You could have thick beautiful hair, glowing skin, and strong nails, but only if you supply your body with all the essential vitamins it needs to support growth and health. The problem for many people, especially vegetarians and vegans is that they tend to miss out on crucial nutrients.
The appearance of your skin and hair can really say a lot about your health. When you’re deficient in key vitamins, your hair can start to fall out and your skin becomes dull and dry.
Unfortunately, this is a problem many vegans face because of complacency when it comes to choosing the right foods and supplements.
But there are now many popular vegan hair, skin and nail supplements such as “Hair Anew” (You can check it out here) that will help you make up for any deficiencies on the diet.
When I started a vegan diet, my hair started to look much healthier and thicker (click here to see pictures) than it had ever been. My skin also started to look younger, clearer, and I felt great! I would often get random compliments about my hair when just out and about doing my own thing.
However, after many years on the diet, I made some mistakes that lead to deficiencies which caused some hair thinning and a reappearance of acne! Now that I’ve corrected these mistakes by supplementing zinc, my hair grew back super thick again and my skin cleared up.
I want to make sure that you don’t make these mistakes which are so common. Taking a supplement to prevent deficiencies is the easiest way to give you some assurance that you’re getting vital nutrients you need.
Supplements without gelatin
Below are four supplements which provide many of the nutrients required for amazing skin, hair, and nails.
- HairAnew – One of the most popular supplements for hair growth. A well-rounded supplement containing high doses of biotin, silica, and zinc.
- Garden of Life – Skin, Hair, Nails supplement derived from entirely natural and organic ingredients. Designed for vegans and provides many powerful antioxidants to improve skin and hair health.
- Vegan gummy bears – A tasty way to improve hair growth. Inexpensive hair supplement for those on a budget.
- B12 and Vitamin D3 – A good complimentary supplement if you choose to buy Garden of Life or HairAnew and you don’t already take a D3 and B12 supplement.
What is Gelatin?
Gelatin is primarily made out of boiled skin, tendons, ligaments, and bones from cows or pigs. Gross, right?
It acts as a thickener for many types of products you’ll find whether it be cosmetics, foods or supplements. It’s just about everywhere and can be difficult to avoid.
Gelatin is neither vegetarian nor vegan and therefore we have to find supplements which do not contain it.
Fortunately, in recent years due to popular demand, many companies are now opting for other ingredients instead of gelatin.
How to choose the right supplement
Read the labels – Reading the labels is very important because many times I’ve come across supplements which can be misleading and contain ingredients derived from animals.
Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D3 – Both are important for hair growth and should be taken by all vegans and many vegetarians.
Biotin – Can cause some people to break out in acne, especially at very high doses (5000 mcg). Taking zinc with biotin will often prevent this from happening, so it’s best to find a supplement which contains a significant amount of zinc in the form of picolinate or gluconate.
Absorbable – Finding high-quality supplements which contain the best forms of vitamins and nutrients is preferable.
Hair, Skin, and Nail Supplements (vegetarian & vegan-friendly)
Below are some supplements available which are super popular with both vegetarians and vegans who want cruelty-free and ethically sourced hair supplements.
These supplements have ingredients such as silica, biotin, and other B vitamins which are beneficial to skin and hair health.
#1. Hair Anew – Skin, Hair and Nail Supplement – NO GELATIN
It’s a super popular supplement for men and women who are looking to grow out their hair. Just check out all of the reviews this supplement has!
It was formulated to supply all the right micronutrients which vegans will often be low in and be a cause of hair loss.
However, it’s not perfect and it’s best combined with a complementary supplement B12+Vitamin D3.
Vitamin C – No hair, skin and nail supplement would be complete without vitamin C in the form of ascorbic acid. Vitamin C is crucial for collagen synthesis and thus provides the building blocks for good skin and hair growth.
Vitamin E – The supplement also Vitamin E which is a powerful antioxidant and supports a healthy immune system, reduces free radicals which can damage skin and hair. Vitamin E has been shown to improve skin radiance and reduce skin redness and spots.
Niacin (B3) – Niacin is taken orally and applied topically may help reduce hair loss according to research. It helps to improve blood flow to the scalp and skin as well as reduce DNA damage.
Biotin – Biotin is one of the most popular supplements to support hair and nail growth. Many people who try it swear by it and it’s one of the most recommended supplements to take.
Zinc – One of the great things about this supplement is that it contains a highly absorbable form of zinc. When people take high doses of biotin, it can sometimes cause breakouts. The inclusion of Zinc is able to help counteract this effect by reducing oil produced in the skin. Zinc also blocks DHT, which is a cause of hair loss in men.
Also contains: Aside from those five vitamins and minerals, HairAnew also contains other ingredients like bamboo extract, which contains silica and is crucial for strong hair, skin, and nails.
