14 Vitamin deficiencies that cause hair loss

Ismail Yusibov
Ismail Yusibov is the founder and content writer of the AlopeciaTips.

 Fact checked by Jessica Anderson

Written by Ismail Yusibov | Reviewed by Dr. Michael Carter


Can hair loss and vitamins be related? The answer is yes! Many vitamin deficiencies cause hair loss. In this article, I have highlighted the most important vitamins that support your hair growth.


FAST FACTS

Vitamin deficiencies, such as riboflavin (B2), folate (B9), cobalamin (B12), and biotin (B7), have been associated with hair loss.

Key vitamins for hair growth include Biotin, Vitamin B6, Riboflavin (Vitamin B7), Folate (Vitamin B9), Vitamin B12, folic acid, Vitamin A, Vitamin D, and Vitamin C.

Lack of essential vitamins like Vitamin D, B, C, and A can lead to hair loss by affecting scalp health and hair growth.

Vitamins work together to optimize hair health, and addressing general health and vitamin levels can strengthen hair and enhance its appearance.

Preventing hair loss due to vitamin deficiency requires identifying the specific vitamin your body needs through blood tests.

Hair loss is a widespread issue impacting over half of the global population today. Specifically, 85% of men and 33% of women have encountered hair loss at some stage in their lives.

There are various reasons for hair loss. Generally, genetic factors, medication use, cancer treatments and physical conditions are among the main factors. Vitamin deficiency is also one of the main causes of hair loss. 

In particular, riboflavin (B2), folate (B9) and cobalamin (B12) deficiencies have been associated with hair loss. Biotin (B7) accelerates the body’s production of keratin protein and helps hair growth by facilitating the transfer of oxygen to the scalp cells.

Vitamins are an important part of the hair growth cycle and are important for your hair health.

How vitamin deficiency can cause hair loss?

Lack of vitamins that nourish the hair in the body can cause hair loss. Deficiency of Vitamins D, B, C and A are some of the most important causes of hair loss. 

For example, not having enough iron means your scalp doesn’t get enough oxygen. And if you’re short on Vitamin A, your scalp can get dry and slow down hair growth.

Lack of minerals such as zinc and iron that nourish the hair follicles in the body may also cause hair loss.

What vitamins are good for hair growth?

Certain vitamins are really good for hair growth. These include Biotin, Vitamin B6, Riboflavin (Vitamin B7), Folate (Vitamin B9), Vitamin B12, folic acid, Vitamin A, Vitamin D, and Vitamin C. Apart from vitamins, minerals like iron, zinc, and iodine are also important for hair growth. To keep your hair strong and healthy, it’s important to have the right levels of these vitamins and minerals in your body.

Which vitamin deficiency causes hair loss?

One of the most common causes of hair loss is vitamin deficiency. Lack of certain vitamins that play an important role in nourishing hair follicles in the body can cause hair loss and hair thinning.

Here are the important vitamins and minerals that may cause thinning hair.

The cause of hair loss may be vitamin deficiency. Do you want to know which vitamin deficiency causes hair loss? 

Here are 14 vitamin deficiencies that can cause thinning hair:

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is essential for maintaining healthy skin and hair follicles. Not getting enough can lead to hair loss, while excessive levels can also result in hair loss.

One of the primary benefits of vitamin A for hair is its ability to moisturize hair and repair the skin. It’s often recommended as a supplementary treatment for many hair loss treatments.

Furthermore, vitamin A promotes scalp health due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Its antioxidant properties can aid in healing scalp wounds or acne.

However, it’s important to note that excessive vitamin A intake can be harmful. This can lead to hair loss, skin peeling, and dizziness.

An excess of vitamin A can accelerate the hair growth cycle, causing hair to prematurely exit the growth phase. This can result in halted hair growth and eventual hair loss.

While vitamin A deficiency is a significant contributor to hair loss globally, chronic vitamin A toxicity can also lead to a condition called alopecia, presenting a substantial risk.

