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One Major Effect of Vitamin D on Hair Loss, New Study Suggests

Dermatologists point to one more possible reason to behold this powerful supplement.

When you think about ways to manage hair loss, some of the medicated or even surgical options might seem risky… not to mention, expensive. If you've considered what to do about balding, a new study could save you some cash and concern: With all the health buzz around Vitamin D these days, dermatologists were interested to see whether the supplement could address hair loss—an issue that currently affects more than 80% of men and 50% of women around age 50, according to NYU Langone Health.

Keep reading for more about the possible link between Vitamin D and some cases of hair loss, and don't miss One Surprising Effect Coffee Has on Your Hair, According to a Dermatologist.

Vitamin D plays a part in the hair cycle.

young woman looking at thinning hair in the mirror
Shutterstock / Nina Buday

In a new study published this week in The Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, a duo of dermatologists in India stated: "Vitamin D is intricately involved in various signaling pathways of growth and differentiation of hair follicles."

Recognizing that Vitamin D has been shown to affect the hair cycle, they set out to conduct their own investigation of Vitamin D as "a potential therapeutic modality in hair loss."

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Vitamin D and "scarring alopecia"

balding man hair loss

While this specific research team's analysis didn't yield evidence of a super-strong correlation between Vitamin D deficiency and baldness, they refer to one past study that showed an association between low levels of Vitamin D and "scarring alopecia"—a type of balding that affects 3% of both male and female hair loss patients, according to WebMD. Scarring alopecia occurs when hair follicles are permanently damaged and replaced by the development of scar tissue.

A brief note on Vitamin D and skin health:

Woman taking her medication in her bedroom at home.

A possible explanation for Vitamin D's role in preventing this type of hair loss is that Vitamin D also supports the skin's rejuvenation, which may be a factor in scalp health.

Vitamin D helps create more hair follicles.

vitamin d

Other beauty and wellness experts help to explain Vitamin D's role in hair restoration—as Raechele Cochran Gathers, M.D. recently stated on an episode of MindBodyGreen's Clean Beauty School podcast: "Vitamin D is one of the fat-soluble vitamins needed for maintaining and creating functioning hair follicles."

(What does it mean for Vitamin D to be fat-soluble? We've got the answer in Never Take Your Vitamin D Without Eating This, Dietitian Says.)

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Krissy Gasbarre
Krissy is a senior news editor at Eat This, Not That!, managing morning and weekend news related to nutrition, wellness, restaurants and groceries (with a focus on beverages), and more. Read more about Krissy