A vitamin D deficiency may cause hair loss. As vitamin D helps hair follicles grow, low vitamin D levels can affect hair growth. Low vitamin day may be present in people with alopecia.

Vitamin D is an essential nutrient that plays a role in many of the body’s functions, including supporting hair growth.

It is important to contact a doctor if a person has concerns about hair loss. A doctor will be able to confirm whether it is due to vitamin D deficiency and rule out other possible causes.

Read on to learn more about the possible links between vitamin D deficiency and hair loss. This article also looks at how vitamin D affects hair, other symptoms of vitamin D deficiency, and more.

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Vitamin D deficiency may cause hair loss. Vitamin D is involved in hair follicle growth, and so when the body does not have enough, this may affect hair growth.

A vitamin D deficiency may also be linked to alopecia.

Androgenetic alopecia

A 2021 review found that low serum vitamin D levels may lead to androgenetic alopecia. Androgenetic alopecia is a common type of hair loss. It is also known as male pattern baldness and female pattern hair loss.

Genetics and environmental factors can play a role in the development of androgenetic alopecia.

Alopecia areata

According to a 2017 study, there may be links between low levels of vitamin D and alopecia areata. The study found that people with alopecia areata had lower levels of vitamin D compared with people without alopecia areata.

Alopecia areata is an autoimmune condition that develops when something triggers the immune system to mistakenly attack the hair follicles.

Although the exact cause is unclear, it may be due to a combination of genetics and environmental factors.

Vitamin D affects the health of many parts of the body, including the skin and hair.

Vitamin D plays a role in the creation of new hair follicles. Hair follicles are the tiny pores from which new hairs grow. New follicles may help hair maintain thickness and prevent existing hair from falling out prematurely.

Because of this link, getting adequate amounts of vitamin D may support hair growth and regrowth.

Hair loss is not a common symptom of vitamin D deficiency. In most cases, it does not cause any symptoms.

When symptoms do occur, they can include:

Vitamin D deficiency can occur if a person does not consume enough vitamin D or does not get enough exposure to sunlight.

It can also happen due to an online condition, such as Crohn’s disease and celiac disease.

Learn more about what can cause vitamin D deficiency.

A doctor may recommend supplements for vitamin D deficiency.

According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), the recommended daily allowance of vitamin D for adults between the ages of 19 and 55 years is 600 international units (IU), or 15 micrograms (mcg).

It is important to contact a doctor for advice before taking any supplements.

If an underlying condition is causing the deficiency, a person will usually require treatment to address the medical condition.

A doctor can recommend treatments for alopecia. They may depend on the type of alopecia, but can include topical corticosteroids and minoxidil. Oral finasteride may also help in cases of androgenetic alopecia.

Learn more about how to stop hair loss.

Spending more time outside can help reduce the likelihood of vitamin D deficiency.

Consuming foods rich in vitamin D may also help. Although few foods contain vitamin D naturally, fish liver oils and the flesh of fatty fish are good sources of vitamin D. Fatty fish include:

A person may also want to discuss taking vitamin D supplements with their doctor.

Tips for reducing hair loss or preventing hair breakage include:

  • not pulling the hair when brushing
  • avoiding ponytails and other tight hairstyles
  • using a gentle and natural conditioner
  • avoiding using styling products, such as curling irons or flat irons
  • letting the hair dry naturally or using the lowest setting on a blow dryer

Learn more about how to prevent hair breakage.

Here are some frequently asked questions about vitamin D and hair loss.

Can vitamin D restore hair loss?

There is not enough research to determine whether increasing vitamin D levels can restore hair loss. There are also numerous possible causes of hair loss, and a person may need to address the underlying issue.

However, as vitamin D plays a role in hair growth, getting enough vitamin D may be beneficial for hair health.

How much vitamin D should I take daily to prevent hair loss?

The NIH suggests that an adult should aim for 15 mcg, or 600 IU, of vitamin D per day. However, if hair loss is due to an underlying condition, adequate vitamin D intake alone may not help prevent hair loss.

It is best to contact a doctor for advice if a person has concerns about vitamin D deficiency and hair loss.

Can low vitamin D and B12 cause hair loss?

Some research suggests that low vitamin D levels can lead to hair loss conditions such as androgenetic alopecia and alopecia areata. A 2018 review also notes that vitamin B12 deficiency may have associations with hair loss.

Can topical vitamin D help manage hair loss?

Topical vitamin D may be a suitable treatment for hair loss due to androgenetic alopecia, according to a 2021 review. However, it may also be necessary to address the underlying cause of hair loss. It is not always linked to vitamin D deficiency.

What deficiency causes hair loss?

A deficiency in vitamin D, vitamin B12, biotin, folate, or riboflavin may cause hair loss. If a person has concerns about vitamin deficiency, it is important to contact a doctor before taking supplements or other steps to increase vitamin levels.

Vitamin D deficiency may cause hair loss in some people. In particular, studies have shown that low vitamin D levels have links to hair loss conditions such as alopecia areata and androgenetic alopecia.

Doctors may recommend vitamin D supplements if a person has low vitamin D levels. Other treatments for hair loss can depend on the underlying cause.

A person can also take steps to reduce the likelihood of hair breakage and hair loss. These include not wearing the hair in tight styles, brushing the hair gently, and letting the hair dry naturally.

If a person has concerns about hair loss, it is best to contact a doctor. They can help determine the underlying cause and advise on a suitable treatment plan.