You know your body needs certain nutrients to stay healthy and function well. Vitamins are crucial nutrients in the maintenance of wellness. But what happens when we are deficient in certain vitamins? You develop health problems, that’s what. One of the problems that often arises is hair loss. Without the proper nutrients, your hair follicles will cease to produce new growth and go into a resting phase to conserve resources for other vital bodily functions. This results in thinning hair. Today we’ll discuss nine vitamins and minerals that could be contributing to your hair loss.
Vitamin D- Exactly how vitamin D affects hair growth isn’t known, but vitamin D deficiency has been directly linked to hair loss. Because of the modern sedentary lifestyle and heavy use of sunscreen a large portion of people have developed a deficiency of vitamin D. This vitamin is often referred to as the “sunshine vitamin” because it’s produced by the skin that’s exposed to sunlight. Just 10-15 minutes of direct sunlight exposure per day is enough to boost your vitamin D levels. Vitamin D-rich foods include avocado, chia seeds, fatty fish, mushrooms, eggs, and vitamin D-fortified foods.
Biotin- B vitamins are all important, but the one most closely connected to hair loss is biotin. In several studies, it was found that hair loss improved after supplementing with biotin. Biotin plays a crucial role in the production of proteins, and this includes the proteins that make up your hair. You can make sure you’re getting enough by eating lean meats, fish, leafy greens, seafood, nutritional yeast, and eggs. If you eat a plant-based diet it may be necessary to take a B vitamin complex supplement as it can be difficult to get enough from plant sources.
Iron- Iron is the nutrient that helps your body deliver oxygen to every cell. When iron stores in the body get low it puts everything into a survival mode and prioritizes oxygen delivery to your vital organs. As a result, your hair follicles don’t get the oxygen they need to support hair growth, so growth slows or stops altogether. Iron deficiency anemia could play a role in female pattern hair loss in non-menopausal women. Eat foods like lean meats, eggs, lentils, seafood, spinach, and broccoli to make sure you’re getting your daily dose of iron.
Zinc- You need zinc to keep the oil glands in your scalp working properly to moisturize your strands. Without these natural oils, your hair will quickly become dry and brittle. So even if it’s growing you won’t be able to tell because of all the breakage. While zinc is a trace element and your body only needs it in small amounts, it’s critical for many body processes including protein synthesis and hormone regulation. Both of those directly affect hair growth. Don’t go overboard with zinc supplements though. Too much zinc can negatively affect hair growth. Some good food sources of zinc include wheat germ, pumpkin seeds, oysters, spinach, beef, lentils, and soy products.
Selenium- Another trace mineral that supports hair growth is selenium. Selenium and antioxidant properties that support proper metabolic functioning. This helps maintain balanced hormone levels which is essential for healthy hair growth. It’s estimated that around 1 billion people worldwide are suffering from selenium deficiency and the many health issues it can cause. To up your intake snack on some Brazil nuts. They are an excellent source as are rice, beans, and whole wheat.
Vitamin E- Vitamin E is a fat-soluble antioxidant that helps protect cells from damage. Vitamin E is well known for its skin nourishing and moisturizing effects, and the skin of your scalp needs it just as much as the rest of your skin. Vitamin E protects your scalp from oxidative stress that contributes to hair loss. Sunflower seeds, nuts, leafy greens, and avocados are good dietary sources of vitamin E.
Folic Acid- Folic acid became well known when its role in fetal development was discovered. Many don’t realize that it also stimulates cell growth, and that includes growth in the hair follicles. Folic acid has also been shown to help prevent premature grays, so consider upping your intake of fortified grain products and adding a supplement to promote a healthy mane.
Vitamin C- Collagen is needed for healthy hair growth, and vitamin C is needed for collagen production. Vitamin C also helps the body to absorb and utilize other key nutrients like iron and zinc. This makes vitamin C pretty important in the battle against hair loss. Kiwi, kale, strawberries, oranges, and guava are all great foods to boost your vitamin C intake.
Vitamin A- We usually think about our vision when someone mentions vitamin A, but every cell in your body depends on it for healthy growth, including your hair. The oil glands in your scalp need vitamin A to produce the sebum that moisturizes and protects your hair. This is another one to supplement in moderation as too much may also contribute to hair loss. Orange vegetables are a great way to make sure you get plenty of vitamin A. They contain beta carotene which the body converts to vitamin A. Milk, butter, eggs, yogurt, kale, and spinach are other good food sources.
So to answer the question, can vitamin and mineral deficiencies cause hair loss, the answer is yes they can. If you’re struggling with hair loss, talk to your doctor to rule out medical causes and then take a closer look at your diet and make the appropriate changes to correct any deficiencies you might have. For more help dealing with thinning hair, schedule a free consultation appointment at the Hair Restoration Institute. Our professional hair loss experts will help you get to the root of your hair loss and develop a plan to restore your hair. You’ll find us at 1201 West Lancaster Avenue in Fort Worth, Texas, or call 817-854-HAIR (4247) for your complimentary and confidential consultation with an experienced hair loss professional.