The Importance Of Vitamin D & How It Can Impact Hair Loss
The coming of spring symbolizes many things: warm weather, tax deadlines, vacation, bugs, the end of cuffing season, the summer pregame — just to name a few. But more than anything, spring is an opportunity to look good, or at least get started.
Gone are the days of sallow skin, dark under-eyes and a general, overwhelming feeling of being uncomfortable and unwell in the long, cold dark of winter. At least, that’s how it is for those of us on the East Coast. For our West-Coasters in Los Angeles who enjoy warm weather year-round, maybe the first day of spring is just like any other day. But now that we’re all on the same page, there are no more excuses to look anything but our best, and this spring may be a new beginning in more ways than one.
Sunlight & Your Hair
Spring means more sun. More sun means more Vitamin D. More Vitamin D means your hair keeps growing. Dr. Roy B. Stoller, a board-certified plastic surgeon who performs clinical hair restoration and optimization at Barber Surgeons Guild’s New York City outpost, explained that Vitamin D keeps hair in the growth phase, known as anagen, for longer periods of time. When a guy suffers from male pattern baldness, the follicle’s resting phase, known as telogen, becomes part of a vicious cycle that results in gradual hair loss. When hair follicles enter the resting phase, they become vulnerable to Dihydrotestosterone, more commonly known as DHT. DHT is the hormone primarily responsible for male pattern baldness.
“Hair is sensitive to DHT,” Dr. Stoller said. “It is during that shedding period that it is attacked, and when it comes back into the shedding period, it comes back thinner, and it keeps cycling and cycling that way. People have to understand that. A lot of people don’t understand that.”
A 1991 study published in the National Library of Medicine looked at 14 healthy men with indoor occupations in Sheffield, U.K., every 28 days for 18 months. Among them, the number of follicles on the scalp in the growth phase peaked at over 90 percent in March, while the peak for follicles in the rest phase happened in August and September. Similarly, the growth rate of beard hair was lowest in January and February and steadily peaked from March to July.
Essentially, warmer, sunnier weather is generally conducive to the hair’s growth cycle.
Hair After Covid
Over the last few years especially, people across the world have fallen short of achieving healthy levels of Vitamin D due to worries about the global Covid-19 pandemic. Many stayed indoors, even during warm weather, inevitably resulting in more widespread Vitamin D deficiencies. For those who actually contracted the Covid-19 virus, Dr. Stoller said, hair health was often the first sacrificial casualty in the body’s effort to maintain healthy physiological functions.
“One of the trends I see for hair loss right now is not that it’s secondary to male pattern baldness. It’s post-Covid hair loss,” Dr. Stoller said, adding that symptoms of hair loss become noticeable about four months after someone contracts the illness.
Dr. Stoller said that because Covid is a potentially deadly disease, the body fights it by allocating nutrients and other bodily resources only to the most vital organs. In terms of survival, hair is pretty much at the bottom of the list of necessities.
One could say the Covid pandemic has in some ways been the longest winter in decades. With restrictions finally easing in New York City and Los Angeles, two cities with the most stringent national Covid guidelines, it’s finally starting to seem like the pandemic might actually feel over as the weather warms and risk of transmission becomes even lower. For hair, this is a two-fold celebration. With longer, brighter days, not only will the extra Vitamin D help keep your hair in a growth phase, you’re also less likely now to contract an illness that is capable of making it fall out.
It won’t just be the daffodils in bloom if you play your cards right. Although spring can strengthen the growth phase of hair and keep it from entering the resting phase and continuing a dangerous cycle, there are medical methods of prolonging and restarting the growth phase, such as platelet-rich plasma therapy, or PRP.
“There are therapies we offer that prolong the anagen phase, keep hair in the growth phase and help the hair to resist DHT,” Dr. Stoller said. “Those are low laser light therapy, PRP therapy, exosomes therapy, and topical minoxidil.”
If you think your hair may be thinning as a result of Vitamin D deficiency or post-Covid syndrome, you If you think your hair may be thinning as a result of Vitamin D deficiency or Covid 19 infection, you can schedule a consultation with a BSG professional to assess your treatment options. In the meantime, BSG offers a wide array of services with our master barbers, each of whom is uniquely qualified to have you looking your best for the seasonal deluge of Instagram pics and beach posts. It’s been a rough few years. Don’t start this new beginning looking rough too. Schedule an appointment for a haircut or optimization consultation today. Do it for yourself. You deserve it.