These deficiencies, especially if maintained over a period of time, can cause a type of hair loss called telogen effluvium. The good news is that this condition is generally reversible, so adopting healthier and less restrictive eating habits will allow hair to grow back. However, if the main cause of hair loss and thinning is malnutrition, a healthy diet for hair is the best option. Studies have found that deficiencies in nutrients such as iron, zinc and biotin due to eating disorders, hunger, or malnutrition are closely related to hair loss or thin, brittle hair.
Because hair is made of keratin protein, a diet with sufficient levels of protein is also essential to keep hair healthy and strong. Protein restriction can occur in some very low-calorie diets and cause thinning and hair loss. Like birthdays and taxes, one of the few constants in life is hair loss. However, not all hair loss is caused by aging.
In fact, some eating habits can trigger hair loss. Here are six nutritional deficiencies that can negatively affect your locks. Our genes, as well as certain health problems (such as hormonal imbalances and immune disorders), can greatly influence hair loss. For example, approximately 6.8 million Americans suffer or will suffer from alopecia, an autoimmune genetic disorder in which the immune system attacks hair follicles.
Characterized by partial or total hair loss, which can occur in repetitive and unpredictable cycles. Some prescription medications (such as blood thinners and certain antidepressants) can also contribute to hair loss. And although it's not permanent, extreme hair loss (called telogen effluvium) can occur due to stressors such as childbirth, surgery, or sudden weight loss. Like alopecia, this hair loss occurs suddenly, but tends to be temporary.
Both antioxidants and vitamins C and E help prevent free radical damage to hair follicles. Vitamin C also supports iron absorption (learn more about why it's important in a minute). According to the National Institutes of Health, the average adult needs 22.4 IU (15 milligrams) of vitamin E and 75 to 90 milligrams of vitamin C per day. In addition, vitamin D deficiencies have been associated with hair loss and are even implicated in the development of alopecia.
FDA recommends that adults consume about 600 IU of D a day. Although rare, biotin deficiency can cause thinning and hair loss. The recommended average daily intake of biotin for adults is 30 micrograms, and you'll find the vitamin in all kinds of supplements formulated to support hair, skin and nails. People with inherited conditions that influence hair loss can especially benefit from biotin supplementation, says Ploch.
If you have a condition related to hair loss, talk to your doctor about adding a biotin supplement. Many of the health problems that cause hair loss and the resulting hair loss themselves are treatable, but it's important to evaluate them as quickly as possible, as changing patterns in hair loss and growth can take months. Hair loss due to weight loss is not dangerous or permanent. Usually, the body adjusts in a few months and hair production resumes.
Hair loss affects both men and women and is not limited to any age. Fast diets, unhealthy foods, and a nutritionally poor diet can lead to hair loss. Hair loss and malnutrition are often an index of a serious and invisible mental or physical health problem. One of the ideal ways to maintain healthy hair is to eat a nutritious diet.
The effect of diet on hair and scalp health is unclear. However, some studies suggest that certain foods may increase the risk of hair loss, such as simple carbohydrates that include refined sugars and grains. Keep in mind that there are a number of factors that can cause hair loss, including one or more nutrient deficiencies (1). However, hair loss that occurs 6 months after surgery and beyond may be due to nutrient deficiencies that develop as a result of surgery-related malabsorption (2) Hair loss occurs when stress occurs in the body causes hairs to stop growing and enter the catagen phase too soon.
However, while nutritious anti-inflammatory foods might promote hair growth, limited evidence suggests that less nutritious inflammatory foods can cause hair loss. Smoking has also been linked to the autoimmune condition alopecia areata, which causes hair loss (3). Eating large amounts of unhealthy foods or insufficient amounts of nutritious foods could worsen hair loss. A poor diet can also lead to the loss of collagen in the scalp, which contains the hair follicles, because collagen is used to maintain body tissues.
Female patients can also blame low estrogen levels, which is why temporary hair loss occurs after delivery or during menopause. Research suggests that acute hair loss that occurs within 3 months after bariatric surgery is associated with the surgery itself (2). However, if you haven't eaten enough of these foods, you may suffer from biotin deficiency, which causes thin hair and brittle nails. This type of hair loss is generally known as telogen effluvium and is a common cause of hair loss.
As alopecia and thinning hair have a negative effect on self-esteem, science continues to seek solutions to hair loss and similar problems. On average, a healthy person can lose between 50 and 100 hairs per day, but a malnourished patient may notice that his hair thins and the process of hair loss accelerates. Diet-related hair loss can be recovered as long as the patient resumes a proper diet, stays stress-free, and maintains a healthy scalp environment. If you want to limit the other factors that can cause hair loss, consider avoiding smoking, limiting alcohol consumption, sleeping optimally, and managing your stress levels.