There are several reasons for hair loss from genetics to dietary deficiencies. During winters hair thinning can become particularly bad — here’s how you can get thicker hair according to an expert
Anything from genetic predisposition to external factors like stress, hormonal imbalance and vitamin deficiency can trigger hair loss.
Vitamins in particular are key to keep up the overall health of your body, with hair health being no exception.
Vitamin D is especially important for healthy hair growth cycles as every hair follicle contains a vitamin D receptor.
A lack of vitamin D is one of the most common deficiencies and reason for hair loss in men and women, particularly during the winter when we’re exposed to less sun.
But hair and wellness experts assure us that a good diet and lifestyle changes can help address any hair loss issues caused by vitamin D deficiency.
What causes hair loss?
It’s believed that just 30 minutes of midday sunlight a day or 10 micrograms of vitamin D helps build our immunity, strengthen our bones and keep our hair healthy.
But according to Heart UK one in five UK adults lack vitamin D, particularly as winter approaches and daylight decreases.
Between October and March in the UK, we don’t get enough vitamin D from sunlight, because the light doesn’t contain enough UVB rays.
This not only weakens immune systems but also makes hair look and feel lacklustre, leading to more hair loss.
When there’s less sun, people need to rely on getting their daily dose of vitamin D from food or even supplements.
Karl Kristian- founder of Scandinavian health and wellness brand New Nordic, explained: “Vitamin D is so important as it is metabolized in the skin by keratinocytes.
“These are skin cells that process keratin, a protein in hair, nails, and skin. When the body doesn’t have enough vitamin D, keratinocytes in hair follicles have trouble regulating hair growth and shedding.”
Tips to get more vitamin D and prevent hair loss
Kristian advised that the key to having healthy, full hair is to have a healthy scalp.
For this, we need to look beyond our usual hair washing routine, he explained.
He said that eating foods such as oily fish, red meat, eggs (particularly the yolks.) can help increase your vitamin D intake. Also speaking of the importance of supplements.
He added: “In winter, especially around the festive period, a healthy diet isn’t necessarily at the forefront of the agenda so taking a supplement is a great idea. There are a range of tablets and gummies out there to choose from.”
Another tip he gave is massaging your scalp every time you wash your hair. This helps clean any oil and dead skin cell build up, it will also help stimulate hair growth.
He said: “Gently use your fingers tips, with your thumbs where your head and neck meet and your little fingers by your forehead, to push in circular motions, slowly putting pressure in between the roots of your hair.”
Other deficiencies which cause hair loss
Hair loss is not always caused by lack of vitamin D.
It could also be due to vitamin B12 deficiency which is usually found in animal products or from eating too little protein, which causes hair to become brittle and break off.
A diet consisting of lean meat, eggs, oily fish, low-fat cheese, quinoa, nuts and tofu can help address protein deficiency, while it’s best to look for foods fortified with Vitamin B12 and take a supplement, especially if you’re vegetarian or vegan.