The Link Between Diet And Hair Loss

There are a variety of nutrients involved with our skin, nails and hair. Our overall health, medication we may be taking, and whether or not we are deficient in vitamins and minerals can all impact how our hair grows and its strength1.

Whilst this area of research is in its infancy, there is an interesting association between hair and nutrition, and more is being uncovered as the years go on.

What vitamins and nutrients deficiencies are linked to hair loss?

There are a variety of vitamins and nutrients involved in maintaining overall hair health, but when it comes to hair loss, it may be due to particular deficiencies. It is thought that a deficiency in iron (anaemia) may affect hair health1. There is evidence that some patients with hair loss also have iron deficiency, and this may prevent hair growth2.

What we do know is that iron is a very important mineral for many different roles in the body, and that women are more likely to be more deficient than men due to their menstrual cycle3. If you’re low in iron, remember than vitamin C also increases its absorption!

Zinc deficiency is also thought to impact hair growth and has been linked to specific kinds of alopecia2. You can find zinc in cereals, meat and dairy. Consulting your doctor or dermatologist is important before supplementation because high levels can lead to anaemia due to copper inhibition4.

B-Vitamins like B12, Biotin, Niacin and Folate have also been linked to overall hair growth and deficiencies have been linked to hair loss2. The recommendation for these vitamins may be harder to obtain if you are following a plant-based diet, so supplementation may help in these cases.

The best way to know if a lack of vitamins is responsible for your hair loss is to consult your GP, you can have your vitamin and mineral levels checked via blood tests if necessary.

What happens to our hair when we follow restrictive diets?

Restrictive diets don’t just impact our hair, they can impact our whole health. If you eat an unbalanced diet or consume too little food, you may experience both hair thinning and hair loss2,5 . Try to avoid diets that seem restrictive or difficult to follow as your body may not receive enough of the important nutrition it needs2,5.

There isn’t enough evidence to suggest any single diet is responsible for hair health, but what we do know is any restrictive diet could be detrimental to hair growth. Watch out for diets that avoid whole food groups or seem very restrictive.

Can hair supplements work without following a healthy diet?

If your hair loss is caused by a particular vitamin deficiency and you struggle to obtain it from your diet, then hair supplements may work for some individuals. The important thing to remember is to have a balanced and varied diet so you get a wide range of vitamins and minerals in your diet. Make sure to consult your GP if you are experiencing hair loss to rule out more severe causes.


This post is also available in: Turkish

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