Vitamin D Deficiency & Hair Loss: Symptoms & Treatments


Blog, Hair loss | Dr. Manali Shah | June 13, 2024

Hair Fall is a common condition in Indian males and females alike. With every passing year, this condition is becoming even more serious. Numerous reasons can lead to hair fall. For example, it can be due to genetics, vitamin deficiency, stress, hormonal imbalance, or something else. Vitamin D is one of the culprits that is often blamed for hair loss. So is it really the case? What’s the link between vitamin D deficiency and hair loss? It’s time to find out! 

Are you experiencing hair loss? Get in touch with the best of our hair specialists in Pune to understand your hair condition. For a hair treatment or to get hair transplant, book an appointment with our dermatologists near you, call +919584584111.

What is the connection between vitamin D and hair loss?

Recent studies suggest a complex relationship between vitamin D levels and hair loss. While it’s not as straightforward as saying low vitamin D directly causes hair loss, a broader nutritional deficiency certainly plays a role. Vitamin D is a significant factor in overall hair health, influencing the growth cycle and health of hair follicles. Low levels of vitamin D can contribute to hair thinning and loss, but it’s crucial to understand that it is part of a bigger nutritional picture.

How does vitamin D affect the body?

Vitamin D is an essential, fat-soluble vitamin that performs several critical functions in the body.

Here’s how it impacts your overall health:

Calcium and Phosphorus Absorption

Vitamin D is vital for the absorption of calcium and phosphorus, which are crucial for maintaining healthy bones. These minerals are essential for bone density and strength, helping prevent conditions like osteoporosis and rickets.

Bone Health

It helps maintain bone structure and strength. Without adequate vitamin D, bones can become thin, brittle, or misshapen. This vitamin ensures that calcium and phosphorus are adequately utilized to form and maintain a strong skeletal structure.

Cellular Functions

Vitamin D regulates various cellular functions and has anti-inflammatory properties, which are beneficial for chronic inflammatory conditions. It influences the life cycle of cells and their ability to function properly. This regulation is essential for overall health and can prevent chronic diseases.

Immune Support

It supports immune health and has antioxidant properties. Vitamin D enhances the pathogen-fighting effects of monocytes and macrophages — white blood cells that are important parts of your immune defense — and decreases inflammation.


Vitamin D has neuroprotective properties that aid muscle functioning and brain cell activity. It helps in the formation and maturation of brain cells and can protect against neurodegenerative diseases.

Why Does Vitamin D Deficiency Occur?

Vitamin D deficiency can occur due to several reasons:

Lack of Sun Exposure

Sunlight is a primary source of vitamin D. Lack of exposure, especially in northern climates, night shift workers, or people who wear fully covered clothing, can lead to deficiency. The skin produces vitamin D when exposed to sunlight, and insufficient exposure can significantly reduce vitamin D levels in the body.

Dietary Insufficiency

Inadequate intake of vitamin D-rich foods can result in deficiency. Foods that are naturally rich in vitamin D include fatty fish, fish liver oils, and egg yolks. Additionally, certain beverages, such as orange juice, soy milk, and cereals, are fortified with vitamin D.

Medical Conditions

Certain medical conditions affect the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, including vitamin D. These include conditions like Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, and gastric bypass surgery. These conditions can impair the intestine’s ability to absorb vitamin D from the diet.


Excess body weight can reduce the body’s capacity to produce vitamin D. Fat cells extract vitamin D from the blood, altering its release into circulation. This means that obese individuals may have lower bioavailability of vitamin D compared to individuals with a healthy weight.

What are the symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency-Related Hair Loss?

Symptoms of hair loss due to vitamin D deficiency often include:

  • Gradual thinning of hair is a common symptom. This can manifest as a decrease in hair volume and density.
  • Noticeable increase in hair shedding. You might find more hair falling out when you brush or wash your hair.
  • Hair may grow back more slowly than usual. This means that even if the hair does regrow, it takes a longer time, resulting in thin patches.
  • Hair texture may become dry and brittle. This makes hair more susceptible to breakage and damage.

It’s important to note that these symptoms can also result from other nutritional deficiencies and health conditions. Therefore, a proper diagnosis is essential.

How is Vitamin D Deficiency Diagnosed?

To determine if vitamin D deficiency is contributing to hair loss, a blood test is necessary. This test measures the levels of vitamin D and other relevant nutrients like iron. Consulting a dermatologist is crucial, as they can evaluate your condition and recommend appropriate tests. A thorough examination can identify if hair loss is indeed linked to a deficiency or if other underlying health issues are contributing factors.

What are the Treatment Options for Vitamin D Deficiency?

If you are experiencing hair loss due to nutritional deficiency, it’s vital to address this issue comprehensively. Here are some treatment options:

Dietary Supplements

Oral supplements of vitamin D can help restore optimal levels. Iron supplements might also be necessary if iron deficiency is identified. These supplements can be in the form of tablets, capsules, or liquids, and it’s important to follow the dosage recommendations provided by your healthcare provider.

Balanced Diet

Consuming a balanced diet rich in vitamin D, iron, and amino acids is essential for overall hair health. Foods such as fatty fish, fortified dairy products, and egg yolks are good sources of vitamin D. Incorporating these foods into your daily diet can help maintain adequate vitamin D levels.

Sun Exposure

Regular, moderate sun exposure helps the body produce vitamin D. Aim for 20-30 minutes of sunlight exposure at least twice a week. The best time for sun exposure is during the morning or late afternoon when the sun’s rays are not too harsh.

Medical Treatment

In severe cases, medical treatments like topical applications, injections, or other prescribed therapies by a dermatologist may be necessary. These treatments can provide a more direct and immediate approach to managing vitamin D deficiency and related hair loss.

What is the Daily Requirement of Vitamin D?

For children, the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of vitamin D is about 400 international units (IU). For adults, it ranges from 800 to 1000 IU. Ensuring adequate intake through diet and sun exposure is crucial for maintaining healthy vitamin D levels. It’s also important to note that some individuals may require higher doses of vitamin D based on their specific health conditions and needs, which should be determined by a healthcare professional.

Psychological Impact and Support

Hair loss can have a significant psychological impact, affecting self-esteem and confidence. If you are experiencing hair loss due to vitamin D deficiency, it’s important to seek support not only for your physical health but also for your mental well-being. Here are some steps you can take:

Professional Counseling: Speaking to a mental health professional can help you cope with the emotional stress associated with hair loss. They can provide strategies and support to manage your feelings and improve your overall well-being.

Family and Friends: Lean on your support system. Family and friends can offer encouragement and understanding, helping you navigate this challenging time.

Wrapping up. 

Vitamin D plays a significant role in maintaining hair health, and its deficiency can contribute to hair loss. However, hair loss is often a result of multiple nutritional deficiencies. Proper diagnosis and treatment, including a balanced diet, supplements, and sun exposure, can effectively manage hair loss issues. If you suspect vitamin D deficiency is affecting your hair health, consult with a dermatologist for a personalised treatment plan.

Maintaining proper nutrition and seeking timely medical advice can help manage and improve hair loss conditions effectively. If you need more information or wish to consult, please visit our HairMD clinic in Pune or talk to our experts

Are you looking for hair fall solution? Get in touch with the best of our hair doctors in Pune to cure your hair loss. To book an appointment for a hair treatment or hair transplantation, contact our dermatologists near you, call +919584584111.

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