Published on September 7, 2018. Last Updated on October 8, 2019.
Niacin, also known as Vitamin B3, is a vitamin that plays a big role in healthy hair growth. One of the benefits of Niacin is that it helps to maintain the structure of the blood cells and improves blood circulation, which in turn brings more blood to the scalp. The blood carries oxygen and nutrients that stimulate the hair follicles. Niacin has also been proven to increase the thickness of the hair.
In a study performed to identify whether a mixture of ingredients, used as a topical application, could improve the hair fullness in women with female pattern alopecia. Female alopecia is a condition where women experience a thinning of hair on the scalp due to increased hair shedding or a reduction in hair volume.
This study examined the effect of topical application of two niacin derivatives, octyl nicotinate, and tetradecyl nicotinate, on hair fullness in female alopecia. In the study, sixty subjects with Ludwig Types I-III female pattern hair loss was evaluated in a double-blinded, placebo-controlled design and evaluated after 6 months. The Ludwig scale uses 3 different classifications to diagnose the severity of female hair loss.
The results indicated that the niacin derivatives showed a statistically significant increase in hair fullness and the general hypothesis is that long-term topical application of nicotinic acid derivatives offers promise for providing benefit in female alopecia but warrants further study.
In another study, a leave-on technology combination of caffeine, niacinamide, panthenol, dimethicone, and an acrylate polymer were used to evaluate the behavior of individual terminal scalp hair fibers as a new approach to counteract decreasing fiber diameters.
The results indicated that the combination of ingredients, including niacinamide, increased the diameter of individual existing terminal scalp hair fibers by 2.5 microns, which yields an increase in the cross-sectional area of approximately 10%. Additionally, the fibers showed increased suppleness and pliability and were much better at handling force without breaking.
What types of food contain Niacin?
Niacin can be found in foods such as beef, eggs, tuna, nuts, mushrooms dairy beans, carrots, and celery.
How does Niacin work to enhance hair growth?
Niacin has the ability to improve blood circulation and forces more blood flow to the scalp, which in turn brings more oxygen and nutrients to the hair follicles. Niacin also boosts the thickness of the hair strands and rebuilds keratin. The hair strands are mainly made up of keratin, which is a fibrous structural protein, and niacin has been shown to increase the synthesis of keratin.