Vitamins for hair loss: Which ones are best?

Are you losing hair? Perhaps some vitamins could help.

Vitamins-Square-looking-rightThere is a lot written on this subject and much of it is sponsored by the pharmaceutical companies or others with a vested interest. In this article we have summarized the most trusted and scientifically backed information.

A common belief is that that taking certain vitamins can help slow or even stop hair loss altogether. Whilst this is partly true, it is unfortunately only true for some of us. If your hair is falling due to a vitamin or mineral deficiency, then replacing the vitamin or mineral in question, through the use of supplements, may lead you to find that your hair loss issue gradually resolves.

If, however, your hair loss is not related to a deficiency, there is little proof that vitamin or mineral supplements will do anything to help you. Despite this, some people without deficiencies swear by certain vitamins and minerals for hair loss.

Below is a quick rundown of the vitamins and minerals that may have an impact on your hair loss. To determine whether any of these could be contributing to your problem, all you will need is a simple blood test. If you’re a bit squeamish when it comes to needles, don’t fear, you can test for all of the below in a single test.

Iron
We’ve written a lot about the connection between iron and hair loss so it’s probably not a surprise to see it at the top of the list. Iron is an essential mineral for our bodies and is required for a number of different bodily functions, from immunity to the synthesis of DNA and the transmission of nerve signals. Iron is also a major component of hemoglobin, the red blood cells responsible for carrying oxygen around in our blood. Iron is also an essential component of healthy hair.
If you suspect low iron might be contributing to your hair loss, get to your G.P for a blood test and read more about the connection between low iron and hair loss here.

Vitamin D
Low vitamin D is extremely common, especially if you’re someone who doesn’t spend much time in the sun. Vitamin D is important for hair cycling so you may find that fixing low vitamin D could sort out your hair loss woes. Having low vitamin D can also affect your ability to store iron, an extra reason why it may be responsible for your hair loss. Head to your G.P for a blood test and you could be on your way to a full head of hair again!

Zinc
It’s quite easy to be low on zinc, especially if you sweat a lot. Zinc is required for a lot of essential bodily functions including cell reproduction and maintenance of hormone levels which can affect hair loss. Importantly, a zinc deficiency can also mean that you are not adequately absorbing other vitamins and minerals which in turn, may also cause hair loss!  A zinc deficiency is also easy to spot through a blood test and easy to fix with supplements and/or diet changes. Bonus hint: chocolate is a good source of zinc, the darker the better – now you have an excuse!

B-complex Vitamins
There is a lot of talk about B vitamins (especially biotin) and hair out there at the moment; it seems to be the topic de jour for hair loss bloggers. B vitamins play an important role in the nervous system, in hormone regulation and in the immune system. Many hair loss sufferers swear by B vitamins and believe that they have not only grown more hair, but that their hair is thicker and stronger.
However, like all supplements, taking them when you don’t need them can be dangerous and cause unwanted side effects. Relying on “Doctor Google” to resolve your hair loss issues is also a dangerous practice.

Biotin has had a lot of press – negative and positive. There is the possibility that it has been worthwhile due to a placebo effect. Sometimes, when hair loss is caused by stress, just the mere increase in vitamin B and the belief that something worthwhile is being done to solve the issue, can in itself, assist in the restoration of thicker hair.

While there are many over the counter vitamin supplements that are perfectly safe to take, it would still be worthwhile getting to see your general practitioner and asking for a blood test to find out if you indeed have any deficiencies.

In the meantime, try the real hair volume solutions developed by women for women at Boost n Blend:

BoostnBlend Australia & New Zealand

BoostnBlend USA

5 Comments

  1. I am not in the sun much and right now am taking Nature’s Bounty for hair and nails..seems to be helping for my nails but not hair..what would u recommend? Also . during my menstrual cycle I had for 7mths straight and then had a partial hysterectomy and did not take any hormonal pills! Can u please help!!!!!!!!

    • Hi Sharon,
      I suggest you get to your GP and have a blood test to see what else may be going on. You could be low in iron which can contribute to hair loss, or a myriad of other vitamins may be lacking. Once you have had a blood test you will know what you are dealing with. If it is your iron, for example, then taking supplements can make a dramatic improvement. It takes a while (at least 12 months) so best you get onto it as soon as possible.

  2. I am trying the vitamins and minerals recommended by my Dr. And from research I have done. Will be seeing an endicrinologist next week. Also using coconut shampoo and conditioner. Letting hair dry naturally as much as possible before finishing with a warm hair dryer. Using a styling wand called a Perfector on lowest setting. I would like to use a volumizer but not sure if this would be ok and if so which one to use. Any suggestions

    • Hi Judy, the shake in fibre type of hair volumisers are great to use on hair that is thin or thinning. Try to find one that is made from cotton rather than keratin since the keratin fibres can irritate the scalp due to the chemicals in them. I use boost n blend since it is a cotton fibre and made specifically for women. Hope this helps.

  3. This inrocdutes a pleasingly rational point of view.

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