Which Vitamin Deficiency Causes Hair Loss? Here’s Everything You Need To Know

Medically reviewed by Dr. Amy Revene M.B.B.S.
Written by Our Editorial Team
Last updated

Imagine waking up to find unexpected hair loss on your pillow, a potential sign of which vitamin deficiency causes hair loss. It's a sight that can send a shiver down anyone's spine. While several factors contribute to hair loss, one lesser-known yet significant cause is vitamin deficiency. 

Nourishing your body with the right vitamins isn't just about maintaining your health; it's also about keeping those luscious locks firmly rooted. 

Let's dive into the world of vitamins and uncover how these microscopic nutrients play a colossal role in the battle against hair loss, ensuring your hair stays as vibrant and full as your life.

The importance of vitamins for hair health

which vitamin deficiency causes hair loss

Vitamins are crucial for maintaining healthy hair; they support hair growth, prevent hair loss, and ensure the overall health of hair strands and scalp.

Vitamins such as A, B (particularly Biotin), C, D, and E are crucial for maintaining hair health and supporting the hair growth cycle. Vitamin A helps in the production of sebum, which moisturizes the scalp and keeps hair healthy. B vitamins, particularly Biotin, are essential for hair growth. 

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect against the oxidative stress caused by free radicals, which can lead to hair aging and hair loss.

Vitamin D deficiency can significantly impact hair health, as this nutrient is essential for stimulating hair follicles and promoting healthy hair growth. Lastly, Vitamin E supports a healthy scalp and hair as it has natural antioxidant effects that could assist with maintaining hair growth.

Achieving the right balance of these vitamins is crucial for supporting healthy hair growth and preventing hair thinning.

While deficiency can lead to hair problems such as hair loss, excess supplementation of certain vitamins, like A and E, can also have adverse effects. It's all about finding the right balance and ensuring your diet supports your hair's health as much as your body's.

Which vitamin deficiency causes hair loss?

Vitamin deficiencies, including vitamin D, iron deficiency, and vitamin E, are known to cause hair loss and disrupt the hair growth cycle. Essential vitamins and minerals crucial for maintaining healthy hair include:

  1. Vitamin D
  2. Vitamin A
  3. Vitamin E
  4. Vitamin C
  5. Folic Acid (Vitamin B9)
  6. Biotin (Vitamin B7)
  7. Zinc
  8. Vitamin B6
  9. Iron
  10. Essential Fatty Acids
  11. Vitamin D

Vitamin A

Vitamin A deficiency can result in noticeable hair thinning and increased shedding, undermining the foundation for healthy hair growth.

The regrowth period after hair loss episodes may also be prolonged. Dandruff flaking is another common symptom of low vitamin A levels.

Doctors can diagnose deficiency through a blood test checking levels of vitamin A/retinol.

The good news is vitamin A deficiency can be reversed. Taking vitamin A tablets or capsules daily helps restore levels, though pregnant women should consult a doctor regarding safe dosages. 

Increasing vitamin A-rich orange and yellow vegetables like carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, green peppers and dark leafy greens in the diet provides natural sources. Cod liver oil is another option for obtaining vitamin A. With treatment, the hair thinning and shedding symptoms can be reduced over time.

Vitamin E

Inadequate levels of vitamin E can lead to increased daily hair shedding and the progressive thinning of scalp hair, affecting overall hair health. Dry, damaged strands prone to split ends and breakage may also indicate deficiency. 

Doctors diagnose low vitamin E through a blood test screening levels of vitamin E/alpha-tocopherol. Low vitamin E levels most often affect people with autoimmune diseases like psoriasis or alopecia areata.

Thankfully, vitamin E deficiency can be corrected. Taking daily vitamin E supplements helps increase levels. Consuming more vitamin E-rich foods like sunflower seeds, almonds, spinach, and avocado can provide dietary sources. 

Applying natural oils like olive oil and rosehip oil to hair and scalp provides additional benefits. With replenished vitamin E levels, hair shedding and damage can be minimised for thicker, healthier hair.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C deficiency can compromise hair health, leading to dry, splitting hair, increased shedding, and slow regrowth, disrupting the normal hair growth cycle. Diagnosis involves screening vitamin C/ascorbic acid levels in the blood.

Daily vitamin C supplementation can correct deficiency. Including more vitamin C-rich foods like citrus fruits, peppers, broccoli, and strawberries in your diet can also help restore levels. Topical vitamin C applications may provide additional benefits.

