Every morning when you brush your tresses, have your worries been increasing, seeing more and more strands fall off from your scalp? Increasing hair loss requires introspection, so it is time to look at your routine to understand what is causing it. Is it your lifestyle? Is it your food habits? Maybe you are using hot styling tools a bit too much or tying your hair tightly too frequently. If none of these reasons are applicable to you, then perhaps the reason for your hair loss might be the deficiency of vitamin D.
After all, while all the other factors above are noticeable, the deficiency of a vitamin is not exactly something you can figure out immediately. So if you think your hair loss might have something to do with the lack of this vitamin, then read on to know about vitamin D for hair loss, how you can treat hair loss caused due to vitamin D deficiency and more.
- Why is Vitamin D Important?
- Is There A Connection Between Vitamin D And Hair Loss?
- How to Treat Vitamin D-related Hair Loss?
- How to Get Enough Vitamin D for Hair Loss Prevention?
- How to Reduce Hair Loss?
- Frequently Asked Questions:
Why is Vitamin D Important?
An essential nutrient that your body needs, vitamin D is beneficial in several ways. Your body needs vitamin D to absorb calcium and make your bones stronger. It also regulates the immune system and plays a role in cell growth. When it comes to your hair, vitamin D is vital as it helps create new hair follicles, which promotes hair growth. It also helps to make your hair thicker.
Is There A Connection Between Vitamin D And Hair Loss?
While vitamin D is mainly associated with bone health and the immune system, evidence shows it plays a role in hair loss. Yes, research and studies have shown that there is a definite link between vitamin D and hair loss.
Experts have stated that keratinocytes, the skin cells that produce keratin and keep the hair healthy, metabolise vitamin D in the body. However, when there is a lack of vitamin D in the body, the keratinocytes in the hair follicles have trouble facilitating hair growth, thus resulting in hair loss.
Additionally, vitamin D stimulates the growth of new hair follicles. Thus, when the body does not have vitamin D, hair growth may be stunted. In fact, deficiency of vitamin D can also cause alopecia areata, a condition that causes hair to fall out in several small patches. A study proved this as well. It was found that women in the age group of 18-45 who experienced alopecia or other types of hair loss showed low levels of vitamin D in the body.
How to Treat Vitamin D-related Hair Loss?
Before thinking about the treatment, it is crucial to make sure that your hair loss is a result of vitamin D deficiency. For that, visit a dermatologist and get a proper diagnosis, as hair loss can be multifactorial. Getting your vitamin D levels checked, along with an examination of the scalp and iron levels in the body, will help you ensure the cause of your hair loss.
If the vitamin D deficiency is the cause of hair loss, then vitamin D supplements are suggested to the patients as a corrective measure. Supplements come in various forms and can be taken daily, once a week, or once a month. These supplements are to be taken with meals. Increasing foods rich in healthy fats is also suggested, as fats help absorb vitamin D in the body.
Apart from supplements, vitamin D levels can be boosted by focusing on a well-balanced diet. After all, you are what you eat, and if you eat an abundance of hair-boosting vitamins and minerals, most probably, your tresses will show it. For mild deficiencies, spending more time in the sun can also help. However, it is vital to wear sunscreen and avoid prolonged exposure to reduce the risk of skin damage.
How to Get Enough Vitamin D for Hair Loss Prevention?
If you have confirmed with a dermatologist that you are actually deficient in vitamin D, there’s no reason to wait. You can raise your vitamin D levels using the following methods:
1) Spend More Time in The Sun
When you are deficient in vitamin D, the first thing you should do is start spending more time in the sun. When you are indoors all day, you miss out on the vitamin D that you could receive naturally by being in the sun. If you can, take a 15-30 minute walk on a sunny day. Do not slather on more sunblock than required, as it does not allow your skin to absorb the vitamin D from the sun. However, if you cannot stay in the sun for long, try to spend some time near a window in your house where natural and direct sunlight is coming through.
2) Consume Foods Rich in Vitamin D
Including foods in your diet that naturally contain vitamin D can be helpful when your hair loss is caused due to vitamin D. Some foods that are naturally rich in vitamin D include fatty fish and fish liver oil. Fun fact: one tablespoon of cod liver oil provides more than enough of your daily vitamin D requirement. Animal fats are also excellent sources of vitamin D.
Here are some foods rich in Vitamin D for hair loss that you should include:
- Cod liver oil
- Tuna canned in water
- Sardines canned in oil
- Egg yolks
3) Incorporate Vitamin D-Fortified Foods in Your Diet
Vitamin D is not found naturally in a lot of food products; it is present in very few sources. Since it is so limited naturally, you can also eat food products fortified with vitamin D. Here are some fortified foods you can add to your diet:
- Orange juice
- Cow’s milk
How to Reduce Hair Loss?
Apart from using vitamin D for hair loss, you can also take some preventive measures to reduce and prevent hair loss by practising doable and straightforward tips. Here are a few suggestions:
- Prevent hair breakage by avoiding tight hairstyles
- Brush your hair gently, and do not tug at it
- Use a gentle conditioner, preferably one with natural ingredients
- Prevent tangling by tying hair loosely before going to bed
Frequently Asked Questions:
1) What are the signs of low vitamin D?
Vitamin D regulates the immune system, so if you’re getting sick often, it could be a sign of deficiency. Fatigue, bone and back pain, impaired wound healing, hair loss and muscle pain are some of the common signs that indicate lower levels of vitamin D.
2) How can I raise my vitamin D levels quickly?
Raising your vitamin D levels will take time and effort, and it cannot happen quickly. Expose your skin to sunlight from 10 am to 4 pm. Apart from that, consuming foods rich in vitamin D and foods fortified with vitamin D will also help.
3) How long does it take to correct a vitamin D deficiency?
Usually, the time needed for reversing your vitamin D deficiency depends on factors such as its causes, your age, and how low your levels of vitamin D are. Typically, it takes six to eight weeks of treatment.