Hair Loss and Vitamin Deficiency – An Overview

Everyone, young and old, needs vitamins. Without them, the body cannot perform the required chemical reactions to function properly. They are not the source of energy and calories but their role is to make sure that the body’s metabolism is running smoothly. A deficiency of vitamins causes a disruption in the body’s metabolic processes, and this can result in diseases which can be debilitating or fatal. There are two main reasons for the lack of adequate amounts: a poor diet or conditions where the body is unable to efficiently absorb the nutrients from food.

Your hair is one part of the body that is directly affected by the diet. Although you may not see it, your hair follicles are among the busiest elements of the skin, continuously breaking down and building up hair cells. Hair growth is a complex process that needs a lot of nutrients. If your diet is poor, your hair will show it by its unhealthy appearance or falling off. Studies have indicated that hair loss and vitamin deficiency are closely linked together. When the amount of nutrients in your body is not sufficient to meet all its needs, it will stop nourishing the hair because the available nutrients are reserved for the more vital organs. Without the essential vitamins, the hair follicles will stop doing their work and you will start losing your hair.

What are these vitamins that the hair needs? If you want a healthy head of hair, make sure you get enough Vitamins A, C and E; and the vitamins belonging to the B group. Also add the minerals zinc, sulfur, magnesium and iron to your daily diet. Here are the benefits that your hair and the rest of your body will miss out on when you lack these nutrients:

* Vitamin A – makes hair cells healthy and acts as an antioxidant that aids in manufacturing sebum in the scalp. With no sebum, your scalp will be prone to infection and dandruff. This vitamin works with the minerals silica and zinc to prevent the sebaceous glands from drying and clogging. These glands are the ones responsible for the production of sebum, which is the oil that makes hair strong and shiny. As an important note, you should be careful when taking Vitamin A. Being fat-soluble, this nutrient can be stored so it is possible to have too much of it and have overdose. An overdose can reverse the benefits that the vitamin provides. Symptoms include dry skin and swelling of the follicles and worst of all, hair loss.
* Inositol (a B vitamin) – keeps follicles healthy, improves blood circulation and lowers blood pressure.
* Niacin (vitamin B3) – promotes scalp circulation that ensures adequate blood supply to the hair follicles.
* Panthothenic Acid (Vitamin B5) – prevents graying hair and hair loss.
* Biotin – a nutrient that possesses anti-aging properties and stops hair loss and graying.
* Vitamins B6 and B12 – prevents hair loss.
* Vitamin C – promotes hair growth and aids in the development of collagen, a substance which holds tissues together. If you lack, this vitamin, your hair is more prone to split ends and breakage.
* Vitamin E – a requirement for the circulation of the scalp by increasing oxygen supply to the cells.
* Iron – makes blood cells in the hair healthy by aiding in the production of hemoglobin.

If you make sure that these nutrients are present in your body, then you will not have a problem with hair loss and vitamin deficiency.