Healthy Q & A: Hair and Nails


My hair and nails are a wreck.  They’re dry, brittle and just terrible overall condition.  A friend said I should take prenatal vitamins since they’re supposed to be good for hair and nails, so I thought I’d write in to see what you had to say.


Dry, brittle hair and nails are often a result of poor nutrition and possible vitamin deficiencies, which is why people often recommend a vitamin supplement to help.  Prenatal vitamins are frequently mentioned as being beneficial to hair and nails, though I would say that prenatal vitamins are not superior to a good high potency vitamin (in fact- they would be inferior since prenatal vitamins are lower in a number of vitamins like A and E).  I think the idea of prenatal vitamins helping with hair and nails comes from the fact that women usually have really nice hair and nails when pregnant due to pregnancy hormones.  If you currently aren’t taking a multivitamin I’d recommend starting, not only for the benefits to hair and nails, but for helping with energy, the immune system and for filling in the gaps in your diet.


There are also a number of hair, skin and nail supplements available- Country Life has a nice one which has biotin and MSM, two nutrients which help to support and grow healthy hair and nails.  Another supplement that I think could really help is BioSil, a supplement which helps the body to produce collagen.  It’s also been shown in clinical studies to increase hair strength and thickness of the hair shafts.  It’s also been found to dramatically strengthen nails.  It’s also great for increasing skin elasticity.


Winter is really rough on hair and nails.  Wearing gloves when outside can make a big difference, as well as moisturizing frequently with a good lotion (I really like Kiss My Face’s moisturizer).  Another product isNature’s Plus’ Nail Strengthener, an oil which is brushed on the nails once or twice a day.  I’ve used it in the past with great results- it really helps to strengthen weak nails and moisturize cuticles.


I also know of a great hair treatment recipe I can share.  To make it, combine four parts conditioner, one part aloe vera gel, one part honey and a small amount of coconut oil and in a microwave safe bowl.  Heat for thirty seconds or until warm to the touch.  Liberally coat freshly washed hair with the mixture and then wrap your hair with plastic wrap and a towel.  Let the mixture sit on your hair for a half hour before rinsing it out.  It’s a wonderful, easy moisturizing treatment.  You can also add a few drops of essential oils (lavender is nice and relaxing) to the warmed mixture if desired.