If you’ve begun to notice that you’re losing hair regularly, especially in increasingly larger quantities, then this hair loss is a sign that something is up with your body.
There are many different causes for hair loss, with genetic alopecia being the most common, but a deficiency in certain vitamins can also contribute to this shedding and can worsen your hair loss.
While the idea of hair loss as a result of vitamin deficiency might be frightening, they’re quite rare, but even if that is the case, they’re often reversible.
In this guide, we’ll talk about the vitamin deficiencies that can contribute to hair loss, how they affect your hair, and how you can treat them.
The most common deficiencies that can lead to hair loss include iron deficiencies, vitamin D deficiencies, and zinc deficiencies.
If you think that it is the lack of one of these three vitamins and minerals, then it’s worth consulting with a healthcare professional before you attempt to rectify the problem at home.
Taking too many supplements can worsen your hair loss and can lead to other, more serious health issues.
What Causes Vitamin Deficiency?
Vitamins are a part of one of the six essential categories of nutrients that we as humans need to get to remain healthy, alongside water, carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, and minerals.
The balance of these nutrients is essential, and having a major deficiency in even just one section can cause major issues within your body and its system, which leads to it taking some of its resources from one part of the body, and using them for another.
Vitamin deficiencies themselves can happen for many different reasons, and if you suspect that it is a deficiency that is causing your hair loss, then consider if any of these might be contributing:
- Diets – whether it’s not eating enough food, cutting out entire food groups, or not getting enough healthy food.
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Blood loss – as a result of illness, injury, or menstruation
- Disease or illness
The average diet should provide the right amount of vitamins to help prevent hair thinning and loss, especially since many of the foods we eat are fortified with additional vitamins and minerals too.
In this case, a vitamin deficiency might be the cause of your hair loss.
Hair Loss And Iron Deficiency
Iron deficiency is one of the most prominent deficiencies that can lead to hair loss, and while mild cases can tend to have somewhat negligible symptoms, such as being out of breath, tired, and anxious, there are more serious symptoms, such as restless legs, brittle nails, and of course, hair loss.
Iron deficiency can come from a variety of different sources, including low iron in the diet, gastrointestinal bleeding, blood loss from menstrual cycles, and other medical conditions that lead to a reduction in the absorption of iron.
Untreated iron deficiency can become serious and can lead to depression, as well as pregnancy complications, and heart issues.
An iron deficiency affects your hair as it leads to a lack of oxygen being brought to the hair follicles, and can play a role in both female-pattern hair loss, and male-pattern baldness.
If you suspect that you have an iron deficiency, then it’s recommended that you get tested for iron deficiency, and consult your healthcare provider, who will be able to advise you on how to supplement your iron intake after evaluating your lifestyle and diet.
Hair Loss And Vitamin D Deficiency
Vitamin D deficiency is another one of the contributor to hair loss. This is because when vitamin D is low, less keratin gets produced in your hair, disturbing the growth cycle of your hair.
There are very few symptoms of vitamin D deficiency, which means that many people experiencing hair loss might not even know what to look out for.
The only real complaints that those suffering from a vitamin D deficiency commonly include bone and joint pain, as well as muscle weakness.
Obesity and lack of sunlight are common causes of vitamin D deficiencies, as well as a lack of plant-based foods in the diet.
If you believe that you have a vitamin D deficiency, you should get tested, and it’s worth noting that taking supplements to counteract the deficiency can lead to toxicity, which is dangerous.
Hair Loss And Zinc Deficiency
Zinc deficiency is uncommon, but there are still plenty of links between zinc deficiency and hair loss, which means that if you’re suffering from hair loss, it is a possibility, but hair can be restored as a result of restoring the zinc to your body.
Zinc is required for proper protein synthesis, cell growth, and to help the immune system, and its job in the hair is to repair hair follicles, and to maintain the scalp’s oil glands.
Other symptoms that can point toward a zinc deficiency include poor immune system response, variations in mood, taste, and smell, diarrhoea, and brittle nails.
Zinc deficiency is primarily caused by a lack of zinc in the diet, especially among vegetarians and vegans, as meat is our primary source of zinc.
Attempting to counter the deficiency can lead to zinc toxicity, which can lead to some serious issues.
Simply try to intake more zinc in your diet if you believe that you are deficient.
Treating Hair Loss
It’s important to remember that if you believe that the hair loss you’re experiencing is a result of vitamin deficiency you consult a healthcare professional before taking any further action.
They’ll be able to provide you with tests, and then advise you on the best course of action for your hair loss going forward.
Thankfully with deficiencies, once they’ve been resolved, your hair should begin to grow back over time.
Thank you for reading our guide to hair loss and vitamin deficiencies, we hope this has helped!