Hair, Skin & Nails 6 MIN READ 129 VIEWS August 11, 2022

Vitamin B12 for Hair: Does It Help?

Written By HealthKart
Medically Reviewed By Dr. Aarti Nehra

Vitamin B12 for hair

It is not just about the right genes or using the right cosmetics for long, thick, and shiny hair. All this is in vain if you do not have adequate levels of vitamins especially, vitamin B12 for hair. You may acknowledge the relevance of a balanced diet if you learn all the facts about vitamin B12 benefits for hair.

Vitamin B12 — What is It?

Vitamin B12, commonly known as cobalamin, is a water-soluble vitamin that is essential for DNA synthesis and cell production. This water-soluble vitamin, which belongs to the complex B vitamin family, contributes to the production of red blood cells and promotes healthy central nervous system function in your body. The majority of water-soluble vitamins normally cannot be stored in excess amounts by the body, however, vitamin B12, which is present in the liver, can be stored for over 4 years.

If you notice unusual hair fall and no replenishment, then you might be vitamin B12 deficient. You should consult your physician or a health expert regarding the reasons for the hair fall and if clinical tests determine the deficiency, then you should either include food sources rich in vitamin B12 or should start consuming vitamin b12 for hair growth supplements.

How is Vitamin B12 Deficiency Connected with Hair loss?

B12 for hair is crucial not only for hair growth but is also highly essential for the brain, nerves, and blood cells.

When viewed under a microscope, each strand of your hair resembles a thick tube. This tube-like structure is called the hair shaft. Most of your hair is made up of a strong protein called keratin. 

Although the major component of your hair, the protein keratin, is dead, the hair follicles underneath it are still very much alive and in need of nutrients. Only blood can deliver the nutrients and oxygen that the hair follicles require to grow. Your hair cells proliferate and grow in number, producing a new hair strand. Blood vessels at the base of your hair bulb link your body’s blood supply to your hair follicles.

The development of red blood cells that are oxygen-rich and transport oxygen to your hair follicles is aided by vitamin B12. The creation of new hair cells and the promotion of hair growth are biological processes.

Cell division, cellular metabolism, and DNA replication are all significantly influenced by this vitamin. Every time a hair cell divides, it creates a duplicate. Synthesis of DNA and absorption of vitamin B12 for hair growth are the two main factors that contribute to hair growth.

Does B12 deficiency also contribute to hair thinning? Yes, it can. Red blood cells are produced in the bloodstream by cobalamin or vitamin B12. Your low red blood cell count indicates anaemia brought on by Vitamin-B12 deficiency. The potential symptoms of this vitamin deficiency are diffuse hair loss or hair thinning. 

Other Benefits of Vitamin B12 for Hair

There are several other vitamin B12 for hair benefits besides promoting hair growth. They are:

1. Moisturises and Conditions Your Hair

Your hair becomes frizzy and dull due to continuous exposure to pollution and UV rays when you step out. You can use a lot of precautionary measures to protect your hair like covering your head when you step out or frequently oiling your hair. But nothing can be better than maintaining the required level of Vitamin B12. One of the health benefits of vitamin B12 for hair is it moisturises and conditions your hair. Your hair will turn out to be shiny, smooth, and less frizzy.

2. Enhances Scalp Health

An itchy scalp can be a real pain and is one of the potential signs of vitamin B12 deficiency. Loaded with anti-inflammatory properties, maintaining scalp health is among the best vitamin B12 benefits for hair. It aids in reducing skin irritation, balances the PH levels and helps heal infections.

3. Keeps the Natural Hair Colour Intact

Your hair can frequently become damaged by pollution, chemicals, and sun exposure. This harm may manifest as dullness and occasionally as premature greying. Although there are temporary solutions, like colouring your hair, what your hair really needs is the proper nutrients, which vitamin B12 provides.

Impurities that promote premature greying and ageing of your hair can be combated by vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 benefits for hair include preserving your hair’s original colour.

