The Importance of Vitamin D
In order to absorb calcium and phosphorus, minerals that are necessary for normal bone and heart health, you need vitamin D. According to scientists, there are around twenty-seven diseases associated which are related to lack of vitamin D in the body. Due to Inadequate exposure to the sun, our mobility becomes limited, and aging speeds up. Consider older folks living in nursing homes—less time spent in the sun quickens the aging process. The deficiency of vitamin D also impacts your mood, hormone levels, and energy. Another critical role of vitamin D is to build and maintain your hair health since it is involved in nurturing the hair follicles. Deficiencies in vitamin D may cause hair loss, particularly a form called “spot hair loss” (Alopecia Areata).
Vitamin D is essential in preventing hair loss and hair follicle growth. Hair loss, or alopecia, is also directly linked with reduced levels of vitamin D. Some studies have confirmed that men with higher hair loss usually have low levels of vitamin D. Also, there are some indications that vitamin D supplements can reduce hair loss. Unfortunately, research into the relationship between hair loss and vitamin D levels in women has shown inconsistent results.
Although no one has confirmed or proved that vitamin D stops hair loss in everyone, activated vitamin contributes to hair growth for many.
What Connection Does Vitamin D Have with Hair Loss?
Vitamin D may not be the sole cause of all types of hair loss. However, it still plays a crucial role in developing alopecia areata and pattern baldness.
Vitamin D Receptors and Hair Growth
Vitamin D receptors are present in various cells throughout our body. They are present in our immune cells, kidney cells, and hair follicles. Vitamin D binds with these receptors and aids in regulating cell cycles which is particularly important for healthy hair growth. Studies have shown that patients with alopecia areata experience disrupted hair follicle cycling due to low levels of Vitamin D.
Vitamin D and Pattern Hair Loss
Limited research on the connection between Vitamin D and pattern hair loss exists. However, recent studies have found a correlation between lower Vitamin D levels and more severe cases of alopecia areata. Additionally, Vitamin D is also known to possess anti-inflammatory properties, as inflammation can contribute to certain types of hair loss.
The Potential of Vitamin D for Hair Growth Restoration
Some emerging evidence suggests that treatment with Vitamin D may be beneficial in stimulating hair growth in individuals experiencing hair loss.
Although lower levels of Vitamin D play a role in hair loss, it is not the sole factor. Vitamin D also plays a significant role in maintaining healthy hair growth, particularly in alopecia areata and pattern hair loss. However, further research is necessary to explore the full potential of Vitamin D as a therapeutic option for restoring hair loss.
Does Vitamin D Deficiency Cause Hair Loss?
Yes, there is evidence that has proven that having a vitamin D deficiency does cause hair loss and other problems related to hair. Vitamin D plays an important role in various physiological processes in the body, which also includes hair growth. Additionally, a deficiency of vitamin D can disrupt the normal hair growth cycle, leading to hair loss. It is important to note that hair loss is not solely caused by vitamin D deficiency. There are various factors responsible, including genetics, overall health, and other nutritional deficiencies.
Vitamin D receptors are present in hair follicles, which helps regulate the hair follicle cycle. This is why insufficient vitamin D levels may lead to alopecia areata, a condition that causes patchy hair loss. Additionally, some research suggests a potential association between lower vitamin D levels and more severe cases of alopecia areata.
How to Know If you have Vitamin D Deficiency? Symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency
Vitamin D deficiency is quite common, especially in regions where people get limited sunlight or during certain seasons. You can know you have vitamin deficiency if you experience these symptoms:
Fatigue and Weakness: You feel tired or lacking energy, even after enough rest.
Bone and Back Pain: Deficiency of Vitamin D can lead to bone and back pain and also be associated with an increased risk of fractures.
Muscle Pain: Vitamin D deficiency can also cause muscle pain and muscle weakness.
Depression and Mood Changes: Some studies suggest a link between low vitamin D levels and mood disorders, including depression and anxiety.
Impaired Would Healing: Vitamin D is essential for the proper functioning of the immune system and wound healing. Deficiency may lead to delayed wound healing.
Hair Loss: Vitamin D deficiency can be associated with some types of hair loss because of insufficient levels of this vitamin.
Does Vitamin D Help Hair Growth? Vitamin D Benefits for Hair
Vitamin D plays a role in hair growth and has many benefits for hair health. Here are some benefits of Vitamin D for hair:
Regulates Hair Follicle Cycling
Vitamin D receptors are present in hair follicles, which helps in regulating the recycling process of hair follicles. The recycling process is necessary to maintain normal hair growth and prevent hair loss.
