Have you noticed your hair is shedding more than usual this winter? According to experts, it could be down to a vitamin D deficiency.
Public Health England (PHE) has issued new advice telling people to up their vitamin D levels in the winter months. So, how could a vitamin D deficiency contribute towards hair loss and how can you ensure your levels are well topped up throughout winter?
Can vitamin D deficiency lead to hair loss?
There are many factors which can lead to hair loss and vitamin deficiencies are one of them. However, it is actually very rare to suffer from vitamin deficiency hair loss. That being said, in the winter months, it is common to experience more shedding than usual.
The majority of our vitamin D consumption comes directly from the sun. In the UK, winter is the darkest period of the year, with very minimal natural sunlight. Due to how cold it is, we also avoid going out as often as we do in the summer. Therefore, our vitamin D levels tend to drop quite significantly.
Unless you are topping up your levels through a healthy diet, this could lead to a deficiency in vitamin D, in turn causing the hair to become thinner and shed more throughout the season.
How does vitamin D impact the hair?
Vitamin D is just one of 24 macronutrients that play a role in the health of our hair. It is responsible for helping to generate new hair follicles.
The constant regeneration of hair follicles is what helps to keep the hair looking fuller and healthier. So, ensuring you get enough vitamin D in your diet can help to promote new hair growth and keep it looking healthier.
What other impact can vitamin D deficiency have on health?
As well as hair loss and thinning, a vitamin D deficiency in winter can also impact other areas of our health. These include:
- Depression and low mood
- Muscle weakness
- Chronic pain
- Slow wound healing
- High blood pressure
Some patients experience no symptoms when they have a vitamin D deficiency, but others can have numerous issues which present throughout the winter.
What is the new advice issued by the PHE?
In order to avoid the most common symptoms associated with vitamin D deficiency in winter, PHE has issued new advice.
The organisation recommends taking vitamin D supplements throughout the winter months. This is because very few foods actually contain this important nutrient. If you do want to gain more vitamin D through your diet, you’ll want to focus on foods such as tuna, eggs and salmon.
It is important to note here that the majority of patients suffer from low vitamin D levels. This isn’t a deficiency and in fact, very few patients are diagnosed with a vitamin D deficiency.
So, if you are experiencing hair loss and thinning this winter, topping up your vitamin D levels may help. However, it is important to have your hair assessed by a specialist to ensure any hair loss isn’t caused by any other underlying factors.