Which Vitamin Deficiency Can Cause Hair Loss?


We all have our struggles. It is easy to let these struggles overwhelm us with insecurity, but instead of overthinking, let’s figure out why something is happening and do what we can to improve it.

A big insecurity people face is unexplained androgenetic alopecia, also known as male and female pattern hair loss. People tend to keep quiet about any type of hair loss, but it happens more than we may realize. Millions of people all over the world suffer from hair shedding. 

All genders are subject to pattern baldness, but most associate it with men. Hair loss in women stems from several different causes. This can be an underlying medical condition, genetics, or it can be from something as treatable as a vitamin deficiency. 

Vitamins, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids play a significant role in all aspects of your body, including improving your hair quality and quantity. Having the right amount of Vitamins in your body is crucial when combating hair loss due to vitamin deficiencies. 

Vitamins play a large role in the condition of your hair follicles. Healthy hair follicles are the best way to keep your hair growing strong and prevent loss. 

What Is a Hair Follicle, and Why Are They Important?

Hair follicles are the small pores at the top of your scalp that your hair grows from. Certain vitamins are needed for your hair follicles to stay healthy. These vitamins assist the hair follicles with regrowth and keep the hair strong to prevent breaking. If you lack these vitamins, then hair loss can happen. 

It can be difficult to recognize when a vitamin deficiency causes hair loss. Keep reading to see which vitamins are essential to consume to combat unwanted hair loss. 

Can Vitamins Support Hair Growth?

Your hair is a great indicator of what you’ve got going on inside. A vitamin deficiency could be causing issues with your hair and nails.

Let’s take a peek at some of the vitamins essential to healthy and happy hair. 

Why Is Iron Important?

Iron in your body is crucial no matter who you are. Your iron levels can be the culprit behind numerous health concerns, such as anemia. A lack of iron can also cause unexpected hair loss. 

Iron assists with hemoglobin production, which brings additional nutrients and oxygen to hair follicles. When you do not have enough iron, the hair does not grow as it should, which can leave you with significantly thinner hair. 

When your hair is very thin and brittle, it can break much more easily. The more your hair breaks, the less hair you have on your head, hence why an iron supplement is important to keep your hair full.

You can take many routes to increase your iron, from over-the-counter remedies to prescriptions from your doctors to eating certain foods. Some foods that can increase your iron are leafy greens like spinach, brown rice, soybean, and tofu, which are vegan-friendly and can be part of a balanced diet.

Other symptoms of an iron deficiency can include fatigue, dizziness, brittle nails, pale skin, and cold hands and feet.

Why Is Vitamin A Awesome?

Research shows that having a vitamin A deficiency can lead to hair loss. This vitamin assists with the oil on the scalp, which, you guessed it, helps the follicles grow. If your scalp is too dry, the follicles will have trouble growing.

Vitamin A deficiency can also have symptoms of vision impairment, acne, and throat infections.

Carrots, spinach, and kale are all foods that contain this important vitamin! Of course, there are supplements and other remedies to get your vitamin A intake. 

Is Calcium Just for Bones?

We all grew up hearing that getting enough calcium is good for your bones, but did you know calcium is also good for your hair? Having enough calcium in your system is essential to having healthy hair.

One of the main symptoms of a calcium deficiency is dry hair, which proves that calcium is needed in our bodies for our hair to be healthy. Calcium helps the secretion of hormones that encourage new hair growth! 

When your hair grows, it appears fuller and healthier. The healthier your hair is, the less chance it will break and fall out. Other non-hair-loss symptoms of a calcium deficiency include dry skin, brittle nails, weakened tooth enamel, and sore joints. 

Calcium exists in milk, cheese, spinach, and various other foods. Many supplements can help you increase your calcium intake and decrease the dryness of your hair.

What Does Magnesium Do?

Magnesium is another vitamin crucial to fighting hair loss due to vitamin deficiencies. Magnesium creates protein which is important because your hair is 95 percent protein. 

Magnesium also reduces calcium buildup, which can harden around your follicles. If your follicles are clogged with calcium buildup, your follicles will have a hard time growing. So, since we need calcium, we need magnesium to balance it all out. 

You can find magnesium in many food products, such as peanut butter, beans, spinach, coconut, and wild rice. There are also supplements and topical ointments to get your magnesium. 

Non-hair-related symptoms of a magnesium deficiency include but are not limited to, nausea, fatigue, and weakness. 

Why Should I Take Zinc?

Zinc is another vitamin that is necessary for the body. It is said that when you have a zinc deficiency, the protein in your hair can deteriorate. If the protein in your hair deteriorates, your hair follicles will begin to weaken. Once the hair follicles begin weakening, your hair will begin to shed. 

