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Do Hair Loss Vitamins Actually Work?

Reviewed by
Date published
24/02/2022
Date last updated
15/02/2022
Length of read
6 Minutes

Hair loss can be upsetting no matter your age or gender, and the cause can be a host of different reasons.

Genetics, diet, age, medical conditions, medication, lifestyle, pregnancy and the amount of stress you’re under can all influence hair loss, so it can be difficult to know how to help prevent hair from falling out.

While it’s not possible to prevent hair loss caused by age and genetics, taking vitamins your body is lacking may help play a role in promoting a healthy rate of hair growth, which can therefore reduce hair loss. If you’re noticing signs of hair loss, here are some of the vitamins you may need.

How Can Vitamins Help Hair Growth?

When the body is lacking in vitamins, it produces a way in which it can conserve energy – this results in hair growth being stopped in order to sustain more energy. This process leads to our hair follicles remaining in a resting phase for much longer than usual, as opposed to its growing phase, rapidly slowing its development and increasing the chances of our hair falling out prematurely.

By ensuring our bodies have the vitamins it needs, we can reduce the chances of vitamin deficiencies occurring, and ultimately increase the rate of hair growth. Both a healthy diet and vitamin supplements can help ensure we consume the right number of vitamins required to keep us healthy, resulting in ways to stop hair loss.

For men especially, genetics can play a large role in hair loss. While there is no known cure for this type of hair loss, treatments are available to help reduce the rate of loss. You can buy Finasteride for hair loss, for example, to help regrow hair.

Which Vitamins Help and Why?

Here are some of the vitamins that can help promote healthy hair growth, and why the body needs them.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A, found in spinach, oily fish, eggs and sweet potatoes, helps to support hair growth by helping the glands in the scalp produce sebum. Sebum is an oily substance that helps to keep the scalp moist and healthy, resulting in hair growth.

While the vitamin can help prevent hair loss through the production of sebum, too much of it can lead to hair thinning. This is due to an excess of stimulation of hair follicles, which can speed up the growth phase too quickly, resulting in hair thinning and falling out. Because of this, you should only take a vitamin A supplement if you have been advised to do so by your healthcare professional, as you may already be consuming the right amount through your diet alone.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C, rich in foods such as peppers, broccoli, guavas and citrus fruits, is an antioxidant. Free radicals (harmful molecules within the body) can cause damage to hair follicles, which in turn results in hair falling out. Vitamin C, however, helps to reduce the stress that free radicals cause on the follicles, helping to protect hair against damage. A further benefit of the vitamin is its production of collagen – an amino acid that helps build thicker hair that is healthy and strong. A deficiency in vitamin C can lead to the condition anaemia, which can also result in hair loss.

Vitamin D

The way in which vitamin D helps reduce hair loss and promote hair growth is by stimulating the progress and development of the hair follicles. While a lack of vitamin D can cause hair to shed and fall out, the right amount of the vitamin can help support new follicles, resulting in sustained thickness of the hair itself. Studies have shown that a deficiency in vitamin D can lead to alopecia – a condition that causes hair to fall out in patches.

The best source of vitamin D is from sunlight, though it can also be found in oily fish, red meat and eggs. For those who are unable to eat such foods due to dietary requirements, a vitamin D supplement may be beneficial. Around 15 micrograms (mcg) or 600 international units of vitamin D is recommended.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E, sourced from vegetable oils, green leafy veg and nuts, helps stimulate hair follicles by increasing the blood flow in and around the scalp. The vitamin also helps to secure moisture in the scalp and limit its dryness, by creating a barrier of protection on its surface.

Scalps are the base from which our hair grows, so it’s important that they are kept as healthy and moist as possible, in order to provide a strong base for hair to grow thick and strong. A powerful antioxidant, vitamin E can also help prevent oxidative stress caused by free radicals. Research has shown that taking vitamin E resulted in a 34.5% increase in hair growth for those experiencing hair loss, after a 32-week trial. This was compared to those not taking the vitamin, who saw only a 0.1% increase in growth.

Biotin

Found in meat, eggs and nuts, Biotin is a B-vitamin that helps our bodies convert food into energy. Biotin helps to produce Keratin – a protein that helps to strengthen hair, while reducing any damage caused to the follicles. Biotin has been shown to reduce the rate of hair loss and can help to restore body and volume in the hair. The recommended dose of the vitamin is 100mcg daily, and as it is a water soluble, any excess biotin is excreted in urine, meaning it is unlikely that you can accidently consume too much of it.