Debunking Myths: Vitamins Aren't Behind Hair Loss

Hair health can be significantly affected by vitamin deficiency as vitamins play an important role in hair growth along with other minerals and nutrients. They play key roles in hair growth by affecting the hair follicles' health and boosting immunity resulting in healthier hair follicles. Apart from playing a part in normal hair growth, a deficiency in their normal quantities can result in hair loss.

Vitamin deficiency is considered one of the main causes of hair loss. As they are essential for the structural development of hair, a reduced amount can result in hindered hair growth. Fortunately, vitamin deficiency is a modifiable factor that can be treated easily through diet and supplements.

Contrary to popular belief, hair loss is not only caused by a deficiency of vitamins. Sometimes it can result from excessive levels of vitamins as well. Therefore, a balance must be kept in terms of vitamin levels for optimal hair growth.

This article will explore the role of vitamins in hair growth and which vitamin deficiency causes hair loss. We will also provide evidence to support these claims.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is known to play an important part in many bodily functions, including vision, immunity, and cellular growth and differentiation. You can get vitamin A through various dietary sources such as leafy green vegetables, tomatoes, oranges and yellow vegetables, fruits, liver, and fish. The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of vitamin A for adults 19 and older is 3,000 IU per day for men and 2,333 IU per day for women. Dietary sources are generally considered sufficient to fulfil this daily intake. Taking more than the recommended amount of vitamin A can cause hair loss in both men and women.

A study conducted on 30 patients showed that using isotretinoin (vitamin A) can cause a reduction in total hair count and density. An excess of vitamin A can cause telogen effluvium type of hair loss.

Vitamin B Complex

Vitamin B complex is made of eight vitamins, including B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic), vitamin B6, B7 (biotin), folate, and vitamin B12. The RDA of vitamin B for adults of age 19 years and older is 1.3 mg per day for men and 1.1 mg per day for women. You can easily take this amount of vitamin B through dietary sources like leafy green vegetables, broccoli, liver, peas, brussels sprouts, seeds, fish, eggs, and legumes. Out of eight vitamins in this water-soluble complex, the deficiency of riboflavin, folate, vitamin B12, and biotin can cause hair loss.

Vitamin B2 or (Riboflavin)

Vitamin B2 deficiency is a sporadic condition in the US but is more common in developing countries. A deficiency of vitamin B2 can be a culprit of hair loss along with other health conditions.

Vitamin B7 or Biotin

Although biotin deficiency is rare, it can cause hair loss in biotin-deficient people. It is a trendy ingredient in hair, skin, and nail growth products. However, in most cases, these products contain biotin levels that are way beyond the recommended daily intake.

According to a 2016 study, 38% of women facing hair shedding were biotin deficient. Of this 38% of women, 11% had risk factors of biotin deficiency.

According to a case report, taking 3 to 5 mg of daily biotin supplements for 3 to 4 months can improve hair growth in children suffering from uncombable hair syndrome. Uncombable hair syndrome is a condition in which the patient is unable to comb their hair straight.


Folate is another member of the vitamin B complex that can play a role in hair health. The RDA of folate for adults is 200 mcg per day and should not exceed the limit of 1000 mcg per day. While a balanced diet can provide sufficient folate to meet daily dietary intake levels, folate-deficient people can have problems with their hair, skin, and nails health as shown by research.

According to an Indian study conducted in 2017, a significant number of patients struggling with androgenetic alopecia and telogen effluvium were deficient in folate. However, this observation could be a problem of the Indian population only. Further research is needed to establish a concrete link between hair loss and folate deficiency.

Vitamin B12

According to a retrospective cross-sectional study conducted on 115 patients having telogen effluvium, 2.6% of participants were vitamin B12 deficient.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is also water-soluble and plays a key role in iron absorption and mobilization. For these reasons, vitamin D deficiency can cause low iron levels that can potentially result in hair loss. There are studies showing an association between vitamin C deficiency and body hair abnormalities. However, more research is needed to prove a link between vitamin C deficiency and hair loss.

As the human body is not capable of synthesizing vitamin C, we must take it through dietary sources such as citrus fruits, potatoes, tomatoes, green peppers, and cabbage.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D regulates the growth and differentiation of keratinocytes. Keratinocytes are cells that play a crucial part in hair health. If you are low on vitamin D, it can result in hair damage.

According to a small study, vitamin D deficiency can cause hair loss and can result in scalp and body alopecia.


Hair loss can be caused by an array of causes, including genetics, environmental factors, and nutritional deficiencies. It is imperative to find the exact cause of your hair loss before starting any hair loss treatment. It is recommended to visit your dermatologist to see if vitamin deficiency is causing your hair fall and if taking vitamin supplements can be the cure of your condition.


1. What vitamin stops your hair from falling out?

Vitamins A, C, and D, and Biotin are among the most popular vitamins to combat hair fall. However, these vitamins only work if your hair fall is caused by a deficiency of these vitamins.

2. Does B12 deficiency cause hair loss?

Yes, vitamin B12 deficiency can cause hair thinning and hair loss.

3. Can vitamin deficiency hair loss grow back?

Yes, your hair loss can be reversed if caused by vitamin deficiency as soon as you start taking the lacking vitamins.

4. Is vitamin D good for hair loss?

Vitamin D plays a role in hair follicles' health. A deficiency of vitamin D can damage hair follicles and cause hair shedding. In these cases, taking vitamin D can reverse your hair loss problems.