Vitamin C

Low levels of Vitamin C can lead to dry and brittle hair. They can also diminish the body’s iron absorption, resulting in iron deficiency anemia, which can further contribute to hair loss.

While there is currently no direct relationship between Vitamin C and hair loss, many dermatologists suggest the use of vitamin C supplements as part of hair loss treatment. This is because Vitamin C can enhance skin health, reduce hair loss, promote hair growth, prevent hair breakage, and increase hair moisture levels.

Vitamin C is also effective in eliminating dandruff. In many cases of hair loss, dandruff blocks and damages hair follicles. If you are facing such a problem, you may consider using a shampoo containing vitamin C with antiviral properties. Vitamin C will help you get rid of annoying, dandruff, dry and itchy skin by fighting bacteria.

Vitamin D

One of the biggest causes of hair loss today is Vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D is an important vitamin for skin and hair. Keeping the body’s Vitamin D level at optimum levels accelerates the formation of new hair follicles, helps maintain hair thickness and prevents hair loss.

Vitamin D deficiency directly causes hair loss. A minimum daily vitamin D supplement of 4,000-10,000 IU will be beneficial for everyone.

High amounts of vitamin D do not cause hair loss, but it is necessary to maintain your vitamin D level at an optimal level for your health.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E serves as a potent antioxidant that offers valuable protection against oxidative stress and free radical-induced damage, known culprits behind hair loss. This vitamin proves particularly effective in repairing hair, especially when it’s been exposed to the sun’s UV rays.

Notably, Vitamin E nourishes your scalp and minimizes hair breakage, resulting in increased shine and thickness. Furthermore, you can consider using shampoos infused with vitamin E or taking vitamin E supplements directly to address damaged hair.

In terms of scalp health, Vitamin E plays a positive role by supporting hair growth and safeguarding its well-being.

Vitamin B2

Riboflavin, known as Vitamin B2, supports the body’s production of collagen protein. Riboflavin also helps activate vitamins Niacin (B3) and Pyridoxine (B6). Studies have proven that Vitamin B2 deficiency causes alopecia. Studies have also proven that Riboflavin deficiency will make it difficult to absorb iron and cause anemia, resulting in hair loss.

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) balances the oil of the scalp. In the absence of this vitamin, which has antioxidant properties, the scalp becomes oily quickly and the ends of the hair dry out quickly.

Vitamin B2 has many functions such as cell growth, fat metabolism and energy production.

Vitamin B5

Calcium pantothenic acid, known as Vitamin B5, is an important vitamin for hair health. Vitamin B5 is beneficial for promoting healthy hair growth and preventing hair loss.

Vitamin B5 facilitates the nutrition of the hair with the oxygen it needs and ensures the strengthening and thickening of the hair follicles.

Deficiency of vitamin B5 causes premature graying, loss, drying and thinning of hair. The biggest symptoms of B5 deficiency include fatigue, inability to sleep, nervousness and hair loss.

By keeping the body’s vitamin B5 level at an optimum level, you can strengthen your hair strands, normalize the blood flow of your scalp and prevent hair loss.

Vitamin B6

Pyridoxine or vitamin B6 is a vitamin that provides hair follicles with oxygen, supports hair growth and makes hair grow thicker. Just like vitamin B9 and B12, vitamin B6 supports hemoglobin formation.

According to research, when Vitamin B6 is used in combination with zinc and azelaic acid, it can prevent DHT-induced hair loss by 90%.

While high amounts of B6 levels cause hair loss, low amounts of B6 levels cause premature damage, drying, thinning and weakening of the hair.

Vitamin B7

Today, the most popular vitamin used to stop hair loss and achieve healthy hair is Biotin, that is, Vitamin B7. Biotin deficiency, one of the biggest causes of hair loss, is one of the most important vitamins for skin and hair health.

Biotin deficiency causes brittle hair loss, dry hair, and hair itching.

To date, there has been no research linking the use of Biotin to prevent hair growth or hair loss in people without Biotin deficiency. But hair thinning and weak hair are one of the biggest consequences of Biotin deficiency.

