The Role of Vitamins and Minerals in Hair Loss
Vitamins and minerals are essential for the overall functioning of the body system. Some minerals and vitamins help repair tissues, and others help cell regeneration. Human hair is a vital component of the body system that greatly affects the physical outlook of an individual.
Hair loss is an issue that about 30% of people face; therefore, it has become a health challenge for many people. Many have resorted to various hair care routines, including taking vitamin and mineral supplements to solve the issue of hair loss.
The type of nutrients and minerals we consume in the form of food and supplements have a far-reaching impact on hair loss. Therefore, this post highlights the vitamins and minerals that matter in the growth and development of human hair. Some of these nutrients can be found naturally in our food, while others have to be taken in as supplements.
Before we delve into the necessary vitamins and minerals for hair loss, let us look at some of the causes.
Causes of Hair Loss
- Nutrient deficiency:
Nutrients are very important for the functioning of our body, and hair is not an exception. Deficiency in nutrients such as Iron, Zinc, and Vitamin D can lead to hair loss.
No matter the amount of balanced diet or hair care routine you undertake, hair loss is bound to manifest at a certain age because hair loss is a normal part of the aging process.
The gene for male and female pattern hair loss is carried by more than 50 percent of the population of people suffering from hair loss.
- Health issues:
Ailments such as thyroid and anemia can negatively impact hair health, growth, and development.
Vitamin Deficiency that Causes Hair Loss
1. Vitamin E
Vitamin E is a vital hair vitamin found in many hair care products. Vitamin E contains antioxidants that stop hair damage and help protect the body's cells.
Vitamin E has for centuries served as a beauty product used in the treatment of skin-related ailments, making the hair fresher and stopping inflammations.
However, besides skincare, vitamins have also been hailed as a vital nutrient essential for treating hair-related problems such as loss of hair, frizziness, and breakage.
Vitamin E is a stimulant to promote hair growth and make the hair shinier.
Per a 2010 research, Vitamin E has been hailed as a miracle hair care product. Its absence in the hair will amount to hair loss and increase oxidative stress on the hair scalp. The various advantages of Vitamin E are outlined below:
Benefits of Vitamin E In Curing Hair Loss
- Promotes healthy hair scalp: Vitamin E is beneficial for both the skin and the hair scalp. The action of Vitamin E on your scalp means that your hair will grow on a healthy and strong foundation.
- Helps normalize the scalp oil level: The deficiencies of Vitamin E on the skin can lead to oxidative stress, which will, in turn, lead to dryer hair. Vitamin E acts to create a balance by normalizing the oil level on the hair scalp. The best form of Vitamin E source for this type of treatment is Avocado oil.
- Makes the hair shiny: removing the fat layer under the hair cuticle can make the hair lose its luster and shine. Vitamin E can help restore the hair's shine and stop hair damage and breakage.
Finally, although Vitamin E is an almighty vitamin that is very important to hair growth, it must be applied with caution and in consultation with experts. As a safety measure, it is advised that you dilute topical vitamin E first before usage to avoid reactions and damage to your hair.
2. Amino acids
Amino acids are the building blocks of body proteins, and proteins are important for body development and hair growth. Protein deficiencies in the hair can lead to breakage and hair loss issues.
When you consume food substances or supplements containing protein, the digestive system breaks them down into smaller pieces known as amino acids, which help regenerate lost tissues, including those in your hair or scalp.
Amino acids help develop and maintain vital body components such as the muscles and tissues. The hair is not an exception. To sum it all up, amino acids are the foundations and building blocks of the human body and everything that accompanies it, including the hair.
Popular examples of amino acids that are important for hair growth include Cysteine, Methionine, and Lysine. The most important amongst them is Cysteine. Cysteine helps to stimulate hair growth, protects the hair from oxidants, and helps protect the hair from the sun's harmful radiations.
Most of the food we eat contains Biotin. Biotin helps convert the food we consume into energy and helps produce keratin found in nails, skin, and hair. Although biotin deficiency is very rare since it is found in about 90% of the food eaten, its deficiency can lead to hair thinning, rashes, breakage of nails, and hair loss.
4. Omega 3
Omega is a fatty acid compound or group of nutrients found in fish and plant oils. Omega 3 is very important in treating various bodily ailments such as heart disease, stroke, eye diseases, etc.
Although the evidence to support the efficacy of using Omega 3 fatty acids for hair treatment is still a subject of research, the limited information available suggests that Omega 3 helps in reducing hair thinning, improving hair thickness, and reducing female pattern hair loss.
5. Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is a vital component of the B-complex vitamins. Its deficiency in the body can lead to several hair loss issues. The major component of Vitamin b12 is cobalt- an essential nutrient found in dairy foods and eggs, helpful for red blood cell synthesis.
Most issues associated with B12 deficiency are not due to its absence but rather due to the inability of the body to absorb it.
Vitamin B12 helps increase hair growth rate by helping the hair follicles generate oxygen-rich blood cells. When there is a B12 deficiency, the hair follicle may not be able to grow new hair, which may then accelerate the rate of male pattern baldness.
Iron deficiency is one of the most common deficiencies people face and can affect anyone regardless of age or gender.
Its absence is one of the most common causes of male pattern baldness. Iron is a vital component of the whole body system because it helps produce hemoglobin. Hemoglobin helps to renew dead cells, including those of your hair.
