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Multivitamins and Hair Loss

By Sarah Barnes ; Updated August 14, 2017

Over time, it happens to many people -- you don't have as much hair as you once did. Although losing some of your hair as you age is natural, hair loss can have other causes. Eating right, including the use of multivitamins when necessary, is one way to help prevent certain causes of hair loss.

Causes

Hair loss has several possible causes, according to MedlinePlus.com. It occurs naturally with age, especially in men, and is a side effect of some cancer treatments. Hair loss is also a symptom of alopecia areata, an autoimmune disease, as well as diabetes and lupus. Certain medications, hormonal changes in the body and scalp infections can all cause hair to fall out. Poor nutrition is another cause.

Nutrition and Hair Loss

If you experience unexplained hair loss, a nutritional deficiency could be the culprit. MedlinePlus.com notes that diets low in protein can cause hair loss. Avoid fad or crash diets, as they often don't contain enough of many essential nutrients. People with eating disorders can also lose hair as a result of poor nutrition.

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Vitamins and Hair Loss

A multivitamin is an easy way to ensure you're getting adequate amounts of essential nutrients. However, it shouldn't be used as a substitute for a healthy diet. Multivitamins generally don't contain protein, which is essential for healthy hair. Biotin, often classified as part of the B family, is often prescribed for hair loss and selenium can help the body use proteins that help prevent hair loss. However, excess selenium in the body can actually cause hair loss, according to the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements. Both biotin and selenium are often found in multivitamins. Multivitamins have some risks, including the potential for overload on certain nutrients, such as selenium. A balanced diet that contains plenty of fruits and vegetables should usually provide all the nutrition you need to maintain a healthy head of hair.

Preventing Hair Loss

To prevent hair loss, eat a well-balanced diet and avoid activities and hairstyles that put a lot of stress on your hair. Use braids, cornrows and ponytails sparingly; let your hair air-dry when possible; and don't twist or pull at your hair.

Considerations

Taking a multivitamin will not always prevent or treat hair loss, especially if your hair loss is not caused by a nutritional deficiency. See your doctor to determine the cause of your hair loss and identify appropriate treatment methods.

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