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Vitamin D, or the “sunshine vitamin,” is popularly known for its vital role in bone formation, but did you know that it also plays a role in preventing hair loss?
Vitamin D exists in two forms: vitamin D2 and vitamin D3. Both vitamin D2 and D3 are simply known as vitamin D.
What Is Vitamin D3?
Vitamin D2 is formed in the blood from a naturally occurring steroid molecule called 7-dehydrocholesterol. When this steroid is exposed to UV rays, it is activated to form pre-vitamin D3, which is then turned into vitamin D3. (3)
Vitamin D3 and Hair Loss
A deficiency of vitamin D3 was recently noted in patients with hair loss. Vitamin D3 is important in increasing the number of keratinocytes or hair follicles. It leads to the proper renewal of cells and prevents the loss of hair follicles. (2)
In a study of women with hair loss due to stress, oral vitamin D3 supplementation (200,000 IU) every 2 weeks for a total of six doses reduced hair loss in 82.5% of the patients. (1)
How Much Vitamin D3 Is Needed to Improve Hair Loss?
According to the Endocrine Society, the human body needs to maintain a range of 40–60 mg/mL of vitamin D (D2 and D3) in the blood. A daily intake of 400–1,000 IU is recommended to avoid deficiencies. (4)
In case of deficiencies or special requirements, you can consult your doctor to identify ideal dosages of supplements needed to recover from the deficiency.
However, not all hair loss will need to be treated with vitamin D3 due to varying underlying causes. A dermatologist will assess the reason for the hair loss and prescribe an appropriate treatment plan.
How to Get Enough Vitamin D for Hair Loss Prevention?
If your hair loss is identified to be due to vitamin D3 deficiency, supplements will be prescribed to fulfill the deficiency. As mentioned above, dosages will depend on the degree of deficiency.
Regardless, you can include vitamin D-rich foods in your diet to prevent hair loss due to vitamin D3 deficiency. These foods include eggs (with yolk), fatty fish such as salmon, organ meats (especially liver), mushrooms, fortified cereals, and enriched dairy products including milk.
You can also spend time in the early morning sun (8–11 am) to activate the conversion of vitamin D2 to vitamin D3 in the skin
How Long Does It Take to Reverse Hair Loss With Vitamin D3 Supplementation?
Since vitamin D3 doses are not supposed to be taken daily, it takes at least 3 months to reverse hair fall or premature hair loss.
- Vitamin D exists in the human body as both vitamin D2 and vitamin D3. Out of the two, vitamin D3 has been found to benefit hair loss.
- Vitamin D is important for its role in increasing the number of hair follicles and keratinocyte cell renewal.
- Consult a doctor to identify ideal the supplemental dose for your needs.