No single vitamin deficiency only causes hair loss. In fact, multiple vitamin deficiencies may cause it. Read on to find out which vitamins you may be deficient in that are causing hair loss!
Which Vitamin Deficiency Causes Hair Loss?
One of the most common causes of hair loss involves diets and vitamins. Vitamin deficiencies cause hair loss and also make pre-existing hair loss worse. Fortunately, vitamin deficiency-induced hair loss has an easy fix; just add more vitamins into your diet!
According to the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery, about 35 million men and 21 million women suffer from hair loss. The statistic shows that hair loss can affect anyone and is quite common.
Unfortunately, individuals that experience hair loss experience mental distress and sometimes a decrease in confidence. Usually, hair loss happens due to an underlying condition rather than purely genetics.
While some causes of hair loss are impossible to address, others are fixable. To help you out, we’ve researched 4 of the most common deficiencies that cause hair loss. Check out the following vitamins and see if you may be deficient in them!
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1. Vitamin D
One of the most common vitamin deficiencies that cause hair loss is Vitamin D. Why? Because vitamin D intake is necessary for healthy bone health, heart health, calcium absorption, and immune function.
A recent study found that vitamin D deficiencies link to alopecia areata, an autoimmune disorder that causes hair loss. The study suggests that those in the study with alopecia had low levels of vitamin D and also experienced more severe hair loss.
The truth is, most people do not get enough Vitamin D anyway. Nicknamed the “sunshine vitamin,” Vitamin D deficiencies are particularly common in the winter and regions of the world that do not get much sunlight.
Besides hair loss, low vitamin D levels may cause depression-like symptoms, fatigue, muscle weakness, and pain.
To treat your Vitamin D deficiency, you may purchase over-the-counter vitamin D supplements from your local drug store. If you prefer a more natural route, you should increase your time spent in the sun.
Generally, 10 to 15 minutes of sun exposure several times a day does the trick. Don’t stay out excessively to avoid sunburn.
You may also want to increase vitamin D in your diet naturally. Fish such as salmon, swordfish, and cod are extremely rich in vitamin D. Milk, liver, egg whites, and yogurt are also excellent vitamin D sources.
Iron is essential for a plethora of bodily functions since red blood cells require iron to bring oxygen to your body’s cells. Iron deficiencies lead to anemia, a major cause of excessive hair loss.
Individuals that eat plant-based foods regularly may suffer from iron deficiencies. Sometimes, iron deficiencies happen naturally due to genetics. Women are more likely to have iron deficiencies and anemia than men.
On top of hair loss, individuals with an iron deficiency experience brittle nails, extreme fatigue, pale skin, and cold hands and feet. Those with low iron intake also experience dizziness and lightheadedness and may even have unusual cravings for items with no nutritional value, like ice.
To treat your iron deficiency, you may purchase over-the-counter iron supplements at your local drug store. If you prefer to consume iron naturally, incorporate iron-rich foods into your diet. Most fortified cereals are high in iron.
Beans, dried fruits, nuts, red meat, seafood, and dark, leafy greens such as kale and spinach are also incredibly high in iron.
Additionally, you can encourage your digestion of iron by consuming foods rich in vitamin C while increasing your iron intake. Foods and drinks like orange juice and citrus fruits help your body absorb iron.
Zinc helps your body’s immune system and cell production. When a person is deficient in zinc, their body cannot create new cells. Zinc deficiencies cause hair loss similar to iron-induced hair loss. The hair will stop growing, and existing hair will become brittle and break easily.
Other symptoms of zinc deficiency include excessive weight loss, loss of appetite, sores on the skin, lack of awareness, and diarrhea.
Zinc supplements are available at most drug stores. Most fortified cereals provide an adequate amount of zinc. Additionally, red meat, chicken, turkey, wheat, and wild rice are high in zinc.
4. B Vitamins
You may have heard biotin is associated with hair regrowth and hair beauty. However, biotin is not the only B vitamin out there.
B vitamins such as B12 and B9 impact hair growth. Research shows that B vitamin deficiencies may relate to hair loss. Many people swear that biotin and B12 encourage hair growth and health.
If you have a B vitamin deficiency, you will experience many symptoms. Most people experience extreme fatigue, poor memory, sores on the mouth, weight loss, constipation, and balance problems.
Like all vitamins on the list, you may take over-the-counter B vitamin supplements. Additionally, many fortified kinds of cereal and foods are high in B vitamins. Clams, cheese, red meats, eggs, and fish are also high in B vitamins.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know if I’m losing more hair than I should be?
You will know that you’re losing more hair than you should be if your hair starts to come out in clumps. Usually, people notice excessive hair loss when they shower or brush their hair. Clumps of hair will gather on your brush or shower drain.
How do I know if I have a vitamin deficiency?
You will know if you have a vitamin deficiency when you go to the doctor and get bloodwork. Your doctor will be able to tell you what vitamins you’re low in through your blood work. If you suspect you have a vitamin deficiency, go to the doctor to confirm your suspicions.
Are vitamin supplements safe?
Usually, vitamin supplements are safe and only cause minor side effects, if any at all. However, talk to your doctor first before committing to a vitamin supplement.
How long does it take for my hair to grow back after I include more vitamins into my diet?
How quickly hair will grow back depends on the individual and which vitamin is causing hair loss. Generally, hair starts to grow back two months at the earliest but may take up to 6 months to a year.
Why is my hair not growing back after I take more vitamins?
Underlying medical conditions may be at play if your hair is not improving after several months of increasing your vitamin intake. In this case, you should go to the doctor so they can test you for other conditions that cause hair loss.
So, Which Vitamin Deficiency Causes Hair Loss?
In short, the most common vitamin deficiencies are in vitamin D, Iron, Zinc, and Vitamin B. Luckily, these four vitamin deficiencies are easy to treat! Just incorporate each vitamin into your diet.
Remember, if you see no improvement after introducing these vitamins into your diet, contact your doctor. There may be another medical condition at play.