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 and its natural hair supplements, laying out the pros, cons, and details of this whole-body approach to hair loss.
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.
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.
Curious about how Nutrafol arrives at your door or about the size of its pills? Check out our brief unboxing video here before continuing:
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.
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.
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.
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 choice.
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.
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'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.
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|
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.
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's products are free of most common allergens and additives, including:
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
This amino acid's sulfur content protects hair from oxidizing free radicals. This protection enables keratin to do its job.
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.
The horsetail extract in Nutrafol provides silica to improve hair and nail strength.
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 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.
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:
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.
You can find Nutrafol's supplements and supportive hair care products in some other stores. However, based on our testing and research, you'll likely be better off buying directly from Nutrafol.
Your best chances at finding competitive pricing come from Amazon and Walmart.
From Nutrafol's Amazon store, you can buy many of the company's products, though you won't save money over the direct experience. Some products cost exactly the same at Amazon as they do from Nutrafol directly (for instance, Nutrafol's Shampoo and Conditioner at $88). Meanwhile, supplements like Nutrafol Women and Nutrafol Men cost a couple dollars more via Amazon compared to a subscription via Nutrafol's website.
Walmart carries fewer Nutrafol products than Amazon, and availability seems sporadic as items going out of stock. Reliability is very important when it comes to products that you must use consistently to fight hair loss and keep hair healthy, so we recommend avoiding any purchasing path with a history of stocking issues. Of course, prices are also very important. Nutrafol Men and Nutrafol Women, via Walmart, were both out of stock and priced at or above the subscription price from Nutrafol's website at the time of writing. Of the Nutrafol items currently listed at Walmart, only the Growth Activator for Men was slightly better priced than what you could find at Nutrafol itself, and that item was also out of stock.
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.
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.
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.
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:
Finally, the Postpartum Hair Blend differs from the Nutrafol Blend by limiting itself to:
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:
This simple formula contains extracts of reishi mushroom, schizandra, and Rhodiola. All three are adaptogens that studies link with stress and anxiety reduction.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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