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Which Vitamin Deficiency Causes Hair Loss?

Vitamin Deficiency and Hair Loss

Which Vitamin Deficiency Causes Hair Loss?

Hair loss can be a distressing condition, leaving many wondering what could be causing it. One possible culprit that often goes overlooked is a vitamin deficiency.

Understanding the role of vitamins in hair health is crucial to preventing and treating hair loss effectively.

The good news is that with this article, you can gain a better understanding of the vitamin–hair health connection. We'll also discuss the possible consequences of deficiencies and even excessive vitamins.

Let’s begin.

The importance of vitamins for hair health

Part of understanding which vitamin deficiency causes hair loss is getting to know each vitamin's importance in hair growth. As it turns out, vitamins stimulate growth and combat pre-existing hair loss issues.

Let’s look at the case of tocotrienol (a member of the Vitamin E family). A study says it's an antioxidant that promotes a stronger scalp and hair follicles. It does so by helping you avoid oxidative stress, something reportedly associated with alopecia areata (AA).

On the bright side: another piece of research expands on the role of vitamins C and D. Both are believed to be vital in the treatment of two hair loss types.

Androgenetic alopecia (AGA) and telogen effluvium (TE)

The above mentioned study suggests that vitamin D can improve symptoms for AGA or TE patients. This is especially true when iron levels are low.

Vitamin C, one of the easiest vitamins to take, is also encouraged for these iron-deficient patients. Yet, the evidence does not support supplementing other nutrients in such deficiency cases. These include zinc, riboflavin, folic acid, and vitamin B12.

Alopecia areata (AA)

This is a type of hair loss where the immune system attacks hair follicles. The data demonstrates a correlation between AA and low vitamin D.

Doctors say supplementation is important when vitamin D levels are low. However, iron and zinc supplementation's effect on AA remains uncertain. This highlights the need for further studies.

These insights only scratch the surface. Hair loss is unique to each individual. That's why it's always best to consult a medical professional for personalised advice.

Understanding hair loss due to vitamin deficiency

Here’s a fact: some people who lack certain vitamins suffer from hair loss while others don't. However, it could just be a matter of time. Missing out on such nutrients still puts people at risk.


Iron deficiency is cited as the most common nutritional deficiency worldwide. It, too, can affect hair health.

The first culprit here is serum ferritin, as revealed by research. This is a type of protein that stores iron, making it a good determinant of how much iron you have in your body. It's a common reference in hair loss studies, as an iron shortage may disrupt the hair growth cycle.

Researchers believe that iron regulates certain genes, enzymes, and hair cells present in the hair follicle. A deficiency of iron could cause disruptions in these vital processes, potentially leading to weakened hair structure, slowed hair growth, and increased hair shedding or hair loss.

Vitamin A

Your hair is the fastest-growing tissue in your body, and vitamin A plays an essential role in this robust growth process. Vitamin A, a nutrient your diet provides, is known to stimulate hair follicle stem cells. However, a study reveals that its involvement is complex; humans need precise levels of Vitamin A for optimal hair follicle function.

This highlights the importance of consultations in determining how much you need to intake. Adding up to this is the fact that an excess of vitamin A can cause hair loss.

For instance, one experiment showed that reduced vitamin A intake delayed the onset of hair loss. On the other hand, vitamin A toxicity can occur in humans due to excessive supplementation.

In this case report, a 60-year-old male who had excessive vitamin A intake suffered from hair loss and even decreased armpit and pubic hair.

Note that other potential impacts on the skin, vision, and bone are not mentioned yet.

Vitamin E

Several studies have looked into how vitamin E is linked to healthier hair. One study found that people with healthy hair had higher levels of vitamin E compared to those suffering from alopecia areata (AA).

Meanwhile, another study revealed how vitamin E can help AA patients. While the link between this condition and oxidative stress is unclear, the study found that antioxidants from vitamin E increased hair numbers in patients.

These demonstrate the protective role of substances like Vitamin E. It facilitates blood vessel expansion. At the same time, it prevents clots and helps deliver nutrients to the hair follicles.

Biotin and other B Vitamins

The B-vitamin complex comprises eight water-soluble nutrients crucial for cell metabolism. This is a process that ultimately encourages hair growth. Such nutrients include vitamins B1, B2 (riboflavin), B3, B5, B6, B7 (biotin), B9 (folate), and B12.

It turns out that only shortages of riboflavin, biotin, folate, and vitamin B12 are linked to hair loss.

Even better, the Harvard School of Public Health says that toxicity from too much biotin is unlikely. Being water-soluble, excess biotin simply exits the body via urine.

Be warned, however, that the overconsumption of other B vitamins can give rise to adverse effects. These include abdominal pain, hypertension, and heart rhythm disorders, to name a few.

Seek professional help at the onset of hair loss

Consumption of nutritional supplements is on the rise. Yet, we need to consider the broad spectrum of potential side effects of excessive intake. Some of them lead you back to hair loss. That's why it's crucial to consult a professional before starting any such regimen.

A balanced and nutritious diet typically provides all necessary nutrients, making vitamin supplements unnecessary. While some individuals believe that specific vitamins aid in addressing hair loss, there is minimal scientific proof to back up these claims.

Only medical professionals can give clarity about this matter. This includes specific vitamins and other products like minoxidil. It's a common over-the-counter topical medication known to stimulate hair growth.

They can also provide information about prescribed alternatives like dutasteride and finasteride. You should know the differences between the two and judge which is suitable for your needs.

Knowing the type of hair loss you have

Consulting a professional also helps you distinguish between hair shedding and other types. That helps determine whether you need treatment or supplementation. Your knowledge of this difference is important. It's key in determining and addressing the hair loss type you may be experiencing.

That said, don't hesitate to reach out to a medical specialist via online consultation. Experts are on standby to provide personalised advice and guide you through your journey towards healthier, fuller hair.

Start your online visit today and take the first step towards understanding and addressing your specific hair needs.

This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.