There is a wide range of possible causes that can lead to hair loss, and one of them is specific nutrient deficiencies such as certain vitamins, minerals, and protein deficiency. If your dermatologist say that your thinning hair is caused by poor diet, your chance to improve your hair growth is much better than if the cause is inherited genes or certain medical conditions that cannot be easily treated. Because poor diet factor is a controllable cause, once you address it – you hair should grow back normally.
Both minerals and vitamins are medically grouped into a term called ‘micronutrients’. As the name implies ( micronutrients ), the body needs them in smaller quantities if compared with carbohydrates, proteins, and fats (other essential nutrients belong to a group called ‘macronutrients’ ). If we call our body as a machine, micronutrients can be a coolant /motor oil /or battery fluid – and the role of macronutrients can be the gas /fuel of the machine.
Though the body needs micronutrients in small amounts, but they are very essential and vital for the body to keep functioning as well.
There are some kinds of vitamins that have contribution to promote good health for the hair growth – the following are some of them!
It’s not clear yet whether vitamin D has a significant contribution to maintain the health of the hair. But some experts believe that this kind of vitamin may be essential to prevent hair loss.
The theory comes from the mechanism of vitamin D that can be produced on the skin naturally after exposure to the light of sun. Moreover, vitamin D is also important to help the absorption of calcium (essential mineral that also can help improve the health of hair).
This suggests that getting adequate exposure to the sunlight (especially in the morning and evening) or getting adequate vitamin D through your diet may help reduce the chance of thinning hair. But if you are not being at lack of vitamin D, increasing the amount of this vitamin from your diet may not improve your hair loss problem because the problem may be caused by other factors!
One thing you may always remember when talking about vitamin E is for anti-aging agent. Yap, it can be very helpful and crucial for the health of your skin. In fact, it is very common to found in many cosmetic products.
Moreover, did you know that it is also important for the regeneration of healthy cells to make the blood vessels? If you have healthy blood vessels, then the regeneration of all cells around the body is more likely to run well, including for the cells of the hair (hair follicles).
According to HCHS (the Huntington College of Health Sciences), vitamin E is needed by the body to help the hair follicles to grow as healthiest as possible.
Another essential vitamin for the construction of hair follicles is vitamin C. It is important for the construction of the collagen. According to the Oregon State University, in extreme case of vitamin C deficiency, a medical problem called scurvy (one kind of hair loss problems) may occur.
Lack of B vitamins (such as B1 and B2) can lead to undernourishment of cells of hair follicles. As a result, the hair follicles cannot grow optimally and also tends to fall out easily.
Vitamin B-12 is also crucial. Chronic deficiency of this kind of vitamin B can be potential to cause premature gray hair (gray hair that comes before the age of 40s).
The hair damage also can be triggered by the outside pollution and air. For this reason, you need adequate vitamin A to protect your body and hair from the bad effects of free radicals – according to HCHS.
However, it’s also important to take vitamin A in moderation. If you have too much vitamin A, this can be counterproductive to help promote good health for your hair!
In addition, vitamin deficiencies are one of numerous factors that can be potential to cause abnormal hair loss. However generally this factor doesn’t work alone, but typically they work together with other factors (such as other essential nutrient deficiencies, hormonal changes, and genetic trait).
As mentioned before, minerals with vitamins are required by the body to help the body keep functioning as well! Diet with adequate vitamins and minerals can help reduce the chance of losing hair. After vitamins, below are some essential minerals for healthy hair.
The iron deficiency has been thought has contribution in triggering hair loss, but unfortunately the link of both is still not fully understood. Not every research shows the same result. But according to a Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, iron deficiency may have much more contribution than many experts think.
Regardless the different results of many studies that learn the correlation between lack of iron and hair loss, most experts agree that lack of this mineral can worsen the problem of hair loss. In other words if you have a genetic trait of thinning hair /baldness, being at lack of iron can make the problem get worse!
In fact, hair follicles grow so fast and so much. Even cells of hair follicles can be categorized into a group of body cells that can regenerate very rapidly. This mechanism can be affected if these cells don’t get adequate nutrients that they need (such as iron).
Calcium is commonly associated with the health and strength of bones. It may not directly link to worsen hair loss problem. Biotin (a kind of enzyme) and androgens (a kind of hormone in the body) are crucial to stimulate hair growth. And the mechanism of these hormone and enzyme to work is also related with the absorption of calcium in the body.
It is an important mineral that often needed by hair follicles where the hair starts the phase of its growth. This suggests that lack of zinc also can make the problem of hair loss get worse.
According to HCHS, both calcium and magnesium are used together by the body to reduce the chance of excessive hair loss as well as muscle spasm.
Then for iodine, lack of this mineral can increase your risk of having malfunction of thyroid gland. And as well we know, thyroid is important to regulate hormones of the body. If it doesn’t work as well as it should, the health of hair and its regeneration will be affected.
It may be needed by the body in smaller quantities if compared with other minerals. But it is also important to reduce the risk of abnormal hair loss. Having lack of selenium in long term can increase the risk of developing some thyroid problems, because it can help assist the metabolism of iodine in the body!
It’s undeniable that there are a lot of functions of protein for our body. Even we can say that it is part of every cell in the body. Therefore, protein is needed by the body in greater quantities if compared with vitamins and minerals.
There are many critical compounds (such as hormones, enzymes, etc) that are made from protein. In general, protein is crucial substance that needed to help the body keep working. It can help to ‘hold’ our body together in bones, tendons, and ligaments.
And in fact, protein is the most essential basic nutrient for your hair growth.
The cells of your body need adequate building blocks (medically called amino acids) to help make new cells & tissues. Amino acids are also needed to help body to repair itself. And you can get this building block in protein from foods that you eat.
That’s why, having adequate protein and with regular exercise can signal to your body that you have adequate supply of making & retaining lean tissues and muscles (a beneficial mechanism to help burn more calories and maintain your healthy weight). In other words, protein is also essential nutrient to help the body in the battle of the fat bulge.
Inherited gen often plays a key role in many cases of hair loss. But thinning hair may occasionally be triggered by protein deficiency due to poor diet.
Some people cannot refuse the temptation to stick with crash diet in order to restore their healthy weight as quickly as possible. This kind of diet often skips protein in the diet. As a result, it can lead to protein malnutrition.
If you are being at lack of protein and you experience it frequently, your body is more likely to use protein efficiently and even save protein by altering the phase of growing hairs into the phase of resting. As a result, you tend to lose more hair.
In men, diet low in protein also can increase the chance of receding hairline!