Television commercials make it seem like the solution to hair fall is just a product away. But, sometimes, even the most expensive hair treatments, fancy products, and unique natural remedies can have no effect on hair fall.
While losing about 100 strands of hair from your scalp every day is normal, anything more can be frustrating and a cause for concern.1 Most experts today look into vitamin deficiencies to treat hair fall, And, while you should consult a professional before opting for any supplements, you could increase the intake of foods high in certain vitamins and minerals to slow down the rate of hair fall. Here are a few that you should know of.
1. B Vitamins
These vitamins play an important role in the metabolism of cells. Most of them can’t be stored by the body and have to be consumed regularly in one’s diet.2
Research indicates that low levels of biotin (B7) causes hair loss. Hence, consuming enough biotin is linked to an improvement in thin, splitting, and weak hair.3 Foods rich in biotin include eggs, whole grains, milk, and meat.
Additionally, studies show that supplementing with vitamin B6 and B2 can improve hair health. Foods rich in the two include meat, cereals, leafy green vegetables, and liver.4
2. Vitamin E
This vitamin isn’t just good for skin health. Vitamin E consists of tocotrienols, a type of antioxidants, that boost scalp health by fighting damage caused by oxidative stress. This, in turn, slows down the rate of hair fall.5
Studies conducted on rats, furthermore, found that topical application of the vitamin reduced hair fall.6 However, it’s important to note that over supplementation of the vitamin could lead to hair loss.7 Hence, it might be best to talk to a professional or consume foods like almond, spinach, sweet potato, and avocado.
3. Vitamin A
Although generally known for its benefits for the eyes and skin, most hair growth products today contain vitamin A. And, although there isn’t enough evidence to back this up, certain studies do state that vitamin A might have a role in the onset of alopecia or hair loss.8
It’s important to note, however, that excessive vitamin A consumption, like vitamin E, can lead to hair loss. Hence, unless you are deficient in the vitamin, it might be a good idea to load up on foods rich in vitamin A like sweet potato, carrots, kale, spinach, and broccoli.9
4. Vitamin D
Statistics indicate that about 70 percent of people in America are deficient in vitamin D.10 And, this vitamin is known for its role in promoting good bone health and immune function.
However, recent research links deficiency in this vitamin with hair loss, particularly in women.11 So, be sure to eat foods like cheese, eggs, fatty fish, and fortified foods to keep up with vitamin D levels in your body.
Zinc is responsible for proper growth and development as well as immune function. Its deficiency is extremely rare, but when it occurs, it leads to hair loss or alopecia, especially in children.12
However, like most other nutrients, it’s important to avoid consuming too much of it, since that might also cause hair loss. Foods rich in this mineral include nuts, oysters, beans, mushrooms, spinach, dark chocolate, and seeds.13
6. Vitamin C
Often used to refer to skin health and immune function, vitamin C is linked to hair health as well. In fact, deficiency in the vitamin might lead to hair loss.14
This could be due to the fact that this vitamin increases the absorption of iron, another important vitamin for hair health. So, be sure to eat foods like green parsley leaves, kale, horseradish, peppers, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, savoy, black currants, strawberries, wild strawberries, kiwi, red currants and citrus fruits.15
Most experts prescribe iron supplements to women who are suffering from hair loss. Studies indicate that deficiency in this nutrient could lead to hair loss in women.
This could be because of a vegetarian diet, history of anemia, or heavy menstrual bleeding. Foods rich in iron include beef, spirulina, liver, lentils, dark chocolate, spinach, sardines, and black beans.16
It’s important to note that with nutrients, you should get a blood test done and not self-diagnose a deficiency. Additionally, talk to a professional before opting for any supplements.
|↑1||Hair Loss. US National Library Of Medicine.|
|↑2||Vitamin B. Victoria State Government.|
|↑3||Vitamin H (Biotin). University Of Maryland Medical Center.|
|↑4||D’Agostini, Francesco, Paolo Fiallo, Tanya M. Pennisi, and Silvio De Flora. “Chemoprevention of smoke-induced alopecia in mice by oral administration of L-cystine and vitamin B6.” Journal of dermatological science 46, no. 3 (2007): 189-198.|
|↑5||Beoy, Lim Ai, Wong Jia Woei, and Yuen Kah Hay. “Effects of tocotrienol supplementation on hair growth in human volunteers.” Tropical life sciences research 21, no. 2 (2010): 91.|
|↑6||KAMIMURA, MITSUO, and NAOKO SASAKI. “Effect of topical application of vitamin E on the hair growth of rabbits.” The Journal of vitaminology 11, no. 1 (1965): 1-8.|
|↑7, ↑9||Guo, Emily L., and Rajani Katta. “Diet and hair loss: effects of nutrient deficiency and supplement use.” Dermatology practical & conceptual 7, no. 1 (2017): 1.|
|↑8, ↑13||Novak, Melinda A., and Jerrold S. Meyer. “Alopecia: possible causes and treatments, particularly in captive nonhuman primates.” Comparative medicine 59, no. 1 (2009): 18-26.|
|↑10||Multiple health concerns surface as winter, vitamin D deficiencies arrive. Oregon State University.|
|↑11||Banihashemi, Mahnaz, Yalda Nahidi, Naser Tayyebi Meibodi, Lida Jarahi, and Mojgan Dolatkhah. “Serum vitamin D3 level in patients with female pattern hair loss.” International journal of trichology 8, no. 3 (2016): 116.|
|↑12||Zinc. Oregon State University.|
|↑14||Love, S. L., and J. J. Pavek. “Positioning the potato as a primary food source of vitamin C.” American Journal of Potato Research 85, no. 4 (2008): 277-285.|
|↑15||Goluch-Koniuszy, Zuzanna Sabina. “Nutrition of women with hair loss problem during the period of menopause.” Przeglad menopauzalny= Menopause review 15, no. 1 (2016): 56.|
|↑16||Treating female pattern hair loss. Harvard Health Publishing.|