There’s a chance a vitamin deficiency is to blame if you notice your hair is shedding more or losing its luster. While most hair loss, also known as alopecia, is genetic, vitamin deficiencies can cause hair loss or worsen existing hair loss.
A lack of proteins and amino acids can cause thinning and hair loss. One of the most common theories regarding hair loss is vitamin B12 deficiency.
Let’s discuss that one. Despite the fact that all of the aforementioned factors may contribute to hair stress, nutritional deficiencies may also result in hair loss.
Why Vitamins Are Important to Your Hair
From the growth and development of the hair follicle itself to the immune function that safeguards the follicle, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients all play a significant role in the health of your hair.
However, it goes beyond simply growing or not. Vitamin deficiency can become a “modifiable risk factor” in the development — and prevention — of hair thinning or alopecia, also known as hair loss.
Lack of vitamins can cause hair loss because they support the structures of the hair follicle.
However, when taken in excess, some vitamins can also result in hair loss. Selenium and vitamin A have both been implicated as causes of certain types of hair loss, at least in some anecdotal research.
Nevertheless, because the conditions it results in can be so diverse, deficiency may be a bigger issue for your hair. Let’s examine each vitamin separately to see how it might affect your hair.
The Different Facets of Hair Loss
You must first comprehend how the hair growth cycle functions before we delve further into the various types of hair loss.
To produce fully formed hair strands, your hair goes through three phases: growing, transitioning, and resting. Sadly, external and internal factors may disrupt your hair’s natural growth cycle at various points, causing your mane to grow more slowly or not at all.
Here are a few common types of hair loss:
- Androgenetic alopecia (AGA): AGA starts with a receding hairline and may eventually result in baldness. It is also known as female pattern baldness or female pattern hair loss.
- Alopecia areata (AA): This autoimmune disorder develops when the immune system unintentionally targets the hair follicles. On the scalp, sporadically, or throughout the entire body, hair loss is possible.
- Telogen effluvium (TE): Fewer follicles enter the growth phase, and more follicles remain in the resting phase, resulting in this temporary hair loss. Hair thinning without baldness is caused by the slower rate of new hair growth.
- Anagen effluvium: Anagen effluvium, as opposed to telogen effluvium, develops during the growth stage of your hair cycle. Chemotherapy and other factors impact the follicles’ capacity to grow hair.
The Vitamin Deficiencies That Cause Hair Loss
A vitamin deficiency isn’t going to result in immediate, permanent hair loss, but over time, vitamin deficiencies can cause problems for the growth, sustainability and overall health of your hair.
On the long list of vitamins and minerals needed for a healthy body, there are some that apply particularly to hair:
Because vitamin A is so frequently found in acne medications and treatments, we don’t typically think of it as a vitamin for hair.
Regarding hair loss, vitamin A exhibits a special set of characteristics because it’s critical for both the cell growth and division processes for hair as well as the immune system health that protects hair follicles.
Research has also demonstrated that vitamin A keeps your hair on your head; telogen effluvium was treated with vitamin A supplementation and resulted in a reduction in the number of hairs in the telogen phase (or resting, before shedding).
Vitamin B in all its forms (and as both water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamin types) is important to the growth and health of your hair. When you hear about vitamins B2, B6, B7, riboflavin, biotin, folate, and vitamin B12, you’re actually hearing about various forms of the vitamin B complex, which is essential for gene regulation, cell signaling, hair growth, and other processes.
Your body is capable of maintaining its own levels of biotin, but if it’s having trouble doing so, supplementation may be a key fix. Otherwise, a healthy diet can provide all of these forms of vitamin B.
Although you might think that vitamin C’s antioxidant properties are to blame, the crucial role that vitamin C plays in the body’s ability to absorb iron in the intestines is what makes the connection between vitamin C deficiency and hair loss. Low iron levels can slow your hair growth and ultimately cause hair loss over time.
Oh, and because vitamin C is also crucial to the process of reducing oxidative stress, it can be considered one of the critical protectors of your hair follicles.
Since androgenetic alopecia and telogen effluvium (another type of hair loss) are both prevented by vitamin D, having a deficiency gives these hair loss conditions the upper hand.
However, there is another reason why your vitamin D levels are crucial: keratinocytes, a type of cell essential for the growth of your hair, are directly correlated with low vitamin D levels, and keratinocyte deficiency can lead to hair loss due to a lack of these cells. Supplementing with vitamin D may be the solution, but consult a medical expert for more information.
As a crucial fat-soluble antioxidant for your hair, vitamin E guards against oxidative stress, which if left unchecked, can kill your hair follicles. But can a vitamin E deficiency lead to hair loss? Research is limited.
Alopecia areata sufferers may be negatively impacted by vitamin E deficiency, according to anecdotal research. According to a small study, people with autoimmune diseases like psoriasis, vitiligo, and alopecia areata had lower levels of vitamin E than those who did not have any of these conditions.
It is a big leap of logic to claim that maintaining high vitamin E levels will prevent hair loss, and one small study does not a medical fact make. Nevertheless, it may be worthwhile to monitor your vitamin E levels.
Healthy, balanced meals appear to be the first hair loss treatment to think about given the various nutritional deficiencies linked to sparse hair strands. However, moderation is key in life as it is in everything. Make sure to consume the recommended daily amounts of the nutrients listed above without going overboard. And when creating your ideal diet, always seek the advice of a physician, dietician, or nutritionist.
Which Vitamins Are You Lacking If Your Hair Falls?
Deficiencies of vitamin B12, biotin, riboflavin and folate are related to hair loss and thinning since vitamin deficiency and hair loss are related.
Which Vitamins Will Help My Hair Grow Back?
Vitamin A, C, D, E and B are known to help regrow the hair.
Can Low B12 Cause Hair Loss?
Yes, hair loss can occur when vitamin B12 levels are low. Men and women who lack vitamin B12 frequently experience hair loss.
Does Hair Loss Mean Vitamin Deficiency?
While there are many causes of hair loss, a deficiency in vitamins is a major contributor.