Root Hair Institute


With over two-thirds of men and one-third of women already losing hair by the age of 35, many seek out ways to prevent this change or find the underlying cause. One consideration especially in those with increased shedding or hair fall is nutrition and possible vitamin deficiencies. So, do you know which vitamin deficiencies can cause hair loss and what you can do to address them?

This article will review common nutrient and vitamin deficiencies that can potentially lead to hair loss. It will review what to do if you suspect that you may have one of these deficiencies. It is always best to discuss testing, supplementation, and dietary changes with your doctor, nutritionist, and/or dietitian to determine what is best in your individual case.

How Nutrient Deficiency Impacts Hair Retention

Hair retention is not based on a single factor. There may be many reasons for increased hair fall including stress, internal conditions, hormonal imbalances, and nutritional deficiencies.

Which Nutrient Deficiencies Can Cause Hair Loss?

Several different vitamins can impact your body’s ability to grow hair. Additionally there are other nutrients that can be important for growing and maintaining hair. Some of the most common will be discussed below.

Vitamin B Deficiency

There is not only a single type of vitamin B. There are several different forms of it. Most of them impact metabolism and how cells perform their roles. Some effects include increasing growth, boosting hair retention, and aiding strong hair production. The types that are most often implicated in hair loss include vitamin B7 (biotin) and vitamin B12 (cobalamin).  However deficiency of biotin is exceedingly rare except in those with genetic disorders, chronic alcoholics, others with malabsorption, those who eat large amounts of raw egg whites, etc. If you are concerned that you may have biotin or Vitamin B12 deficiency then talk to your doctor.

Vitamin D Deficiency

Low Vitamin D often presents with increased shedding or hair thinning. It is also more common in those with certain types of hair loss such as autoimmune hair loss called alopecia areata. If you are concerned that you may have low levels of Vitamin D, make sure to talk with your doctor.

Iron Deficiency

Low iron levels is one of the most common nutrient deficiencies that contributes to hair loss especially in menstruating individuals. This nutrient deficiency can also lead to anemia which can cause symptoms like fatigue and feeling cold. If you are concerned that you may have this, make sure to discuss this with your doctor.

Zinc & Selenium

The hair also requires adequate levels of zinc and selenium. These are minerals that are sometimes found to be low in those with certain types of hair loss. If you believe you may have inadequate levels of this, then discuss this with your doctor.

Solving Your Head’s Nutrient Deficiencies

If you want to try to optimize your diet for hair growth, then you should work with your doctor, dietitian, and/or nutritionist to determine the best diet for your individual needs. They may recommend eating foods high in many of the nutrients mentioned above including the following:

  • Fish
  • Nuts
  • Eggs
  • Leafy greens
  • Oysters

However again always consult with your doctor, nutritionist, and/or dietitian to determine your individual needs.

Still Dealing with Hair Loss?

In many cases, even in those in whom nutrition may play a role in their hair loss, they may have other factors such as genetics still contributing to their hair loss even after nutrient stores are repleted. If you want to get a diagnosis for the type of hair loss that you have and discuss the appropriate treatment options for your case, then get checked out by a dermatologist or hair restoration surgeon.

If you are in the greater Seattle area, our team at Root Hair Institute can help you discover your hair restoration options. If you want to learn more then book a consultation with our team.