Promotes Hair Follicle Health
Adequate vitamin D levels support hair follicles' overall health, contributing to stronger and healthier hair.
Supports Immune Function
Vitamin D is also necessary to maintain a healthy immune system since it has immunomodulatory effects. It is also relevant in conditions like alopecia areata which is an autoimmune disorder that leads to hair loss.
Inflammation can contribute to certain types of hair loss, and because vitamin D possesses anti-inflammatory properties, it can help prevent them.
Help Restore Hair Growth
Some studies also suggest that vitamin D supplementation may aid in restoring hair growth. It is particularly seen in cases where hair loss is associated with a deficiency of vitamin D.
How Much Vitamin D Do You Need For Hair Loss?
According to doctors, the bloodwork should show about 20-50 micrograms per liter of vitamin D to ensure continued hair growth and to prevent hair loss. It is recommended to supplement with between 5,000-10,000IU daily to achieve healthy vitamin D levels.
However, a Yale Medicine report suggests that taking a vitamin D supplement isn't the same as getting vitamin D out in the sun. This is because the body doesn’t absorb vitamin D in the same way as it does when sunlight hits your bare skin.
The Sun and Vitamin D
Contrary to popular belief, the sun doesn’t produce vitamin D. Instead, sunlight is needed to bring about certain chemical reactions in the body. In other words, sunshine enables the body to produce vitamin D. Although there's a limit on how much your body can produce vitamin D each day, you can never overdose on vitamin D no matter how much time you spend in the sun.
Ultraviolet B (UVB) is the middle wavelength of the UV spectrum. While it's considered to be the main cause of skin cancer, it is also the wavelength that produces vitamin D. The earth's atmosphere blocks most of the UVB coming from the sun, so only a little gets to the surface. UVB can only penetrate the outer layer of the skin. Since it can’t penetrate glass, you can’t get any UVB light indoors, even on the brightest day. People with darker skin are less able to make vitamin D because the melanin in their skin blocks UVB, just like sunblock. During winter, as well as in the morning and evening during summer, the angle of the Earth to the sun prevents UVB from reaching the ground. Generally, the farther you live from the equator, the less UVB reaches you in the winter.
During the 1900s, physicians used to prescribe patients sunbath for the sole purpose of exposing them to vitamin D. This is no longer practiced. But humans need the sun as it is essential for the human body.
On average, the human body needs fifteen minutes a day of exposure to sunlight. It’s important to have the sun shining on areas of your skin for those fifteen minutes. Some studies also suggest that the best time to get a daily dose of natural sunlight during the summer months is at 9 a.m. or after 2 p.m. This is when your body can do the best job of absorbing sunlight.
You can always take vitamin D supplements to avoid the risks of sun. However, natural sunlight is much more beneficial to us. Studies have also found that vitamin D from sunlight is longer-acting and stays in the body longer than supplements.
There is another option for getting this lifesaving nutrient. Even if you live in an area where there's not much sunlight, you can still sit under artificial UV lights and get enough vitamin D levels for a healthy body and to fight depression if you suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
Another study proved that the artificial lights used in tanning salons could also give the body what it needs to produce vitamin D. Researchers saw an increase in vitamin D levels in patients who were regularly exposed to the rays of a sunbed over an eight-week period. However, be wary of overexposure in tanning salons. A burn does not equal a “good base tan.”
Overexposure to sun can cause hair loss. Find out how you can protect yourself.
Exposure to sunlight, using vitamin D supplements, and artificial UV light all help activate vitamin D. In fact, human hair contains vitamin D receptors (VDR) that increase during the hair growth phase (anagen phase) when VDRs are the most active. In summary, vitamin D has been shown to stimulate hair follicle growth. So, when the body doesn't have enough vitamin D, your hair may be affected. Therefore, the relationship between hair health and vitamin D levels is something hair experts will continue to study closely.
Is Vitamin D Hair Loss Reversible?
Yes, hair loss due to vitamin D deficiency is often reversible. If you can correct the deficiency with supplements and exposure to sunlight, it can promote hair regrowth.
Do Vitamin Supplement Help With Hair Loss?
Vitamin supplements can be beneficial for certain types of hair loss, particularly for cases when hair loss is related to vitamin D deficiency. However, it is also important to note that not all types of hair loss are related to vitamin deficiencies, and taking vitamin supplements may not always be the solution.
Does lack of sunlight cause hair loss?
Lack of sunlight itself is not a direct cause of hair loss. However, it still plays a role in vitamin D production, which indirectly impacts hair health. Vitamin D is an essential nutrient that aids in cell growth, maintains skin health, and contributes to the formation of hair follicles. This is why a deficiency in vitamin D can lead to hair loss, including conditions like alopecia.