The supplement also contains Ginko Biloba, a powerful herb which helps boost blood flow to the skin and hair, thus promoting the delivery of oxygen and nutrients.
The supplement is a well-rounded supplement which contains most of the nutrients needed for strong hair and glowing skin. I like that it also contains a few extras in there such as Ginkgo Biloba, Silica, and inositol.
Many people have claimed to have had a lot of success using this supplement. I highly recommend checking out the reviews (see the link below).
It’s also free from many troublesome ingredients like gluten, soy, wheat, GMO ingredients.
Although this one can be easily fixed by taking an additional supplement, it would have been great if they had included vitamin D3 (sourced from lichen) and Vitamin B12 (common deficiency in vegans).
Aside from these two negatives, I can’t really say anything else that’s bad about it.
#2. Garden of Life – Collagen Building Supplement – NO GELATIN
Not only does it contain many scientifically-backed ingredients to support collagen production like silica and biotin, but it also includes polyphenols which protect against damage caused by the sun and environment.
These include ingredients such as green tea extract, pomegranate extract, and citrus bioflavonoids from organic food sources.
Biotin – This supplement contains biotin from an organic food blend. It provides a reasonable dose of 2500 mcg, which is not quite as high as many supplements out there, but certainly more than enough to provide benefits for hair growth.
Silica – Derived from organic bamboo extract, this supplement provides 10 mg of silica to help strengthen collagen
Vitamin C – Provides 30 mg of vitamin C derived from organic flood blend. Vitamin C is important for building collagen and keratin production.
Vitamin A – As you can expect, because the ingredients in this supplement are completely natural, you get a large amount of beta-carotene. It’s a powerful antioxidant which is converted to vitamin A in the body.
Beta-carotene also helps reduce damage from the sun’s UV rays, improves complexion and gives your skin a glow.
Also contains Vitamin E, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, folate, pantothenic acid, zinc, selenium, manganese, and chromium.
They’ve also included several ingredients and polyphenols which have been shown to improve skin and hair health. These include green tea, pomegranate, citrus bioflavonoids, rooibos tea extract, organic bamboo, and organic turmeric root (50 mg).
I love Garden of Life supplements because they contain all-natural and organic ingredients which are vegan-friendly.
What you get with this supplement is a few key nutrients to support hair growth, but many powerful antioxidants which have beneficial effects on skin health in particular.
This supplement would be great for anyone who is looking to obtain great looking skin.
The supplement has very modest amounts of certain vitamins and minerals. If your diet is already quite healthy, then this supplement would be perfect for you.
If your diet is very restrictive and you’re super low in certain minerals like zinc, then I’d recommend going for another supplement like Hair Anew, which in my opinion would be better for hair growth.
Of course, you could always find zinc gluconate or picolinate supplement and that would compliment this supplement very well.
The last downside is that this supplement doesn’t contain any B12. If you’re vegan, you should already be taking B12 anyway.
#3. Gummy Bear Hair Vitamins – NO GELATIN
Out of the three supplements listed here, I feel this one is more complete and is a great option for vegans who are not taking any additional supplements.
And this one is great for people who hate taking pills. You get 30 tasty gummy-bears, providing vitamins and minerals.
Biotin – Contains 5000 mcg of biotin, which is double the amount you get in the garden of life supplement.
Vitamin D3 – Contains 400 IU of D3. Although the supplement is labeled vegan, it’s not clear whether or not the D3 is provided from lichen or sheep’s wool.
Vitamin B12 – Contains 100% of your B12 needs in the form of cyanocobalamin.
Zinc gluconate – Contains 2.7 mg (18%) of your zinc requirement.
Also contains: Vitamin A (retinyl acetate), Vitamin C, Vitamin E, B6, Folic acid, Vitmain B5, Choline, Iodine, Inositol.
The supplement is simple but one of the biggest advantages over the previous two is that it provides both vitamin B12 and Vitamin D3. Since the supplement is aimed at vegans, I can see why these two have been included.
The supplement is also relatively inexpensive, so it’s a great value for people who are on a budget.
If you’re not taking a B12 and D3 supplement, I recommend this one.
There really aren’t too many negatives about this supplement other than it’s very basic and doesn’t provide all the extras like the previous ones.
However, I would caution people about taking such as a high dose of Biotin because it can cause breakouts, especially if you’re prone to acne.
This can be countered by taking zinc, but the supplement only contains 18% of your RDI. Therefore it might be a good idea to either take half a dose (1 gummy per day) or also take zinc separately.
How long before you see improvements?
Hair grows quite slowly at around 0.5 inches per month, and it goes into a resting phase for a few months before it starts growing again. Therefore, you can expect to see improvements over a period of months (at minimum) rather than weeks.
You may start to notice improvements in your skin and nails within a month or two after starting the supplement. You can see my hair growth on a vegan diet here.