Hair Loss and Nutrient Deficiencies

Written by Dr. Nirvana

April 1, 2021

Hair loss is one of the most frustrating symptoms a woman can deal with in her life. Our hair is an integral part of our sense of beauty including how we express our personality and femininity.  Thinning hair or bald spots can be devastating and destroy our self-confidence.


To make things worse, it’s difficult to find a clear cause of hair loss, which makes it seem nearly impossible to find the solution. The truth is, there can be a number of causes and therefore, a number of solutions. After all, each person has a unique set of genes, hormonal imbalances, deficiencies, and surroundings.


What I want you to know is that hair loss is a sign of an internal imbalance or deficiency, therefore topical solutions (such as creams, shampoos, magic oils and such) will only have limited or temporary results.


Hair loss is a signal to us that there’s an internal imbalance.

Topical remedies are temporary Band-Aids to your frustration.

 You need to focus on resolving the underlying causes.


The causes of hair loss can be divided into four main categories:

Nutritional deficiencies also contribute to hair loss. Some of the most common deficiencies associated with thinning hair include Silica, Vitamin B12, Iron, Zinc, Biotin, Essential Fatty Acids, particularly Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA) and protein. But, the root cause of these micronutrient deficiencies is most often due to inflammation along the inner lining of the gut, better known as Leaky Gut. This is often why many of my patients come to me saying they’re taking a variety of supplements, but none of them seem to be working. Healing your Gut is Key.


Beneficial Nutrients for Hair Growth



Silica is a trace mineral that comes in many forms and is present throughout the body but is highest in connective tissue, including hair. For every gram of hair, 90 micrograms are made up of silica. A double-blind, placebo-controlled study of women aged 21 to 75 with self-perceived thinning hair was given a silica-containing supplement or a placebo twice daily for six months. The result? Significantly more silica-supplemented women reported improvements in hair growth!


Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is needed for the production of healthy red blood cells, which are needed for delivering oxygen and nutrients to the base of the hair follicle. Not only that, but B12 has been shown to actually affect DNA synthesis and promote the growth of new cells, including hair.



Iron deficiency anemia can also cause hair loss. Along with thyroid disorders, it’s one of the two most common conditions associated with hair loss – I see this often with vegetarians and vegans. In this study it was shown that women between the ages of 35 and 60 with excessive hair loss tended to have low iron stores.



Zinc is needed for several hormones to function properly. You also need sufficient zinc to maintain proper hormone balance.  As a matter of fact, zinc levels are directly associated with the following hormones:


Thyroid Antibodies

Biotin is a B vitamin that is needed for the production of keratin, which is a structural protein that makes up hair, skin, and nails. Biotin-deficient cells have been shown to be more susceptible to damage from stress. That specifically includes fibroblasts, which produce collagen and are responsible for hair growth. Biotin deficiency may be caused by gut dysbiosis, drug-nutrient interactions, bariatric surgery (leading to decreased absorption), smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and over-consumption of raw egg whites.


Essential Fatty Acids

Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA) Deficiencies in essential fatty acids have been linked to hair loss also. Gamma Linolenic Acid is an anti-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acid that is found at higher levels in plant seed oils, such as evening primrose oil, borage seed oil, and black currant seed oil. GLA is also a powerful DHT inhibitor (by way of blocking 5-alpha reductase) and so prevents its destructive effects on the hair follicles. This is one of my go-to remedies for my PCOS patients as they tend to have an overproduction of testosterone affecting the hair follicles.



Lack of protein has been shown in animal studies to contribute to hair loss. This study, found that as the body ages, the damaged DNA causes the collagen in hair follicle stem cells to be broken down. Collagen is of vital importance in the maintenance of healthy hair follicles and healthy hair growth.


Solutions for Hair Loss due to Nutrient Deficiencies

  • Vitamin B12 – Anyone can get increase their B12 levels quickly with a Vitamin B12 shot.
  • Biotin – Included in Glow Shot
  • Iron – If your stomach acid is too low, you can’t absorb the iron from your diet. Heal your gut with Gut Be Calm
  • Silica – bananas, green beans, and whole grains are some foods highest in silica.
  • Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs), especially Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA) – the highest concentration of GLA is found in evening primrose oil. It’s tasty and can be added into your smoothies, oatmeal or salads!
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