How Does B12 Deficiency Causes Hair Loss & Grey hair? 


How Does B12 Deficiency Causes Hair Loss & Grey hair

Vitamin B12 is a B-complex Vitamin that holds importance in most body processes. Also known as Cobalamin, it plays a significant role in biological procedures like cellular metabolism, synthesis of red blood cells and DNA replication. Vitamin B12 is also an essential vitamin to invigorate Melanocytes cells that are responsible for hair pigmentation.

Symptoms And Signs of Vitamin B12 Deficiency:

  • Difficulty in sleeping
  • Feeling tired all the time
  • Frequently feeling breathless
  • Observing frequent mood changes
  • Anaemia (pernicious)
  • Premature greying
  • Low on energy
  • Tingling feeling in hands and feet
  • Ulcers in mouth
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Disorientation
  • Loss of vision
  • Dry skin
  • Hair loss

Causes Of Vitamin B12 Deficiency:

Vitamin B12 deficiency is a result of many factors. Some of them are:

  • Surgery that includes removal of a section of intestines or stomach, for example, weight loss surgeries.
  • Disorders of immune system like Lupus or Graves’ disease.
  • Pernicious anaemia, a condition that makes the body the unable to take Vitamin B12.
  • Diseases that affect small intestines, for example, Crohn’s disease, bacterial growth, celiac disease or parasites.
  • Atrophic gastritis, a medical condition that causes thinning of the stomach lining.
  • Menopause and chronic alcoholism

Let’s Understand How The Deficiency Of Vitamin B12 Can Lead To Hair Loss

Vitamin B12 plays a vital role in cell replication and DNA formation. Though there are other vitamins and minerals that help in these cellular processes, Vitamin B12 is most important. Deficiency of same can cause difficulties in above functions.


A deficiency of Vitamin B12 will slow down the process of genome replication which in turn slows down or stops hair growth. In such case, the natural hair will fall off naturally. Cobalamin is required by hair follicles to replicate them and for effective hair growth.

Vitamin B12 is also required for synthesis of red blood cells. Deficiency of this vitamin means the RBCs will not get oxygen properly. As a result, the hair follicles will suffer because they will not get the necessary nutrients from the blood. Thus, causing the hair to become brittle, stunted growth and eventually fall off.

How Can The Deficiency Of Vitamin B12 Cause Grey Hair?

B12 Deficiency Causes Grey hair

Melanin, a natural pigment, determines the colour of hair. Melanocytes, the pigment cells near the hair follicles do the duty of injecting melanin into the hair as it grows, giving it colour. This melanocyte activity decreases with age leading to less pigmentation and eventually, grey hair.

As we know, Vitamin B12 is essential to vitalise melanocytes cells for hair pigmentation. Thus, causing grey hairs.

Treatment Of Vitamin B12 Deficiency:

Treatment of Vitamin B12 Deficiency

  • The best way to treat Vitamin B12 deficiency is to get it through natural sources.
  • Foods rich in Vitamin B12 must be consumed regularly.
  • Foods rich in these vitamins are liver, other organ meats, shellfish, red meats, poultry, eggs, milk and dairy products.
  • Other foods include cereals, grain products, sunflower seeds, salmon, carrots, shrimps, cauliflower, legumes, dark leafy greens, avocados, almonds, etc.
  • Vegetarians and old aged people can take Vitamin B12 supplements for the same.


Hair loss can also be a result of a number of other reasons. However, it is good to eat foods high in Vitamin B12.

Just in case, you experience the above-mentioned symptoms consult a family doctor and get appropriate advice.