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Information on the latest vitamin D news and research.

Find out more information on deficiency, supplementation, sun exposure, and how vitamin D relates to your health.

Is there a link between vitamin D and female hair loss?

Telogen effluvium (TE) and female pattern hair loss (FPHL) is hair loss that often occurs in young women. In fact, it occurs in up to 30% of women, often with devastating psychological consequences. Treatment options to stop progression and stimulate hair regrowth include several medications, but hair transplantation needs to be considered in more advanced cases.

Recently, Doctor H. Rasheed, working under senior author E. Hamdy of Cairo University have looked if vitamin D might play a role or have an association with this condition.

Rasheed H. et al. Serum ferritin and vitamin D in female hair loss: do they play a role? Skin Pharmacol Physiol. 2013;26(2):101-7.

The authors found that women with hair loss had much lower vitamin D levels than did normal controls. Serum vitamin D levels in females with TE were only 11 ng/ml and those with FPHL were only 12 ng/ml (p < 0.001). Furthermore, the vitamin D levels decreased with increasing hair loss and with disease severity.

While it is too early to comment if there is any prevention or treatment effect with vitamin D in TE and FPHL, this study certainly gives reason to screen for vitamin D deficiency in women with hair loss. There is no harm in treating deficiency and it is advised that everyone is sufficient for a host of reasons.

Could it help with TE and FPHL? I’m curious to hear your anecdotal reports. Have any female readers noticed more hair growth with adequate vitamin D supplementation?

  About: John Cannell, MD

Dr. John Cannell is founder of the Vitamin D Council. He has written many peer-reviewed papers on vitamin D and speaks frequently across the United States on the subject. Dr. Cannell holds an M.D. and has served the medical field as a general practitioner, emergency physician, and psychiatrist.

5 Responses to Is there a link between vitamin D and female hair loss?

  1. IAW says:

    Not long ago a female friend of mine reported to me that since taking about 6000 iu Vitamin D a day that the “handfuls of hair” that were coming out when she washed her hair had dramatically decreased. Dr. Cannell asked “Have any female readers noticed more hair growth?” My friend at least noticed less coming out and that her hair is now thicker from less hair loss.

  2. Sondra Rose says:

    I have never suffered hair loss, but my hair now grows approximately one inch per month.

    According to my hairdresser, about 1/2″ per month is normal.

    I keep my blood level around 80 ng/ml (keeps my asthma at bay!) by supplementing 8,000 IUs in winter/spring and 6,000 IUs in summer/fall. I’ve been supplementing for 3.5 years.

  3. Rita and Misty says:

    My 85 year old mom has a full head of hair. She keeps her 25(OH)D level at 80 ng/ml.

    Many women typically start to lose hair during the perimenopausal years. These are the years of hormonal imbalance, often including imbalance of the thyroid hormone–which can often result in hair loss.

    It is my opinion that Vitamin D is the master hormone, which is responsible for a healthy functioning thyroid gland. A healthy functioning thyroid gland in turn ensures a healthy functioning endocrine system, perhaps.

    About 8 years ago (at age 40), I did suffer from hormonal imbalance, which corrected itself once my 25(OH)D level reached 74 ng/ml (currently my Vitamin D Serum level is 104 ng/ml).

    During my time of hormonal imbalance my normally thick hair did thin out substantially. It am happy to report it has once again returned to its very think status.

    Like Sondra Rose, my hair grows approximately one inch per month.

    Be well.

  4. Sara says:

    As a Trichologist specialising in hair loss in women I believe I am possibly rare in so much as I have been making sure all my patients get tested for vitamin d and most are indeed low and therefore take vitamin d supplements and improve sun exposure. I have no formal research myself to show it works, but I do have tremendous success with hair regrowth and even if there is no definite improvement in hair growth then at least their general health and well being will improve. However, we do know that vitamin d aids the absorption of iron (there is a lot of research on ferritin levels and Telogen Effluvium) and also has the ability to switch of gene expression so could also help with FPHL. The role of vitamin D in hair loss is therefore something I feel very passionate about and would love to have more evidence, so If anybody would like to involve me in more research into this area I would be happy to oblige.
    Sara Allison http://www.hairlossconsultant.co.uk

  5. Sara, we’ll keep our eye out for research and researchers with interest in this realm and connect you as appropriate.