As soon as we see our hair falling or thinning, we automatically rush for hair supplements hoping for a cure in a pill.
By definition, supplements are products that are intended to supplement one diet, and as a result may prevent certain nutritional deficiencies.
People look at supplements all wrong, what they don’t realise is that it is not a medication that will fix a problem. It will only work if you do have a nutritional deficiency causing your hair loss, which isn’t always the case.
Here are some common vitamins that may be linked to diet deficiency related hair loss:
Iron – Iron deficiency is the world’s most common nutritional deficiency and is a well-known cause of hair loss. Signs of iron deficiency include extreme fatigue, weakness, pale skin, cold hands & feet and brittle nails. A blood test is the best way to determine whether you have iron/ferritin deficiency, only then can you take iron supplements.
Vitamin B - The vitamin B complex includes eight water-soluble vitamin substances—thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), vitamin B6, biotin (B7), folate (B9), and vitamin B12—that aid in cell metabolism. The recommended daily allowances of these vitamins can be reached by eating a balanced diet, with the exception of biotin, which is the only B vitamin produced by the body Only B2, B7, B9, and vitamin B12 deficiencies have been associated with hair loss. ! In healthy individuals, biotin does NOT need to be supplemented.
Zinc – Zinc plays an important role in maintaining healthy hair growth. Signs of zinc deficiency include loss of appetite, weight loss, diarrhoea, low energy, more prone to illness and infections (cold, coughs, chest infection). Zinc supplements are available on its own or as part of multivitamins.
Vitamin D - Data from animal studies suggests that vitamin D plays a role in regenerating the hair follicles. Some symptoms of low Vitamin D include fatigue, muscle weakness, bone pain, mood changes. If you live in countries that don’t get a lot of sunlight or in the winter months, it might be a good idea to supplement.
Fatty acids- Fatty acids include omega 3, 6 and 9. Omega 3 and 6 have demonstrated some links to hair growth if you don’t get enough through your diet.