Celebrity-backed hair vitamins prompts scepticism

The hair vitamin in the shape of a gummie bear
Image caption Experts have said that vitamins can be bought for a fraction of the price

Claims chewable vitamins that have been promoted by celebrities can help boost hair health are based on "pseudoscience", an expert says.

The sweet-like pills, costing up to £30 a month and promoted by the likes of Kylie Jenner have hundreds of thousands of fans on social media.

The two biggest brands, SugarBearHair and Hairburst, say vitamins in the pills will improve hair growth.

But dietician Aisling Pigott-Jones expressed scepticism over the claims.

Both firms claim the biotin, or vitamin B7, and vitamin B12, contained in the pills leads to improved hair health and growth.

Hairburst has 850,000 Instagram followers and is promoted by Hayley Hughes from Love Island, Made in Chelsea's Louise Thompson and Geordie Shore's Charlotte Crosby.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Kylie Jenner founded a billion-dollar beauty company and promotes products on social media

Entrepreneur and model Kylie Jenner has said on social media: "SugarBearHair is one of my favourite hair care secrets and they are delicious."

But experts and hair professionals have expressed their scepticism.

"If you're deficient you may have some hair loss, or some reduced growth, but taking biotin when you're not deficient isn't going to improve your hair health," Ms Pigott-Jones, from Cardiff, of the British Dietetic Association, told BBC Wales' X-Ray programme.

"There is nothing in this that would make your hair grow quicker or look better.

"If you want to take multi-vitamins I would, [but] I always advise there is no pill that will replace a healthy balanced diet."

Hair stylist Matthew Arnold, of Cardiff's Bauhaus hair salon, also warned celebrities advertising on social media often have a "team of hairdressers."

He added: "It could be a weave, it could be a wig, but again people are buying into that image that if they use these products they are going to get that sort of hair growth, which isn't always the case."

Image caption Omar Hamdi has been investigating the chewable hair vitamins, which are promoted on social media

A Hairburst spokesman said its products contain ingredients the European Commission has found contributes to the "maintenance of normal hair", which encourage overall healthier hair growth.

Asked whether it was misleading to plug their products using celebrities with hair weaves and wigs, the spokesperson said hair extensions could be a short-term solution for people waiting for their hair to grow.

SugarBearHair declined to comment.

There is more on this story on BBC One Wales at 20: 30 GMT on Monday, 11 March, and afterwards on BBC iPlayer.

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