Which Vitamin Deficiency Causes Hair Loss?
Our skin, hair, and nails are often some of the physical signs that something is missing in our diet. Remember that our body only processes and absorbs what we feed it, so the saying that you are what you eat isn’t far off.
So when you’ve been experiencing hair thinning lately, you also have to look into your diet because it could also be a huge contributing factor. There are many reasons why people start losing hair, it could be genetic, hair habits, hair product overload, scalp condition.
But the most overlooked reason is vitamin deficiency because people typically focus on direct culprits like shampoo or dandruff. Hair follicles need to have certain vitamins in order to be healthy and allow hair to grow. Therefore, identifying what vitamin deficiency causes hair loss is crucial, as each plays a role in maintaining the strength and health of your hair.
It’s important to take your diet seriously and be mindful of what you eat because just because you feel full doesn’t mean your body is getting the nutrients that it needs, let alone your hair. Here are the vitamins that are crucial not just for your health but as well as your hair’s.
Do you know why iron deficiency is such a big deal, even for those who aren’t experiencing hair loss? That’s because when your body lacks iron supply, you don’t just start losing hair, you also suffer from frequent infections, enlarged spleen, very heavy menstrual bleeding, and may develop restless leg syndrome which makes sleeping difficult which is why you feel tired all the time too.
Thus, iron plays a vital role in supporting your body's overall health, including hair growth. It contributes to the production of haemoglobin, a protein found in red blood cells that transports oxygen to all the cells in your body, aiding in their growth and repair processes. This also includes the cells responsible for the growth of your hair follicles.
When iron is deficient, your body's ability to produce haemoglobin is compromised. As a result, your hair follicle cells become more susceptible to the effects of low iron levels. These sensitive follicles may struggle to generate new hair cells effectively, potentially leading to hair loss.
Ensuring an adequate intake of iron through iron-rich foods or supplements is crucial to maintaining the health of your hair and preventing iron deficiency anaemia, a condition known to contribute to hair loss. To help you fight this, one or two servings of quinoa, chia, cacao, all seaweed, kale, spinach, lentils, or soybeans is a must along with multivitamin intake.
Zinc plays a vital role in maintaining the strength and structure of your hair follicles. It helps keep the oil glands surrounding your follicles in check, ensuring they function properly. This, in turn, ensures that your hair strands receive the nourishment they need to thrive.
However, when your body lacks zinc, it can disrupt the protein balance in your hair. This imbalance weakens the structural integrity of your hair, making it more prone to shedding. You may notice hair loss during washing or brushing, and the new hair follicles struggle to grow strong enough to replace the lost strands.
In addition, insufficient zinc intake is one of the most common nutritional deficiencies that cause hair loss in women. This is because zinc is the one responsible for accelerating the regeneration of skin and hair cells. You can get zinc from foods like nuts, seeds, oysters, organic eggs, and lentils.
Essential fatty acids, which can be found in flaxseed oil, salmon oil and primrose oil, will help to improve the texture of your hair and keep it from becoming brittle.
A lack of essential fatty acids can lead to a vitamin deficiency that may cause hair loss. These nutrients are crucial for healthy hair growth because they help regulate the oils on your scalp, keeping hair follicles in good shape.
Without enough acids, you might notice your hair becoming dry and brittle, and your scalp might become inflamed, making hair fall out more easily. It's important to eat a healthy diet filled with vitamins and minerals to prevent vitamin deficiencies that can lead to hair loss.
Including foods rich in essential fatty acids can enhance hair growth and contribute to healthy hair production so your locks stay thick and resilient. Fatty acid deficiency doesn't just affect your hair's health, it can also slow down hair growth and increase the chances of losing hair from your scalp or eyebrows.
“Can low Vitamin D cause hair loss?” Absolutely. Vitamin D is not just important for bone health and immune function, it's also crucial for maintaining healthy hair follicles. The vitamin D deficiency shortens the anagen phase and prolongs or speeds the onset of telogen and catagen phases.
When this hair growth cycle is disrupted, hair loss happens. This is because vitamin D deficiency impacts keratinocytes in the skin, which play a crucial role in hair follicle formation and the hair growth cycle. Without sufficient vitamin D, these cells cannot function properly, potentially leading to compromised hair growth and weaker follicles.
So you should start spending some time in the sun, just keep in mind that it’s best to get this nutrient from the sun early in the morning, not at noon. Otherwise, instead of vitamin D, you’ll have harmful UV rays wreaking havoc in your skin.