Some other signs of zinc deficiency include loss of appetite, white spots on fingernails, wounds that heal slower than normal, and some skin problems. 

Zinc is in food items such as red meat, shellfish, and various seeds. There are also plenty of other ways to get zinc, whether in pill form or other supplements.

Can I Get Vitamin D from a Supplement?

There is also evidence that vitamin D deficiency can lead to hair loss. It is important to have the right amount of vitamin D in your body to help with hair loss. Vitamin D plays an important role in creating brand-new hair follicles. New hair follicles are needed to maintain your hair's thickness and prevent existing hair from falling out prematurely. 

Going outside and soaking up the sun is a great way to get your levels of vitamin D up! Do not stay in the sun too long, but getting a little bit each day is a great way to improve your overall health, including your hair health. 

If you cannot get out and into the sun or are still not absorbing the recommended amount, there are other ways to get enough vitamin D. Some foods that contain vitamin D are certain types of fish, milk, beef, ham, and steak. There are also plenty of vitamin D supplements that can be used to increase your intake. 

Besides hair loss, other vitamin D deficiency symptoms include bone pain, fatigue, muscle weakness, and asthma. 

Is Blood Supply an Issue for Hair Growth?

Did you know that your blood supply is essential to having healthy hair and preventing hair loss?

Well, it is; when your blood supply is not running smoothly, your hair will not be as healthy as it should be, and you are prone to hair loss. Certain vitamins play a role in your blood supply for your hair.

Both vitamin B12 and vitamin C promote red blood cell growth and support a fully functional immune system. Because of this, the right amount of these vitamins in your body is important to prevent hair loss and have healthy hair.

But what exactly do blood cells and blood supply have to do with your hair?

Your hair follicles are alive; yes, they are actually living! On the bottom of a hair follicle is something called a bulb. Bulbs comprise the fastest-growing cells in your body. 

Connected to the bulb is the papilla. The papilla has a bunch of blood vessels and connects your hair follicles to your blood supply. Your hair receives the nutrients and oxygen it needs for continued hair growth. 

Some other symptoms of a B12 deficiency are yellowish skin, fatigue and weakness, mood changes, and a loss of appetite. You can get your B12 intake from various foods, such as fish, beef, or supplements. 

Other symptoms of a vitamin C deficiency are compromised immune function, weak bones, muscle aches, fatigue, and dry, rough skin. Vitamin C is found in many fruits and vegetables and can also be a dietary supplement. 

Do I Have a Biotin Deficiency?

A biotin deficiency is one of the most common causes of hair loss. This essential nutrient promotes keratin production and keeps your hair, skin, and nails strong. It’s found in fortified cereals and many fruits and vegetables, but you can also get this nutrient from a biotin supplement.

How Can I Support Hair Growth?

While you are on the journey to figuring out exactly what vitamin your body needs, stay calm. Although you may be experiencing hair loss, simple things can be done to decrease the amount of hair you are losing. 

Try following these simple instructions to aid in decreasing hair loss. 

  • Do not pull too hard on your hair when brushing it, as this can cause breakage.
  • Keep your hair in loose styles so that it is not pulled tight.
  • Do not put your hair up when wet, as it pulls on the follicles.
  • Use gentle hair-washing products that aid in hair loss prevention.

So, What’s the Connection Between Vitamins and Hair Growth?

With everything happening in the world around you, the last thought on your mind is if you are consuming enough of each essential vitamin. Who knew that vitamins played such a vital role in our lives and that lacking these vitamins can lead to hair loss? 

If you find yourself with unexpected hair loss and have ruled out other health options, it may be time to get to the doctor and check your vitamin levels. It is important not to self-diagnose, as health professionals have a test that can detect any vitamin deficiencies you may have and provide you with medical advice to get your wellness back on track.

Your doctor may discuss a new diet or a supplement plan if needed. If you have low levels of more than one vitamin, supplements or special diets can help you consume more than one vitamin at a time.


Hair thinning can seem like a scary time in your life, but you are not alone. Just because you are experiencing this does not mean you are any less beautiful!

Many people are in the same situation and are trying to figure out what steps to take to minimize hair loss. That said, knowledge is definitely power! It is important to research and find the right path that works for you.

Hopefully, this information can assist in helping you find the right hair loss treatment plan if you believe your hair loss is due to a vitamin deficiency. And take our quiz to find the very best products for your hair, no matter what age or stage you’re in. 

Take it one step at a time, and you will figure it out!


Alopecia Areata - Hair loss Causes & Living With It | NIAMS.NIH.gov

Hair Loss: Common Causes and Treatment | NCBI.gov

The Role of Vitamins and Minerals in Hair Loss: A Review | PMC