Folic acid

Folic acid (vitamin B9) plays a critical role in facilitating cell division and growth within hair follicles, supporting the hair growth cycle. When the body has inadequate folic acid, it can impair the rapid cell division needed for the continual production of new hair by follicles. 

This slower cell production causes both increased hair loss and slowed regrowth after shedding episodes. Doctors can detect folic acid deficiency by testing blood levels and looking for values that could indicate that a deficiency is present.

The promising news is folic acid deficiency can be corrected through both diet and supplements. Taking a daily folic acid tablet can help restore adequate levels efficiently. 

Eating more folate-rich foods like leafy greens, citrus fruits, beans, and lentils can also bump up levels. With sufficient folic acid intake from these sources, healthy rapid cell division and hair follicle production are supported, nurturing optimal hair thickness and growth.

Biotin

Also known as vitamin B7, biotin is important for enzymatic reactions involved in amino acid and fat metabolism. Deficiency in biotin is associated with hair thinning and shedding. While supplementing with biotin may help correct an underlying deficiency, its benefits for treating hair loss in those without a deficiency are still under debate. 

Getting adequate dietary biotin can help maintain cellular processes crucial for optimal hair growth and lustre. However, you can also get a biotin supplement from providers like The Independent Pharmacy.

Zinc

Zinc is an essential mineral that plays critical roles in hair health, including enabling cell growth, protein production, hormone regulation and antioxidant protection within follicles. When zinc is deficient, these processes are impaired, often leading to thinning hair and increased shedding, known as telogen effluvium.

Strategies tocorrect zinc deficiency focus on increasing dietary intake of zinc-rich foods like oysters and spinach, taking the right dosage of supplemental zinc daily under medical supervision, getting blood tested to confirm deficiency, and treating any digestive issues impacting absorption. 

Restoring adequate zinc levels helps normalise follicle cell function to minimise shedding while supporting healthy regrowth.

Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine, plays essential roles in many biochemical and enzymatic reactions in the body that affect hair health. If you're not getting enough of this important vitamin, your hair might start to thin or fall out more than usual. Doctors can diagnose a vitamin B6 deficiency through blood tests. 

The good news is restoring adequate vitamin B6 levels is achievable through both diet and supplementation under medical supervision. Consuming vitamin B6-rich foods like poultry, potatoes, bananas and nuts can help normalize levels efficiently. 

Taking a daily vitamin B6 supplement may also be recommended. Getting sufficient vitamin B6 supports healthy enzymatic activity and protein synthesis in follicles for strong, luscious hair.

Iron

Nutritional deficiency in iron can lead to increased daily shedding of scalp hairs and stunted hair growth, resulting in progressive thinning over time. Doctors can diagnose iron deficiency through a blood test screening serum ferritin levels – readings below 30 ng/mL often indicate deficiency. 

Fortunately, iron deficiency, a common cause of hair thinning, is treatable through dietary changes and supplementation, promoting healthy hair growth.

Taking iron supplements orally on a daily basis helps restore levels quickly under medical supervision. Dietary changes to increase consumption of iron-rich foods like red meat, beans, lentils, spinach, and fortified grains can provide natural plant-based and animal-based sources of this essential mineral. 

Iron is also commonly found in prenatal vitamins. With replenished iron levels, excessive hair shedding decreases, and healthy regrowth cycles return.

Essential fatty acids

Essential fatty acids, such as omega-3s, are vital for maintaining a healthy scalp environment and fostering healthy hair growth. 

Deficiency in these fatty acids can contribute to a dry, itchy scalp and brittle hair prone to damage. Doctors can check for essential fatty acid deficiency through blood tests that measure omega-3 levels. When the omega-3 index drops below 8%, your levels might be too low.

The positive news is this deficiency is reversible through both diet and supplementation. Taking omega-3 supplements like fish oil capsules can help raise levels efficiently.

Eating more omega-3-rich foods like salmon, walnuts, and flaxseeds also provides dietary essential fatty acids. Getting adequate amounts of these essential fats supports a well-nourished, lubricated scalp to minimize hair dryness and brittleness.

How to know if you have a vitamin deficiency

patchy hair loss and iron deficiency anemia

To determine if you have a vitamin deficiency, look for symptoms and get a blood test for confirmation.