Vitamin A is one of the best nutrients and the most critical nutrients, for your skin, hair, and nails. Lack of vitamin A in your diet and you’ll have problems like acne, joint pain, poor eyesight, dull skin, pale skin, and, yes, hair loss.
Vitamin A, a vital nutrient for overall health, plays a significant role in maintaining the health of your hair and hair follicles. When you lack sufficient vitamin A, you may experience noticeable hair thinning and increased daily shedding.
Additionally, the regrowth period following hair loss episodes can become prolonged. Another common symptom of vitamin A deficiency is dandruff flaking, which can contribute to an unhealthy scalp environment.
To get your daily dose of vitamin A, make sure to incorporate orange fruits and veggies like carrots, sweet potatoes, winter squash, and cantaloupe.
Vitamin E plays a vital role in maintaining healthy hair growth. This vitamin increases blood circulation, especially near the scalp. This is necessary for healthy hair follicles, as it provides them with enough oxygen. The follicles are better able to regenerate, and hair will continue to grow.
A deficiency of vitamin E can cause the opposite to happen. So, by including vitamin E-rich foods in one's diet or considering supplements, one can help restore damaged, frizzy strands, strengthening the scalp's health and hair's natural volume and shine.
Ensuring adequate vitamin E intake is essential for those looking to preserve a healthy scalp and prevent hair loss. Good dietary sources of vitamin E include:
- Nuts: Almonds and hazelnuts
- Sunflower seeds
- Leafy green vegetables: spinach and kale
- Plant oils: Wheat germ, sunflower, and safflower oils.
Avocados and fortified cereals are also excellent sources to help meet your daily vitamin E needs.
Biotin is a key for converting food into energy and is fundamental in producing keratin, a protein that constitutes hair, skin, and nails. Notably, hair follicles require biotin for healthy hair growth.
Biotin deficiency is rare, as intestinal bacteria are typically able to produce adequate levels of biotin for our body.
But when it does happen, skin rash, alopecia, and conjunctivitis take place. Milk, meat, eggs, and whole grains are typical daily food that should be able to provide you enough biotin, but this may also be resolved with daily oral supplementation of biotin.
Protein supplies the essential amino acids that hair follicles need for the generation of healthy hair. Your hair is made of 90% protein, so if your diet is lacking in easy-to- digest protein, your hair will suffer.
Not only does a lack of protein slow down hair growth, but it can also intensify hair loss and undermine the effectiveness of treatments aimed at alopecia. Symptoms of a significant protein deficiency include hair thinning, loss of hair colour vibrancy, and brittle hair.
Your best source of protein would be plant foods like lentils, chickpeas, beans, spinach, kale, almonds, peas, nuts, because they’re the friendliest not just to your hair but also to your body, skin, and heart. But if you like to incorporate animal protein, organic pastured eggs and wild fish are your best bet.
Conclusion: What Vitamin Deficiency Causes Hair Loss
From vitamin D to biotin, these essential nutrients are crucial in maintaining healthy hair follicles and supporting robust hair growth. Understanding the connection between what vitamin deficiency causes hair loss is a vital step towards addressing and preventing this common issue.
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Frequently Asked Questions: Lack Of What Vitamin Causes Hair Loss?
Are There Any Signs Of Vitamin Deficiency I Can Spot Before Hair Loss Starts?
Early signs of vitamin deficiency may include fatigue, dizziness, and changes in skin texture, such as increased dryness or paleness.
You might also notice brittle nails or a reduction in nail growth before any hair loss becomes apparent. It's important to be attentive to such changes as they can serve as preliminary indicators of a vitamin deficiency.
Can A Vitamin Deficiency Cause Permanent Hair Loss?
Vitamin deficiencies can lead to hair loss, which is typically reversible with the restoration of adequate vitamin levels.
However, if the deficiency is prolonged and not addressed, it can damage the hair follicles, resulting in permanent hair loss. Early intervention is key to preventing long-term damage.
Is Excessive Hair Shedding Always A Sign Of Vitamin Deficiency?
While excessive hair shedding can be one of the signs of vitamin deficiency, it is not always indicative of one.
Stress, hormonal imbalances, and certain health conditions can also increase hair shedding. A comprehensive evaluation by a healthcare provider is essential to determine the actual cause.
What Is The Role Of Vitamins Such As D, A, And E In Treating Autoimmune Hair Loss Conditions?
Vitamins D, A, and E play roles in immune regulation and skin health, which may be beneficial in managing autoimmune hair loss conditions like alopecia areata.
Vitamin D, for instance, supports hair follicle health, vitamin A helps in sebum production, and vitamin E's antioxidant properties protect cells from oxidative stress.