Vitamin D And Hair Loss
Whether you are a man or a woman, losing your hair is quite distressing. While it is more common for menís hairlines to recede, or for eventual complete baldness to occur, it isnít a welcome change for most. For women who experience thinning or balding, extreme self-consciousness can occur.
There are numerous causes of hair loss, but a deficiency in the body of an essential vitamin is one cause that is often overlooked. Deficiencies can cause thinning, and increasing intake of this important vitamin can help to remedy the situation.
The Hair Growth Cycle
Hair growth occurs in a cycle consisting of three phases. The first is the anagen phase, during which the follicles produce hair which grows. The second is the catagen phase, which is a resting period during which no growth occurs. The third phase, the telogen phase, causes the follicle to release the hair and prepare to produce a new one. The entire cycle lasts several years, and your locks are in various stages of growth at different times. An average of 100 strands are lost per day as the follicles enter the telogen phase, but since other strands are still in the growing or resting phases, their loss isnít noticeable.
A deficiency in vitamin D can disrupt the growth cycle. For example, the resting phase may become extended, which means that a larger number of follicles will be in the holding stage at the same time. These follicles release the hairs from entering the telogen phase then a larger than normal number of strands will be shed in a relatively close period of time causing noticeable thinning.
In a similar process, if a vitamin D deficiency causes a larger than normal number of follicles to end the resting phase and enter the telogen phase, then many follicles will shed at once, resulting in noticeable loss. The loss of Vitamin D can also impact scalp tissue - severe deficiencies possibly leading to scalp sores and hair loss combined. Vitamin D, which is absorbed into the body through sunlight and through foods rich in the nutrient, makes follicles more healthy, which can help restore the growth cycle so that a consistent pattern of growth, rest, and shedding occur.
Vitamin D Receptors
Recent scientific research indicates that vitamin D can also stimulate growth in inactive follicles and even promote growth of new follicles due to vitamin D receptors in the cells. Thinning and balding are sometimes the result of follicles essentially shutting down. As a person ages, the growth cycle frequently slows down; however, in some people, the follicles become dormant and stop producing altogether.
In addition, aging can also cause a disruption in the growth of follicles; instead of becoming follicles as they were intended, the cells may become ordinary skin cells instead. The fewer follicles on the head the less hair can be produced. These receptors in the cells can, when there is a sufficient amount of the nutrient in the body, stimulate the follicles so that they will become productive again. In addition, the receptors can assist in the process of follicle growth, so that those cells destined to become follicles complete their growth cycle successfully. Vitamins for hair loss for women, in particular, often contain Vitamin D as well as a complex of B Vitamins and nutrients. Combined, this provides adequate nutrition to ensure there is a balance minerals, amino acids and vitamins to avoid deficiencies.