Scientists understand micronutrients including vitamins and minerals play a critical role in the hair follicle growth cycle.
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Find Out Which Vitamin Deficiency Causes Hair Loss
The scalp may have roughly 100,000 hair follicles that need to be supported with vitamins and minerals and they’re building blocks including proteins. Micronutrients, such as vitamins and minerals, are therefore essential for maintaining hair health.
The Hair Follicle Cycle
The hair follicle cycle consists of three stages: anagen, catagen, and telogen. The anagen stage is when hairs are actively growing, the catagen stage is when they are transitioning, and the telogen stage is when they are resting.
The hair root divides rapidly in the anagen stage, adding to the hair shaft. Every 28 days, the hair grows roughly 1 centimeter. The follicle enters the catagen stage at the end of the anagen phase.
The catagen stage is a short transition period during which the hair follicle in contact with the bottom section of the hair becomes attached to the hair shaft, resulting in the formation of a club hair. The hair follicle enters the telogen stage when a club hair is fully formed.
Telogen is the resting stage, during which old hair rests, and new hair begins to grow (anagen). During telogen, the resting hair remains in the follicle until it is forced out by the formation of a new anagen hair.
What Is Hair Loss?
Hairs are shed and replaced naturally every day on all our scalps – around a hundred hairs per day. However, if you lose around 100 hairs per day and natural hair growth can’t make up for the lost hair, you will begin to notice thinning hair and eventually, possibly significant hair loss. In medical terms, hair loss is known as alopecia.
Hair loss is not uncommon. Androgenetic alopecia, the most common type of hair loss, affects around 40% of women over 70 years of age. On the other hand, the most common cause of baldness among older people is hereditary hair loss.
Hair loss can come in a variety of forms. It might be in the form of thinning or a complete hair loss. It can come on gradually or suddenly, and it can affect anyone regardless of age. Hair loss usually occurs among people in their 20s and 30s. However, it is most evident in women after menopause.
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What Are Symptoms of Hair Loss?
There are a variety of symptoms associated with hair loss. Depending on the cause, hair loss symptoms might vary. It can affect the entire body or just the scalp.
Symptoms of hair loss might include:
- Thinning on the scalp
- Round or patchy bald spots
- Abrupt loosening of hair
- Hair loss all over the body
- Scaling patches throughout the scalp
Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies That Cause Hair Loss
According to a review about the role of vitamins and minerals in hair loss, researchers have found that vitamins and minerals have a considerable impact on non-scarring alopecia. But, which vitamins deficiencies cause hair loss?
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
There are eight water-soluble vitamin substances in the vitamin B complex, two of which are riboflavin (B2) and biotin (B7).
Riboflavin deficiency can cause hair loss. The liver, heart, and kidneys are the only organs in the body where riboflavin is stored in small amounts but supplements are available to boost riboflavin.
Vitamin B7 (Biotin)
The majority of dietary biotin comes from protein. Dietary protein must turn into free biotin before it can remain in the small intestine and liver.
A review showed that in 10 out of 18 reported cases of patients using biotin on hair, there was a hereditary cause of biotin deficiency. The remaining eight patients with alopecia improved after taking biotin supplementation. These 18 individuals all had underlying causes of biotin deficiency. They demonstrated clinical improvement after taking a biotin supplement in a variable time.
In research that looked at serum biotin levels in 541 women suffering hair loss, biotin levels appeared low in 38% of the participants. About 11% of patients with biotin deficiency reported a positive personal history of biotin deficiency risk factors.
Biotin helps to make healthy hair and nails and a deficiency of it has been linked to hair loss. Biotin supplements help by raising available biotin and strengthening nails and hair.
A systematic review and meta-analysis involving 1,255 patients with alopecia areata and 784 control patients without alopecia areata showed that vitamin D deficiency was prevalent in patients with alopecia areata.
A rare case report involving a 4-year-old boy with vitamin D-dependent rickets type II showed that the patient had total scalp and body alopecia, possibly pointing to the importance of vitamin D to the hair follicle.
According to the researchers, vitamin D supplements or topical vitamin D analogs should also be considered for individuals with alopecia areata and vitamin D deficiency.
Iron deficiency, as the most common nutritional deficiency, might contribute to hair loss.
Several studies have examined the connection between hair loss and iron deficiency. The majority of these studies focused on women with non-scarring alopecia. Results showed that iron deficiency is linked to telogen effluvium, alopecia areata, and androgenetic alopecia.
Zinc deficiency can develop in people who don’t get enough meat, and newborns who use milk formula. Other zinc deficiency causes might include inflammatory bowel disease, excessive alcohol consumption, burns, infection, and pregnancy.
A review on zinc in patients with alopecia areata demonstrated that four studies reported low zinc levels in patients with alopecia areata compared to healthy control groups. One of the studies showed a strong connection between zinc deficiency and hair loss. Another study discovered a link between zinc deficiency and the severity and chronicity of alopecia areata.
Alopecia might be an indicator of zinc deficiency. A case report involving a 4-year-old girl with diffuse patchy alopecia showed that low serum zinc levels were found repeatedly and began to improve after three weeks of using zinc supplements.
Treating Hair Loss Due to Vitamin Deficiency
Because various nutrient deficiencies can cause hair loss, it’s crucial to identify the patient’s deficiencies by reviewing history and performing a physical exam. Genetic abnormalities, medical conditions, and dietary practices can all cause nutrient deficiencies. Such deficiencies, once identified, should be corrected.
Supplements can come into use in conjunction with correcting nutrient deficiencies. Peak Human’s Duo Hair Serum is a promising supplement that helps prevent hair loss.
By combining GHK-Cu and Zn-thymulin, duo cosmetics can help extend the life of hair follicles and minimize hair loss caused by zinc deficiency.
So those are the vitamin deficiencies that can cause hair loss. Hair loss is a typical occurrence that has a negative psychological and emotional impact on individuals. Some micronutrient deficiencies might be a factor in the development of hair loss. It’s worth noting that a person should start using supplements only after doctor consultation.
If you have questions about which vitamin deficiency causes hair loss or any health problems discussed here, connect with us and learn more.
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