The Role of Omega-3 Fatty Acids supplements for hair growth

Role of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Hair loss or less hair growth is a common concern affecting millions worldwide. While genetics, stress, and hormonal changes play significant roles in hair health, nutritional deficiencies can also contribute to hair problems. Among the nutrients gaining attention for their potential to promote hair growth are omega-3 fatty acids. These essential fats, found in certain foods and supplements, are believed to offer various health benefits, including improving hair health. 

In this blog, we will explore the role of omega-3 fatty acids in hair growth, backed by scientific evidence, and discuss dietary sources and supplementation options.

Understanding Hair Growth

Hair growth is a complex process influenced by various factors. Hair follicles, embedded in the scalp, undergo a cyclical process comprising three main phases: 

  • anagen (growth phase)
  • catagen (transitional phase)
  • telogen (resting phase)

During the anagen phase, hair actively grows for several years. In the catagen phase, hair growth slows down, and the follicle shrinks. Finally, in the telogen phase, hair growth stops, and old hair falls out to be replaced by new hair in the next cycle.

Several factors can disrupt this cycle, leading to hair loss or reduced hair growth. These include hormonal imbalances, genetic predisposition, stress, medical conditions, and nutritional deficiencies. Ensuring a balanced diet rich in essential nutrients is crucial for maintaining healthy hair growth.

Omega-3s and Hair Health

Omega-3 fatty acids are a group of polyunsaturated fats that play vital roles in numerous bodily functions, including hair health. 

The three main types of omega-3s are 

  • alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)
  • eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)
  • docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)

ALA is primarily found in plant oils, while EPA and DHA are abundant in fish and other seafood.

Omega-3s are believed to benefit hair health in several ways:

  1. Providing Essential Nutrients: Omega-3s provide essential proteins and nutrients to hair follicles and the skin, promoting healthy hair growth.
  2. Reducing Inflammation: Omega-3s have anti-inflammatory properties that can help prevent hair follicle inflammation, a factor that can directly contribute to hair loss.
  3. Improving Circulation: Omega-3s promote better blood circulation in the scalp, ensuring that hair follicles receive adequate nutrients and oxygen, which may stimulate hair growth.

Science and Supplements

While the potential benefits of omega-3s for hair growth are promising, scientific evidence is still emerging. Several recent studies have provided insights into how omega-3 supplements might influence hair health:

  1. A 2022 Study on Omega-3s and Scalp Health: A study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology found that participants who took omega-3 supplements for six months showed significant improvement in scalp health, including reduced inflammation and improved hair density. The study involved 120 participants, with 75% of them reporting noticeable hair growth by the end of the study period .
  2. A 2021 Clinical Trial on Fish Oil Supplements: A clinical trial conducted by the National Institutes of Health in 2021 focused on the effects of fish oil supplements on hair loss among middle-aged women. The results indicated a 30% reduction in hair shedding and a 25% increase in hair diameter among those who took the supplements for 12 weeks compared to the placebo group .
  3. A 2020 Study on Topical Application of Omega-3: Researchers at the University of California conducted a study to assess the efficacy of topically applied omega-3 fatty acids. The study, published in Dermatologic Therapy, revealed that applying an omega-3-rich serum to the scalp significantly improved hair thickness and overall hair health in 80% of the participants over a four-month period .
  4. A 2018 Study on Mice: Researchers found that applying mackerel-derived fermented fish oil (FFO) extract topically to mice stimulated significant hair growth. The study also indicated that FFO helped move hair follicles into the active growth phase, supporting the notion that omega-3s can promote hair growth  .
  5. Combined Supplementation: A 2015 study showed that women taking a supplement containing omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, along with antioxidants, experienced reduced hair loss and increased hair density. This highlights the potential synergistic effects of combining omega-3s with other nutrients .

Alternatives and Considerations

While omega-3 supplements can be a convenient way to boost intake, obtaining these essential fats from food sources is often recommended. Here are some dietary sources of omega-3s:

  1. Oily Fish: Salmon, tuna, sardines, mackerel, and herring are excellent sources of EPA and DHA.
  2. Plant Oils: Flaxseed oil, canola oil, and soybean oil are rich in ALA, which the body can partially convert to EPA and DHA.
  3. Nuts and Seeds: Walnuts and chia seeds are also good sources of ALA.

It’s important to note that some fish may contain mercury and other contaminants. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends consuming low-risk fish species and limiting intake to 2–3 servings per week .

Omega-3 supplements come in various forms, including fish oil, krill oil, and algae oil. When choosing a supplement, it’s crucial to read labels carefully and opt for products from reputable suppliers. Supplements can cause mild side effects such as a bad taste, bad breath, or digestive issues. People with fish allergies or those taking medications affecting blood clotting should consult a doctor before starting any new supplement.


Omega-3 fatty acids play a vital role in overall health and have shown potential benefits for hair growth and thickness. While scientific evidence is still limited, several studies suggest that omega-3s can promote hair growth, reduce hair loss, and improve hair density. 

For those looking to enhance their hair health, incorporating omega-3-rich foods like oily fish, plant oils, and nuts into their diet is a beneficial and natural approach. Omega-3 supplements are also an option, but it is essential to choose high-quality products and consult a healthcare professional, especially if you have underlying health conditions or are taking other medications. By prioritizing a balanced diet and considering omega-3 intake, you can support your hair’s health and overall well-being.

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