Vitamin A is a powerful antioxidant and has many great properties that can improve your health. It’s an important part of a healthy and balanced diet. However excessive Vitamin A can cause a number of problems, including hair loss. Here we’ll explain why too much Vitamin A is bad for you and your hair.
Doesn’t Vitamin A stimulate hair growth?
Vitamin A is essential for healthy hair. It repairs it and helps to keep the scalp moist. Many hair loss treatments contain Vitamin A as it is thought to stimulate hair growth.
The problem is that too much Vitamin A can have detrimental effects on both the hair and body. If you take too much of it, the hair follicles will go into overdrive. This means that your hair will be reaching the end of the growth phase too quickly and falling out. If your body is unable to make new hair quickly to replace it, you can end up experiencing hair thinning and in severe cases, baldness.
Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin, which means its stores can build up in the body. Over time, this can cause an overdose, which will not only affect your hair but also your health. Excessive Vitamin A intake is commonly associated with sickness, dry skin, blurred vision and irritability. If you carry on overdosing it can cause even more serious issues like osteoporosis, internal organ damage and if pregnant, birth defects.
How much is too much?
In order to overdose on Vitamin A, you would have to consume around double your recommended daily intake. According to government guidelines, you should be taking no more than 10,000 IU daily (unless prescribed otherwise.) If you are planning on taking any Vitamin A supplements, it is advised that you speak to your doctor first.
What to do if Vitamin A has caused hair loss
If you believe you have lost some of your hair as a result of taking too much Vitamin A, then you will need to stop or drastically reduce your intake of the vitamin. Once your nutrient levels have evened out, your hair should grow back properly.
If there’s another reason for your hair loss, then too much Vitamin A could make the problem worse. In this case you will need to see your doctor and find out what the best course of action is.
How to get a healthy intake of Vitamin A
The best way to avoid taking too much Vitamin A is to get it through food, rather than supplements. Red, yellow, orange and dark green vegetables are all great sources of Vitamin A. You can also get it from eggs, liver, fortified milk and cereals. Eat a healthy, balanced diet and you’ll get all the Vitamin A you need.
Being cautious about hair loss treatments
Many hair loss treatments contain Vitamin A, as it helps to produce healthy sebum, which prevents hair from drying out and breaking off. It is also an antioxidant, which helps to fight free radicals that can damage the hair.
It’s important to be cautious though, as you do not want to end up using a hair loss treatment that contains too much Vitamin A. If you are getting enough in your diet, you could risk overdosing by using a Vitamin A supplement or treatment.
If in doubt, it is highly recommended that you contact your GP. They will be able to provide you with advice based on your health, diet and lifestyle.
For more information about hair loss and hair loss surgery, please get in touch with the team here at Wimpole Clinic on 020 7935 1861.