Diet-Related Hair Loss
Could your diet be causing your hair loss? Following a restrictive diet can cause your hair to thin or even fall out. If you need to stick to a diet for medical or lifestyle reasons, use these tips to make sure you get all the nutrients you need to keep your hair healthy.
Weight Loss and Hair Loss
Shedding pounds to reach a healthy weight can reduce your risk of many long-term health conditions, but in the short-term a very low-calorie diet can have negative effects on hair health. According to dermatologists, hair loss is common after a weight loss of 15 or more pounds, but growth usually returns once the weight stabilizes.
Protein for Hair Health
Hair is made from protein, so not getting enough protein reduces your body’s ability to produce hair. This causes a disproportionately large number of hairs to go into the resting phase of hair growth, which lasts around three months, before falling out. If you notice that you are shedding more hairs than usual, check that you are getting enough protein in your diet. Adults need to eat two or three servings of protein-rich foods every day, such as lean meat, fish, beans, eggs or peanut butter.
Iron and Hair Loss
Hair loss can be a symptom of iron deficiency, which your doctor can quickly diagnose using a blood test. Vegetarians are most likely to suffer from iron deficiency, as iron in plants is not as easily absorbed by the body as iron in meat. If you are vegetarian, consider eating cereals that have been fortified with iron to increase your intake. Soybeans, pumpkin seeds, lentils and spinach are also good sources of iron.
Vitamin D for Hair Health
Many people don’t get enough vitamin D. The body can produce vitamin D when the skin is exposed to sunlight, but excessive sun exposure can increase the risk of skin cancer. Other sources of vitamin D include fortified cereals and milk. Vitamin D plays a vital role in the body’s cycle of hair production.
If you’re worried about hair loss, see your doctor for advice. Many vitamin deficiencies can be quickly diagnosed with a blood test. Once you know which nutrients you lack, you can change your diet or take supplements to support the health of your hair.