Benefit of Fish Oil for Hair
There are many different ways you can get fish oil, including fish oil supplements, fish liver oil supplements (like cod liver oil), and shellfish and whole fish, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH). In terms of food, fatty or oily fish have the greatest amounts of omega-3s, such as salmon, sardines, mackerel, cod, herring, trout, and canned tuna, per the Mayo Clinic.
Fish like these provide a range of additional vitamins and minerals not found in supplements. To reap the potential benefits of fish oil, opt for whole fish over pills, registered dietitians recommend. If you are going to take a supplement for hair, skin, or nails, choose one that uses small fish to limit mercury levels, says Debra Jaliman, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City and the author of Skin Rules. She likes Nordic Naturals, which uses fish oil from anchovies and sardines.
Is Fish Oil Good for Your Hair and Nails?
There’s a lack of data showing the role of fish oil in hair and nail health. What’s most important is that you’re getting the omega-3s your body needs to function well all around. “Various vitamins [claiming] they can grow the hair will support any deficiencies you may have but will not guarantee hair growth,” says Yates.
If you are well nourished and eat a balanced diet, Goldberg says it’s unlikely you are deficient in omega-3s. “And, if you don’t have a deficiency, then it’s unclear whether taking more omega 3s than you need through a supplement will help,” says Goldberg.
Does Cod Liver Oil Cause Hair Loss?
There are no studies that show that cod liver oil causes hair loss — there is no research establishing a relationship between cod liver oil and tress health in general. But an excess of certain vitamins, such as vitamin A, may worsen hair loss, according to research published in the journal Dermatology Practical & Conceptual in January 2017. Cod liver oil contains EPA and DHA, as well as vitamins A and D, says the NCCIH. The organization warns that the amounts of these two vitamins vary from product to product. Some supplements may contain too much vitamin A, which may cause a problem for your health and your hair. It’s important to choose supplements from high-quality brands that your healthcare team has cleared.