Supplements for Hair & Nails

The appearance of your hair and nails may change over time and not necessarily for the better. Most everyone experiences a thinning of hair with age as its rate of growth inevitably declines according to the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC). Nails may also grow at a slower pace and can become dull, brittle and take on a yellowish in color and a thicker texture.The tips of the fingernails may especially prone to breakage. Certain supplements may promote hair and nail strength in all stages of life.


Vitamin H, more commonly known as biotin, is part of the B complex group of vitamins which are necessary for healthy skin, hair and eyes according to the UMMC. Biotin is sometimes recommended for strengthening hair and nails and is contained in numerous hair and skin products.

A Swiss study published in April 1993 in the journal Cutis found a 25 percent increase in nail plate thickness in patients with brittle nails who received biotin supplementation.

Taking 2.5mg of biotin each day may improve the thickness of nails according to the Mayo Clinic.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E provides antioxidant support and improves overall scalp circulation according to Disabled World. It may also help prevent dandruff. Vitamin E is also purported to support nail strength and health.

The antioxidant properties found in vitamin E may help fight off damaging compounds known as free radicals according to the UMMC. Free radicals can harm DNA and kill cells.

The recommended daily allowance (RDA) of vitamin E is 15mg or 22.5 IU.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is essential for healthy nails, teeth, bones as well as for the proper absorption of calcium and phosphorus according to

The National Institutes of Health suggests the average adult consume between 200 and 400 IU of vitamin D daily.

Calcium and Magnesium

Calcium and magnesium may help promote healthy hair and stimulate hair growth according to Life Tips. These minerals are sometimes combined with B-complex vitamins to support hair re-growth.

The recommended daily intake of calcium is between 1,000 and 1,200mg while the typical adult should consume 300 to 400mg of magnesium.


The trace mineral manganese is touted as a supplement for hair health. Manganese may stimulate hair growth and improve the appearance of your hair asserts Life Tips.

The UMMC says some 37 percent of Americans may not be getting recommended daily intake of 2mg of manganese.

About this Author

Karen Jean Gaskell is a broadcast journalist with 25 years’ experience. Gaskell has written hundreds of articles relating to health, fitness and personal growth. Her work has appeared in “Spirituality & Health Magazine” and “Essential Wellness.” Gaskell studied journalism and broadcasting at both the University of Wisconsin and Brown College.