Experiencing hair loss from chemotherapy or androgenetic alopecia is jarring and frustrating. But what do you do when you’re experiencing hair loss and you have no idea why? Could a vitamin deficiency be causing your hair loss?
If you find yourself pulling way more hair out of your hair brush than normal or find that you have to unclog your shower drain every morning, you may have a vitamin deficiency.
Is Hair Loss Common?
Anyone can lose hair on their head, but it’s more common in men. In fact, millions of men suffer from male pattern baldness. Here’s some quick facts to put your mind at ease, and let you know that you’re not alone.
50 million men in the U.S. suffer from male pattern baldness. Hair loss is so common that by the age of 35, two-thirds of American men will experience some obvious hair loss and thinning. By the age of 50, roughly 85% of men will lose a significant amount of their hair.
Interestingly enough, various factors can lead men of all ages to experience hair loss. While it might seem daunting, isolating, or overwhelming if you are experiencing them, hopefully we can help.
The truth is, several different vitamin deficiencies can contribute to hair loss, so you might have to do a bit of testing with your doctor to get to the bottom of it.
To help get this “hairy” situation (pun intended) under control, we’ve included details regarding how certain vitamins can affect your body differently, especially when it comes to your locks. Let’s get started!
Vitamin D is prudent to hair growth as it stimulates the hair follicles and helps to maintain thickness of existing strands.
When discussing what vitamin deficiencies cause hair loss, vitamin D is the most well-known culprit. Although not completely proven, vitamin D deficiency may be a possible cause of alopecia areata. Testing done on patients with alopecia areata have indicated lower levels of vitamin D in comparison with people who do not have alopecia. Certain medications can also affect your vitamin D levels.
- Take a vitamin D supplement
- Eat foods high in vitamin D like avocado, eggs, chia seeds, fish, and nuts
- Safely increase your time in the sun
- If caused by medications you may be on, speak with your doctor regarding alternative medications
Biotin (Vitamin B7)
Biotin is considered the optimal “hair and skin” vitamin. As biotin is present in most foods, acquiring a biotin deficiency is extremely rare.
Symptoms of a biotin deficiency start gradually and can build up over time. Symptoms can include thinning hair, progressing to the loss of hair not only on your head but also across the body.
Causes for biotin deficiencies that cause hair loss are smoking, antibiotics, chronic use of alcohol, and acne medication (to name a few).
- Take a biotin supplement
- Consume foods high in biotin, such as egg yolk, cheese, rice, various meats, and several different fruits and vegetables.
While vitamin A is fantastic for keeping your hair healthy, it also helps support a healthy immune system, reproductive system, vision, healthy skin, teeth, liver, kidneys, lungs, and bones. (WOW!)
Interestingly enough, having too little OR too much vitamin A is not a good thing. A deficiency in vitamin A could destroy hair follicles and cause hair loss. Because of this, hair growth is stunted, leading to thinner hair.
- For a vitamin A deficiency, you should try to ingest more foods high in vitamin A such as green, leafy vegetables, dark yellow or orange fruits and veggies, liver, eggs, and dairy products.
- If you have too much vitamin A in your system, take a look at what you are ingesting or possible medications/creams you may be using that would cause an increase in vitamin A levels. Dial back the amount you’re using and over time. As your levels stabilize you should see more hair growth.
Iron is essential for your body to function as it works to create hemoglobin, which helps carry oxygen to cells. With a lack of iron in your system, your body basically will go into survival mode in order to channel oxygen to support more fundamental organs. This takes precedence over sending nutrients to the hair follicles, which may eventually lead to hair loss.
Hair loss is especially common if the iron deficiency turns into full-blown anemia.
- Consuming more foods with iron, such as vitamin C rich foods like berries and broccoli, meat, fish, poultry, whole grains and leafy green veggies.
- Taking an iron supplement or receiving iron injections.
