Does Vitamin D Deficiency Cause Hair Loss?
Can vitamin D deficiency cause hair loss? When we think about hair loss, most people imagine balding men, aging men, or someone unfortunate enough to require chemotherapy. Contrary to popular opinion, hair loss affects everyone, with several diseases even affecting women! Today, we talk about one of these illnesses, how it affects your body, and—most importantly—how it affects hair loss. Of course, I mean vitamin D deficiency! The causes, symptoms, treatment options, and potential hair regrowth all start by understanding more about how vitamin D functions in our body.
While we aren’t doctors, all of the details here come from reputable sources cited at the bottom of this page. Feel free to do your own research, but this article collects a lot of information for you and saves you tons of time! On top of that, everything we discuss involves legal and over-the-counter medications that help everyone with hair loss—including women. With the amount of required indoor activities and jobs rising every year, vitamin d deficiency constitutes a serious threat to anyone who wants a full head of hair, healthy skin, and a comfortable life. Read on for more on how to mitigate the effects of vitamin D deficiency and completely eliminate it in most situations!
Vitamin D Deficiency and Hair Loss
Before we step into the causes for hair loss, we first need to look at the role vitamin D plays in healthy hair and a healthy body. First of all, it helps your intestine absorb calcium, magnesium, phosphate, and a lot of other vitamins. All of them play essential roles in your body, but calcium largely affects your bones and—you guessed it—your hair. Calcium and phosphate activate a compound called Calcitrol that helps regulate the nutrients of your body, build your bones, control inflammation, and keep your immune system in check. Very few foods contain natural Vitamin D. The small list includes salmon, sardines, egg yolk, and shrimp. Some fortified breakfast foods, such as orange juice, yogurt, milk, and cereal contain vitamin D as well.
For most people, the amount of vitamin D in their food hardly covers their daily needs. On top of that, the sun helps synthesize vitamin D in your body, and a modern woman hardly has time to spend at the beach when she’s working. These factors combined create a perfect storm of vitamin D deficiency for people of all ages. But how do you combat such a prevalent illness? By understanding how it impacts our body, learning how to recognize the deficiency symptoms, and aiming to treat the illness before it causes long term effects.
Vitamin D Deficiency Causes for Hair Loss
In childhood, doctors refer to vitamin D deficiency as rickets. It inhibits bone growth and causes the bones to distort. Since bones are made of calcium, it follows that other calcium-requiring compounds will also fail to develop correctly. However, taking extra calcium does little to improve your condition when your body has no vitamin D to manage it. That’s why vitamin D plays such an important role in your hair’s growth. The amount of calcium in your blood helps your body create the foundation of your hair, which we call keratin. No matter your gender, a vitamin D deficiency puts you at severe risk for disease, depression, and hair loss.
However, despite what I just said, one form of vitamin D deficiency strikes women more often than men. In fact, this type only affects women. I mean, of course, when a woman goes through a pregnancy! All sorts of hazardous side effects occur when your body goes through a vitamin D imbalance. Splitting the vitamins with your child causes deficiencies across the board, but too little vitamin D gives you a risk of pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes, an underweight child, and—of course—hair loss. For more information on the role of vitamins in hair loss, check our dedicated page on the matter.
So, to you women out there experiencing hair loss—now you know why! It affects more women than you think, and although it seems hopeless, recognizing your deficiency and learning to manage it may lead to a complete reversal! So, let’s learn how to spot the symptoms next.
Vitamin D Deficiency Symptoms in Adults
Since vitamin D functions like a hormone, rather than a normal vitamin, it affects a huge amount of things in your body. At the same time, this broad range of symptoms makes it hard to spot. If you experience more than one of these symptoms, eat few foods with vitamin D, and stay outside of the sun for the most part, then you likely suffer from this illness.
To start with, a lack of vitamin D causes your immune system to operate below standards, and you become consistently sick. Colds and flus seem to visit you more often than anyone else you know. Even when you catch it from someone you know, your symptoms end up worse than theirs. In the same vein, your body becomes tired from compensating for the lack of vitamin D. You become sluggish and may even show signs of depression.
