Written by Adam Heger, Mercer University College of Pharmacy Student Pharmacist, Class of 2021
Hair loss is a common problem that may improve with supplementation of micronutrients, often referred to as vitamins and minerals. Micronutrients are essential for normal cell growth and function. Micronutrient deficiencies can hinder healthy development, disease prevention, and overall wellbeing. But what many do not know is that deficiency of certain vitamins and minerals may contribute to hair loss.
Vitamins, Minerals, and Healthy Hair
Iron: When the body does not have enough iron, it cannot produce hemoglobin in the blood. Hemoglobin carries oxygen for the growth and repair of cells in the body, including the cells that stimulate hair growth. With treatment, iron deficiency and hair loss may be reversed.
Zinc: Zinc plays an important role in hair tissue growth and repair. It also helps keep the oil glands around the follicles working properly. Hair loss is a common symptom of zinc deficiency.
Fatty Acids: Consuming omega fatty acids can help improve hair from the inside since they are filled with nutrients and proteins. Taking an omega supplement along with antioxidants helps to improve hair density and diameter. It also reduces hair loss.
Niacin: Niacin improves blood circulation and brings oxygen and nutrients to the hair follicle. Poor blood circulation may contribute to hair thinning and loss. Niacin aids in faster and thicker hair growth by improving blood circulation to the scalp.
Vitamin D: Vitamin D is an essential nutrient that boosts immunity, keeps bones strong and skin healthy, stimulates cell growth, and helps create new hair follicles. Vitamin D is primarily absorbed through sun exposure, but dietary supplements and certain foods may improve vitamin D intake.
Selenium: Selenium kills dandruff-causing fungus and is required to produce the thyroid hormones that help to regulate hair growth.
Vitamin E: A small trial from 2010 found that vitamin E supplements improved hair growth in people with hair loss. It is thought that the vitamin’s antioxidant properties helped reduce oxidative stress in the scalp. Oxidative stress has been linked with hair loss.
Vitamin A: Sebum moisturizes the scalp and helps keep hair healthy. Diets deficient in vitamin A may lead to several problems, including hair loss. While it is important to get enough vitamin A, too much may be dangerous. Studies show that an overdose of vitamin A can also contribute to hair loss.
Biotin: Biotin, also known as vitamin B7, stimulates keratin production in hair and may increase the rate of follicle growth. · Folic acid – Folic acid is primarily responsible for healthy cell growth. These cells include those found in skin, hair, and nails. Folic acid also helps keep red blood cells healthy, which will also promote healthy hair.
Antioxidants: Antioxidants may improve hair growth by maintaining the collagen in the body and the connective tissues of hair follicles. It also protects the scalp cells in the blood vessels to promote healthy hair growth.
Amino Acids: Cystine is a non-essential amino acid that helps stimulate hair regrowth and fight hair loss. Cystine is formed in our body by the disulfide bonding of two cysteine molecules. This dual binding of amino acids provides strength to the hair.
Statements made on this website have not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Information provided by this website or this company is not a substitute for individual medical advice.
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- Njfue.com. 2021. What nutrient deficiencies generally cause hair loss?. [online] Available at: <https://www.njfue.com/blog/what-nutrient-deficiencies-cause-hair-loss> [Accessed 9 March 2021].
- Almohanna HM, Ahmed AA, Tsatalis JP, Tosti A. The Role of Vitamins and Minerals in Hair Loss: A Review. Dermatol Ther (Heidelb). 2019;9(1):51-70. doi:10.1007/s13555-018-0278-6
- Healthline.com. 2021. Healthline: Medical information and health advice you can trust.. [online] Available at: <https://www.healthline.com/> [Accessed 9 March 2021].
- WebMD – Better information. Better health.. [online] WebMD. Available at: <https://www.webmd.com/> [Accessed 9 March 2021].