What's the impact of not having enough vitamin D?
Hair and nails are relatively non-essential compared to organs like the liver, teeth and bones.
If your body is deficient in anything, it delivers the requisite nutrients to the most important organs first and if nothing is left after that for hair, nails and other less important bodily functions then tough!
How does a deficiency in vitamin D cause hair loss?
Hair growth involves three phases:
- Anagen phase: hair grows
- Catagen phase: hair stops growing
- Telogen phase: hair reaches its 'dead' state
A deficiency in vitamin D causes a change in these phases with one or more being hindered or very short.
It's normal to lose 50 - 100 hairs per days so when you see a few hairs on your comb it's not usually a cause for concern, more than this and you should look into your overall health.
- Pure cod liver oil (a tablespoon gives you 340% of your RDA)
- Fish especially salmon, mackerel, tuna, sardines
- Egg yolks - so don't remove that bit when you are eating, you've been warned :)
How else can you get vitamin D?
1. Spend more time in the sun.
Vitamin D is naturally created by the body when one is exposed to sunlight. The amount of time you need to spend in the sun varies from person to person. The darker your skin, the more time you need to spend in the sun. A fair skinned white person can get all the sun they need in about 10-15 minutes of exposure to sun without any sunscreen on.
2. Take a supplement.
Because I live in cold, wet, cloudy London I decided this was necessary when I realised that my nails were looking cracked and unhealthy. I take a drugstore variety skin, hair and nails multivitamin (currently Boots) because it's far cheaper than the branded ones. On offer, I got 3 packs of 90 pills each for c.£22 when the 3 packs of a designer brand with 60 pills per bottle were going for £60 - also on offer! Thanks but no.
I talk about vitamin D here but ultimately having a balanced diet make a big difference to your overall health including the health of your hair.
Other important nutrients for hair:
- Vitamin A
Also on diets, note that crash or liquid protein diets can lead to hair loss! So, when you want to lose weight using one of these methods keep in mind that you are more than likely choosing thinness over beautiful hair. The best solution is to permanently change to a better diet with gradual weight loss. I'll choose my hair any day!
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