Ask an Expert: Could Vitamin D End Hair Loss?

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No matter your gender or age, hair loss can be traumatic to anyone. However, with new research, it appears that we’re inching closer and closer to stopping hair loss in its tracks. Recently, scientists discovered that vitamin D seems to reactivate hair follicles that shut down in hair loss. So what does that mean for you?

“We do believe that for that reason vitamin D does play a significant role in the hair growth cycle,” says Miami dermatologist Dr. Janice Lima-Maribona. “We do know that at the follicular level there are receptors for vitamin D, and a lot of people do claim that after taking vitamin D they notice a significant improvement with hair growth and quality.”

That said, when doctors treat hair loss, they typically recommend taking a full spectrum of vitamins along with other treatments to see results. Another factor that comes into play when treating hair loss is the reason behind it.

Most men lose hair due to genetics and male pattern baldness, but women tend to have reactive hair loss. That means that their hair is being lost because of a reaction to outside causes such as a crash diet, divorce or surgery. “These things that are a shock to the body create stress, and the hair reacts and starts falling out,” says Dr. Lima-Maribona.

According to a study we reported in the past, marital status is the second biggest cause of hair loss in women. The study examined twins that were genetically programmed to experience hair loss and found that "if one twin loses more hair than the other, it is related to external factors,” says Cleveland plastic surgeon Bahman Guyuron, MD, American Society of Plastic Surgeons Member Surgeon and co-author of the study.

Other things that can cause hair loss are reactions to different hair treatments and products, as well as frequent trauma to the hair from heat styling. The best way to determine the cause of your hair loss and find a treatment is to visit a board-certified dermatologist or hair loss specialist.

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  • ashleigh

    Well Vitamin D is good but you probably need more than just one type of vitamin. Hair needs protein and B vitamins too. Hair Formula 37 was the best hair vitamin that I have taken. It helped my hair feel thicker and stopped some of the breakage and shedding I was having.

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  • zoanie

    hey marilyn,,,i recently got diagnosed with hypothyroid,dr wants to put me on thyroxin,,my hair are falling out in clumps and im just 26,,i have no other symptom.im not willing to take t4 only drug..i feer of loosing more hair if i start medication.can u plz telme what are u taking that actually stopped ur hairfall and helped u regrow ur hair??thanx

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  • Rd3530

    Which vitamin D is best? D2 or D3?

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  • Lovely

    See a dermatologist who is accredited with years of experience, such as Dermacare. Get your blood work done, they will get to the bottom of it. I visited a dermatologist a few years ago, they didn't do a good job at all. My scalp was looked at, a topical solution was prescribed, which didn't help at all. Just inexperienced students.

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  • rachelsjulia

    Everyone wants shiny, silky and beautiful hair. No matter what your hair texture is you can have healthy-looking hair. If you’re suffering from losses, thinning and baldness, you should have take natural hair regrowth supplement in order to cure to that kind of problems. I found Reloxe at http://www.reloxe.com which is best in hair regrowth.

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  • Reloxe - Natural Hair Rregrowth

    Vitamin D could also help in hair loss. Vitamins is really helpful to our general health.

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  • Linda

    If the T4 ie synthroid/thyroxine isn't converting to the active T3 hormone to enter the receptor sites on the cell then you could still be hypothyroid. Blood test are not accurate and have been so for years. Doctors should check basal pulse rate, on waking, and symptoms and treat accordingly. I would never recommend taking T4 only.

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  • Angela

    Dr. Bauman, Do you know where we can find the list of Doctors that you mentioned? Thanks

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  • Marilyn

    I agree with Melba. An underactive Thyroid is a major cause of hair loss, at least it was for me. Once I was put on the correct medication, it stopped. Another cause of hair loss which many people don't know about is from chewing the gum to stop smoking. If you check out the side effects of this gum, hair loss is one of them.

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  • Dr. Alan J. Bauman, M.D.

    Actually, it was some published research on the vitamin D *receptor* that helped make this story 'news.' Actual treatments that take advantage of this are probably many, many years off. First step for hair loss sufferers is to find a doctor that specializes exclusively in hair loss and one that scientifically diagnoses, treats and monitors the response to the therapies prescribed. There are only 100 doctors certified by the ABHRS (American Board of Hair Restoration) and only 50 doctors recommended by AHLA (American Hair Loss Association) so it's worth it to do your homework and look "outside your neighborhood" for help. Help is available for the vast majority of women with thinning hair problems. Sincerely, Dr. Alan J. Bauman - Boca Raton, FL

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  • Melba

    Vitamin D sure didn't help me. About a year ago, my hair started falling out literally by the handful. I'm on thyroid medication for an underactive thyroid, so I immediately thought that was the problem. After months of re-adjustings the meds, my doc hit upon the right dosage and the fallout stopped. Now it's finally growing back in. I have taken 4,000 IU for years, due to a deficiency, but before I started the D, I never had a hair loss issue. The vit D is necessary for good health, but if women are suffering with hair loss, have your thyroid checked. Hypothyroidism is very common in women over 40.

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