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Can a Vitamin D Deficiency Cause Hair Loss?

Hair loss can occur for all sorts of reasons, including if you are suffering from a vitamin deficiency. And research shows that a vitamin D deficiency can trigger not only unhealthy skin and weaker bones but also hair loss.

If wondering what lifestyle and nutrition habits you can change to boost the wellness of your hair, here's more about the role a vitamin D deficiency actually plays, plus what you can do to help combat thinning hair. 

What's the Deal With Vitamin D?

Vitamin D is often referred to as the "sunshine vitamin" because when your skin is exposed to sunlight, it triggers vitamin D synthesis. Experts and doctors consider high vitamin D levels necessary to human health.

Low vitamin D is linked to the following:

  • Fatigue
  • Mood swings
  • Muscle weakness
  • High blood pressure
  • Chronic pain

But that's not all. Dr. Rashmi Byakodi, a health and wellness writer and editor at Best for Nutrition, said that while vitamin D was primarily considered essential for bone formation, there are also links between vitamin D and the proper function of the brain, heart, muscles, immune system and skin.

Also: Does the Sun Help Your Hair Grow?

The Link Between Vitamin D Deficiency and Hair Loss

Without a 360° approach to hair wellness, your hair follicles will struggle, which includes having lower vitamin D levels.

To explain further, Vitamin D is metabolized in the body by keratinocytes (body cells that process keratin, a protein in hair, skin and nails). If the body lacks sufficient vitamin D, keratinocytes in hair follicles won't be enough to regulate hair growth and hair shedding. Vitamin D deficiency has been connected to hair loss, especially in patients with:

  • Androgenetic alopecia (or androgenic alopecia): male and female pattern hair loss
  • Telogen effluvium: excessive hair thinning and hair loss related to extreme shock or stress
  • Alopecia areata: an autoimmune disorder that can trigger patchy hair loss

Byakodi said, "According to research studies, the optimum concentration of vitamin D3 is essential to delay aging and hair loss. There is a possible link between the lack of serum vitamin D levels and female pattern hair loss." She continued, "Treatment with vitamin D was also associated with natural hair follicle formation and increased the expression of certain specific keratins."

If you're concerned about your vitamin D levels, consider a dietary supplement. GRO Biotin Gummies, contain 10 mcg of vitamin D3 or 50% of the recommended daily amount. These tasty, vegan fruity dietary supplements also contain biotin and folic acid as well as vitamins B-5, 6 and 12, which work together to help support your body's production of keratin and collagen. In addition, vitamins A, C and E work to neutralize free radicals, while zinc helps to promote and maintain scalp health.

GRO Biotin Gummies

Related: Take the VEGAMOUR Hair Quiz

Why Vitamin D3?

The vitamin D you're likely to get from a vitamin D supplement (or fortified foods) comes in two forms: Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) and Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol). The two variations are similar, but there are significant differences. D3 is more efficient, effective and lasts longer in the body. You need less D3 than you do D2 to achieve the same positive effect.

Vitamin D works by connecting to vitamin D receptors found in different cells in the body, including kidney cells, immune cells and hair follicles. A vitamin D receptor (VDR) is essential for managing a healthy hair life cycle. For example, a good vitamin D3 intake regulates postnatal hair cycling — a common cause of hair regrowth and hair loss.

Also: 10 Vitamin Deficiencies That May Cause Hair Loss

Best Ways to Score More Vitamin D

Though natural sunlight is your best source of vitamin D, excessive sun exposure is never a good idea. Unfortunately, wearing sun protection will help keep skin cancer away, but it could interfere with your vitamin D intake. You might also struggle to get enough vitamin D if you have darker skin pigmentation because the melanin in the skin inhibits vitamin D production.

Rather than lose the sunscreen (seriously, keep slathering that on), combine healthy sun exposure with vitamin D supplementation to give your body what it needs. Here are some suggestions:

  • Increase your sun exposure in the early morning — from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. is best.
  • Take dedicated vitamin D supplements only after consulting with a doctor.
  • Eat lots of mushrooms and drink oat, almond and soy milk. 

There's also a connection between stress and hair loss, so if you're experiencing extra stress, you may want to consider GRO+ Advanced Gummies over our original gummy formula. This advanced formula harnesses the therapeutic power of broad-spectrum hemp to promote relaxation while encouraging thicker, fuller looking hair via an abundance of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin D3.

The Final Word on Vitamin D

If you're experiencing unusual or severe hair loss, stress, mood swings or other symptoms linked to low vitamin D, seek professional medical advice to help determine if there's a vitamin D deficiency/hair loss connection. Your medical provider can diagnose and treat a vitamin d deficiency or uncover if there's something else at play.

Overall, for the health of your body and hair, strive to reduce stress, maintain a healthy diet with vital nutrients and incorporate an intelligent hair wellness routine. You and your hair will reap the benefits!


Photo credit: Shot by Cerqueira/Unsplash

Disclaimer: Information in this article is intended for general informational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to constitute medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek professional medical advice from your physician.