A lack of vitamin D has been associated with the autoimmune disorder Alopecia Areata, which leads to patchy hair loss, for some time. Now, a team in Iran think they have proof that a deficiency of the vitamin could play a part in the genetic condition Female Pattern Hair Loss, too.
Researchers at Mashhad University in Iran studied serum levels of vitamin D found in 45 women who had visited the area’s clinics for help with Female Pattern Hair Loss, a common condition that affects millions of women worldwide. They then compared the levels of vitamin D with that of women of a similar age and background who had no history of hair loss.
Inspired by Egyptian study
The team had been inspired by a study in Egypt in 2013 which investigated the role of vitamin D in women with either Chronic Telogen Effluvium – also known as Diffuse Thinning – or Female Pattern Hair Loss. Whilst Chronic Telogen Effluvium is a temporary condition which causes hair thinning from all over the scalp, Female Pattern Hair Loss is a permanent genetic condition which causes thinning hair around the top of the scalp and hairline only.
Researchers write in their report that the Egypt study showed, “the serum level of Vitamin D was considerably lower in women with Chronic Telogen Effluvium as well as women with Female Pattern Hair Loss relative to the control group. Serum level of vitamin D was further reduced with increasing severity of alopecia, and measurement of vitamin D was concluded to be essential in women with hair loss complaint.”
Conversely, a 2008 study in New Zealand on 296 men with the genetic hairloss condition Male Pattern Baldness found no correlation between vitamin D levels and hair loss.
For the Iranian study, 5 ml of blood was drawn from each patient and analysed for its vitamin D3 levels. All of the women taking part were aged between 15 and 65 and came from the north-east of the country.
Upon analysis, the scientists found that there was a “significant difference” between the serum vitamin D3 levels in the group of women with hair loss when compared to the control group. They state that “according to this study, the risk of Female Pattern Hair Loss was associated with decreased serum levels of vitamin D3.” They suggest that a screening test would be useful to measure vitamin D3 level in women who are being treated for hair loss, and say that dietary supplements can play a useful role in their treatment.
Defective stem cell renewal
As to why vitamin D3 is important, the team asserts that “the function of vitamin D3 receptor is critical in a population of keratinocyte stem cells remaining in the bulge region of hair follicles. Defective vitamin D function leads to defective stem cell renewal and loss of hair follicle cycle.”
Female Pattern Hair Loss can be treated using appropriate clinically-proven products. At Belgravia, a hair loss specialist will assess the client’s level and pattern of shedding and devise a personalised treatment course that is tailored to these needs. The health of the scalp – and the vitamins and minerals that a client is getting through their diet and lifestyle – is also taken into consideration.
Belgravia’s women’s hair loss treatment typically involves the use of high strength minoxidil – which is applied directly to the scalp – as well as hair growth boosters, such as the LaserComb and Hair Vitalics, a blend of hair-friendly vitamins and minerals.
Sunlight, however, remains arguably the best way of getting vitamin D into the body – prompting one scientist in Dubai to suggest that hair loss problems among women in the UAE may be explained by the tradition of wearing abayas, which may be stopping women from being exposed to sunlight. Although the prevalence of genetic hairloss in the UAE also affects many men, this is unlikely to be the primary trigger.
The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.