with any subscription or subscribe to it independently. You must go back to the Nutrafol website to order more when you run out.

Shipping in the US is completely free, and shipping outside the US comes with a standard $32 flat rate. Orders typically arrive in 5-7 business days.

Nutrafol accepts all major credit and debit cards, as well as PayPal.

Very few insurance companies take hair loss seriously. Nutrafol does not work directly with any insurer, and they don’t accept payment from HSAs or FSAs. You’re certainly welcome to try an out-of-network claim with your insurance company. Still, in our research and testing, we’ve found that companies won’t reimburse anything for hair loss, even after chemotherapy.

Nutrafol Men

Nutrafol for men

Nutrafol’s hair supplements for men focus on changes and imbalances in male hormones that contribute to hair loss. Men have 40% more androgen receptors such as dihydrotestosterone (DHT) than women. As men age, depending on their genetics, DHT can cause the hair follicles to shrink, thinning the hair. Over time, the follicles will close entirely, and hair won’t grow back.

Nutrafol’s male supplements target DHT with saw palmetto, a natural ingredient that can lower DHT and balance hormones without the sexual side effects of many prescription hair growth products. In addition, its ingredients target other root causes for hair loss, including stress, environment, and nutrition.

Nutrafol Women

Many factors affect women’s hair growth and health, including monthly hormonal fluctuations, pregnancy, stress, nutritional and metabolic changes, and environmental factors. The Nutrafol Women supplement is best for women aged 18-44 and includes slightly less potent quantities of the Synergen Complex, Nutrafol Blend, and supplemental vitamins.

Note that pregnant and nursing women should not use Nutrafol products because of the ingredient saw palmetto, a hormone deemed unsafe to use during pregnancy. It can also make some forms of birth control less effective, so you may want to speak with your doctor before use.

Nutrafol for women

Nutrafol Women's Balance

With the onset of perimenopause, estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone all decline in a woman’s body. However, because testosterone declines slower, its dominance contributes to biological changes, including hair thinning.

For women above the age of 44, Nutrafol offers Women’s Balance, a supplement focused on the biological changes in menopausal women and their impacts on hair growth and health. This supplement contains 21 ingredients, including Synergen Complex Plus with maca root powder and astaxanthin, in addition to the primary Synergen Complex ingredients. Maca is an adaptogen that supports hormone health before, during, and after menopause.

Nutrafol Women's Postpartum

This postpartum supplement provides nourishment for hair by nourishing the new mother. Obstetricians developed the formula, and it’s breast-feeding friendly, so you can still feed your baby naturally while you take it.

Postpartum’s vitamin profile is significantly larger than the standard Synergen complex. In addition to the vitamins found in the original women’s formula, Postpartum adds a vitamin B complex containing vitamins B1, 3, 5, 6, 9, and 12.

The Synergen Recovery Complex is entirely different from the complex you see in the company’s other supplements. It includes the following ingredients that support hair growth, fight nutrient depletion, and reduce stress:

  • Omega 3 algae extract
  • Shatavari root
  • L-Theanine
  • Apple extract
  • Nettle root extract

Finally, the Postpartum Hair Blend differs from the Nutrafol Blend by limiting itself to:

  • L-Cysteine
  • L-Methionine
  • Pea extract
  • Sea buckthorn powder
  • L-Lysine

Targeted Boosters

In addition to their four primary hair supplements, Nutrafol offers Targeted Boosters for $19 each with a monthly subscription. These boosters are only currently available if you fill out Nutrafol’s Hair Wellness Quiz, and you can only acquire boosters they recommend. If you feel you’re a candidate for another booster on offer, but it does not appear as part of your results, you’ll have to contact the company or retake the test and try to manipulate the answers to get it.

Nutrafol used to offer specific Hair Growth Duo packages you could buy at your discretion, but now they create those packages based explicitly on your quiz. Within the year, subscribers should be able to buy boosters individually, but we’ll have to see if the company follows through. Boosters include the following:

Stress Adaptogen

This simple formula contains extracts of reishi mushroom, schizandra, and Rhodiola. All three are adaptogens that studies link with stress and anxiety reduction.

