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Does Vitamin D Deficiency Cause Hair Loss?

Dhanashree Patane
Is vitamin D deficiency linked with hair loss? Some studies indicate a connection, but there is no specific dosage of vitamin D that is recommended for preventing loss of hair. Moreover, though exposure to sunlight helps in the production of vitamin D, dermatologists don't advise it specifically against hair fall.
An unhealthy lifestyle, dietary deficiencies, and stress are among the prominent reasons behind hair loss. Male pattern baldness is linked with genetics. Vitamin D recipients are found in the hair follicles. Though their exact function is unknown, it is evident that vitamin D is linked with the hair cycle. Though a conclusion hasn't been drawn, studies show that vitamin D deficiency contributes to hair loss.
The sunshine vitamin is a fat-soluble vitamin that maintains calcium metabolism. It is also known as Calciferol and popularly called the sunshine vitamin. The body produces this vitamin naturally. This pro-hormone, fat-soluble vitamin helps in the absorption of calcium and phosphorous.
An exposure to sunlight boosts the production of vitamin D in the body. This vitamin is also found in certain foods. Almost 80 - 90% of this vitamin is produced due to sun exposure by synthesis in the skin. The two forms of vitamin D important for the human body are, vitamins D2 (ergocalciferol) and D3 (cholecalciferol).

Hair Loss and Vitamin D

A study was done on a type of mice that were genetically programmed to be hairless. The study results showed that when vitamin D3 was given to these mice, they showed improvement in hair growth with stimulation in the hair follicles. Research is yet to be done on how it would affect human genes, and whether it would really curb hair fall in humans.
However, people on vitamin D supplements have experienced a gradual decrease in hair fall. Vitamin D helps in the development and growth of healthy hair and in the maturity of hair follicles. It helps in eliminating dandruff, scalp psoriasis, and also hair loss by regulating the flow of oils that nourish the collagen (a tissue that holds your hair beneath the skin). It helps in the absorption of calcium, which is also important for hair growth.

Other Causes of Hair Loss

Human beings generally lose 50 - 70 strands of hair everyday. A 'pull test' helps determine whether one is suffering from excessive hair loss. If about 100 strands are pulled, the coming out of one to three hair per pull is normal. Anything more than that indicates hair loss.
Genetics, hormonal imbalance, stress (both emotional and physical), thyroid disorders, and sudden weight loss are among the other common reasons for hair loss.
Chemotherapy results in loss of hair, which grow back after the treatment stops. Certain skin disorders may lead to hair loss. Hair fall can be a side effect of certain medicines and may be the result of certain underlying health conditions. Harsh hair treatments may also lead to hair damage or loss.

Sources of Vitamin D

Vitamin D is found in cow's milk and soy milk, sardines, pink salmon, tuna fish, egg, liver, beef, cheese, ready-to-eat cereals fortified with DV for vitamin D, and pure cod liver oil. The most important source is sunlight. A 5-10 minute sun exposure in the morning hours is advisable to get a daily dose of vitamin D.
Disclaimer: This story is for informative purposes only and does not intend to substitute the advice of a medical expert.