I Tried The Gummy Bear Hair Vitamins All The Kardashians Swear By And Here’s What Happened

by Haley Henschel

If you’re reading this, you should know that I haven’t taken a vitamin of any kind for the past three-ish years.

(Disclaimer: If you’re reading this and you’re my mom, please disregard that previous sentence. Not only do I take vitamins every day, but I also eat my vegetables, I made my bed this morning, and I finally got that weird toenail thing looked at.) 

The Kardashian-Jenners, on the other hand, are all over their supplements, and one kind in particular: SugarBearHair gummy vitamins.

According to the FAQ page on the company’s website, “SugarBearHair gives you everything you need to grow the healthiest longest hair possible.”

The baby-blue gummy vitamins are just one of the many products the Kardashians have been paid to promote on their respective Instagram pages. And while they do earn a hefty amount for doing so — brands pay Kim up to $500,000 to share just one photo of their product with her 115 million followers — the reality TV stars don’t agree to just any ol’ sponsored content gig, so one expert claims.

“They only endorse what aligns with their lifestyle,” dished Michael Heller in an interview with Us Weekly. Michael is the CEO of the digital marketing firm Talent Resources, one of the companies that arranges such deals.

I’ll be the first to admit that I can’t take SugarBearHair seriously, what with its cutesy pastel packaging, semi-sketchy marketing approach, and lack of FDA approval. I also have a hard time believing that the Kardashian-Jenners actually take SugarBearHair vitamins to begin with, given the fact that they’re extremely rich women with hordes of hair extensions and professional stylists at their beck and call.

But I recently got so wrapped up in thinking about SugarBearHair and the wild, wild world of Instagram #sponcon that I made up my mind to try the gummy vitamins for myself. Here’s what happened.

Here's what the Kardashian-Jenners have to say about SugarBearHair on social media.

(This may or may not be ad copy that was given to them by the brand, FYI.)

Kylie Jenner: “#ad Love @sugarbearhair for shiny & longer hair. Oh and best part… they taste amazing! 😍💁 #sugarbearhair.”

Khloé Kardashian: “I just love my @sugarbearhair !!! My hair has never looked this good and this full!! These sugar bears are so yummy!”

Kourtney Kardashian: “My favorite! @sugarbearhair gummy vitamins for healthy and strong hair! #ad Best tasting vitamins EVER, so delicious! 🐻💁🏻#sugarbearhair.”

Kris Jenner: “#ad I Love @sugarbearhair! They’re the most delicious gummy vitamins for healthy hair! One of my favorite hair care secrets 🐻#sugarbearhair.”

Kim Kardashian: “#ad New obsession @sugarbearhair 🐻I have two of these a day as part of my hair care routine. They are delish! #sugarbearhair #sp.”

You’ll notice that none of the Kardashian-Jenners ever tell their followers what’s in the supplements they supposedly adore. For that information, you have to either visit SugarBearHair’s website or check the label on one of its bottles:

Courtesy of Author for LittleThings

I ordered this one-month supply of SugarBearHair vitamins from Amazon for $32.96, which works out to about 55 cents per gummy. (For comparison’s sake, a 180-count bottle of Flintstones multivitamin gummies costs $12.99 on Amazon, or about 7 cents per gummy.)

The front of the bottle reveals that the main ingredients are biotin (a water-soluble B vitamin), folic acid, and vitamin C. On the back, you’ll find a label with the complete nutrition facts and a brief blurb that plugs the supposed benefits of the gummies:

Courtesy of Author for LittleThings

OK, so 1,667% of the average person’s daily biotin needs per serving seems a little excessive. But would you believe me if I told you that there’s even more biotin in these gummies than the nutrition facts label lets on?

It’s true! According to BuzzFeed News, a supplement-analyzing lab called Labdoor found 8,497 micrograms of biotin in one serving of SugarBearHair gummies — 70% more than the label claims they contain. (For what it’s worth, the National Institutes of Health recommends adults over 18 take up to 30 micrograms of biotin per day.)

That’s not the only inaccuracy on the SugarBearHair label, either. Overall, seven of the 11 nutrients listed were inaccurate by 20% or more, BuzzFeed reported. Most concerning, the vitamins had “relatively high” levels of lead at 0.075 ppm per serving. (That’s way below the federally recommended maximum lead level of 0.1 ppm in candy consumed by small children, as BuzzFeed points out, but still! Lead!)

Such discrepancies aren’t entirely uncommon in the dietary supplement business, as it’s not as heavily regulated as the pharmaceutical industry, Arthur Grollman told BuzzFeed. (He’s a professor and director of Stony Brook University School of Medicine’s Laboratory for Chemical Biology.) Companies like SugarBearHair have to register as a manufacturer with the FDA and meet certain manufacturing and labeling standards in that regard, but they don’t have to get the FDA’s approval once they’re put into production.

Now, all that excess biotin won’t kill you. Since it’s water-soluble, it’ll just get flushed out of you when you go to the bathroom. But that little tidbit about lead has me slightly concerned, to say the least, as it did Professor Grollman back when BuzzFeed spoke to him.

“Lead is not safe at any level,” he said. “There is no way those pure vitamins could or should have lead.… I would not take anything that has lead in it.”

Will that stop me from taking a bunch of these vitamins myself to see if they’re as good as the Kardashian-Jenners claim they are?

Unfortunately, no.

Heeral Chhibber for RockYou

Per the label’s instructions, I took two of the vitamins every day — one in the morning, and one right before I went to bed. (Full disclosure: I did so for two weeks instead of the recommended one month.)

Courtesy of Author for LittleThings

I will say, the gummies aren’t totally disgusting. In fact, they actually taste pretty decent — not Wonka Factory-worthy candy by any means, but definitely good. Sort of like Cool Blue Gatorade minus the refreshing-ness. And I actually prefer their texture over standard gummy bears — they’re really soft and pillowy compared with your average Haribos, for example. (SugarBearHair’s website says the gummies are made with a fruit-based, gelatinous substance called pectin instead of gelatin, making them vegetarian-friendly.)

Here’s what my unstyled hair looked like before I started taking SugarBearHair vitamins (left) versus after two weeks of taking them twice a day (right):

Courtesy of Author for LittleThings

You know what? I think my hair actually did manage to grow a few noticeable centimeters over the course of my SugarBearHair experiment. It definitely feels softer, too.

The Verdict

The Verdict

My results weren’t all that unusual: Other women who have done similar experiments with SugarBearHair vitamins have experienced similar results. (One writer who took two every day for three months straight claims her hair grew 6 inches during that time period.) But was it because the vitamins actually made our hair grow faster and longer, or just because time had passed? It’s hard to tell, to be honest.

One thing I do know for sure is that my SugarBearHair-taking days are over. I mean, sure, those extra vitamins probably did my body good, but I’d rather eat more eggs, avocados, and almonds — natural sources of biotin — than take gummy supplements that sugar-coat their true contents with Instagram fame (and literal sugar). Plus, those little blue bears are expensive.

But hey! With endorsements like theirs, who needs my approval — or the FDA’s, for that matter?

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