The evidence supporting the importance of Iron in hair care is very strong and has received wide acceptance amongst the research community. One of the most popular studies that support the efficacy of Iron in hair care is the one carried out by the Korean Journal of Medical Science. The research concluded that Iron is vital in treating hair loss and helps prevent baldness regardless of gender.
Selenium is a vital nutrient that also serves as an antioxidant that helps in regulating body metabolism, among other benefits. Aside from regulating body metabolism, Selenium is also helpful in promoting hair growth. Selenium deficiency will automatically lead to issues such as hair loss, hair thinning, baldness, etc.
Many enzymes in the body rely on Selenium to perform their metabolic functions. However, in some cases, these enzymes cause damage to the hair and cells. Selenium produces the Thyroid hormone, which helps regulate hair thinning and baldness.
Aside from helping fight harmful radicals, Selenium is also helpful in generating body antioxidants like Vitamin C, which are essential for hair generation and regeneration. Some of the popular food sources of Selenium include; Whole grains, nuts, garlic, beef, eggs, beans, and spinach.
An average human needs at least 60 mcg of Selenium per day, and pregnant women may even need a higher quantity.
The downside about Selenium is that it can also worsen the issue it is trying to solve when it is applied excessively, causing toxicity.
8. Vitamin A
Vitamin A deficiency can cause hair thinning, makes your hair lackluster, and cause breakage. Suppose you are suffering from any of those issues, it is time to check your diet and make sure you are consuming enough vitamin A.
Some of the most common sources of Vitamin include; Eggs, Potato, Watermelon, and Mango. Vitamin A produces Sebum on the hair scalp, nourishing and boosting hair growth.
9. Vitamin D
The research community overwhelmingly accepts that the lack of vitamin D can cause hair loss. Vitamin D helps to regenerate and stimulate hair follicles, and its absence can cause a stunted hair growth cycle.
Alopecia – a popular hair ailment, is one of the results of Vitamin D deficiency. Alopecia is a condition that causes baldness, and it can happen to anyone regardless of gender or age.
The deficiency of Vitamin D is mostly due to excessive indoor living and lack of exposure to the sun because the sun is the major source of vitamin D for most people.
Besides the sun, vitamin D can also be sourced from foods and supplements. Some popular sources of Vitamin D include Fish, Lean meats, milk, and oranges.
The benefits of Vitamin D for hair include:
- Helps in regenerating hair follicles.
- Vitamin D helps to prevent male-patterned baldness or alopecia.
- It can help to prevent hair shedding.
- Vitamin D helps to restore hair growth and reduce thinning of the hair.
Niacin or Vitamin B3 is a member of the B-complex and an important nutrient used to treat several health issues. Recent research suggests its efficacy in the treatment of hair loss.
Niacin helps in hair loss in the following ways;
- It improves hair circulation to the scalp:
One of the major causes of hair loss and baldness is the absence of blood circulation to some areas or spots on the scalp. Niacin helps improve hair circulation into the scalp by dilating the blood vessels and reducing blood thickness.
- Heals scalp inflammation:
Inflammation and alopecia can impede hair growth leading to hair thinning. Niacin acts by reducing the reactivity of the C-reactive protein, solving inflammations and alopecia issues.
- Niacin helps regenerate Keratin:
Niacin's keratin-inducing effect is one of its most important uses in treating hair loss. Niacin helps induce keratin, reduce water loss, and improve the hair's moisture level.
Zinc is another very important nutrient that helps treat hair loss. Zinc acts by repairing hair tissues and helps ensure that the oily glands that supply the hair follicle work well. A zinc deficiency is responsible for hair issues such as; hair thinning, hair breaking, and frizziness.
Zinc is also important for DNA and RNA formations which helps in cell division. It also helps treat irritations and wounds and improves the body's immunity against hair-related diseases.
12. Copper Peptide
Copper peptides help treat hair loss by stopping the dihydrotestosterone hormone (DHT), one of the main culprits of hair loss. DHTs are one of the major causes of male hair loss. Therefore, copper deficiency leads to hair loss, thinning, and baldness.
Aside from stopping the DHT, copper peptides also help enlarge hair follicles and stop the death of hair follicles. Copper peptides will improve your hair outlook by blocking DHT, stopping baldness, and making your hair thicker.
13. Folic acid
Folic acid is an essential vitamin cell development in the skin tissues and the nails and hair. It also aids in the health of red blood cells. Some of the most popular sources of folic acid include legumes, eggs, citrus fruits, beef liver, and leafy greens.
While the importance of vitamins in the treatment of hair loss is still a subject of research interest, nutrients and minerals are generally important for our body system's overall functioning.
In taking vitamins for hair loss, we must take caution to avoid excess dosage, especially for selenium and Vitamin E.
For those nutrients which need to be taken as supplements, it is advised that medical experts are first consulted for guidance.
Finally, a major percentage of the nutrients discussed in this post can be found naturally in our food. Therefore, eating a well-balanced diet is very helpful in avoiding deficiencies.
One of the easiest ways to make sure you're getting all the nutrients your hair needs is to take a multi-vitamin specifically formulated for healthy hair, like HAIRFINITY Healthy Hair Vitamins or Candilocks Chewable Hair Vitamins. Just two of these vitamins a day will help your hair grow longer, stronger and healthier!