Greater Hair Loss During Winter?

Do you find that you shed more hair during winter? 

You are not alone. Lots of people report greater hair shedding as soon as the cooler weather and shorter days arrive. That’s because there’s less sunshine during these winter months. When it’s high enough in the sky and we are exposed to it for long enough sunshine is converted into vitamin D by the skin. But that doesn’t happen in winter because it isn’t high enough in the sky nor out for long enough. This means that many of us are deficient in vitamin D at this time of year and that’s linked to greater hair shedding.

 

The role of vitamin D in hair loss:

Vitamin D is metabolised in the skin by keratinocytes which are skin cells that process keratin, a protein in hair, nails, and skin. According to Dr Manish Mittal, hair transplant surgeon at Mittal Hair Clinic “if there is a deficiency of vitamin D (as there will be for most of us during winter months) keratinocytes in hair follicles have trouble regulating growth and shedding”[1][2] Furthermore, vitamin D plays a role in the creation of new hair follicles. Hair follicles are the tiny pores from which new hairs grow. New follicles may help hair maintain thickness and prevent existing hair from falling out prematurely. Therefore, it’s important to make sure that vitamin D levels are sufficient.

 

What can be done to help?

Mittal recommends “taking Vitamin D alongside a good supply of iron, vitamin C and biotin”. That’s because vitamin D is not available in a wide range of food sources. Vitamin C should be consumed alongside iron-rich foods as this can increase iron absorption. Some examples of foods rich in both are spinach, broccoli, and potatoes. Also taking steps such as adding berries to your porridge or using a fresh citrus vinaigrette on a leafy green salad can increase iron absorption by pairing with vitamin C rich ingredients. You might also consider supplementing vitamin C alongside your main meals to optimise absorption of iron. Furthermore, Nutriburst’s Hair, Nails & Skin gummies make a great companion to both the Vitamin D gummies and the Vitamin C gummies from the same range to address nutrient deficiencies related to hair loss. 

So next time you wash or brush your hair and find more hair than you’d expect left in the hairbrush or shower tray you might want to think about whether you’re getting enough vitamin D and whether your diet and supplements support your needs for vitamin D, vitamin C, biotin and iron.

 

By Jenny Tschiesche BSc(Hons) Dip(ION) FdSc BANT

 

[1] Amor KT, Rashid RM, Mirmirani P. Does D matter? The role of vitamin D in hair disorders and hair follicle cycling. Dermatol Online J. 2010;16(2):3

[2] Reichrath J, Schilli M, Kerber A, Bahmer FA, Czarnetzki BM, Paus R. Hair follicle expression of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 receptors during the murine hair cycle. Br J Dermatol. 1994;131(4):477–482.