Can Supplements Cause Hair Loss?

Hair loss is a common but frustrating occurrence that has many potential causes, including vitamin deficiencies, hormonal changes, medications, genetics, health conditions, and stress (via Mayo Clinic). If you struggle with hair loss due to a vitamin deficiency, there are a few supplements that can help you improve your hair growth. Some of these include biotin, vitamin C, vitamin D, and zinc (via WebMD).

But are there some supplements that can actually cause hair loss? While taking supplements can have many benefits, exceeding the recommended dosage can cause harmful side effects. Selenium is a mineral that aids the effects of antioxidants in the body (via WebMD). However, taking too much selenium can cause hair loss, among other side effects. Vitamin A is important for the immune system and eye and skin health. However, because this vitamin is fat-soluble, it can cause many health problems when taken in excess. One of these problems is brittle hair and hair loss. When taking any supplement, it is important to not exceed the recommended dosage.

Other causes of hair loss and potential treatment options

There are many potential causes of hair loss other than taking too much selenium and vitamin A. Genetics play a big role in how much of your body looks, including your hair. "There are multiple different genes related to hair loss, and this is a very complex interplay of many genes," said Alison Bruce, MBChB, a dermatologist at Mayo Clinic via Everyday Health. "You shouldn't assume you've done anything to cause your hair loss, especially if you are otherwise healthy." Stress, menopause, medications, and health conditions can also affect your hair growth.

The best treatment for your hair loss will depend on the cause (via Healthline). Visit your doctor if you are struggling with hair loss and they can help you find the root of the problem. Treatments may include supplements, dietary changes, lifestyle changes, or medication. One of the most popular over-the-counter medications used to treat hair loss is called minoxidil. Also known as Rogaine, this liquid medication is rubbed on the scalp to increase hair growth in the area. Ultimately, it will be up to you and your doctor to determine which treatment will work best for you.