The use of biotin improves hair texture, increases hair shine and thickness. Additionally, Biotin, which increases keratin production in the body, helps hair grow faster by preventing hair ends from breaking.

Vitamin B9

Vitamin B9, also known as folic acid or folate, is used in the treatment of patients with female pattern baldness and telogen effluvium. B9 supplementation is used in cases of hair loss caused by folate deficiency.

Insufficient folic acid intake can limit blood and oxygen flow to cells. This can lead to problems such as slow hair growth and hair loss. Intake of 400 mg of folic acid per day can help hair grow healthier, strengthen it and reduce hair loss.

Folic acid is also used as an additional supplement for hair loss complaints caused by depression and mood disorders. B9 prevents hair loss caused by stress and relieves depression and mood disorders.

We can see that the hair turns white and gray more quickly in people with folic acid deficiency. Folic acid, which supports red blood cell production, also protects hair color. Blood cells, which are responsible for carrying oxygen to the hair tissues, delay hair graying and preserve the quality of the hair. Gray hair appears later in people who use folic acid.

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 or Cobalamin is a vitamin that directly affects the physical appearance of the hair. B12 deficiency directly causes hair loss.

Vitamin B12 helps increase oxygen to the hair follicles, regenerate lost hair strands, prevent hair ends from breaking and thicken hair follicles. Vitamin B12 gives your hair a healthier appearance.

When vitamin B12 is taken in sufficient amounts, it allows the scalp to breathe. As more oxygen reaches the scalp, hair follicles will be nourished and healthier hair growth will occur.

Iron

Hemoglobin (red blood cells) is produced by iron in the body. When there is not enough iron, your body cannot produce hemoglobin. When there is not enough hemoglobin, your body cannot supply cells with oxygen, including hair cells that support hair growth. This results in hair loss.

Currently, it has not been proven that iron deficiency causes hair loss. However, research has suggested that the hair follicles of iron anemia are not nourished with sufficient oxygen and fall out.

Hair loss from low iron gets better when you take enough iron supplements. Then, your hair goes back to growing like it used to.

Zinc

Zinc is an essential element in the hair production process, especially it acts as a mediator in the formation of keratin.

Keratin is formed by the combination of the amino acids methionine and cysteine, and this combination is possible with zinc. In other words, methionine and cysteine (L-cystine) taken into the body synthesize keratin by participating in zinc metabolism. In zinc deficiency, hair loss occurs.

Zinc is also beneficial for the effective division of follicle cells.

Zinc’s positive effect on the immune system supports healthy hair growth. Although the relationship between zinc deficiency and hair loss has not been proven, dermatologists may recommend zinc supplements in hair loss treatments.

Selenium

Selenium is a strong antioxidant. It’s used to treat hair loss and dandruff. Selenium boosts your body’s metabolism and balances hormones for hair growth.

Selenium also protects hair from damage by free radicals and UV rays. People who take selenium supplements notice stronger hair follicles and improved hair health.

Vitamin K

It is not possible to say that vitamin K directly stops hair loss and provides hair growth. However, vitamin K is necessary for the production of the protein called osteocalcin, which is found in hair follicles. Osteocalcin is the protein that ensures the growth and development of hair follicles. You can make your hair thicker and stronger with vitamin K.

Preventing vitamin deficiencies and hair loss

Hair loss may have different causes. For example, genetic factors are one of the most important causes of hair loss. If you are experiencing hair loss due to genetic reasons, it may be difficult to control your hair loss with vitamins.

However, if you are experiencing hair loss due to vitamin deficiency, you should have a blood test to determine which vitamin your body needs.

Many people experience hair loss due to vitamin D or B deficiency.

You should not forget that vitamins are effective when working together, and optimizing your hair health with a single vitamin is just an optimistic thought.

You can strengthen your hair health and make your hair look more beautiful by normalizing your general health and general vitamin levels.

Ismail YusibovIsmail Yusibov is the founder and content writer of the AlopeciaTips.

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