If hair loss is a vitamin deficiency, this is your chance. Because vitamin deficiency is quickly solved and often involved in hair loss.
When hair loss is caused by a vitamin deficiency, it can usually be remedied quickly. Unlike hormonal or immunological hair loss, the cause can be remedied relatively quickly – if you follow a few simple steps. We have put together an overview of what to do when you suspect a vitamin deficiency and you are experiencing hair loss.
Men often suffer from hormone-related hair loss called androgenetic alopecia. Women, on the other hand, are more often affected by circular hair loss. In both cases, there is often no real cure. Some methods promise at least relief or arrest.
Causes of hair loss – Vitamin deficiency can be effectively remedied
Hair loss due to vitamin deficiency may contribute to the development or maintenance of these hair loss disorders, according to scientific studies. If a nutrient deficiency is the cause of hair loss, it is likely to be quickly contained and reversed. It is important that those affected do not arbitrarily take nutrients that are marketed for these purposes, but have their own nutrient supply assessed by a specialist.
Hair loss due to vitamin deficiency – treat at the hair root!
Vitamins and minerals are essential for the growth and health of our bodies. Therefore, it is reasonable to assume that a deficiency of certain nutrients will affect hair growth and lead to hair loss. Data from scientific publications show the relationship bbetween biotin deficiency, vitamin D deficiency or vitamin E deficiency and androgenetic or circular hair loss and telogen effluvium.
However, taking a multivitamin or the many zinc, selenium, and biotin supplements for skin, hair, and nails is not always the answer and may even have the opposite effect. It is true that normal hair health can be quickly restored as soon as a nutrient deficiency is replenished. If there is no nutrient deficiency, the purchase of such products is, at best, a waste of money. At worst, indiscriminate use can lead to an oversupply of, for example, vitamin A or selenium, which in turn can lead to hair loss and health problems.
Therefore, it is important for those affected to have their hair loss evaluated by a specialist. The specialist will usually take blood samples to detect any nutrient deficiencies and test them for a possible role in the observed hair loss.
Hair loss and vitamin deficiency – is there a connection?
To understand hair loss and how to effectively combat it, it is useful to understand the growth phases of the hair root. Due to the different duration of the three phases of the life of a hair, we see the condition of the hair with a certain delay. Thus, in extreme cases, we notice hair loss when the cause has already been eliminated. But one after the other.
Most hairs, about 85-90% of all hairs, are in the growth phase, also called anagen. In this phase, they grow and stay for about 2 to 7 years. Then comes the transition phase, catagen, so called because the hair goes from growth to rest. The hair stops growing, the hair root, the growth force and the anchorage to the scalp diminish. After 2-4 weeks in the transitional phase, the hair enters the telogen or resting phase. Approximately 10-15% of all hairs are in this phase, which lasts for about 3 months and ends when the hair falls out.
Thus, it is possible that some type of stress to the body, such as vitamin deficiency, may cause hair to transition from phase 1 to phase 2 to phase 3 at an accelerated rate. However, the hair loss is not immediately visible due to the length of phase 3. This means that some people experience increased hair loss even though the reason for the hair’s premature transition from phase 1 to phase 3 has already been eliminated.
Hair loss due to vitamin or other nutrient deficiencies is possible. We now know that many vitamins and minerals play an important role in cell division, growth and maintenance of bodily functions. The European Food Safety Authority sees good evidence for biotin, zinc and selenium and their role in maintaining normal hair. Scientists are conducting studies to investigate different types of hair loss, such as hormonal hair loss(androgenetic alopecia, telogen effluvium or alopecia areata, circular hair loss. In all cases, there are reports on the interaction of these hair loss disorders with vitamins and minerals.
Who is most at risk?
Some scientific reports have linked vitamin D to hair loss. Circular alopecia and other cases may be associated with low vitamin D levels. Thus, many people are at risk who do not get enough sun on their skin throughout the year to produce enough vitamin D to meet their vitamin D needs.
Women are at higher risk risk for iron deficiency due to their monthly cycle. Iron plays an important role in the transport of oxygen to the hair roots. Biotin deficiency is associated with androgenetic alopecia.
Basically, any malnutrition or nutrient deficiency can lead to thinning hair. People who eat a lot of processed foods, have unbalanced eating habits, drink a lot of alcohol, smoke, or take chronic drugs or medications are particularly at risk for deficiencies and impaired hair growth. People with eating disorders, such as anorexia or bulimia, or chronic illnesses are also at risk of not meeting their nutritional needs.
