Hair loss is a real problem for a lot of women. The sight of some hair strands in the hand while running their fingers through their mane or combing their tresses, can be unnerving. And so, women end up trying different hair masks, medicines or treatments. But what you really need to first is to find out the reason behind the hair loss. You might think it’s stress or genetics or pollution, but a vitamin deficiency may also be a cause of hair loss!
Health Shots connected with Dr Sachith Abraham, Consultant – Dermatology, Manipal Hospital, Old Airport Road, Bengaluru and Dr Sandeep Babbar, Medical Director and Dermatologist, Revyve Skin, Hair and Nail Clinic, Faridabad to find out the link between vitamin deficiency and hair loss.
Dr Abraham concedes that hair loss is indeed a growing and common concern among people. Various factors can contribute to this condition. One of the lesser-known factors that can affect hair health is vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Vitamins and minerals play crucial roles in maintaining healthy hair, and their excess or deficiency can impact hair growth and lead to hair loss.
There are 13 essential vitamins, and vitamin B12 and D3 deficiencies primarily cause hair loss, says Dr Babbar. Red blood cells, which carry oxygen to your hair follicles, are made easier with vitamin B12. And when your vitamin B12 levels are insufficient, your hair follicles might not be able to generate new hair effectively. You may notice hair loss happening due to this.
Deficiencies in other vitamins such as vitamins A, E and C can also contribute to hair loss, says Dr Abraham. Here’s what role these vitamins play in hair health:
• Vitamin A helps in the production of sebum, which is an oily substance that moisturises the scalp and prevents hair from becoming dry and brittle.
• Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps to improve blood circulation to the scalp, and helps in hair growth.
• As for vitamin C, it is crucial for collagen synthesis, which provides structural support to the hair follicles. Vitamin C has a role in iron absorption from the gut. So, your body needs vitamin C, especially for hair loss due to iron deficiency.
You might know vitamin D as the “sunshine vitamin”. That’s because it is something that is produced by the body when the skin is exposed to sunlight. You can also get it through healthy foods and supplements. Dr Abraham says that vitamin D plays a significant role in promoting hair follicle growth and maintaining healthy hair follicles. However, excessive intake of vitamin D supplements can lead to an accumulation of calcium in the body, which can result in hair loss.
Vitamins are important for hair health, but don’t ignore the minerals. Iron, zinc, selenium and magnesium are some of the minerals that are important for hair health, says Dr Abraham. While selenium helps in the synthesis of antioxidants that protect hair follicles from damage, magnesium is essential for protein synthesis, which is crucial for hair growth. Iron deficiency can lead to anemia, which can cause hair loss as a result of reduced oxygen supply to the hair follicles. Another mineral deficiency in a vegetarian diet is Zinc as it helps in hair cell production and repair, and its deficiency can lead to hair thinning and hair loss.
Eating foods rich in vitamins and minerals is one way to do it. Dr Babbar says blood tests is one of the things that need to be taken first to know the real cause of hair loss. Based on that, supplementation is recommended. By taking a supplement designed specifically for hair development, you may get all the vitamins you need to prevent hair loss. But please avoid self-diagnosis and self-treatment, as excessive intake of vitamins and minerals can also have adverse effects on overall health.
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