Vitamin deficiency and hair loss

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Hair loss is a commonly prevalent challenge among many people without age discrimination. Hair loss can affect a person’s self-esteem. It can take a toll on a person’s appearance.  

When we find a person experiencing hair loss, then there exist various causes for it, out of which the most prominent reason would be vitamin deficiencies.  

Our body requires various nutrients to function healthily. If such vitamins and nutrients are deprived, overall health can take a toll.  

What deficiency can cause hair loss?

Some of the vitamins or minerals directly linked to hair loss are as follows.  


Our body requires adequate iron to create haemoglobin that will help carry the oxygen to the cells. When the body doesn’t have enough iron, it leads to iron deficiency. Iron deficiency is believed to cause hair loss.


Zinc holds an essential role in the growth and repair of hair tissues. It helps the body keep the oil glands around the follicles working properly. Being a trace element, zinc is not produced in the body and can be acquired through dietary sources or supplements.

Vitamin B7

Vitamin B7 is also called biotin, which is known for its skin and hair-enhancing properties. Biotin is found in various food. It usually is uncommon for people to have a Biotin deficiency. In rare cases when a person has this deficiency, the side effects include hair loss.  

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is responsible for keeping the immune system working efficiently, improving vision, skin health, teeth, kidneys, bones, lungs and the reproductive system. Excess or deficient vitamin A in the body can cause hair fall.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D will help the body stimulate hair follicles and maintain the thickness of the hair strands.  

Our body cannot produce vitamin D. It must be acquired through dietary sources or supplements. This vitamin is also called the sunshine vitamin because when the body is exposed to sunshine, it produces vitamin D.

Vitamin F

Vitamin F is primarily made of fatty acids called omega-3 and omega-6. This vitamin can protect against the damage which is caused by ultraviolet rays and also the air pollutants.  

Vitamin F can help fight against inflammation and enhance heart health. Even though this vitamin deficiency is quite rare yet found in a person, it can lead to problems like dry skin, hair loss and other issues.  

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect the skin from free radical cell damage. It is a natural occurrence in various food sources. Different products are sold in the commercial market or enriched with vitamin E due to their hair and skin-friendly properties.  

Deficiency in such vitamins can cause hair loss. Any person can make changes in their diet to ensure that the body has its requirement made to function at its best.  

Consuming enough vitamins, minerals and dietary fat will help the body function smoothly.  

What are good sources of dietary fat?

 good sources of dietary fat

Some excellent sources of dietary fat include eggs, avocados, chia seeds, fish like salmon, sardines, nuts and cheese.  

Including these foods in the diet can enhance overall health and benefit the body.  

Deficiency and its side effects

Consuming a well-balanced or nutritious diet has numerous benefits for the body. On the other hand, if a person’s diet lacks nutrients, it can cause various unpleasant symptoms.  

This is how the body will tell that it is deficient in particular vitamins or minerals. It is imperative to recognize those symptoms and adjust the diet to improve health.  

Some of the most commonly exhibited symptoms of vitamin deficiency are as follows:  

Hair loss

Hair loss is a very classic symptom of vitamin deficiency. In order to prevent or slow down hair loss, it is essential to include iron, zinc and biotin in the diet.  

Food like meat, fish, dark leafy vegetables, legumes, seeds, nuts and whole grains provide adequate iron and zinc to the body.  

Frequent mood changes

Our diet and the way we feel have a direct relationship. Food plays an essential role in improving a person’s mood. If a person does not consume enough calories, they may feel grumpy or irritated frequently.  

When the body is deprived of a few vitamins or minerals, it can cause episodes of mood swings and also lead to depression in a person.  


The bone plays an integral part in the skeletal system. Bones keep a person in shape. Having good bone health is extremely important. When a person has an improper diet, it can lead to loss of bone density which is caused by bone erosion.  

Consuming food like milk and other dairy products, dark leafy vegetables, eggs and other lean sources of protein, including red meat, can help with bone health.  

Usually, the symptoms take several months to set. However, if the deficiency worsens, the body may also exhibit other symptoms like

It is sufficient to receive the various essential vitamins required by the body through dietary sources. In rare cases, there might be a need for supplements.  

The food and drug administration does not have a fixed recommended daily allowance for various vitamins like biotin. Yet, some research groups make a few estimates that recommend 30 micrograms per day.

Several supplements available in the market claim to stop or slow down hair loss, yet their effectiveness is questioned. It is always recommended to get nutrients from whole foods with the help of many vitamin or mineral supplements.  

It is also recommended to consult a medical professional for personalised advice.  

How do we treat hair loss?

How do we treat hair loss

Various research suggests that a person lacking vitamin D can lead to hair loss. One of the standard ways to treat her loss is to take vitamin D supplements.  

These supplements can be taken with meals to get easily absorbed by the body.

Supplements are available in various forms. When the deficiency is severe, supplements are required. However, for mild deficiencies, it would be more than sufficient when a person spends sometime in the sun and makes dietary changes.  

For any person, the first defence combating hair loss caused by a vitamin deficiency is to spend at least 30 minutes outside per day in the sun and consume food rich in vitamins.  

Supplementary must be a secondary option if they are not able to fulfil their daily intake goals.  

It is also important to remember that brittle hair requires gentle treatment. A person should avoid further breakage by not pulling their hair while brushing, avoiding tight hairstyles, including ponytails using a natural and gentle conditioner and putting a long hair loose to prevent tangling.  

To sum up

Vitamin deficiency can affect a person’s overall health, including hair growth. Consuming vitamins through good dietary sources or supplements under medical guidance is necessary to help the body recover from the deficiency.  

A doctor can personalise plans and check for various vitamin deficiencies with the help of a blood test. Periodical blood tests would be performed by a doctor to know the health status of a person.  

Based on those results, a doctor would recommend dietary changes and supplements and may ask a person to spend more time outdoors to combat hair falls caused by vitamin deficiency.


Can low B12 cause hair loss?  

When the blood level drops below 300mg per litre, it indicates low vitamin B12 can make a person exhibit symptoms like hair loss, breathlessness, bleeding gums and energy palpitation problems.

Does vitamin E stop hair loss?

Vitamin E contains antioxidant properties that fight against oxidative stress damage that can cause hair falls.  

Does B12 increase hair growth?  

Vitamin B12 promotes healthy hair by assisting the production of oxygen-rich red blood cells in the body that the hair follicles feed upon.

Can zinc deficiency cause hair loss?

Like iron deficiency, zinc deficiency can also cause hair loss and damage to the remaining hair, which causes breakage.  


The Information including but not limited to text, graphics, images and other material contained on this blog are intended for education and awareness only. No material on this blog is intended to be a substitute for professional medical help including diagnosis or treatment. It is always advisable to consult medical professional before relying on the content. Neither the Author nor Star Health and Allied Insurance Co. Ltd accepts any responsibility for any potential risk to any visitor/reader.

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