Nutrition plays a crucial role in many aspects of our lives. Vitamins and minerals help us have better heart health, stronger bones, and higher energy levels. You may have known this, but did you know that vitamin deficiency and hair loss are also connected?
It’s true! Studies show that lacking certain vitamins and minerals can make you lose hair. So which ones are we talking about? Keep reading as we discuss mineral and vitamin deficiencies that cause hair loss and offer you some solutions.
Why Are Vitamins and Minerals Important for Hair?
If you want to learn how to stop hair loss effectively, you must first understand the importance of nutrients for the health of your hair. Vitamins and minerals nourish the structure of your hair follicles, helping them stay young and healthy. Without these nutrients, your hair follicles are more prone to damage and dysfunction.
Vitamin deficiency can also become a risk factor for alopecia and cause balding. The more surprising fact is that too much of some vitamins can also cause hair loss! However, nutrient deficiency is the more probable case. So that is what we will discuss here.
Nutrient and Vitamin Deficiencies That Cause Hair Loss
The recommended consumption of vitamins varies based on a person’s age, sex, and type of nutrient. Some vitamin deficiencies can lead to headaches, fatigue, anxiety, and even depression. The following nutrient and vitamin deficiencies can cause hair loss in both men and women.
Niacin, also known as vitamin B3, is a water-soluble nutrient essential for healthy skin and hair. It aids in healthy hair growth by improving blood circulation, which helps bring more oxygen and nutrients to the hair follicles. Niacin deficiency can cause poor circulation, leaving your follicles malnourished and unable to perform their functions properly.
Studies have shown that vitamin B3 deficiency can cause hair loss in the form of diffuse alopecia. Niacin deficiency is also known to cause a condition known as pellagra, which is characterized by dermatitis or inflammation of the skin. Dermatitis in pellagra is most prominent in sun-exposed areas, such as the face and scalp. An inflamed scalp can damage hair follicles over time, leading to hair loss.
- Yeast (bread)
Another vitamin deficiency that causes hair loss is biotin or vitamin B7. Similar to niacin, biotin is found in many hair and skin products. It is necessary for various cell processes, including protein and fat synthesis and cell replication. Protein and fat are essential macronutrients that help maintain healthy skin and, as a direct extension, healthy hair.
Biotin deficiency is well-documented to cause multiple dermatologic issues, including seborrheic dermatitis (a common cause of dandruff) and alopecia. The hair loss seen in this vitamin deficiency may be patchy or become severe enough to involve large portions of the scalp and other areas of the body.
- Various plants
- Egg yolk
- Yeast (bread)
Not many know that vitamin C deficiency causes hair loss. However, this vitamin has a surprising link to balding.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant that protects your hair follicles from free radical damage while enhancing iron absorption. As we will explain later, iron is crucial for hair growth. Vitamin C deficiency leads to hair loss by reducing your iron levels. It also aids in zinc absorption and helps collagen production. Collagen helps to give you healthier hair.
Vitamin C Sources
You can find vitamin C in the following foods:
- Citrus fruits
- Bell peppers
- Brussels sprouts
Vitamin D is essential for immunity, bone strength, cell growth, and mental well-being. This vitamin does it all while being one of the most common vitamin deficiencies in Americans. Vitamin D is also thought to play a key role in modulating the hair cycle, and vitamin D deficiency has been linked to an increased risk of hair loss.
Vitamin D Sources
Some of the best foods for hair growth and thickness containing vitamin D are:
- Oily fish
- Red meat
- Egg yolks
- Fortified foods like milk and cereals
Moving on from vitamins, let’s now discuss mineral deficiencies that cause hair loss. One of the most critical minerals needed for hair health is iron. Iron makes up hemoglobin, which helps deliver oxygen to different cells. Your cells need this oxygen to produce energy.
When there isn’t enough iron in your blood, your body enters survival mode. This means that hemoglobin only delivers oxygen and nutrients to vital organs. Sadly, hair follicles are not one of them. Iron deficiency is a risk factor for female pattern hair loss, especially in older women.
You can boost your iron levels by consuming the following foods:
- Red meat
- Dried fruits
- Enriched bread
- Nuts and seeds
Zinc is among the most crucial mineral and vitamin deficiencies that cause hair loss. It’s also one of the most well-known ones. You’ve probably heard about the connection between low zinc levels and baldness.
Zinc helps with the immune system, metabolism, and hormone regulation. It may also help to prevent hair loss by maintaining balanced hormone levels in your body among regulation of other key biological processes.
Zinc is known to play a key role in maintaining the health and function of hair follicles, preventing follicle miniaturization and promoting growth. Clinical studies have also shown a clear association between zinc deficiency and hair loss.
Foods rich in zinc include:
- Whole grains
Selenium is another vital nutrient on our list of mineral and vitamin deficiencies that cause hair loss. Healthy metabolism and a functioning immune system are not possible without this nutrient. Selenium also plays a key role in hair follicle development by regulating hormone levels and synthesizing thyroid hormones.
Selenium deficiency has been linked to poor hair growth in animal studies, and this may be the case for humans as well. However, too much selenium, or selenium toxicity, can actually cause hair loss, in addition to other serious health effects. Therefore, it is important to be careful when taking nutritional supplements that contain selenium.
You can get your required levels of selenium from the following sources:
- Brazil nuts
- Brown rice
- Organ meats
- Baked beans
How to Get More Vitamins
Having vitamin deficiency and hair loss is not the end of the world. You can replenish your vitamin levels and enjoy fuller hair with a few simple lifestyle changes. Here are some ways you can get more nutrients.
Follow a Balanced Diet
Eating a healthy, balanced diet is the best way to restore the mineral and vitamin deficiencies that cause hair loss. Eat a rich combination of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and proteins to get all the vitamins, minerals, and amino acids your body needs.
If you’re not getting enough vitamins and minerals through food, you can try supplements. The best supplements for hair loss prevention address these nutrient deficiencies to help you achieve healthier hair.
Choose Fortified Foods
Many foods in the United States are fortified with minerals or vitamins. If you are worried about vitamin deficiencies leading to hair loss or other medical issues, try to keep an eye out for these labels.
For example, corn products are naturally low in niacin (B3) but are often fortified with the vitamin during processing. Raw milk also has vitamin D added to it during processing, and iodide is added to salt to prevent thyroid issues.
Despite the fact that vitamin D deficiency can cause hair loss, your own body can make vitamin D when exposed to UV rays from sunlight. If you are trying to get more vitamin D than from diet alone, you can soak up some rays. Just be sure not to spend more than 20 minutes in the sun without protection.
Regrow Your Hair With LaserCap
Well, there you have it: the most common vitamin and mineral deficiencies that cause hair loss. Fortunately, most cases of hair loss triggered by nutrient deficiencies are treatable. Once you identify the nutrient causing your hair loss, you can increase your intake to restore your hair. If you don’t see satisfactory results with increased nutrient consumption, The Original LaserCap can help.
LaserCap is an FDA-cleared low-level laser therapy (LLLT) device clinically proven to reverse hair loss. The device’s prescription-strength red laser light energizes hair follicle cells and increases blood flow to the scalp, providing follicles with all the energy and nutrients they need to produce healthy hair. When used as directed, you can grow a fuller head of hair within four to six months of starting treatment.
Get your LaserCap today to restore your hair with the regenerative power of light!