Hair loss vitamins

Natural ways to support hair health

What causes hair loss? Optimize your nutrition to prevent hair loss The top 4 biomarkers for healthy hair References:

It’s clear - one day we will all wake up to discover that our once-voluptuous crown of locks has descended into a state of disarray. For some, this simply means having bedhead - which can often look on-par with an expensive haircut. For others, it means realizing that your hairline is receding, or bald patches are beginning to appear, all at varying speeds.

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We all experience hair loss to varying degrees - learn more about what causes hair loss and which vitamins can help to prevent it.

What causes hair loss?

Hair loss can be completely normal and is influenced by our genes. According to scientific research, a hair loss rate of up to 100 hairs per day is actually very normal for the average person. However, a loss of more than 100 hairs per day could prove to be a sign of illness. We mostly lose our hairs throughout the day, for example when in the shower or putting on clothing. If you notice your hair is falling out in clumps, it may be over the 100 hairs per day benchmark and you should consult your doctor for medical advice.

Hair loss is furthermore influenced by our age, nutrition, medicinal intake, lifestyle, and hormones. A unique combination of all of the above can lead to hair loss. For example, aspects of our lifestyles will heavily influence any rate of hair loss: are you regularly stressed? Do you smoke cigarettes? How often do you consume over-the-counter or prescription drugs?

Our hormones change over time, and can have a relationship with the way we experience hair loss and stress in general. For example, aldosterone, a steroid hormone that regulates the reabsorption of sodium and water through our kidneys, also controls blood pressure. There is also cortisone, which is a hormone produced by our bodies that reduces inflammation. We experience greater levels of this hormone when we are under stress.

For serious athletes, it is already well-understood that taking anabolic steroids to expedite muscle growth can affect our bodies’ hormone levels, which may lead to hair loss in that demographic.

However as time passes, hair loss is a fully natural function of the human body. Women will grow older and experience hair loss in conjunction with menopause, while men mostly deal with receding hairlines over their entire lifespans.

Optimize your nutrition to prevent hair loss

To look into controlling hair loss, you first have to look into your diet - are you malnourished? Do you have a general lack of vitamins and other micronutrients in your diet? Zinc, iron, biotin, vitamin A, beta carotene, and omega-3 fatty acids are the main nutrients you have to focus on optimizing in your diet if you want to focus on curbing hair loss. Consuming more biotin for hair health has, for example, been proven many times over as an efficient way to boost hair loss prevention.

In addition to having a balanced nutrition to combat hair loss, it is also helpful to reduce consumption of harmful products such as cigarettes and alcohol, and your overall stress levels to achieve some degree of hair loss prevention.

The top 4 biomarkers for healthy hair

Vitamin A

  • Vitamin A helps make our hair stronger, helping it avoid easy breakage, and keeping it looking healthy
  • Foods rich in vitamin A include carrots, sweet potatoes, and leafy greens

Vitamin E

  • Vitamin E protects healthy fats from being destroyed by free radicals, which influences the health of our hair as relevant proteins are also protected
  • Foods rich in vitamin E include spinach, almonds, and avocados

Vitamin C

  • Vitamin C also functions as a protector of important healthy fats and proteins, and when used in combination with vitamin E, it has the potential to boost the protective properties of vitamin E
  • Foods rich in vitamin C include oranges, red bell peppers, and kale

Biotin

  • Also known as vitamin B7, biotin is important for healthy hair growth and development
  • Foods rich in biotin include nuts (such as almonds or walnuts), eggs, and onions

Aside from these top 4 biomarkers for healthy hair, the following trace elements are also important in hair cell structure and growth:

  • Silicon
  • Zinc
  • Iron
  • Copper

References:

  • Lin-Hui Su, MSc; Tony Hsiu-Hsi Chen: Association of Androgenetic Alopecia With Smoking and Its Prevalence Among Asian Men A Community-Based Survey. Arch Dermatol. 2007;143(11):1401-1406.

  • Sanke S et al.: A Comparison of the Hormonal Profile of Early Androgenetic Alopecia in Men With the Phenotypic Equivalent of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome in Women. JAMA Dermatol. 2016; online 15. Juni 2016; doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2016.1776

  • Carr, Anitra C., and Balz Frei. "Toward a new recommended dietary allowance for vitamin C based on antioxidant and health effects in humans." The American journal of clinical nutrition 69.6 (1999): 1086-1107. (Für eine neue empfohlene Vitamin C-Tagesmenge basierend auf dessen antioxidativer und gesundheitlicher Auswirkungen beim Menschen) (Studie als PDF)

  • National Institutes of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements, "Vitamin C – Fact Sheet for Health Professionals", June 2013, (Vitamin C - Datenblatt für Therapeuten) (Studie als PDF)

  • Noppakun, Nopadon, and Daratana Swasdikul. "Reversible hyperpigmentation of skin and nails with white hair due to vitamin B12 deficiency." Archives of dermatology 122.8 (1986): 896-899. (Reversible Hyperpigmentierung der Haut und Nägel inkl. weisses Haar aufgrund eines Vitamin-B12-Mangels) (Studie als PDF)

  • Glynis, Ablon. "A Double-blind, Placebo-controlled Study Evaluating the Efficacy of an Oral Supplement in Women with Self-perceived Thinning Hair." The Journal of clinical and aesthetic dermatology 5.11 (2012): 28. (Eine doppelblinde, placebokontrollierte Studie zur Einschätzung der Wirksamkeit einer Nahrungsergänzung bei Frauen mit dünnem Haar) (Studie als PDF)

  • Piccardi, Nathalie, and Patricia Manissier."Nutrition and nutritional supplementation: Impact on skin health and beauty." Dermato-endocrinology1.5 (2009): 271. (Ernährung und Nahrungsergänzung: Auswirkungen auf Hautgesundheit und Schönheit) (Studie als PDF)

  • Malanin, Ken, Eniko Telegdy, and Hussain Qazaq. "Hair loss and serum zinc values among Arab females in Al Ain region, United Arab Emirates." EJD. European journal of dermatology 17.5 (2007): 446-447., (Haarausfall und Zinkwerte im Serum bei arabischen Frauen) (Studie als PDF)

  • Last, Walter. "Copper salicylate – A potent inflammation fighter and rejuvenator". Cancer Nat Ther Found Aust (2009): 2-9. (Kupfersalicylat – Ein mächtiger Kämpfer gegen Entzündungen und ein Verjüngungsmittel) (Studie als PDF)

  • Lassus A., "Colloidal silicic acid for oral and topical treatment of aged skin, fragile hair and brittle nails in females", J Int Med Res. 1993 Jul-Aug;21(4):209-15. (Kolloidales Silicium für orale und topische Anwendung bei alternder Haut, brüchigem Haar und brüchigen Fingernägeln bei Frauen) (Studie als PDF)

  • Morganti, P., et al. "Effect of gelatin-cystine and Serenoa repens extract on free radicals level and hair growth." Journal of applied cosmetology 16 (1998): 57-64. (Wirkung von Gelatine-Cystin und Sägepalmextrakt auf oxidativen Stress und Haarwachstum) (Studie als PDF)