What vitamin deficiencies can cause hair loss?
Vitamin D deficiency is associated with androgenetic alopecia, telogen effluvium, and circular hair loss. Here, specialists agree that vitamin D deficiency hinders hair growth and supply to the hair follicles.
The data for circular hair loss in vitamin C deficiency are inconclusive, but vitamin C is said to be important for people with androgenetic hair loss and telogen effluvium, a probably stress- or disease-induced Hair cell decline.
The data on vitamin E deficiency are poor. Here, we cannot definitively identify associations between nutrient deficiencies and the hair cycle. However, a role is likely because vitamin E is a strong antioxidant that also protects hair follicles from oxidative stress. Whether vitamin B12, vitamin B7 and other B vitamins are responsible for hair loss is also the subject of ongoing research.
Iron deficiency associated with hair loss, not just in women
Iron deficiency has been linked to all forms of hair loss. Whether it is circular, hormonal, or stress-related hair loss, a correlation with iron deficiency has been shown in most cases.
The data on vitamin A and selenium are interesting. Here, it is not a vitamin A deficiency that is decisive for observations of hair loss, but an oversupply of vitamin A. The same applies to selenium. Especially in androgenetic alopecia and telogen effluvium, the data show a correlation with vitamin A hypervitaminosis and selenium oversupply and toxicity, respectively.
Hair loss due to vitamin deficiency – what to do?
If you are experiencing hair loss, it is a good idea to see your family doctor or dermatologist. These specialists will be able to identify possible causes, as well as any dietary or nutritional problems that may be related to hair problems. Unlike hypersensitivity of hair follicles to hormones in androgenetic alopecia or an immune system that attacks hair follicles, as in alopecia areata, a nutrient deficiency and its effect on hair growth can be easily corrected.
A specialist will usually recommend or prescribe appropriate nutritional supplements or hair products to correct deficiencies and ensure healthy hair growth. As the examples of selenium, vitamin A or even iron show, more is not always better. An oversupply can lead to significant health problems, and not only with these nutrients. Therefore, it is important that you know which nutrients you are taking and in what amounts, in order to be perfectly supplied with nutrients.
The bottom line
Hair loss due to vitamin deficiency is not uncommon. One of the first things your doctor should check is whether your scalp is getting enough nutrients. This is because there is often a connection between hair growth restrictions and an inadequate supply of nutrients.
This is not to say that three multivitamin capsules will solve your hair problem. The data show that an oversupply of certain nutrients can also cause premature hair loss. Therefore, it is recommended that you check with your doctor to determine your specific vitamin deficiency. If nutrient deficiencies are indeed attacking your hair bulb, the problem can usually be easily solved with appropriate supplements.
Frequently asked questions
Which vitamin is lacking in hair loss?
Hair loss does not necessarily indicate a vitamin deficiency. However, data show that deficiencies in vitamin D, vitamin C, vitamin E or biotin are associated with premature hair cell loss. However, it’s important to note that hair loss can be influenced by a variety of factors, including genetics, hormonal changes, and stress.
What to eat for hair loss?
Not only in the case of hair loss, but in general, a balanced and healthy diet is recommended when it comes to meeting nutritional needs. Foods rich in vitamins (especially A, E, and D), minerals (such as iron and zinc), and protein can be particularly beneficial to hair health and may help prevent further hair loss.
When will hair regrow after a vitamin D deficiency?
Since the telogen phase of the hair cycle lasts up to 3 months, improved hair growth will not be seen for up to 3 months. Only then will it become apparent whether the improved vitamin D status results in fewer hairs prematurely transitioning from anagen to catagen and telogen. In addition, continued attention to maintaining adequate vitamin D levels is essential to potentially maintain the improved hair growth in the long term.
What blood work should be done for hair loss?
In general, a holistic assessment is recommended as there are many different causes of hair loss. At best, the blood test will provide information about iron or vitamin D. In addition, testing for other nutrients such as vitamin B12 and ferritin, as well as hormone levels, can provide a more complete understanding of the potential underlying causes of hair loss.
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Leonard Eberding is a pharmacist, an executive, and a board-certified specialist in medication therapy management. Mr. Eberding holds a bachelor's degree in biochemistry from SUNY Binghamton University and a doctorate in pharmacy and philosophy from the University of Florida. He is also a contributor to numerous health magazines, where he uses his knowledge of pharmacogenomics to help patients get on the right medications the first time, rather than relying on trial and error.