November 25, 2015
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Hair Loss (cont.)

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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.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/19/2015


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