Hair Loss B12: Everything You Need To Know

Medically reviewedby Dr. Ahmad Chaudhry M.B.B.S.
WrittenbyLuat Duong
Last updated

Growing long, beautiful hair involves more than having good genes and conditioner.

Without specific vitamins, particularly vitamin B12, your body would be unable to produce healthy hair which leads to hair loss B12.

Understanding the relationship between vitamin B12 and hair development might help you appreciate the function of nutrition in maintaining healthy hair.

Here's how to fight off hair loss from vitamin B12

    Can a lack of vitamin B12 cause hair loss?

    hair loss b12

    Hair loss might be stopped with vitamin B12. An insufficient supply of B vitamins, especially vitamin B12, leads to hair loss, according to a study. Researchers also found that people with hair loss were more likely to be low on vitamins B12 and 7.

    Besides hair loss, people who don't get enough vitamin B12 can get anemia, feel tired, and have health problems. If you don't eat foods high in vitamin B12, it can worsen hair loss. However, These deficiencies don't always cause baldness or hair thinning.

    Vitamin B12 also helps keep you looking young because it keeps your hair from turning grey. Wrinkles and grey hair are the most common cosmetic worries as people get older. 

    Even though there is no proof that vitamin B12 can stop your hair from going grey after it has already started, it may help keep your hair from going grey in the first place.

    The hair needs a mix of vitamins and minerals to regrow hair and stay as healthy as possible, and vitamin B12 is one of the most important for hair growth and makes it look younger.

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    Why does vitamin B12 deficiency cause hair loss?

    excessive hair loss due to male pattern hair loss

    Vitamin B12 is an important B vitamin that helps keep your nerves working well, plays an important role in making DNA, and keeps your red blood cells healthy. These blood cells provide oxygen to your tissues, which helps keep your hair healthy.

    Most of the time, hair will grow back once the problem is fixed. Sometimes, this happens on its own, like when a stressful event is no longer happening. 

    But if hair keeps falling out for a long time, likely, the cause hasn't been fixed. One possibility is a genetic disease that makes people unable to process vitamin B12.

    Keratin protein makes up the hair. The bulb is at the bottom of the hair follicles and comprises the fastest-growing cells in the body. Every 23 to 72 hours, these cells divide.

    The bulb's base is called the papilla, which has blood vessels. The papilla's main job is to connect the hair follicles to the blood supply so that the oxygen and nutrients needed for hair growth can get to the follicles.

    Vitamin B12 is crucial in preventing hair loss and promoting healthy hair regrowth. This nutrient helps hair grow and keeps the RBC count healthy. Without enough of these cells, your scalp doesn't get enough oxygen.

    How to treat vitamin B12 deficiency?

    vitamin b12 encourage hair growth

    Vitamin B12 is the only treatment for vitamin B12 deficiency. In addition, cyanocobalamin, a synthetic version of vitamin B12, is often used to treat it. 

    Depending on the reason for the deficiency, the individual may need to take vitamin B12 treatment for their whole lives or until their vitamin B12 levels return to normal. 

    Here are some vitamin B12 treatment options.

    Vitamin B12 Oral Medication

    vitamin b12 oral supplement

    At the level of the stomach, where an intrinsic factor is formed, or at the level of the terminal ileum, where an intrinsic factor linked to vitamin B12 is absorbed, vitamin B12 absorption is hindered. 

    Medications like metformin (Glucophage) and antacids may also inhibit absorption. Without intrinsic factors, a small quantity of vitamin B12 is absorbed by passive diffusion.

    Comparing oral and intramuscular vitamin B12, a 2005 Cochrane Review revised in 2018 revealed that large doses of oral vitamin B12 might be equally effective as intramuscular delivery in achieving short-term hematological and neurological responses in vitamin B12-deficient individuals.

    Evidence shows that oral supplementation at a high dosage of 1000 mcg is an effective technique for increasing vitamin B12 levels in deficient individuals. 

    Furthermore, compared to intramuscular injections, oral supplementation is linked with considerable cost savings, no side effects, and greater compliance.

    Vitamin B12 Intramuscular Injections

    Various methods exist for administering vitamin B12 injections. The injection location will also vary based on several variables. A healthcare expert can decide your most convenient location and delivery method.

    You must remember certain guidelines to provide vitamin B12 injections at home. In addition, you should get help from a certified expert before trying to do this task yourself. However, it will become routine after you have learned and experienced giving vitamin B12 injections at home.

    Vitamin B12 Nasal Gel

    The body needs vitamin B12 to make healthy blood cells, nerve cells, and proteins. Additionally, it helps the body use fats and carbs more efficiently. People who can't take in enough vitamin B12 are given this medicine.

    This medicine is for the nose only. See the instructions on the label. If your nose runs, you might not get the full dose of this medicine. Consume this medicine within an hour of eating or drinking something hot.

    Talk to your doctor if you have allergies or a cold and your nose is running. Please don't use it more than the instructions say. Make sure you use your nasal gel the right way. Consult the doctor or other health care provider if you want to know more.

    vitamin b12 spray

    Vitamin B12 Nasal Spray

    Methylcobalamin is a type of vitamin B12 in the B12 Nasal Spray. It helps protect nerves from damage and boosts the production of blood cells. It also controls how the body works, like how cells divide, how blood is made, and how proteins are made.

    For the best results, you should use B12 Nasal Spray exactly as your doctor or the information on the package says. Some people who use B12 Nasal Spray get headaches, feel sick, have a runny nose or get infections. 

    Tell the doctor if you have trouble breathing, like a stuffy nose, hay fever, allergic rhinitis, or an upper respiratory infection.

