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Supplements for hair health: The vitamin which may be a ‘treatment option’ for hair loss

Gemma Atkinson reveals her hair loss

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The NHS says hair loss is not usually anything to be worried about, but occasionally it can be a sign of a medical condition. The Mayo Clinic explains hair loss can affect just your scalp or your entire body, and it can be temporary or permanent. The organisation explains: “People typically lose 50 to 100 hairs a day. This usually isn’t noticeable because new hair is growing in at the same time.”

A study published in the National Library of Medicine looked at alopecia areata (AA), which is an inflammatory hair loss.

It notes vitamin D is a hormone that plays an important role in calcium homeostasis, immune regulation, and cell growth and differentiation

The researchers concluded that a “topical application of a vitamin D analog might be another treatment option upon failure of conventional therapies”.

Another short review aimed to give a brief overview of vitamin D biology within the hair follicle, role in etiopathogenesis, and rationale for supplementation in various alopecias.

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A PubMed literature search was performed to review relevant current literature and studies investigating the role of vitamin D in hair loss.

It states: “Vitamin D is intricately involved in various signalling pathways of growth and differentiation of hair follicles.”

The review says vitamin D deficiency is also associated with scarring alopecia.

“However, conclusive studies to demonstrate the benefit of vitamin D administration in correcting hair loss and managing these conditions are lacking. Hence, further studies are needed before vitamin D can be routinely recommended as a treatment modality in these conditions,” reads the research.

The NHS says you should see a GP if:

  • You have sudden hair loss
  • You develop bald patches
  • You’re losing hair in clumps
  • Your head also itches and burns
  • You’re worried about your hair loss.

The health body says it is important to see a GP to get a clear idea about what’s causing your hair loss before thinking about going to a commercial hair clinic.

There are some treatments which may help with hair loss and hair health. Finasteride and minoxidil are the main treatments for male pattern baldness.

Minoxidil can also be used to treat female pattern baldness. Women should not use finasteride.

The Cleveland Clinic says: “It is important to note that premenopausal women should not take medications for hair loss treatment without using contraception.

“Many drugs, including minoxidil and finasteride, are not safe for pregnant women or women who want to get pregnant.”

The Mayo Clinic says there are certain tips which may help you avoid preventable types of hair loss.

It says these include:

  • Be gentle with your hair. Use a detangler and avoid tugging when brushing and combing, especially when your hair is wet. A wide-toothed comb might help prevent pulling out hair. Avoid harsh treatments such as hot rollers, curling irons, hot-oil treatments and permanents. Limit the tension on hair from styles that use rubber bands, barrettes and braids.
  • Ask your doctor about medications and supplements you take that might cause hair loss.
  • Protect your hair from sunlight and other sources of ultraviolet light.
  • Stop smoking. Some studies show an association between smoking and baldness in men.

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