Too much of a good thing can cause hair loss
"Excessive intakes of nutritional supplements may actually cause hair loss and are not recommended in the absence of a proven deficiency." (1) For example, It is widely know that too much vitamin A can cause temporary hair loss, especially in women, in a condition known as hypervitaminosis. More than 25,000 IU daily is toxic and can cause hair loss and other serious health problems. The daily recommended dose of Vitamin A is 5,000 IUs.
Not enough of a good thing can cause hair loss
Although some authorities state that a lack of vitamins and minerals does NOT cause hair loss, the majority of the available research and clinical studies suggests otherwise. An improper diet can lead to such nutrional disorders as anemia or protein deficiency which can cause hair loss. Those with vitamin D-dependent rickets are also susceptible to hair loss. (3)
Other vitamin and mineral deficiencies that can cause temporary hair loss include:
It is important to remember, that deficiencies in these vitamins and minerals enough to cause hair loss is rare. A diet which includes the 5 major food groups, even a diet that is not particularly healthy, will contain enough vitamins and minerals to prevent hair loss. A deficiency will most likely occur under special circumstances which might include giving birth, a "starvation type diet to lose weight" or even weight loss surgery.
If you suspect you have hair loss caused by a vitamin or mineral deficiency, please consult a dermatologist who can conduct the necessary tests to "root out" the true cause of your hair loss.
Vitamins and minerals designated for healthy hair
So what should you be taking to insure that you promoting healthier hair from within? While vitamin and supplements specifically designed for hair do exist, they are often not worth the price nor are the far reaching claims to be taken as gospel.
A simple multivitamin and mineral daily supplement manufactured by a quality company is enough for most people to make sure they are providing their hair with the nutrients they need. These supplements should include:
Taking the recommended daily allowance of these vitamins and minerals is adequate for most people. However, some people may want to take their hair care one step further and supplement their diet with: biotin, amino acids, Vitamin C, and folic acid.
When starting a new vitamin regime, it usually takes from 2 to 3 months to see results in your hair's condition. That means that patience and consistency is very important. It's also important to check with your doctor before starting a vitamin program, especially if you have health concerns. (4)
Is Faster Hair Growth with Vitamins and Minerals possible?
Normal hair growth for individuals is 1 cm to one-half inch a month. Many women and men around the world seek to grow their hair faster to achieve longer hair whether it's to escape a bad hair cut or change styles. Because of this desire on the part of women everywhere, a market has opened up for shampoos and vitamins that promise "faster hair growth."
A search of Google Scholar and OmniMedicalSearch.com for clinical studies on the effects of vitamins and minerals in promoting faster hair growth produce no results or clinical studies worth mentioning.
Karen Shelton of hairboutique.com agrees that there is no "magic bullet" therapy that can induce faster hair growth in women. Clinical evidence, or lack thereof, offers no proof that faster hair growth can be achieved by taking this supplement or that vitamin.
If you look at the quote above, (When starting a new vitamin regime, it usually takes from 2 to 3 months to see results in your hair's condition.) you'll see that it can take 2 to 3 months to see the positive effects Vitamins have on your hair. Women and men looking for any kind of faster hair growth from vitamins may be disappointed to learn they have to wait 2-3 months before they can even start seeing the first results!
Women or men looking for faster hair growth should take their vitamins and let nature take it's course, which is about the rate of 5-6 inches per year. If that's not fast enough, one may consider getting hair extensions.