Can We Really Rule Out Link Between Night Shifts and Hair Loss?'

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Question: Regarding your response to the man who asked whether his hair loss could be linked to working night shifts: Is there a link between Vitamin D and hair loss? Would sunlight on the scalp have a similar effect as laser hair restoration therapy? Are scalp fungal infections that accelerate balding be kept in check by sunlight? IDK what I'm talking about but I don't think we know enough to rule out a link between night-shift and hair-loss.

Night Shift Working and Hair LossAnswer: Hi, Dan. To address each of your questions in order:-

Vitamin D is essential for the proper function of the hair growth cycle and is also believed to be beneficial to some skin conditions such as eczema. However, it is possible to meet the recommended daily guideline intake through your diet or by taking a vitamin supplement. There are links between a lack of vitamin D and Alopecia Areata, the autoimmune condition which causes patchy hair loss, although studies are still on-going to prove this as an absolute.

Sunlight on the scalp does not have a similar effect to a low level laser treatment (LLLT) - the technology used in hair growth boosting devices such as the HairMax LaserComb - since the wavelengths are not the same.

LLLT gives of a precise level of wavelength that has been designed specifically to be transmitted through certain devices to help promote hair growth. Also, the laser beams used in these types gadgets can be concentrated on the site of the hair loss far more precisely than sunlight.

In terms of fungal scalp infections, UV from the sunlight can help fungal infections but you must be mindful of how long you expose your scalp in the sun due to the risk of skin cancer.

When thinking about any potential links between people who work night shifts and experience hair loss, it is important to recognise that not all night workers end up losing their hair. There are thought to be higher stress factors involved with working nights however, and stress and hair loss are most definitely linked so this - alongside genetics - may well be the key to any connection.

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