Can b12 deficiency cause significant hair loss ?


I am a 34 years old man who was diagnosed with significant Vitamin B12 deficiency. I have many symptoms and have discussed them in my first question. But I would like to know from others if they experienced significant hair loss from Vitamin B12 deficiency and how long did it take to get the hair back after correcting the levels with supplements ?

PS: I can see my scalp on the right and left side of my head. About 2 inches on each side.

My injections are over and my level is perfect now but I'm waiting for the results. 3 weeks but

no results till now.

Thank you !

19 Replies

  • I didn't lose my hair but it certainly got a lot thinner and brittle in my mid-thirties which was one of the points at which looking back I can see symptoms of B12 stepping up. It certainly thickened up even on the normal regime of B12 supplementation - which didn't deal with a lot of other symptoms - but everyone is different.

    For me I'd say I probably first realised that the hair had thickened up about 9 months after the supplementation started.

    this might be of interest.

    though it does appear that the underlying clip isn't actually available at the moment.

  • Hair loss can be one of the symptoms of B12 def. as shown on Dr Chandy's site - signs and symptoms. I found that supplementing with Biotin really helped thicken my hair up again quite quickly - shiny too,

  • I've got premature graying from low B12. I'm back on good B12 levels - still have the gray. Not so sure about hair loss.

  • May be wrong but I thought early greying (which I also have) was a high correlation with B12 deficiency/PA rather than anything actually having been tied down to a causal relationship yet.

    Having said that though I do think some of my colour has come back in the last 9 months since I started treating heavily with B12 but even I'm inclined to think that is my imagination :) will wait a couple of years to see if I end up with full head of auburn hair again before I say anything. :)

    Things a bit more complicated by the fact that I dyed my hair for over 10 years and only started growing out the dye in 2013 ... still a lot of dyed hair as it was quite long.

  • Thanks Gambit.

  • Ha! I've just written a post on fb about my alopecia!

    I've had two 'bouts' of hair loss -the first 4/5 years ago after an emergency admission to hospital with a suspected brain bleed and lumbar puncture, large patches started to appear very soon afterwards. I therefore think this was due to shock.

    I have had a more recent bald patch which just appeared after nearly all the other patches had grown back. It showed no regrowth at all. I started SI loading doses beginning of October (I've had PA for over 30 years with jabs every 2 months, but had started to get neuro symptoms which the Dr wouldn't treat as 'not to do with b12'!) and already most of the hair has grown back - it hardly shows at all! I think the latter was due to b12 deficiency.

    By the way my neuro symptoms are improving too :)

  • Good to know that.

  • Yes I had a lot of hair loss every time I washed my hair, enough to clog drains! TMI probably! This has reduced on B12 but as I have reduced frequency of injections the hair loss has increased again slightly. After maybe 5-6 weeks alternate day injections initially, it had virtually stopped falling out. I am now on 3 weekly jabs (at home). GP has given me prescription for monthly jabs so that will have to reduce or get other source. My hair is generally thicker but not what it was. I had been having hair loss for 2-3 years at least before finding out I was B12 deficient. I also take 1mg methyl cobalamin sublingual daily. Hope B12 helps your hair loss.

  • Hi

    It may depend on the time between noticing the hair loss and being treated with B12. I lost all my under arm hair a few years before diagnosis. After 19 months of B12 treatment it hasn't grown back at all (not that I mind too much!) However a few months before diagnosis my head hair started thinning and that has thickened up nicely now.

    I hope you notice yours getting thicker very soon.


  • Thanks Megan. I can see my scalp on both sides of my head. I was a healthy guy with normal hair. And then I moved to North Canada from Asia and was in -50 degrees C for 8 months w/o Sun. Drastic climate change. Also, I was under severe stress for 8-9 months there. Suddenly, severe indigestion, weight loss, fatigue and hair loss. Damn !

    GP said vit d and b12 levels have gone very bad. Course completed. No results yet.

  • It might be worth getting your thyroid tested as autoimmune conditions tend to go together. I found my hair loss improved after I was diagnosed and started treatment for both conditions. I was also started on high does vit D around the same time as that was low and quite common with PA/Thyroid issues.

  • Hi Boynotwell sorry to hear about your hairloss I am a 32 yr old women who was diagnosed with PA back in August 2013. One of my main symptoms was hairloss at the time of diagnosis. Since then I have had regular injections and my levels are >1200 however the hairloss has never stopped. Since diagnosis I have lost lots of hair and this has been really distressing. I have had my thyroid function, zinc, selenium, coeliac screen and folate checked all these are within normal range therefore my GP referred me to a dermatologist that is well known for dealing with hairloss. I then had my Ferritin levels checked which came back as being 14, which is the lower end of normal. The Specialist advised me that Ferritin levels can drop with PA and then they have to be between 70-90 for optimum hair growth and for hair to stay at the growth phase and not fall out. I have started taking regular Iron (ferrous fumerate) and I have managed to get my levels to 34.8 ( I have only been taking it for a few month) my hair is still falling out and my scalp is starting to be visible at the front. I am hoping once I can get the ferritin levels up further the hair loss will stop (fingers crossed). The other thing the dermatologist mentioned was that I may need more B12. Therefore my GP has just started me on a 6 month trial of monthly injections to see if this will help. If you haven't already it might be worth getting your ferritin levels checked. Also maybe its worth trialling more regular injections if you can. Hope this helps!

  • Thank you for the reply. It helps.

    When I go to the lab, what do I say ? Ferritin test ?

    Also, how do I know I suffer from PA ? When my b12 level was very bad my blood count was kinda ok. After injections my b12 level is now 1300, and my blood count, rbc/wbc/platelets is normal.

    Waiting for your reply !

  • My hair didn't start filling in until I started injecting 1 mg. of cyanocobalamin every day. I can see where the new hair growth is (1 year's worth). My bald spot on the top of my head is only just filling in now, though.

  • I have had PA for 18 years. Hairloss was one of the first indicators - bald patches noticed by a hairdresser. I completely lost my eyebrows and also the hair on my legs and under my arms - these have never regrown. The patches on my head regrew after a time of being on the jabs. However, my hair has continued to thin and I have one small bald patch left which my other hair currently disguises. I would love to know if there is anything I can do to thicken my hair. It is nearly all white now (actually like the colour) and has been for about 5 years. (I'm 54), but struggle with how thin it is. Any suggestions? Thank you.

  • Will let you know once my patches get covered. Pray for me :-).

    I am just 34 ...

  • Not sure where you are in the country, but my Triciologist Sally Annn was fabulous help to me.

  • I have been tested for everything known to science, for my hair loss. Started loosing it at 36 and l have fought it tooth n nail for over 10 years. I have tried lotions, potions, tablets, creams. Blood tests for iron, b12, thyroid, PCO. I even had a hair transplant.

    Nothing worked....until just when l was giving up and wearing a topper most days or scarves on windy days. Then as a VERY last result l tried a new item l discovered on youtube. Theradome is a low level laser therapy helmet. After 3 months l was starting to give up hope, but luckily as it was easy to use, 20mins x 2 a week. I kept going and after 4 months my little baby hairs started growing. After six months others started to notice the difference too. Its not cheap, at £600 but it saved my confidence. If you have had no results like me give it a go. Mine was purchased from Evesham WR11 1AN. Dont want to break any advertising rules on here.

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