Hair loss is extremely common, affecting more than 50 million men and 30 million women in the U.S. alone.1 Unsurprisingly, the market for hair growth supplements has grown exponentially, with Wellbel® and Nutrafol® offering what some fans consider the best hair supplements available. But are they worth the hype? And is one better than the other?
Read on to find out the similarities and differences between Wellbel and Nutrafol hair supplements, how long it takes to see results, and other supplements to consider for thicker, fuller, healthier strands.
What Is Wellbel?
Wellbel offers two products – one for women and one for men – to support hair health (Wellbel Women is also formulated to support skin and nails). Their formulations contain essential vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients proven to help nourish the hair follicles and promote blood flow to the scalp, which are important for maintaining the hair growth cycle. Wellbel’s products include basic building blocks like biotin, folate, and vitamins A, D, and B12, as well as compounds like methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) and fruit extracts like saw palmetto, horsetail, and stinging nettle leaf. The men’s formula includes a higher concentration of saw palmetto, which decreases DHT, the form of testosterone responsible for hair thinning. Zinc and copper are also included in the men’s formula to support testosterone conversion.
Wellbel’s philosophy is to nourish from the inside. This means giving the body what it needs to grow healthy hair, skin, and nails, while promoting hormonal balance and healthy hair growth cycles.
Both Wellbel Women and Wellbel Men can be used by people of all hair types, although Wellbel Men is not recommended for men who are completely bald. They are also vegan, gluten-free, and non-GMO.
While not all of the ingredients have enough evidence to back up their claims for promoting hair growth, some of them are scientifically proven to work well. These include:
- Betaine HCL: This acidic form of betaine is said to help break down proteins into amino acids; animal research has shown it can reverse some forms of hair loss.2
Saw palmetto: This plant extract decreases DHT, the form of testosterone responsible for hair thinning.3 It is also a suitable alternative to finasteride, a prescription drug for hair loss associated with sexual side effects and hair shedding in the initial stages.
MSM: With its anti-inflammatory properties, this naturally-occurring compound has been shown to promote hair growth by supplying sulfur to keratin.4
- Biotin: Hair loss is a common symptom of biotin deficiency.5 Including biotin helps to meet this nutritional need and consequently boost hair volume.
- Horsetail powder: Rich in silicon, antioxidants, and other minerals, horsetail extract promotes hair growth while reducing breakage.6
- Vitamin A: Vitamin A helps your cells grow, which in turn helps your hair grow. It also moisturizes your hair by supplying your skin glands with the nutrients it needs to produce sebum.7
- Vitamin D: Like biotin deficiency, vitamin D deficiency can result in hair loss. Including vitamin D meets this nutritional need while stimulating your hair follicles to promote growth.8
How long does it take to see results?
According to Wellbel, results vary according to each individual, but they recommend waiting at least 90 days to assess results. They also recommend continual use to maintain results.9
What Is Nutrafol?
Like Wellbell, Nutrafol offers two lines of products – one for men and one for women. Within each category are different formulations designed to address the root causes of hair thinning, including nutrition, stress, aging, and lifestyle factors. Nutrafol hair products contain some of the same ingredients found in Wellbel’s formula, including the basic building blocks vitamin A, vitamin D, biotin, zinc, selenium, as well as plant extracts like saw palmetto and horsetail extract. It additionally includes marine collagen to boost collagen in the body, as well as adaptogens and antioxidants to balance stress hormones and protect the hair and scalp against free radicals.
Like Wellbel, Nutrafol believes in supporting healthy hair from the inside with nutritional support but takes some extra steps in addressing other hair loss culprits like stress and lifestyle.
Clinical studies have found that taking Nutrafol for six months results in hair growth of both superfine hair and thicker hair in women with self-perceived hair thinning.10 Researchers speculated that these results were due to the formula addressing inflammation, stress, and oxidative damage with clinically tested and “bio-optimized” phytoactive ingredients. In addition to hair growth, subjects also reported decreased anxiety and overall wellness.
Also like Wellbel, Nutrafol is suitable for most people, though their formulas are tailored to the specific needs of men and women during different life stages.
