Iron Deficiency and Hair Loss

Iron Deficiency and Hair Loss

For many people, hair loss is seen as something that can’t really be controlled. Male and female pattern baldness is common, and most assume that beyond prevention, there’s not much else they can do.

But what if your hair loss is the result of something else? What if you could regrow hair by incorporating more nutrients into your diet? If you suffer from iron deficiency hair loss, then that may be possible.

Iron Deficiency and Hair Loss – What’s the Connection?

How can a lack of iron conspire to limit your hair growth or cause it to fall out altogether? Well, it turns out that it all comes down to one element – hemoglobin.

If you’re not familiar with this part of your blood, hemoglobin is responsible for carrying oxygen to all parts of your body and bringing carbon dioxide back to the lungs. It’s a pretty important job; one that can be affected by a lack of iron.

Hemoglobin is comprised of four protein molecules, and iron helps stimulate their growth. When you don’t have enough iron in your system, you have less hemoglobin, which means that oxygen is not getting distributed evenly around your body.

Hair is usually one of the first things affected by this deficiency because it’s not an essential part of your internal systems. When that happens, it’s called telogen effluvium.

The Hair Cycle

To better understand how lack of iron and oxygen to your hair follicles can cause them to fall out, we have to look at how hair grows and develops in the first place. Your hair undergoes three hair growing phases– the anagen (growth), catagen (transition) and telogen (resting) phases.

When your hair is getting enough oxygen, it grows well. However, once that supply is depleted, it enters the telogen phase, where it can die off and fall out as a result. As you can see, iron deficiency hair loss can be somewhat drastic, depending on how little hemoglobin you have because of it.

Fortunately, since telogen effluvium is correctable, all it takes is some extra iron in your body, and you should see more growth overall.

Related: How to Increase Your Hair Growing Phase (Anagen Phase)?


What Causes Iron Deficiency?

For the most part, women are at a much higher risk of developing this condition (also known as anemia), especially if they are of childbearing age. While there are several reasons for this, one of the most prevalent is blood loss during menstruation.

Also, pregnant women usually face iron deficiency as their growing baby requires most of their iron to thrive. In fact, many women are screened for anemia when they become pregnant to address this issue.

Nonetheless, anyone can suffer from iron deficiency, so it’s all a matter of getting it diagnosed and treated.

Diagnosis is crucial because you may be suffering from hair loss due to an unrelated cause. Too much iron in the blood can cause more problems, such as heart disease or diabetes. Thus, you want to make sure that you’re not making things worse by adding iron when you don’t have to.

There are several quick and easy tests your doctor can do to see if your iron levels are too low (or too high), so there’s no reason to avoid getting tested before seeking a treatment option.

How to Restore Iron Levels?

Although your doctor will be able to give you targeted advice based on your particular results, here are some common ways to get more iron into your body and restore your hair growth.

Eat Iron-Rich Foods

Red meat and liver are chock full of iron, as are spinach and other leafy greens. However, unless you’re a vegetarian, you will get more iron from meat than you will from vegetables. Also, most beans have a lot of iron, especially dark red kidney beans. Finally, fish and other seafood are usually rich in this mineral. Learn more about what foods promote hair growth.

Add More Vitamin C

While vitamin C won’t help you produce iron, it will help you absorb it faster and hold onto it better. If your body is not storing iron well enough on its own, then adding more vitamin C to your diet can improve your situation. You can either take a supplement or eat foods like citrus and strawberries. You can also eat spinach and get both iron and vitamin C at once. Check out our best hair growth vitamin reviews.

Iron Pills

If you are really low on iron, then your doctor may suggest adding an iron supplement to your routine. However, because these are more concentrated than getting it from food, it’s imperative that you talk with your doctor before taking them. As we mentioned, too much iron can lead to problems, so don’t incorporate pills unless you’re directed by a professional. If you are taking prescription medications, or are pregnant or nursing, you also need to consult your healthcare provider before taking this minreral.

After you get confimed that you can take this supplement, you can search for pure iron supplement such as Nature Made Iron, one of the best selling iron pills. Alternatively, you can take hair growth vitamins that contain iron and other vitamins beneficial for hair regrowth such as Viviscal Professional Strength Hair Growth Supplement.

Related: Viviscal Reviews


Bottom Line

Hair loss is something that affects millions of people, so you’re not alone. If you think that you’re losing hair because of an iron deficiency, be sure to get checked and make changes. Also, remember that how you treat your hair can affect its ability to grow as well. If you keep it tied up really tight, or you brush too hard, you could be losing follicles no matter what.

If you want to keep as much hair on your head, taking a comprehensive approach is the best solution.

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  • […] An iron deficiency can contribute to alopecia, and other forms of hair loss. Iron-rich foods are ideal for preventing hair loss, and re-growing your hair. Even if you need more iron in your diet, you don’t want to have more than you need. Iron overloads can lead to future health problems. Learn more about iron deficiency and hair loss. […]

  • […] Mineral deficiencies can be a contributing factor to hair loss, especially in women. Minerals such as iron and vitamin D are crucial to improving hair growth. Moreover, it is also believed that Vitamin D deficiency can lead to hair loss. Spinach is ideal because it is rich in iron and vitamin D, and act as a natural conditioner. The iron-rich food will make your hair appear lustrous, shiny, and healthy. Learn more about iron deficiency and hair loss. […]

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