4. Restores the Sheen of Your Hair

Frequent usage of hair dryers exposes your hair to heat. Your hair can become dull with constant exposure to heat and UV rays. You may restore your hair’s natural gloss and stop additional damage by frequently applying oil and using vitamin B12 supplements because B12 for hair is known for its UV protection property.

5. Controls Oil Production and Maintains pH Levels

The growth of your hair might be impacted by excessive oil production and an unbalanced pH level. Your follicles may become clogged by the oil, which can lead to problems like dandruff and an itchy scalp. Natural oil production and pH levels can be balanced with vitamin B12 for hair, which also hydrates your hair.

When you are B12 deficient, ingesting B12 will assist your skin and hair conditions to improve. However, if your body has enough B12, consuming more of it won’t have any effect on your skin or hair.

What Leads to Vitamin B12 Deficiency?

Meat eaters can get an adequate amount of this nutrient. Ask your doctor if you should undergo a blood test to evaluate your vitamin B12 level if you’re unsure.

It may become more difficult to absorb this vitamin as we age. Additionally, the deficiency may occur if you regularly consume alcohol or have undergone surgery for weight loss or any procedure that involves the removal of a portion of your stomach.

Additionally, the following conditions may increase your risk of vitamin B12 deficiency:

  1. If you are dealing with atrophic gastritis, a condition where thinning of the stomach lining occurs.
  2. Because of pernicious anaemia, your body has a difficult time absorbing vitamin B12.
  3. Small intestinal disorders such as Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, bacterial overgrowth, or a parasitic disease.
  4. Heavy consumption of alcohol limits your calorie intake and makes absorption of vitamins and nutrients difficult.
  5. Glossitis, or a swollen and irritated tongue, may be one indication if you don’t get enough B12.
  6. Immune system diseases, including lupus and Graves’ illness.
  7. On medication that limits the absorption of vitamin B12.
  8. You can also develop a vitamin B12 deficiency if you do not consume animal products such as meat, milk, cheese, or eggs, or if you are a vegan or a vegetarian who does not consume enough dairy products or eggs to meet your vitamin B12 requirements. 

What are the Symptoms of B12 Deficiency?

You will have several warning signs when you are vitamin B12 deficient. They are:

  1. Fatigue and mental weakness
  2. Weight loss, depleted energy, low appetite
  3. Breathlessness
  4. Anaemia
  5. Cognitive decline, memory loss
  6. Insomnia
  7. Disorientation, depression, and confusion
  8. Hair fall, hair thinning, premature greying
  9. Mouth ulcers
  10. Constipation
  11. Irritability, mood swings

Vitamin B12 deficiency, if not addressed immediately, can turn into serious conditions like heart palpitations, breathlessness, nerve issues, and depression.

Preventive Measures for Vitamin B12 Deficiency

By consuming sufficient amounts of meat, poultry, seafood, dairy products, and eggs, the majority of people can avoid vitamin B12 insufficiency.

You can get vitamin B12 through multivitamins, other supplements, and foods if you don’t eat animal products or if you have a medical condition that affects how well your body absorbs nutrients.

Let your doctor know if you decide to take vitamin B12 supplements so they can advise you on how much you need or ensure they won’t interfere with any medications you’re taking.

Vitamin B12 for Hair - Expert's Tip

Conclusion

Vitamin B12 for hair can be one of the solutions for acute hair loss. But before deciding on the consumption of B12 supplements and going ahead with any other kind of treatment for B12 deficiency, you should ascertain if the deficiency exists. There could be various other reasons for hair loss like iron deficiency, stress, hair treatments, genetics, etc. Determining the right reason is the key and the solutions can be suggested accordingly. 

A clinical test can determine the vitamin B12 deficiency. If you experience abnormal loss of hair, then consult your doctor for early diagnosis. Prolonged vitamin B12 deficiency can cause serious health issues. 

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