Among the more concrete symptoms, back pain and bone pain give away vitamin D deficiency. Your wounds and bruises heal slower, your bones become more brittle, and your muscles feel sore. A study discovered that over 70% of people experiencing frequent pain were deficient in vitamin D. Correlation does not equal causation, but vitamin D clearly does play a role in how our bodies work. Lastly—and most importantly to us—your hair starts to fall out. Your hair becomes thin, brittle, and develops a ton of split ends.
So, ladies, if you match many of the symptoms above—consider yourself warned. Thankfully, vitamin D hardly represents a lifelong disease. Let’s move on to how to treat hair loss from vitamin D deficiency!
Vitamin D Deficiency Treatment
Clearly, the first step to treating vitamin D involves eating more food containing vitamin D. These foods include fortified milk, cereal, grains, yogurt, and orange juice. Non-fortified foods with naturally occurring vitamin D include a lot of fish—salmon and sardines especially. For vegans, this proves particularly difficult, so I recommend looking into supplements. Of course, food hardly covers the whole deficiency, and fitting a healthy diet into a busy day overwhelms many women. For people like you, seek out ways to sit in the sun. Eating lunch outside, relaxing outside after work for an hour or so, and trying to find some outside activities improves your body’s manufacture of vitamin D.
With hair loss in particular, certain types of soaps and shampoos help by fortifying the strands directly. Many types of medicines, soaps, and vitamins absorb through the skin directly. We go over quite a few of them on this page. Vitamin D fits into this group, so soaps fortified with vitamin D and calcium directly improve the conditions of your hair follicles. Over time, with enough of the vitamins, your hair follicles start to produce healthy and happy hairs.
Even if you experienced hair loss before, your hair will stick to your head as it grows out, finally! For busy people or ones with an incredibly strict diet, the vitamin shampoos help mitigate the effects of vitamin D deficiency. I also recommend soaps that contain vitamin E and vitamin K due to the beneficial effects they work on your skin.
Vitamin D Deficiency Hair Loss Regrowth
Vitamin D hair loss regrowth never occurs overnight. However, even without visible results, your skin instantly feels spectacular after a shower with vitamin-enriched shampoo. I have seen personal instant results from using them—my dry skin instantly became smooth and silky, and it lasted for the majority of the day! In no time at all, my skin recovered and my hair grew normally there. With a good diet, you see long-term results that start from the inside. Lastly, hanging out in the sun more often helps your body generate natural vitamin D, allowing you to reverse hair loss.
In rare cases, the loss of hair results in damage to the hair follicles. This occurs when the victim scratches at their itching too much, the itching is due to a genetic illness, or the itching is brought about by a pathogen or virus. Natural aging also affects follicle health, but a diet full of vitamins and a beauty routine that incorporates your health delays the onset of such symptoms. We rank many of the best vitamin-enriched soaps on this page. Since vitamin D governs all sorts of things in your body—from your intestines’ efficacy all the way to your brain’s emotions—any amount of vitamin D you give to your body helps it distribute calcium and phosphate efficiently and in a healthy manner.
Is Vitamin D Deficiency Hair Loss Reversible?
Short answer? Absolutely. Long answer? If you suspect you suffer from vitamin D deficiency, go ahead and contact your doctor. They will run a simple test to see if your vitamin D levels meet minimum standards. Usually, doctors go on to recommend supplements, a healthy diet, time spent in the sun, and beauty products that contain vitamins that help your body distribute vitamins to other vital locations. We talk more about such vitamin-enriched beauty soaps here, and they really are a life saver to someone suffering from a vitamin deficiency that can’t create these nutrients quickly enough on their own.
Thankfully, the body is incredibly flexible when it comes to nutrition. As long as your original condition only involves vitamin deficiency, your hair will recover with treatment and proper vitamin intake. This means women of all walks of life need never worry about how far their hair loss progressed. With proper care and beauty standards, your precious locks of hair grow in thicker and stronger than ever. Hopefully these steps helped you repair your lustrous strands of hair and walk with the confidence you deserve!