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Doctors recommend that pregnant women take prenatal vitamins to ensure a consistent supply of essential nutrients to growing babies, however there can be other benefits to taking these vitamins. Some women have reported an increase in hair health, including growth, as well as healthier nails and skin as a result of taking prenatal pills. More information is needed to determine if there is a definite connection between prenatal pills and hair growth, but evidence has shown that growth could result from the vitamins or from the hormones of pregnancy.
Folic acid is a very important vitamin for pregnant women to consume because it helps to prevent spinal and brain defects in fetuses. All prenatal pills contain a significant amount of folic acid, which is also thought to be good for the hair because it regulates the creation of new cells. These facts lend credibility to the possibility of a specific connection between prenatal pills and hair growth, despite some arguments that taking a regular multivitamin pill would have a similar effect.
Vitamin B12 is another crucial nutrient for healthy hair growth because it is involved in red blood cell formation and DNA functions. It is usually found in food bonded to proteins, which are commonly known to be important in pregnancy and for healthy hair. In studies, vitamin B deficiencies have been proven to cause hair loss. The fact that folic acid, a primary nutrient in prenatal vitamins, is a part of the vitamin B family, strengthens the connection between prenatal pills and hair growth.
Other ingredients that are found in prenatal pills and that are important to hair growth are calcium and iron. Calcium helps the fetus develop strong bones and other bodily functions and is used by hair follicles to produce keratins, which make up healthy hair and nails. Iron helps produce healthy red blood cells in the body, a function that is important for pregnant women who deplete iron stores more rapidly than women who are not pregnant. When the irons stores in the body are depleted, nonessential functions like hair growth suffer, which is why taking a supplement specifically designed for pregnancy may help protect healthy hair growth.
Despite these connections, experts agree that a healthy diet, proper exercise and taking regular multivitamin supplements can all have a positive effect on hair growth. Some believe that the hormones of pregnancy are the real cause of accelerated hair growth or thickness because of elevated efficiency in certain bodily functions and that the connection between prenatal pills and hair growth is weak if not nonexistent. It may be that the effect of prenatal pills on hair growth varies based on the individual as some women who took the pills while not pregnant reported an increase in hair growth while others did not.