Symptoms of vitamin deficiencies can range from extreme tiredness, heart palpitations (indicative of iron deficiency), night blindness and vision problems (vitamin A deficiency), mouth ulcers and a sore tongue (vitamin B12 or folate deficiency), to swollen or bleeding gums (vitamin C deficiency). 

However, many symptoms of vitamin deficiencies can be subtle and overlap with other health conditions, making it challenging to diagnose based solely on symptoms.

Therefore, if you suspect a vitamin deficiency based on these symptoms, it's crucial to consult a healthcare provider who can order a blood test. 

Blood tests are the most reliable method for confirming vitamin and mineral deficiencies, as they can accurately measure the levels of specific nutrients in your body.

What can I do to prevent a vitamin deficiency?

To prevent vitamin deficiencies, it's important to adopt a balanced diet and lifestyle. Here are some key strategies:

  • Eat a varied diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats to ensure a wide range of vitamins and minerals.
  • Consider fortified foods and supplements, especially if you're at risk of specific deficiencies (e.g., vitamin D during winter months).
  • Get regular sunlight exposure to help your body produce vitamin D.
  • Limit alcohol consumption and avoid smoking, as they can affect nutrient absorption.
  • Practice regular health check-ups with your doctor to monitor vitamin levels and overall health.
  • Stay hydrated to help your body process and absorb nutrients more efficiently.
  • Exercise regularly to improve gut health and nutrient absorption.
  • Manage stress as chronic stress can deplete certain nutrients more quickly.
  • Consult a healthcare professional before starting any supplements, especially if you have health conditions or are pregnant.

A better approach for your overall hair health

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Bio-Pilixin Serum stands at the forefront of hair care innovation, harnessing the power of advanced stem cell technology and nature-inspired ingredients to help combat hair loss and promote hair growth.

This expertly developed serum integrates multiple plant growth factors to rejuvenate hair follicles, setting the stage for robust hair growth.

Clinically tested to deliver noticeable results within 45 days, Bio-Pilixin Serum is a testament to the blend of science and nature. Its formulation is rigorously backed by scientific research, ensuring each active ingredient is not only effective but also of the highest quality.

With a commitment to vegan principles, every component is 100% vegan, evaluated by third-party laboratories to meet stringent quality standards.

The serum's active ingredients are a blend of innovation and nature. Capilia Longa, a natural compound, has shown to significantly reduce hair loss and enhance hair density.

Niacinamide bolsters the strength of hair by boosting keratin production, essential for hair structure. Meanwhile, Vanillyl Butyl Ether acts as a gentle warming agent, improving scalp blood flow and thereby fostering a nutrient-rich environment for hair growth.

Bio-Pilixin Serum embodies a holistic approach to hair health, promising not just growth, but strength and vitality for your hair.

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Conclusion

In conclusion, tackling hair loss requires a multifaceted approach that includes ensuring adequate vitamin intake, leading a healthy lifestyle, and using scientifically-backed hair care solutions. 

Among these, the Bio-Pilixin Serum by Scandinavian Biolabs emerges as a powerful ally. By blending the best of nature with cutting-edge science, it offers a promising solution for those seeking to reduce hair loss and stimulate growth

Remember, the journey to healthier hair starts from within, but with the right support, like that provided by Bio-Pilixin Serum, achieving luscious, strong hair is within reach. Prioritize your health, choose smart, sustainable hair care products, and watch your hair thrive.

FAQs

What is the best vitamin to take for hair loss?

Biotin (Vitamin B7) is often considered the best vitamin for hair loss as it stimulates keratin production and increases follicle growth, contributing to the strength and health of the hair.

How do I know if I'm lacking vitamins for my hair loss?

If you're experiencing hair loss, you might be deficient in essential vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin D, Biotin, Iron, and Zinc. Observing other symptoms of these deficiencies can also help indicate which vitamins you may be lacking.

Can a deficiency in Vitamin B12 cause hair loss?

Yes, hair loss can be a common symptom of Vitamin B12 deficiency, alongside fatigue, weakness, and lack of energy. If you're experiencing these symptoms, it may be worth getting your B12 levels checked.

References:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6380979/

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Dr Amy Revene M.B.B.S. graduated from the University of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates. She is currently working as a General Physician at New Hope Medical Center. Amy has a passion for research and offers her expertise and opinions to help people in their quest to lead healthy, happy lives.