If you are deficient in magnesium, it can cause hair loss and possibly even cause premature graying because of the part it plays in metabolism and metabolic reactions.
It’s estimated that well over 80% of adult Americans do not consume the desired daily amount of magnesium.
- Increase your magnesium levels
Excellent sources for magnesium include:
- Seeds and nuts
- Fatty fish
- Dark chocolate
Selenium is a lesser-known nutrient essential to maintaining healthy hair. Selenium makes selenoproteins which aid in new hair growth. If you are selenium-deficient, you may experience reduced hair growth.
- Since the body does not produce selenium- eggs, tuna, and spinach are some naturally occurring sources to supplement this powerful nutrient.
As a bonus, this nutrient could reduce dandruff or even prevent it all together.
What other supplements can be taken for hair loss?
Nourishing your body from the inside will always be one of the best things you can do for hair health. When you’re getting the nutrients you need, your strands will thrive!
Talking with your doctor and narrowing down what vitamins you’re deficient in will help you decide what supplements could also help. Here are some other supplements that can help support your hair health.
Keratin is a protein that makes up our hair, skin and nails. It’s naturally produced by the body, and there are many keratin supplements out there that can help with hair growth.
You can also supplement with keratin in a more natural way—by eating protein-rich foods like eggs, beans, fish and meats—rather than taking a pill.
Zinc is a trace mineral and only needed by the body in small amounts. It’s small but mighty! Low levels of zinc have been associated with hair loss and poor wound healing. You can naturally add more zinc into your diet by eating zinc-rich foods, like meat, beans, nuts and seeds.
If you struggle with hair loss or hair thinning, it also might be worth talking to your doctor about whether a zinc supplement could be right for you. One small study found that zinc supplementation should be given to alopecia patients who have a low serum zinc level.
Always speak with your physician first before changing or adding any new supplements for your hair loss.
Other Nutrients for Hair Growth
The above vitamins and minerals aren’t the only way to improve your hair health; there’s also some oils, like rosemary and coconut oil that may also help with hair growth. One study found that consistent use of rosemary oil over several months led to an increase in hair count.
What To Do If You Suffer From Hair Loss?
No matter the cause, there are a lot of different cosmetic solutions to deal with hair loss and thinning whether it’s a temporary or permanent situation.
If your hair loss is temporary you could try:
–Toppers & Wiglets are a great option if most of your hair loss occurs on the top of the scalp. Toppers attach with pressure sensitive clips to your biological hair to cover your crown, top, or part.
–Full Wigs might be an option for you If you find that your hair loss is more extreme. Try one that matches your biological hair, or try out a new style or color! Wigs can be a great option to explore as you navigate through temporary hair loss.
–Hats are a comfortable, fashion forward, and affordable way to cover up temporary total hair loss loss or partial hair loss on top of the head.
What if your hair loss is permanent?
For Jacksonville, Florida men that are suffering from male pattern baldness, alopecia areata or trichotillomania, you have access to the #1 non-surgical mens’ hair loss solution right here in Jacksonville, called MANHAIR!
Manhair is a non-surgical, customizable, 100% human hair replacement system, that you can shower, sleep and work out in without worry! You literally treat this as your own hair!
Full head of hair, thinning or bald? We cover it all. No need to feel embarrassed or lost on where to start, because we’re here for you every step of the way.
Contrary to what many people believe, hair replacement systems are absolutely safe for your hair and scalp.
Read our article on ‘Why Hair Replacement Systems Are The Safest Hair Loss Solution’
Our stylists at the ManHair salon are professionally trained and have the requisite experience for keeping your ManHair hair replacement system looking great- and best of all, completely natural.
Since our hair replacements are completely customized, your stylist is in the best position to advise you on how to take care of your hair replacement in between visits. As well as what products to use and other styling tips.
So if you’re ready to look younger, feel more confident, and have a full head of hair again, schedule your FREE in-home or in-salon consultation at Manhair by clicking here.