by Ajia N. Eberhart

Throughout their journey, many naturalistas will board the “hair growth challenges” bandwagon. By hair growth challenges, I’m referring to three monthlong challenges that involve pills, pills and more pills. They stock up on items like Hairfinity, The Mane Choice, or the generic Biotin complex brand. They believe biotin will be the answer to their hair-growth problems. They may not realize, however, the role the common vitamin D plays in the process of strong hair, growth and retention.

How Do We Get Vitamin D into our Bodies?

Remember when your parents told you to go outside because it was good for your body? Even though you may not have comprehended it at the time, the sun exposure helped your body produce vitamin D.

Besides sunbathing to obtain the amount of vitamin D our bodies need, some alternatives to receiving your daily dose are eating fatty fish like tuna or sardines, or going with whole eggs for the non-fish eaters.

Vitamin D Deficiency and Hair Loss

Many people understand that vitamin D is good for your skin; we also know that a healthy scalp is only one component to healthy hair. The scalp is another section of body skin, which makes vitamin D also good for the scalp. A 2010 study in the Dermatology Online Journal established that cases regarding hair loss also showed low vitamin D levels, which disturbed the hair follicle growth cycles.

According to Dr. John Cannell, MD, having a vitamin D deficiency causes the hair follicles to become dormant, thus creating a weak basis for healthy growth. Eventually, this leads to hair loss.

A 2012 Harvard Public School of Health study suggested that vitamin D can create new hair follicles. Researchers found that vitamin D stimulated dormant hair follicles, leading to restoration of hair growth. Follicles that are dormant for too long begin to release the hair which results in patterned balding. It is important to keep in mind that even if follicles are restored, hair may not grow, suggesting other issues are present.

Hair Loss Treatment Results

Though there aren’t any guarantees of hair loss recovery, there are steps that can be taken to get on the right path. Some of the more common, attainable solutions are Rogaine and Propecia. A study published on Progressive Health found that patients in remission from chemotherapy who used a topical gel with vitamin D saw positive results. The biggest contribution anyone can make to increase their vitamin D levels is creating a balanced diet and going outside on a sunny day.

The Takeaway

If you’re suffering from hair loss due to a vitamin D deficiency, it’s fine to work toward increasing those levels — BUT be aware of the amount your body takes in to avoid serious health complications.

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