When To See A Doctor For Hair Loss
If you notice sudden hair loss, make an appointment to see a doctor right away. Sudden hair loss can be a sign of an underlying medical condition like thyroid disease, ringworm, menopause, or pregnancy. Hair loss can also be a sign of a reaction to a medication used to treat cancer, high blood pressure, arthritis, depression, or heart problems.
If you are losing your hair gradually or noticing more scalp than you used to, and you have any concerns about it, contact a dermatologist sooner rather than later. Hair loss can be permanent, so the earlier you start treating it, the more likely you are to have better results.
A board-certified dermatologist is the expert at diagnosing and treating hair loss, says Dr. Hooper. Hair loss is complex and often has a combination of causes. Your dermatologist will talk to you about how much hair you have lost, examine your scalp, skin, and nails, and possibly do blood work or a biopsy to help diagnose your issue and create a treatment plan.
Do Any Vitamins Help With Hair Growth
There are some studies and anecdotal evidence that support the idea that low vitamin D levels can hinder hair growth, and a lot of people tend to have low vitamin D, even if theyre otherwise healthy, says Dr. Bhanusali. And the same goes for lower iron levels. A lot of derms see good results by prescribing patients iron supplements and vitamin D supplements,” he says, “although always check with your doctor before taking anything.
If you are not vitamin deficient but still want longer, healthier, stronger hair, then sadly, supplements will probably do very little for you, says Burg. Hey, maybe youll be the lucky wild cardagain, there are no mass studies definitively saying yes or nobut if were talkin from a point of science here, your odds arent great.
Does Biotin Help Hair Growth
Sorry , but theres no definitive answer on whether biotin really helps grow hair. According to dermatologist Vivian Bucay, MD, clinical assistant professor at the University of Texas Health Science Center, if youre taking a stand-alone biotin supplement, youd need to take at least 5 milligrams daily for it to have the chance of affecting hair growthbut even then, theres no guarantee itll do anything.
Its also worth noting that biotinjust like any supplementisnt without its downsides: Excess biotin has the potential to trigger breakouts in some acne-prone individuals . More research is needed to understand the exact correlation, but what is known is that taking biotin can also affect major medical tests your doctor may perform. Basically, unless you yourself are a doctor , make sure to discuss all supplement-related info with an actual MD.
Also Check: What Ingredient Causes Hair Loss
Amino Acids For Healthy Hair Growth
Healthy hair depends on two amino-acid-built proteins: keratin and collagen.
Ninety percent of every strand of hair on your head is made of a tough, fibrous protein called keratin. Keratin is formed from long chains of amino acids that allow your hair to bend, twist, and turn without breaking, lending strength and elasticity to hair.
Collagen is another building block of hair. A 2016 study from Japanese researchers linked hair loss to decreased collagen near hair follicle stem cells beneath the scalp. Eating protein-rich foods and taking essential amino acid supplements can support the health of your hair by helping your body produce more keratin and collagen.
The 4 amino acids that help boost keratin hair growth are:
The 4 amino acids that help increase collagen production are:
But amino acids don’t stop there. They also help form red blood cells that carry oxygen and nutrients to hair cells. Healthy hair depends on these nutrients.
Weve already seen how lysine can help protect against hair loss, but lets take a look at other key amino acids for hair loss in more detail.
Viviscal Max Strength Supplement 2999
For: Boosting hair growth
This is a favourite of dermatologist Justine Hextalls, who often recommends it to her patients for supporting the foundation of healthy hair growth. One of the most commonly used supplements for healthy hair and nails are marine proteins such as those in Viviscal, which have been shown to reduce hair loss and promote stronger hair, she says. They provide missing amino acids in the hair follicle to promote a healthy follicle and subsequent hair growth. The key ingredient is a marine protein as well as horsetail, zinc, iron in the hair-friendly form of iron ferrous fumarate, and vitamin B3. It also contains vitamin D, which Dr Sophie Shotter says is essential for follicle nourishment.
Also Check: Why Has My Hair Gotten So Thin
What Might Cause A Biotin Deficiency
Some people may develop a biotin deficiency for a variety of reasons, including pregnancy, smoking, taking medications to treat epilepsy, consuming excessive raw egg whites, intense physical activity, metabolic disorders, and gastrointestinal difficulties. While the symptoms of biotin deficiency include tiredness, confusion, numbness in fingers and toes, rashes, and depression, the most commonly recognized sign is hair loss.
