For years, there has been an increasing suspicion that vitamin D deficiency and hair loss in both men and women are related. Lately, there have been a number of studies on the subject, and one is particularly interesting as it focuses on young women – showing that those suffering from thinning hair also correlated with low levels of vitamin D.
Hair loss affecting women in younger ages
From an early age most girls come to realize that the old adage, “a woman’s hair is her crowning glory,” is absolutely true. No matter how well you wear your clothes or how impeccable your make-up is, if your hair isn’t quite making the grade you might still feel lackluster.
Despite there being a myriad of care products available promising everything from thickening to shine, the figures suggest that a growing number of women are still suffering from increasing hair problems. More worrisome, however, is that not only do these problems include hair thinning or slow hair growth, but they also appear to be affecting women in younger age categories than normally expected.
Although many of the causes have remained a mystery – resulting in hair thinning being attributed to either the normal aging process or hormonal imbalances – science is now providing more explicit answers. For a long time it has been suspected that there is a correlation between that of hair loss and vitamin D deficiency, but now recent research backs up this claim.
Study of vitamin D and hair loss in young women
In the last decade there has been increasing interest in vitamin D deficiency as a cause for hair loss in both men and women, and the interest is reflected by the number of studies which have either been concluded or are on-going. However, there is one study in particular that may be more concerning than others because it has looked at a group not normally talked about concerning hair loss: Young women.
Published in 2013, the study focused on one seemingly small, but important aspect relating to the demographics of hair loss. Despite the commonly held belief that hair loss increases with age, it examined how the likelihood of hair loss would increase with a vitamin D deficiency, even in younger women.
The research study, which was reported on by the Vitamin D Council limited the ages of the women in the study group to those between 18 and 45, an age range when women would normally expect that both their hair and their nutritional values would be of high standard.
The vitamin D levels were analyzed in women suffering from both TE (Telogen Effluvium – thinning of the hair) and FPHL (Female Pattern Hair Loss, which is said to be hereditary), and in both groups the levels were found to be ‘significantly lower’ than those of women in the control group, which comprised of women with healthy hair.
More research needed on vitamin D and hair loss
Although correlation should never be equated with causation, the study does suggest that a lack of vitamin D is negatively affecting the hair follicle and growth in more classifications of hair disorders than before. What this means is that the field is deserving of further research, not only in people suffering a temporary thinning of the hair but in both men and women with pattern baldness.
The other significant aspect of the study obviously relates to that of age. Women who are in their late teens, 20s or even 30s, and who are concerned about increasing hair loss, now have a new avenue of possible treatment. The study even concluded by suggesting that the vitamin levels of women suffering from hair loss should be tested and treatment provided if required.
This research also ties in with previous studies which indicate that the true nature of hair loss relates to the vitamin D receptor in the hair follicle and that without the necessary amount of the vitamin being absorbed by the body, this trigger fails to be activated.
The women in the study had already achieved a diagnosis of TE or FPHL, but we know that there are many more people out there, both men and women, who suffer the indignity of increasing hair loss in silence. In the majority of cases, women – particularly in the younger age groups – fail to see the possible health issues related to their problem. Men have long-since learned to live with the social stigma of ‘premature hair loss.’
Now it would seem that for both genders, no matter what age group or suspected causation, there may well be a possibility of not only halting the deterioration, but in many cases restoring normal hair growth.
If you are one of the people concerned with increasing hair loss, then – as the study suggests – get those vitamin D levels checked!