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Which Nutrient Deficiency Causes Hair Loss? Everything You Need To Know

Which Nutrient Deficiency Causes Hair Loss? Everything You Need To Know

Which Nutrient Deficiency Causes Hair Loss? Everything You Need To Know

Hair loss is a common concern for many individuals, affecting both men and women alike. While genetics, hormonal changes, and certain medical conditions can contribute to hair loss, there is one often overlooked factor, and that is nutrient deficiency.

Among the various essential nutrients our bodies require, some of them play a crucial role in maintaining healthy hair growth. In this article, we will delve into which nutrient deficiency will cause hair loss and explore everything you need to know about maintaining healthy locks through proper nutrition. You might also be interested in reading our article about the connection between oily scalp and hair loss.

Understanding Hair Growth and Nutritional Needs

Before delving into specific nutrient deficiencies, it’s essential to understand the basics of hair growth and the nutrients necessary for maintaining healthy hair follicles. Hair growth occurs in cycles, with each strand of hair going through stages of growth, rest, and shedding. Several key nutrients support this process, including vitamins, minerals, proteins, and fatty acids.

Now, let’s delve into how the lack of each of these nutrients can contribute to hair loss.

1. Vitamin D

Deficiency in vitamin D can disrupt the hair follicle cycle, potentially leading to hair thinning and shedding. Vitamin D receptors in hair follicles suggest its role in regulating hair growth. Insufficient vitamin D levels may hinder the activation of hair follicles, resulting in reduced hair density and increased hair loss.

How you can fix the issue

Increase sun exposure ( Recommend the sun in the morning as afternoon tends to have high UV ) or consume vitamin D-rich foods such as fatty fish, fortified dairy products, and fortified cereals. Additionally, vitamin D supplements may be recommended under medical supervision to correct deficiencies.

2. Vitamin C

Vitamin C is vital for collagen synthesis, which provides structure to hair strands. Inadequate vitamin C levels can lead to weakened hair shafts, making them more prone to breakage and contributing to hair loss. Additionally, vitamin C’s antioxidant properties protect hair follicles from oxidative stress, promoting overall hair health.

How you can fix the issue

Incorporate vitamin C-rich foods into your diet, including citrus fruits, strawberries, kiwi, bell peppers, and broccoli. Consider taking vitamin C supplements if dietary intake is insufficient.

3. Vitamin E

Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant, safeguarding hair follicles from damage caused by free radicals. Without sufficient vitamin E, oxidative stress may impair hair follicle function, leading to weakened hair growth and increased hair loss. Additionally, vitamin E promotes and improves blood circulation to the scalp that ensures essential nutrients reach the hair follicles.

How you can fix the issue

Include vitamin E-rich foods such as nuts, seeds, vegetable oils, and leafy greens in your diet. Additionally, vitamin E supplements may be beneficial. However, you should consult with a doctor or healthcare professional before starting taking the supplements.

4. Iron/Ferritin

Iron is crucial for transporting oxygen to cells, including those in the scalp and hair follicles. Iron deficiency can lead to anaemia, resulting in reduced oxygen delivery to the hair follicles. This can disrupt the hair growth cycle, leading to hair thinning and increased shedding. Monitoring ferritin levels, a marker of iron stores is essential for assessing the risk of iron-related hair loss.

How you can fix the issue

Consume foods that are rich in irons such as red meat, poultry, fish, lentils, beans, and fortified cereals. In addition, Iron supplements may be necessary under medical supervision to correct iron deficiency anaemia.

5. Zinc

Zinc is involved in various cellular processes, including DNA and protein synthesis, essential for healthy hair growth. Zinc deficiency can disrupt hair follicle function, leading to hair thinning and shedding. Additionally, zinc plays a role in regulating sebum production, and its deficiency may contribute to scalp conditions that exacerbate hair loss.

How you can fix the issue

Include zinc-rich foods such as oysters, beef, lamb, poultry, seafood such as crab and lobster, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, fortified cereals and more in your diet. Consider zinc supplements if dietary intake is inadequate. You should also be aware that taking too much Zinc supplement will also have side effects.

6. Selenium

Selenium is an essential mineral with antioxidant properties that protect hair follicles from oxidative damage. Inadequate selenium levels may weaken hair follicles, leading to increased hair fragility and loss. Selenium deficiency has also been associated with dandruff and scalp irritation, which can further exacerbate hair loss.

How you can fix the issue

Consume selenium-rich foods such as Brazil nuts, seafood, eggs, sunflower seeds, and enriched food. Selenium supplementation may be necessary in cases of deficiency. However you must consult with a healthcare professional for proper guidance.

7. Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)

Riboflavin is involved in energy metabolism and cell growth, including the cells of the hair follicles. Riboflavin deficiency can impair hair follicle function, leading to decreased hair growth and increased hair loss. Ensuring adequate riboflavin intake is crucial for maintaining healthy hair.

How you can fix the issue
Incorporate riboflavin-rich foods such as dairy products, lean meats, eggs, leafy greens, and fortified cereals into your diet. Consider riboflavin supplements if dietary intake is insufficient.

8. Biotin (Vitamin B7)

Biotin is essential for the synthesis of keratin, a protein that forms the structure of hair strands. Insufficient biotin levels can lead to brittle hair that is prone to breakage and increased hair shedding. Biotin deficiency is often associated with hair thinning and may contribute to overall hair loss.

How you can fix the issue

Consume biotin-rich foods such as eggs, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and avocado. Biotin supplements may be beneficial, particularly for individuals with known deficiencies.

9. Folic Acid/Vitamin B12

Folic acid and vitamin B12 are involved in red blood cell production and oxygen transport, crucial for maintaining a healthy scalp and hair follicles. Deficiency in these vitamins can lead to anaemia, resulting in reduced oxygen delivery to the hair follicles and subsequent hair loss. Additionally, folic acid and vitamin B12 deficiency may disrupt cell division in the hair follicles, impairing hair growth.

How you can fix the issue

Consume foods rich in folic acid and vitamin B12, including leafy greens, legumes, animal products, fortified cereals, and nutritional yeast. Vitamin B12 supplements may be necessary, especially for individuals following vegetarian or vegan diets.

10. Vitamin A

Vitamin A plays a role in sebum production, which moisturises the scalp and keeps hair follicles healthy. However, excessive vitamin A intake or deficiency can disrupt sebum production, leading to scalp dryness, inflammation, and potential hair loss. Maintaining optimal vitamin A levels is essential for supporting healthy hair follicle function.

How you can fix the issue

Consume vitamin A-rich foods such as sweet potatoes, carrots, spinach, kale, liver, and dairy products. Avoid excessive intake of vitamin A supplements, as it can have adverse effects.

Conclusion

Nutrient deficiencies can significantly impact hair health and contribute to hair loss. By ensuring an adequate intake of essential vitamins, minerals, proteins, and other nutrients through a balanced diet and, if necessary, supplementation, individuals can support optimal hair growth and minimise the risk of hair loss. Consulting a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and guidance is essential for addressing underlying nutrient deficiencies and promoting overall hair health.

Looking for expert advice on how to address your hair concerns? Visit Gui Ren Tang, where our skilled professionals can provide personalised guidance and treatments to help you achieve healthy, vibrant hair. Contact us here today!

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