Role of vitamin D in hair loss: A short review

J Cosmet Dermatol. 2021 Nov;20(11):3407-3414. doi: 10.1111/jocd.14421. Epub 2021 Sep 22.

Abstract

Background: Vitamin D, a vitamin and hormone, plays an important role in dermatology and dermatotherapeutics, due to its anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory properties, and regulation of keratinocyte differentiation and proliferation. It also affects the hair cycle, and its role in hair loss is under constant research.

Objectives: This review aims to give a brief overview of vitamin D biology within the hair follicle, role in the etiopathogenesis, and rationale for supplementation in various alopecias.

Methods: A PubMed literature search was performed to review relevant current literature and studies investigating the role of vitamin D in the etiopathogenesis, as a supplement and a potential therapeutic modality in hair loss.

Results and conclusion: Vitamin D is intricately involved in various signaling pathways of growth and differentiation of hair follicles. Most studies show an inverse relationship between serum vitamin D levels and non-scarring alopecias such as telogen effluvium, androgenetic alopecia, alopecia areata, and trichotillomania. Vitamin D deficiency is also associated with scarring alopecia. However, conclusive studies to demonstrate the benefit of vitamin D administration in correcting hair loss and managing these conditions are lacking. Hence, further studies are needed before vitamin D can be routinely recommended as a treatment modality in these conditions.

Keywords: Vitamins; female pattern hair loss; hair loss; male pattern baldness; vitamin D.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alopecia / drug therapy
  • Alopecia Areata*
  • Hair Follicle
  • Humans
  • Trichotillomania*
  • Vitamin D / therapeutic use
  • Vitamins / therapeutic use

Substances

  • Vitamins
  • Vitamin D