Hair Loss (cont.)
Gary W. Cole, MD, FAAD
Dr. Cole is board certified in dermatology. He obtained his BA degree in bacteriology, his MA degree in microbiology, and his MD at the University of California, Los Angeles. He trained in dermatology at the University of Oregon, where he completed his residency.
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
In this Article
- Hair loss facts
- What are causes of hair loss?
- How do physicians classify hair loss?
- What is alopecia areata?
- What is traction alopecia?
- What is trichotillomania?
- What is tinea capitis?
- What is generalized (diffuse) hair loss?
- What is telogen effluvium?
- What is androgenetic or androgenic alopecia ("male-pattern baldness," "female-pattern baldness")?
- What treatment is there for hair loss in men?
- What other options do people have for hair loss?
- Is hair loss in women different than men?
- What about pregnancy hair loss?
- What specific treatments are there for hair loss in women?
- What vitamins are good for hair loss?
- Can itchy scalp cause hair loss?
- How do people prevent hair loss?
- View Hair Loss Pictures - Slideshow
- Hair and Scalp Pictures - Slideshow
- Take the Hair Loss Quiz!
- Hair Loss FAQs
- Find a local Dermatologist in your town
What vitamins are good for hair loss?
A good daily multivitamin containing zinc, vitamin B, folate, iron, and calcium is a reasonable choice, although there is no good evidence that vitamins have any meaningful benefit in alopecia. Newer studies suggest that vitamin D may be somewhat helpful and worth considering. Specific vitamin and mineral deficiencies like iron or vitamin B12 may be diagnosed by blood tests and treated.
Multiple vitamins, including biotin, have been promoted for hair growth, but solid scientific studies for many of these claims are lacking. While taking biotin and other supplements marketed for hair, skin, and nails probably won't worsen anything, it may also not necessarily help the situation. Therefore, advertised hair-regrowth supplements should be approached with mild caution.
Can itchy scalp cause hair loss?
Itchy scalp may cause mild, reversible hair loss. Causes may include seborrheic dermatitis (dandruff). Treatments may include medicated shampoos like ketoconazole (Nizoral), OTC dandruff shampoos, and topical steroid creams and lotions to help decrease itching.
How do people prevent hair loss?
Hair-loss prevention depends on the underlying cause. Good hair hygiene with regular shampooing is a basic step but is probably of little benefit. Good nutrition, especially adequate levels of iron and vitamin B, is helpful. Treatment of underlying medical conditions like thyroid disease, anemia, and hormonal imbalances may useful in prevention.
Bolognia, Jean, Jorizzo, Joseph, and Rapini, Ronald. Dermatology. Philadelphia: Mosby Elsevier, 2008.
Han, A., and P. Mirmirani. "Clinical approach to the patient with alopecia." Semin Cutan Med Surg. 25 (2006): 11-23.
Mubki, T., L. Rudnicka, M. Olszewska, and J. Shapiro. "Evaluation and diagnosis of the hair loss patient: part I. History and clinical examination." J Am Acad Dermatol 71.3 Sept. 2014: 415.
Mubki, T., L. Rudnicka, M. Olszewska, and J. Shapiro. "Evaluation and diagnosis of the hair loss patient: part II. Trichoscopic and laboratory evaluations." J Am Acad Dermatol 71.3 Sept. 2014: 431.
Find out what women really need.