Vitamin deficiency and hair loss are so related that explaining one requires the explanation of the other.
Before knowing what the relationship between these two words is, it is important for you to learn first what each means.
Knowing What Vitamin Deficiency Is
When you say or hear the word “deficiency,” what comes to your mind? Deficiency is similar to the words “lack,” “shortage” and even “absence.” As for vitamin, it can mean “nutrient,” “supplement” or “a group of substances that are needed for normal cell function, growth, and development.”
Combining the meaning of these two words, you will have a simple definition of vitamin deficiency. You can say that vitamin deficiency is the lack of nutrients or the shortage of the substances needed for the growth and development of the body.
Understanding Hair Loss
Next, you should know what hair loss is.
Hair loss, or medically known as alopecia, is the “thinning of hair on the scalp.” It is a condition in which there could be a gradual or sudden loss of one’s hair.
There are various types of hair loss. And more often than not, alopecia strikes men more than women. One common type of hair loss is androgenetic alopecia. This is mostly seen happening to men who “tend to lose hair on the front hairline and forehead and on top of the head.”
The Relationship Between the Two
You now have a basic understanding of the definitions of vitamin deficiency and hair loss. So your next question might be, how are they related to each another?
You see, one of the causes of hair loss is the vitamin deficiency. You read it right. Vitamin deficiency can lead to hair loss. Other causes of hair loss are genetics or heredity and even stress.
How will vitamin deficiency lead to hair loss, you might ask?
Well, people sometimes lose their hair just because the vitamins in their body are not enough or are lacking and cannot sustain the body’s growth and development. Just like any part of the human body, the hair also needs vitamins for its nourishment.
By not taking in essential vitamins, you might regret that one day you will experience hair loss. Of course, vitamin does not always come from external sources. There are those produced by your body.
There are different important vitamins that a person’s body needs, such as vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin C, calcium, vitamin D, iron, and zinc. Each of these vitamins has a role to take part in a body.
You might be surprised to find out that a deficiency in each of the vitamins listed above can and may contribute to hair loss. Continue reading and you will find out.
Vitamin A for the Body
Vitamin A is popularly known to help you have good eyesight, and it also helps in hair growth. Vitamin A helps the scalp in creating sebum, an oily matter produced by the sebaceous glands. This sebum acts as a lubricant for the hair.
When you have less intake of vitamin A, your hair may suffer the consequences. If you are experiencing dry and brittle hair, the reason might be vitamin A deficiency. Lack of vitamin A will mean less sebum production, and this means dry hair, which can be more prone to breakage.
All About Vitamin B
How does vitamin B6 deficiency cause hair loss?
Vitamin B6 helps in good blood circulation and building of cells. These processes happen to be also helpful in having healthy hair. So when the body produces less vitamin B6, of course, hair growth is also affected.
As for vitamin B12, it also helps in having a great hair by helping in the “proper formation of red blood cells.” Red blood cells are the body’s carrier of oxygen to its various parts, like the hair. If you have a small amount of vitamin B12, you may expect that it will have an effect on your hair.
Vitamin B12 deficiency may be seen on people who go on a diet, for example, women who want to lose weight and vegetarians. People who reduce their diet intend to eat less of the food that has B vitamins. “Vegetarians often need a B12 supplement because the best sources of the vitamin are meat sources.”
Importance of Vitamin C
Everyone knows vitamin C or ascorbic acid, as known to others. It is a powerful antioxidant, and “it helps the body form and maintains connective tissue.”
But did you know that if you stop taking in vitamin C, it may lead to hair loss? Yes, lack of this vitamin in the body may cause hair loss because of the following reasons.
First, vitamin C, like the B vitamins, is needed in the formation of red blood cells. Therefore, when there is less red blood cells, blood circulation is affected and oxygen is not properly circulated around the body.
And, second, this vitamin is “important to the production of tyrosine in the body.” This tyrosine is what makes the hair strand stronger and the hair follicles nourished. And if there is not enough tyrosine produced, what do you think will happen? Your hair will be more prone to breakage and, eventually, hair loss.
Calcium for the Bones and Hair
Aside from strengthening the bones, calcium is also essential for hair growth and development. It also has a relation to vitamin D because vitamin D is needed for calcium absorption.
Hair loss is a symptom of other far more dangerous illnesses, like malnutrition. So when you forget to drink your milk daily or do not want to eat fruits like oranges, then you are more prone to calcium deficiency than most people. Of course, it takes time to develop this deficiency. But by not having an adequate intake of calcium, you are putting yourself in a nightmare you cannot walk away from.
What Vitamin D Can Do for the Hair
Everyone needs Vitamin D. Vitamin D is produced by your body, contrary to the popular notion that it comes from the sun. This vitamin is made up of cholesterol, which is produced “when your skin is exposed to sunlight.”
If you have less exposure to sunlight or fail to take in vitamin D supplements, then you are more likely to experience vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D helps in having healthy hair and hair follicles. So when you lack vitamin D, you may experience hair loss or thinning of the hair.
Iron for the Body
Instead of Iron Man, you need iron for your body. Iron is one of the main components in the production of hemoglobin, a “protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout the body.”
Iron deficiency hair loss is a type of hair loss that is temporary. It is also known as telogen effluvium. What happens here is that there is hair loss because of an abnormal hair growth cycle that “causes hair that would normally be in the anagen (growing) phase of the hair growth cycle to be prematurely pushed into the telogen (resting) phase.”
Although temporary, iron deficiency hair loss might become permanent if the proper steps to prevent or cure it are not undertaken or there is neglect on the part of the person suffering from this condition.
Taking in Zinc
Zinc “plays a vital part in many bodily processes and functions such as in cell reproduction, hormonal balance, proper absorption of vitamins, and in protein synthesis.” These processes are also needed in having a healthy hair.
Similar to the other vitamin deficiencies, zinc deficiency may also cause hair breakage, hair thinning and hair loss. Lack of zinc will also affect the hair follicles since there is not enough oil secreted by the glands. And when this happens, the hair falls out more than usual because nothing is holding it in place anymore.
The Value of Prevention
As the old adage goes, “Prevention is better than cure.”
Why would you have to go through the trouble of curing something when you could prevent it in the first place? This is the same with vitamin deficiency and hair loss.
Lots of things must be considered in preventing or curing hair loss caused by vitamin deficiency, but one thing is for sure. When you take care of your body, you will not have to go through the pains of having an illness. This means that you have to have a properly balanced diet, exercise daily, eat healthy food and make it a point to take in vitamin-rich food.
And there you have it – the things you should know about vitamin deficiency and hair loss. The relationship between these two is far more complicated, and it will require further research or visit at the doctor’s office.
If you are someone who wants to learn more about hair loss caused by vitamin deficiency, hopefully, this writing helped you in shedding light to the condition. There is nothing wrong with learning more about something, and, sometimes, all it takes is some reading.
Vitamin deficiency and hair loss may be a serious or not-so-serious thing, depending on a person. But it is still better to learn a thing or two about these conditions so as to prevent future problems or cure present ones.