Do Hair Growth Vitamins Really Work
Because there isnt really an FDA-approved standard of ingredients, strengths, or formulations across hair vitamin brands, theres never going to be an officialyes or no answer as to whether hair supplements work . But if you ask the expertsor me, who tried taking them for two months and was only left with breakoutsthe answer to whether or not hair vitamins really work is pretty much a big ol NOPE across the board.
Plus, even though vitamins themselves are absolutely necessary and beneficial for your hair, they wont do much if your body is already stocked with themwhich it probably already is. Most people get all the vitamins they need to manage their hair growth just from their diet alone, says trichologist Dominic Burg, chief scientist at Evolis Professional.
Read Also: What Supplement For Hair Loss
Can A Supplement Make A Difference
The specific nutrients in hair, skin, and nail supplements include antioxidants like vitamins A, C, and E, or Coenzyme Q10, and also biotin, a B-complex vitamin. Hair supplements often contain manganese and selenium as well as fatty acids like fish oil and flaxseed oil.
Deficiencies of these nutrients, although uncommon, may cause a range of hairand, sometimes, skin and nailchanges. Over time, for instance, insufficient intake of vitamins A and E can cause rough, scaly skin patches. A deficiency of biotin may cause eczema and hair loss.
But for those with no clear deficiencies, experts say theres no good evidence that supplements can make a difference.
Im not aware of any robust data suggesting that any supplements can treat natural, aging-related hair loss or nail damage, or give you healthier skin, says Pieter Cohen, MD, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and an expert on dietary supplements.
Two 1990s studies did find that biotin supplements may help strengthen soft, easily breakable nails. But the studies were small and not rigorously conducted, and havent been replicated, Cohen says.
Its nothing that would ever lead me to recommend it to any of my patients, he adds.
A lot of hair supplements also have biotin, Katta says, but for people with normal levels, weve never actually shown that taking a supplement will increase hair growth.
What Types Of Vitamins Cause Hair Loss
While talking about the impact of vitamins on hair loss, we should learn what their functions are.
Among the important ones, Vitamin D is first.
- Vitamin D: It is known as a sunlight vitamin generally. Vitamin D is one of the important vitamins for our body to work properly. It is a supportive vitamin for hair. Its main aims are making better the immunity system, bones, and beautifying the skin with new cells in the tissue. For hairs, it helps new hair follicles come together and stay stronger. Vitamin D exists in sunlight mostly however, vitamin supplements and food that include vitamin D provides the needed amount of vitamin D for your hairs.
Don’t Miss: Does Selenium Cause Hair Loss
Best Biotin For Hair Growth
If youve spoken with a healthcare provider and decided to take a biotin supplement as part of your hair care regimen, you may be aware that the market is flooded with biotin supplements that all make the same claims. How can you tell which ones are the best? The answer depends on what youre looking for specifically and what you consider important.
Based on reviews, if you just want biotin without any other vitamins or nutrients,Meribin High Potency Biotin, a 5,000 mcg capsule, is a trusted name. Customers say another good, inexpensive choice is Natures Bounty Biotin Softgels, which come in 5,000 mcg and 10,000 mcg sizes. If youre looking for a little less biotin, some recommend trying Solgar Biotin, a 3,000 mcg tablet that is vegan, non-GMO, and gluten free. If you want something you can chew on, people like Vitafusion Biotin gummies, which are 5,000 mcg and naturally blueberry flavored with no high-fructose corn syrup.
Other popular choices for hair growth include:
- Zhou Hairfluence, which has 5,000 mcg of biotin, collagen, hydrolyzed keratin, and other essential vitamins
- Code Age hair vitamins, which contain 10,000 mcg of biotin and other hair-healthy ingredients
- MegaFood Skin, Nails & Hair, which has 300 mcg of biotin and a special support blend made from organic plants.
- Nutrafol, which has 3,000 mcg of biotin, selenium, iodine, and vitamin C, A, and D
- Viviscal, which has 120 mcg of biotin and a proprietary marine complex of amino acids
How Do I Know If I Have A Vitamin Deficiency
Vitamins and minerals do play a role in hair health, and vitamin deficiency can be behind hair loss. There are quite a few signs that can give clues if someone has a severe vitamin deficiency. To get a better idea, Herrmann broke down a few common deficiencies and what they may cause. According to Herrmann:
Vitamin C deficiency: This causes hair-splitting, bleeding gums, nosebleeds, poor wound healing, and problems fighting infections.
Niacin deficiency: Can cause a scaly rash on sun-exposed skin, headaches, vomiting and diarrhea, fatigue, and depression.
Vitamin A deficiency: This can cause dry skin, dry eyes, night blindness, delayed growth, and breakouts.
