What Deficiency Causes Hair Loss?

Hair loss can be caused due to a number of reasons. Hormonal changes, heredity, poor diet, stress and some prescription medications can be the culprits. Fortunately, you may be able to slow down the process by evaluating your diet. You should make sure you are getting the right vitamins and minerals that your hair needs.

What Deficiency Causes Hair Loss

Apart from hormone problems nutritional deficiencies in numerous vitamins such as vitamin E, vitamin D or vitamin A can also contribute to shedding hair. Though, there are many hair loss treatments available, Deficiencies in the following vitamins and minerals are known to cause hair loss and unhealthy hair:


A Zinc deficiency is known to affects the function of the hair follicles. If the hair follicles (the holes from which hair grows) are not healthy, then hair will not grow properly or not at all. The best sources of zinc are seafood, meat and poultry. Vegetarians can get a good amount of this mineral from nuts, whole grains and brewer’s yeast.

Vitamin A

The scalp uses vitamin A to create sebum. Sebum lubricates the hair roots and keeps hair from getting dry. Dry hair is more likely to become brittle, break and eventually fall out. Vitamin A is necessary for healthy hair, skin, nails and nerves. Incorporate vitamin A rich foods like carrots, apricots, spinach and peaches in your diet. Meat and dairy products are other sources of vitamin A.

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is a common factor in women’s hair loss. It is an important nutrient in the hair growth and hair strength. Often, women on diet neglect the foods that contain B12 and other B vitamins. If you are a vegetarian, better to opt for a B12 supplement because the best sources of the vitamin are meat sources. Sources like chicken, eggs, milk and fish include vitamin B12. Two good plant sources are bananas and sunflower seeds.


Biotin enhances growth, thickens the hair shaft and lessens hair loss. A lack of biotin can result in split ends and brittle hair. Hair that breaks off easily causes a head of thin hair. Brittle hair is more likely to have split ends that make hair look unhealthy. Therefore, it is good to include food sources like eggs, dairy and liver in your diet. Vegetarians should take a supplement to make sure they are getting enough of this vitamin.


An iron deficiency can lead to anemia, which is reduction in red blood cells. This is one of the most common causes of hair loss in women. Eating foods high in vitamin C along with vegetable sources of iron like spinach and broccoli will increase absorption of the vegetables’ iron. Lean beef cuts are also a good source of iron while avoiding excess fat. If you avoid beef in your diet then the dark meat from chicken and turkey are high in iron.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is important in maintaining healthy hair because it is instrumental in the production of red blood cells. Sources of vitamin C are well known and are present in pineapple, kiwi, strawberries and citrus fruits. Tomatoes are also a good source of vitamin C.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is essential to good blood circulation. Good circulation to the scalp feeds the hair follicles and keeps them healthy. Food sources like olive and canola oil, nuts, soybeans and seeds are good for hair. Cooked dried beans such as pinto, kidney, garbanzo and black beans are also good sources of vitamin E.

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