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What are Hair Loss Vitamins?

Article Details
  • Written By: Karyn Maier
  • Edited By: Jay Garcia
  • Last Modified Date: 15 January 2020
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2020
    Conjecture Corporation
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While hair loss is not a disease or life-threatening condition, it can be psychologically stressful, especially for women. In addition, there are a variety of factors that can trigger hair loss, including illness, certain medications, and poor nutritional status. In any event, hair loss is much easier to prevent than it is to reverse. For this reason, many people are turning toward hair loss vitamins.

Taking hair loss vitamins offers a non-invasive means to prevent or slow the progression of hair loss. There are at least 40 U.S. patents and perhaps hundreds of foreign patents in existence, each one protecting the rights to a specialized hair loss treatment. Many of these range from topical treatments (i.e., minoxidil and finasteride) to surgical hair grafts, which may produce unwanted side effects or unsatisfactory results. However, since the most common reason for hair loss is due to male and female pattern balding, hair loss vitamins may provide a more effective and long-term solution for hair loss.

Androgenic hormones are to blame for 95% of all cases of hair loss. In men, a decrease in testosterone production leads to available quantities of this hormone degrading into the by-product dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT has a direct impact on hair follicles, causing them to become permanently dormant. In order to prevent this conversion, it is necessary to inhibit enzyme 5-alpha-reductase (5 ar) type II.

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Women are also vulnerable to the effects of testosterone. This is especially true as a woman approaches menopause since estrogen levels begin to decline. This is why many women experience "diffuse thinning" of hair as they age. Women also typically experience more hair loss at the sides of the head, whereas men usually experience hair loss primarily at the crown.

Hair loss in both men and women may be linked to vitamin and mineral deficiencies. For instance, studies have shown that inadequate levels of iron and zinc may contribute to hair loss. Another consideration is insufficient intake of protein, a condition which has been shown to encourage hair follicles to enter into a permanent state of rest.

An important group of hair loss vitamins includes niacin, pantothenic acid, and pyridoxine. These belong to the B-vitamin group and each play a role in the normal cycle of hair growth and shedding. Natural sources of B-vitamins include beans, bran, nuts and eggs.

Amino acids are also considered to be valuable hair loss vitamins. For instance, studies have shown that supplementation with L-lysine inhibits 5-alpha-reductase type II. In fact, success with this vitamin hair loss treatment has led to a patent. In addition, L-arginine appears to increase uptake of nitric acid, which is needed for hair follicles to generate new growth.

Another group of hair loss vitamins are antioxidants. Vitamin C, for instance, is needed to protect the strength of capillaries, which transport blood to hair follicles. Vitamin E helps to improve circulation to the scalp by increasing oxygen utilization. Vitamin E is also believed to enhance immune system functioning, which also plays a role in preventing hair loss.

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