“Vitamin deficiencies can be detected through blood work. They are uncommon except in those following strict diets, including vegan diets,” Herrmann explains. “Vegans may need to supplement to make sure they obtain adequate amounts of vitamins that come from animal products. Also, strict sun avoidance can put someone at higher risk for vitamin D deficiency.”
Recommended Reading: Why Am I Having Extreme Hair Loss
The General Consensus Hair Loss Vitamins Just Dont Work
If a patient is deficient in a specific vitamin, then its important to take that vitamin, Dr. Shapiro says. But, if someone isnt deficient, then I dont recommend taking them.
Dr. Tosti agrees.
Vitamin supplementation is useful in the case of vitamin deficiency, but not in general, she says. Furthermore, hair vitamins frequently contain vitamin Awhich actually might cause hair lossand biotin, which could alter the results of laboratory tests.
That means that if you dont have a specific deficiency, taking vitamins wont help youand may even cause other issues.
Top Vitamins For Hair Growth
The hair on your scalp grows through a multi-phase process thats referred to as the hair growth cycle.
Throughout this cycle, your hair follicles produce new hairs that grow to their full length over the course of several years.
Like your skin and nails, each of the approximately 100,000 follicles on your scalp requires vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients to grow effectively.
Eating a healthy, balanced diet thats rich in these vitamins is an important part of keeping your hair strong, thick and healthy.
While vitamin and mineral deficiencies dont cause male pattern baldness, they can play a role in other types of hair loss, such as telogen effluvium.
Some vitamin deficiencies may also cause your hair to become brittle, increasing the risk of it breaking off when you style or comb it.
Also Check: What Is The Best Topical Treatment For Hair Loss
How Can I Stop My Hair Loss
You can follow a few hair hygiene tips to make your hair less likely to fall out.
What Are The Best Hair Growth Pills
Okay, so lets pretend youve gotten your blood tested, youve gotten the green light from your doctor, youve made a deal with the hair gods, and youre ready to try some hair supplements. Cool. Do not go overboard. Doubling up on supplements can be incredibly dangerous over timesome vitamins get peed out by your system, but others can build up to toxic levelsso test only one supplement at a time, and make sure that whatever you ingest is a reputable, well-reviewed formula. And, ideally, approved by your doc.
Recommended Reading: What Vitamins To Take For Hair Loss
Herbs And Foods For Hair Growth
Though not vitamins, two other products can help improve hair growth. Rosemary essential oil used topically can naturally thicken hair, as can aloe vera juice and gel. Using these along with the above vitamins for hair growth, and youre sure to see fuller, thicker hair.
Rosemary Essential Oil
When applied over the scalp, rosemary oil is believed to increase cellular metabolism that stimulates hair growth. A 2013 study conducted at Kinki University in Japan found that rosemary leaf extract improved hair regrowth in mice that experienced hair regrowth interruption induced by testosterone treatment.
A human study conducted in 2015 investigated the clinical efficacy of rosemary oil in the treatment of androgenetic alopecia. Patients with androgenetic alopecia were treated for six months with either rosemary oil or minoxidil , which served as a the control group. Minoxidil is a medication used to stimulate hair growth and slow balding.
After six months of treatment, both groups experienced a significant increase in hair count. Scalp itching, however, was more frequent in the minoxidil group. The study proves that rosemary oil is just as effective as hair growth medications, with less side effects, such as scalp itching.
Try this Rosemary, Cedarwood & Safe Hair Thickener to reverse the signs of hair loss.
Aloe Vera Juice and Gel
Superior Hair By Food Science Of Vermont 2850
For: Menopausal hair loss
According to Shabir, this is the most comprehensive hair supplement to combat hair loss in menopause and perimenopause. Changing hormones can bring about testosterone dominance – not because you produce more testosterone at this time but because you have less oestrogen to buffer it. “This excessive testosterone is converted into dihydrotestosterone ,” explains Shabir. “When DHT reaches the scalp, it can cause inflammation of the scalp resulting in damage to the hair follicles which ultimately leads to hair loss.
“This is the most widely accepted theory of menopausal hair loss and scientists estimate that nearly 95 per cent of all cases of hair loss are the result of increased DHT levels in the body.” With saw palmetto, MSM, plant sterols, biotin, zinc and copper, this supplement combines well-researched ingredients that work to help reduce testosterone levels naturally, and without side effects, in addition to containing nutrients that ‘feed’ the hair follicles, says Shabir.
Recommended Reading: Is Hair Loss A Side Effect Of Menopause