    Put the tip of the bottle into one nostril while closing the other one, and spray toward the sides of the nose. Keep your head up and take slow, deep breaths.

    How to reverse hair loss from B12?

    hair loss for bad hair health

    Depending on how long you've had the deficiency and how much damage it's done, it could take at least 4 months before your symptoms improve. 

    This is because hair follicles also have a resting phase lasting between 3 and 4 months. And the hair you have now might fall out as new, stronger hair grows.

    So, the whole process could take 6 months or even a year or more before there is a big change in hair loss. Find out how much your hair will grow in 6 months here. 

    Unfortunately, because of a lack of B12, it will take a long time for your hair to grow. But don't worry; this hair loss is reversible if you treat the deficiency and keep your B12 levels up.

    Don't have time to wait for B12 to work?

    Here's how to grow your hair quicker, safely.

    What is vitamin B12?

    vitamin b12 for healthy hair growth

    All B vitamins convert food carbohydrates into energy-producing glucose in the body. In addition, these vitamins, commonly known as B complex vitamins, assist the body in metabolizing fats and proteins. Vitamins of the B complex are required for healthy skin, hair, eyes, and liver.

    Red blood cells and DNA cannot develop without vitamin B12. It is also essential for nerve cells and brain and hair growth. It is unusual for young people to be somewhat low in vitamin B12, but it is not uncommon for elderly individuals to be deficient. This might be because their meals are less healthy or because they have less stomach acid, which is required for B12 absorption.

    How vitamin B12 and hair growth are connected?

    hair shedding and thinning hair

    The vitamin B complex consists of eight water-soluble vitamin compounds, which contribute to cellular metabolism. These include riboflavin (B2), thiamine (B1), niacin (B3), Biotin (B7), pantothenic acid (B5), vitamin B6, and vitamin B12.

    In one study, serum folate levels of individuals with diffuse hair loss did not vary significantly from those of healthy controls. Vitamin B12, like folate, contributes to the formation of nucleic acid, which may increase hair follicle development. 

    However, a study analyzing people with vitamin B12 insufficiency concluded that the fall in vitamin B12 levels had no negative impact on hair loss or growth.

    Biotin is a little different from the vast majority of Vitamin B compounds, for which there has been no conclusive evidence of a connection to hair development. 

    Biotin deficiency is uncommon, although it may induce alopecia. However, no large-scale clinical investigations have shown that biotin supplements promote hair growth.

    What are the symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency?

    nutrient deficiency

    A condition that can manifest with neurologic, psychiatric, and hematologic disorders is vitamin B12 deficiency. Vitamin B12 is an important nutrient, and deficiencies often result from poor absorption or insufficient dietary intake or previous operations. Although a severe shortage may result in irreversible brain damage, initial signs are modest or asymptomatic.

    Generally, vitamin deficiency anemia develops gradually over months to years. Vitamin B12 insufficiency may be difficult to diagnose since its symptoms are similar to other illnesses. 

    Initially, the symptoms of a deficit may be mild, but they intensify as the condition progresses. Symptoms include:

    • The pale yellow color of the skin
    • Red, painful tongue
    • Pins and needles, numbness, or other strange feelings in the hands, legs, or feet
    • Vision disturbances
    • Having trouble walking and keeping your balance
    • Loss of memory and sadness
    • Differences in mood, thoughts, feelings, and behavior are easily observed
    • Confused and unable to think. In extreme circumstances, dementia.

    What are the sources of vitamin B12?

    vitamin b12 fortified yogurt

    Vitamin B12 supplements are available in liquids, pills, capsules, and tablet formats. It is found in many multivitamins. People who don't eat enough vitamin B12-rich animal products daily might want to eat more fortified foods. However, most can get the nutrients their bodies require by taking a supplement.

    Vitamin B12 is found in many animal products, such as fish, meat, eggs, and dairy. Unfortunately, there aren't many sources that come from plants. 

    However, here are some good sources of Vitamin B12 below:

    Nutritional yeast

    People who don't eat meat or dairy can get a lot of B12 from nutrition yeast. But nutritional yeast is not used to make bread. Instead, it tastes like cheese and nuts and can be used in place of cheddar cheese on popcorn or pasta.

    Fortified foods

    Vitamin B12 is added to many foods, like cereals, spreads, and the best milk alternatives. This can help vegans, and vegetarians ensure they get enough B12.

    Over 14 weeks, people who ate 1 cup of fortified cereal daily had many more B vitamins in their bodies, according to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.


    Yogurt contains probiotics and many of the same nutrients as milk, including vitamin B12, calcium, and protein. Probiotic-rich foods, such as yogurt, nourish the gut's beneficial bacteria, aiding digestion, nutrient absorption, and illness prevention.

    Other reasons why you might have hair loss

    hair loss treatment

    There are many potential causes of hair loss, and often more than one factor is at play. Here are some of the most common:

    Male pattern baldness and female pattern hair loss, are the most common type of hair loss. It is caused by a combination of genetics and hormones.

    If you're concerned about hair loss, be sure to talk to your doctor. They can help you identify the underlying cause and recommend hair loss treatments.


    Identifying the underlying cause of hair loss is crucial to choose the most effective therapy. If a vitamin B12 deficiency is, in fact, the cause of your hair loss, a simple blood test may rapidly diagnose or monitor your B12 levels.

    Keep an eye out for early indications and symptoms. Immediately schedule an appointment with a physician if you notice unexpected or severe hair loss.


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    Luat Duong

    Luat Duong is a Copenhagen-based writer and content strategist specializing in hair loss and health. His work has been featured in MyHealthGuide, The Right Hairstyles, and Woman's Era. He is a graduate of Vaasa University. You can connect with him on LinkedIn.