In addition to the ingredients shared with Wellbel, Nutrafol also offers the following science-backed nutrients to promote hair growth with its multi-pronged approach:
- Marine Collagen: Rich in essential amino acids, marine collagen helps to replenish the body’s natural supply of collagen to improve hair growth and strength.11
- Vitamin C: Vitamin C’s antioxidant properties protect the hair and scalp against the damage caused by free radicals. It also boosts collagen production for stronger, fuller hair.12
Other ingredients like ashwagandha, curcumin, keratin, and amino acids are interesting additions that may address stress-related hair loss, but there is not enough evidence to back up their efficacy.
How long does it take to see results?
According to Nutrafol, it should take around 3-6 months before you can start to feel that your hair quality has increased. Around 7 months in, change should be more noticeable, with stronger, shinier hair, and less breakage.13 Like Wellbel, it’s recommended to keep taking the supplement to continue seeing results.
Wellbel vs Nutrafol
When it comes to Wellbel hair supplements vs Nutrafol, there are definitely strengths on both sides. But there are also drawbacks for each. Explore the similarities and differences below.
Similarities between Wellbel and Nutrafol include:
- The supplements share several ingredients proven to promote hair growth, including vitamin A, vitamin D, biotin, zinc, selenium, as well as plant extracts like saw palmetto and horsetail extract.
- There are separate formulations for men and women.
- Both products are drug-free and gluten-free.
- Wellbel and Nutrafol products are suitable for most people (though not suitable for anyone under 18).
- Both supplements aim to address nutrient deficiencies associated with hair loss and hormonal causes of hair loss.
- You may start to see results within 90 days for both products.
- Wellbel contains Betaine HCL and MSM, which are not in Nutrafol; Nutrafol contains marine collagen, vitamin C, and some ingredients which may target stress-related hair loss.
- Nutrafol has a higher price point than Wellbel.
- Wellbel’s formula targets hair, skin, and nail health, while Nutrafol only targets hair.
- Wellbel contains just two different products: one for men and one for women; Nutrafol offers a number of different products for men and women at different stages of hair loss and different ages.
Other Hair Supplements For Optimal Results
While Wellbel and Nutrafol offer impressive formulas to combat hair loss and support hair growth, there are other products that combine the science-backed benefits of each plus more.
Foundation Skincare’s UnTangled Hair Supplement fills the gaps between these two products by including: Marine collagen, vitamins A, C, D3, E, biotin, niacin, folic acid, selenium, and horsetail extract. In addition, it contains two vital ingredients left out of Wellbel and Nutrafol – iron and pantothenic acid. Iron oxygenates hair follicles for growth and overall hair health while addressing hair loss associated with iron deficiency. Pantothenic acid, also known as vitamin B5, prevents moisture loss in hair, which helps to minimize breakage.
And while UnTangled Hair Supplement does not contain keratin like Nutrafol, it does provide the clinically-proven vitamins, herbs, and acids that work to increase the production of keratin, which is a protein naturally produced by the body. This approach is a gentler approach to keratin production as we tend to get enough keratin from foods. Studies have found it is possible to consume too much, resulting in excess protein in our bodies and potentially leading to brittle hair. The general timeframe to see results is similar to Wellbel and Nutrafol at around 90 days, but UnTangled is offered at a lower price point. The supplement can also be used by men and women and combined with Foundation Skincare’s Hair Serum for faster results.
Which Hair Supplement is the Best?
Wellbel, Nutrafol, and UnTangled are three promising hair supplements to consider. If price is an issue, you may want to choose UnTangled, which is dermatologist formulated and supported by studies on the combination of carefully chosen proven ingredients it includes to help promote hair growth and reduce thinning. You may also like the fact that UnTangled requires just two capsules a day, while Wellbel requires three per serving, and Nutrafol requires four.
You can also support your hair growth efforts by leading a healthy lifestyle, including following a well-rounded diet, getting adequate sleep, watching your stress levels, and more.
Learn more tips for supporting healthy hair in the FS Journal.