Hairbiotic

Hairbiotic takes a microbiotic approach to hair health, providing seven probiotics and one prebiotic. Studies link nutrient malabsorption to numerous disorders, including hair loss. A good probiotic can improve your absorption of crucial nutrients like keratin.

DHT Inhibitor

This booster targets hormonal activity to curtail the production of DHT. It includes saw palmetto, beta-sitosterol, and extracts of stinging nettle, pumpkin seed, and African cherry tree.

Vitamin B-Booster

This fast-absorbing vitamin B complex comes in liquid form rather than as a pill. It contains vitamins B1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 9, and 12.

Digestive Enzyme

Like Hairbiotic, this enzyme blend can help your body absorb more nutrients by supporting proper digestion. It contains bromelain, which can also act as an anti-inflammatory. Other vital ingredients include Protease (I, II, and III), lactase, serratiopeptidase, and diastase.

Sugar Balance

Rapid fluctuations in blood sugar can wreak havoc on numerous systems in the body. Damage to the liver and kidneys is particularly problematic for hair loss. Made with chromium, molybdenum, alpha-lipoic acid, and vanadium, this booster can help you keep your blood sugar regulated.

Liver Support

A healthy liver can help hair maintain its strength and vitality. One common symptom of liver disease is hair loss. This booster, made with milk thistle, artichoke extract, yellow dock root, and beetroot, can help protect the liver from lifestyle factors like drinking. If you suspect your hair loss is related to a liver complication, you should speak with your doctor before taking this.

Growth Activator

Nutrafol’s Growth Activator is an exceptionally concentrated form of ashwagandha. Most botanical products utilize an extract, but Nutrafol uses ashwagandha exosomes, a concentrated form of RNA, lipids, and proteins from the plant. With such a concentrated formula, you can get greater efficacy from less of the solution.

Growth Activator is a topical solution that you apply to the scalp once daily. You’ll lightly massage it into any thinning areas and let it absorb. In this way, it’s very similar to minoxidil or nanoxidil. And like those more aggressive treatments, the exact reasons ashwagandha supports hair growth aren’t perfectly clear.

Many studies show ashwagandha working as an antioxidant and adaptogen, which may allow it to increase circulation and nutrient delivery to the scalp. More extensive studies will get us closer to an answer with time.

Getting started with Nutrafol

Nutrafol’s website is easy to navigate and highly informative, with blogs and articles about hair thinning, hair loss, nutrition, and more. We recommend beginning your Nutrafol journey here.

  1. Take the quiz. One of the most prominent links you’ll see on the Nutrafol homepage is the Take the Quiz button at the upper right. This brief, three-minute quiz helps Nutrafol assess your hair’s condition and needs as well as your overall health and wellbeing. Once you’ve completed the questionnaire, Nutrafol will give you a list of recommendations, including one of their Core products for women, men, or peri- or postmenopausal women and one or two Targeted Boosters.

  2. Make your selection(s). If you choose to subscribe to Nutrafol, you’ll receive 10% off each order, replenished monthly. If you’d like to purchase just one bottle of Nutrafol’s Core products, they are $88 each.

  3. Checkout. Nutrafol accepts Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, and PayPal. Nutrafol will charge you for your first payment if you have subscribed and then charge you for renewed shipments every four weeks.

  4. Await shipping. Shipping is free for all orders in the US. Once you’ve placed your order, Nutrafol will email a tracking number to you. You should contact Nutrafol’s Customer Service Department for international orders to determine shipping options.

  5. Try out Nutrafol. Follow the included directions for your supplements, including taking four capsules daily, preferably at mealtimes. Remember that patience is a virtue with hair supplements, and you will not see immediate results. In our experience, we began seeing results after about a month of use. Nutrafol does accept returns, but only within 30 days of purchase and if the products are in their original, unopened packaging.

Privacy considerations

Nutrafol collects personal and non-personalized information about users on their website. If you register on the site, enter a promotion, or opt-in for email offers, Nutrafol will retain your personal information for future use. The website also connects users through Facebook and other social media, but you control the information that Nutrafol receives through the privacy settings on your social media accounts.

Like many sites, Nutrafol uses cookies and other technology to collect information about users and their “Refer a Friend” programs or reward offers. While Nutrafol may share non-personalized details with third parties, your personal information is protected unless you approve of sharing it.

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