Wondering what vitamin deficiency causes hair loss and brittle nails? We’re going to properly address that on this post but before we start, let me quickly ask you a question:
What’s usually your first reaction when you look at the comb after combing your hair?
Personally, I used to feel very sad and depressed after seeing the strands of tangled hair on the comb once I see how much hair we lost. It wasn’t a happy experience. In fact, it was scary and depressing — that was a long time ago though.
So, our topic today is about brittle hair and nails vitamin deficiency.
What’s Common Between Your Hair and Nail?
Do you know what Langerhans is?
Langerhans is the basic cells are present on the top layer of the skin under the scalp and the nail roots. They provide immunity and promote the growth of hair and nails.
Vitamin deficiency can result in the thinning of these cells. The brittle hair and nails vitamin deficiency syndrome get initiated from the insufficient growth of the Langerhans.
Hair and the nails grow because of the vital vitamins provided by your body. The key vitamins are the Vitamin-D, Vitamin B Complex, Vitamin-A, and Vitamin-C.
They form a strong chain that protects and nurtures your hair and nail growth and health. It’s because they stimulate keratinocytes to produce more keratin.
What Vitamin Deficiency Causes Hair Loss and Brittle Nails?
Below, you’ll find the various vitamin deficiencies that cause hair loss and brittle nails. Here, we’ll start with hair loss vitamin deficiencies followed by brittle nails vitamin deficiencies.
Vitamin Deficiency That Contributes to Hair Loss
1. Vitamin D Deficiency
Vitamin D is responsible for reinforcing the hair follicles and making them strong. Hair loss gets reduced considerably. Do you know the first source of vitamin D?
It’s the mother’s breast milk that delivers the maximum load during infancy. Babies who miss it can develop vitamin D deficiency as they grow into adulthood.
Vitamin D deficiency can also be due to the food choice you make. Leaving out Salmon, cereals, milk, fruit juices, and the animal fats in your diet can induce the deficiency.
You may choose a vegan food and the vitamin D supplement to make up for the loss. However, the concentration of vitamin D will still be less than what is required for your hair.
The hair-fall due to lack of vitamin D can start during the teenage. You may observe the strands of hair being washed away when you shower.
It increases as you grow into youth and adulthood. It may happen evenly all over the scalp. Or it may be concentrated on specific areas of the scalp.
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2. Vitamin B3 Deficiency
Vitamin B3 is also known as Niacin. Your body can generate a small volume of this vitamin from the amino acids. But it is not enough to provide thickness to the hair.
The lack of Vitamin B3 can result in the thinning of hair strands. Now, the hair roots (called as follicles) don’t have a stronghold on the hair strand. So, the hair fall increases.
The lack of Vitamin B3 can result in the thinning of hair strands. The lack of Vitamin B3 can result in the thinning of hair strands.
3. Vitamin C Deficiency
Vitamin C is called an antioxidant (ability to reduce the toxic elements, increase immunity, and provide strength). It can also increase the health conditions of the hair.
Lack of Vitamin C can result in deposits of toxic elements around the hair follicles. They weaken the follicles and cause hair fall. This state can also result in infections of the scalp and dandruff, which increase the hair fall further.
4. Vitamin A Deficiency
The lack of Vitamin A may be the direct cause of hair loss because it can reduce the circulation beneath the scalp layers. It acts as the stimulant for the blood to flow freely and supply the other vitamins to the scalp.
Eating plenty of leafy green veggies and mango can restore the normal volume of Vitamin A.
5. Vitamin E Deficiency
Vitamin E can regenerate the dead cells in the hair follicles and the hair cells. Lack of this vitamin can lead to an increase in the concentration of the dead cells on your scalp.
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It can also lead to tangled hair condition. Then the hair fall intensity increases greatly. You may lose the thick strands of hair which are difficult to grow again.
When You Should Consume Vitamins
You can start consuming the vitamins rich foods right from the first day you observe significant hair loss. Eat plenty of Salmon, cereals, and cod-liver oil supplements. They can be highly useful if you are in the 40+ age group.
Vitamin Deficiencies That Causes Brittle Nails
If your nail is getting spilled in the middle and it is affected by dryness, you can take it as a sign of vitamin deficiency.
The chances of broken toenails are more than fingernails. It’s due to the increased body pressure on the feet and the toenails.
1. Vitamin B Complex
Vitamin B-Complex consists of the Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, and B12. Nearly all of them are responsible for the healthy condition and growth of the nails.
The lack of anyone among them can lead to discoloring of the nails, which solely leads to weakness and brittleness.
2. Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is not produced in your body naturally. So, you have to consume foods that are rich in Vitamin B12. Poultry and dairy products contain this vitamin in rich volume.
If you don’t consume these foods, or eat less than the required diet ratio, the nails can become brittle and break.
3. Vitamin B7
Vitamin B7 is responsible for the density and strength of the nails. Lack of this vitamin can result in thinning of the nail layers at the roots.
They become weak and brittle. This vitamin is also responsible for the hydration (moisturizing) of the nail roots and the skin beneath.
The deficiency causes the skin to flake. The weakening starts from the nail bed and spreads to the nail fold. The nail plate becomes weak and often disconnects from the roots. So, the supply of the nutrients to the nail stops, making it brittle and break.
4. Vitamin B1
Vitamin B1 can keep the nails lively and healthy. The lack of Vitamin B1 can result in the growth of folds along the sides of the nail. It can cause the nail to become brittle.
The initial signs start with the unusual hardening of the nails at the edges. Sometimes you may feel a sense of pain and irritation along the lines. It develops gradually and results in brittleness.
5. Vitamin B3
Vitamin B3 is responsible for the health of the keratinocytes (as explained above). It helps in the generation of keratin protein, which keeps the nails healthy and strong.
Lack of Vitamin B3 can result in the weak layer of keratin and soft mails. The unusual level of softness can cause brittleness and breaking.
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6. Vitamin B5
Vitamin B5 provides immunity from fungus growth within the nails. The fingers are prone to deposits of bacteria and fungus due to every exposure to the environment.
For example, gardening without gloves (you can’t be wearing gloves all the time during gardening, especially while handling young saplings), playing baseball on the playground, and swimming can cause the bacteria and fungus to enter the gap between the nails.
They don’t necessarily cause the damages immediately, because Vitamin B5 protects the nails.
Once the volume of vitamin B5 in the nails decreases significantly, the fungus can attack the nails and make them brittle.
You may use plenty of antibacterial liquids and soaps to keep your fingers hygiene. But they don’t seem to have any impact on the microbial fungi which stay hidden from exposure to the liquids.
The brittle hair and nails vitamin deficiency have one more significant side effect due to lack of vitamin E. the nail plate starts peeling and becomes thinner.
Sometimes you can observe clear changes in the color from healthy white to brown or black. It is the clear symptom of fungal attack on the nail plate and the internal parts of the nail.
7. Vitamin B9
Vitamin B9 is responsible for streamlining the circulation of blood in the veins beneath the nails. It keeps them strong and healthy.
The brittle hair and nails vitamin deficiency syndrome can affect the smooth flow of blood. Weak veins can’t supply the required volume of oxygen to the nails.
Lack of oxygen can make the nails go weak. The symptoms can become intense during the 40s. Weak veins can also result in the supply of the other vital micronutrients responsible for the health of the nails. It results in brittle and weak nails.
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Brittle Nails and Hair Loss Vitamin Deficiency | Conclusion
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