Could a folate deficiency be the reason why you’re losing hair? Read on, to know more

Updated on:17 November 2019, 16:18pm IST
Not all kinds of hair fall can be solved by using fancy products. At times, folate or folic acid deficiency can be the reason why you’re losing your lovely locks.
Nikita Bhardwaj
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Can eating healthy bring back your long and luscious hair? Let’s figure out! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

If you had to choose between long or voluminous hair, what would you pick? Why not both, right? After all, nobody wants to settle for less. But if the threat of hair fall is looming around the corner, then well… beggars can’t be choosers.  

After all, hair fall is no joke. And if you too cuss while spending on fancy-schmancy hair products which actually don’t help at all–then today is your lucky day, because we may have a solution for your locks. 

But first, let’s meet the possible culprit: folate. Rather, a lack of it. 

Folate is the magic elixir for hair

If veggies and fruits aren’t your bae, then there is a chance that you’re deficient in folate–which could very well be the reason behind your hair fall. 

Here’s the science: Folate (or vitamin B9), is naturally available in fresh fruits and veggies. It’s also called folic acid, which is nothing but it’s man-made version. The problem with folate is that it is water-soluble, i.e. it doesn’t last in your body for really long. So, you need to munch on the healthy stuff and keep refilling its reserves.

But what’s folate or folic acid got to do with hair?

Folate helps replenish red blood cells in the body. So if you don’t get enough of it, chances are your body will go on strike and those RBCs won’t multiply. And in case you needed a refresher course in school-level biology, here’s some more gyaan: without enough red blood cells in the body, the oxygen supply will also drop. 

And if that starts happening, well then, forget about those luscious locks sweetie.

But, that’s not all. Folate also stimulates the proliferation of the hair follicles and prevents greying of hair. Oh, and it also activates the sebum glands on your scalp which keep the moisture intact and prevent hair loss.

A few signs that indicate you might be folate deficient

A folate deficiency, usually exhibits very subtle signs. But if, apart from hair fall, you also notice greying hair, experience fatigue, feel irritable, and have a decreased appetite–then you might be in trouble.  

So, how can you ensure you include enough folate in your diet?

Well, you can start by making a grocery list which includes these foods:

  • Broccoli
  • Spinach
  • Lentils
  • Peas
  • Citrus fruits, like lemons, oranges, and grapefruit

But, wait! Can’t I just pop a supplement?

We wouldn’t advise that. Start by including natural sources of folate in your diet and if, despite that, you see no change in your hair loss, then visit a dermatologist–who upon doing relevant tests might suggest a folic acid supplement.  

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Nikita Bhardwaj Nikita Bhardwaj

Six-pack abs are all that Nikita needs, along with her daily dose of green tea. At Health Shots, she produces videos, podcasts, stories, and other kick-ass content.