Hair loss is a common condition known as alopecia in the medical field.
It has many known causes, including:
– hormonal imbalance
– tension on the hair
Hair loss can also be caused by diet-related factors, such as nutrient deficiencies and taking supplements. This article discusses how diet can affect hair loss.
Hair is made up of two main structures: the hair shaft, which is what you see, and the hair follicle, which is hidden under the skin. The hair grows from the hair follicle (4 years). Hair typically grows at a rate of 0.35mm per day. The scalp sheds approximately 100 hairs per day, which can increase with hair care practices like washing and brushing. Hair follicles are very active and sensitive. In fact, hair follicle cells are among the fastest dividing cells in your body, so it’s no surprise that nutrient deficiencies can negatively affect hair growth.
Iron deficiency is the most common nutrient deficiency in the world and can lead to hair loss. This condition is linked to a type of hair loss known as telogen effluvium (TE), a type of hair loss characterized by disruption of the normal hair growth cycle. This leads to excessive hair loss and hair loss. Researchers are still studying how iron deficiency causes hair loss, but it appears to disrupt hair growth by diverting iron stores in the hair follicle to other areas of the body. Some studies have shown that people who lose their hair tend to have lower levels of iron in their blood and hair than people who don’t lose their hair.
Vitamin D plays an important role in hair growth and the health of your hair follicles. Research has shown that vitamin D levels are lower in people with hair loss issues, including female pattern hair loss and an autoimmune skin condition called alopecia areata. Research has shown that taking vitamin D supplements promotes hair regrowth in some people with hair loss related to vitamin D deficiency. A 2020 study of 109 people found that people with hair loss hair loss had significantly lower vitamin D blood levels than people without hair loss. In fact, nearly 80% of people with hair loss had low vitamin D levels. These findings led researchers to recommend that all people with diffuse hair loss be tested for low levels of vitamin D. vitamin D and iron.
Zinc is a mineral that plays an important role in immune function, protein synthesis, cell division, and more. It is necessary for hair follicle function and helps protect against hair follicle shrinkage and slow growth. It also helps promote hair follicle recovery (15%).
A zinc deficiency can lead to hair loss, and studies show that people with certain hair loss-related conditions tend to have lower zinc levels than people without hair loss. These conditions include:
– alopecia areata
– hair loss in men
– female hair loss
– Telogen effluvium (TE)
Other Nutrients That May Affect Hair Loss
Besides the vitamins and minerals listed above, research has shown that deficiencies in the following nutrients are associated with hair loss:
– vitamin B12
Remember that a number of factors can cause hair loss, including one or more nutrient deficiencies. If you suspect your hair loss is due to a nutrient deficiency, consult a healthcare professional. They may suggest that you take a blood test to assess your micronutrient levels and rule out any deficiencies.
Calorie and protein restriction
The cells that make up the hair bulb, or the part of the hair follicle that produces hair, have a high turnover rate, which means that new cells grow and replace old ones at a rapid rate. For this reason, the hair is very sensitive to protein and calorie deficiencies, two elements that your follicles constantly need to develop and function properly. Calorie restriction affects the energy supply to the hair follicle, which can lead to hair loss.
Studies have shown that very low calorie diets can cause hair loss in some people. Protein restriction can occur in some very low calorie diets and lead to thinning and hair loss. Your hair needs amino acids, the building blocks of protein, to grow properly, so a diet without enough protein can lead to hair growth abnormalities, such as hair loss and thinning hair. and brittle. Very low calorie intake and protein restriction can also have negative health effects in many other ways. That’s why getting enough calories into your body and including protein-rich foods in your diet are essential to ensure your body gets the nutrients it needs.
When a person loses a significant amount of weight, they may lose their hair. However, affected individuals tend to experience it in extreme situations, such as after bariatric surgery, or after going on an extreme diet that did not provide enough calories or nutrients. You might think that a nutrient deficiency can lead to hair loss after bariatric surgery, and it’s true. However, it is worth noting that in some people the causes may be the stress of the operation and the rapid weight loss that follows. Research suggests that acute hair loss that occurs within 3 months of bariatric surgery is associated with the operation itself. However, hair loss that occurs 6 months after surgery and beyond can be caused by nutrient deficiencies that develop as a result of surgery-related malabsorption. This is why it is important for people who have had bariatric surgery to take micronutrient supplements. These help prevent hair loss related to surgery, as well as other serious complications.
Use of supplements
Consuming certain nutrients in supplement form can help your hair stay healthy and grow at an optimal rate. However, taking other types of supplements can have the opposite effect. In fact, some supplements are associated with hair loss. If you are not suffering from a nutrient deficiency, taking high doses of certain dietary supplements can harm your hair. These supplements include:
– vitamin E
– vitamin A
For example, overconsumption of vitamin A by taking vitamin A supplements can overload your liver, where excess vitamin A is normally stored.
When the amount of vitamin A is too much for the liver, the extra vitamin A passes into the circulation, resulting in high levels in the blood. Since maintaining an optimal blood level of vitamin A is essential for the functioning of the hair follicle, an excessive amount of this nutrient in the body can lead to hair loss. Having too much vitamin A in one’s system is also called hypervitaminosis A. Excess intake of nutrients in the diet can also lead to hair loss.
Other factors that can lead to hair loss
According to research, other factors may also be associated with an increased risk of hair loss. These include the following factors:
– Alcohol consumption
– the stress
– lack of sleep
A 2013 study including 92 identical male twins found that smoking, consuming more than four alcoholic beverages per week, increased caffeine intake, and increased duration of stress were linked to hair loss. . Interestingly, the study found that total abstinence from alcohol and increased duration of exercise were also associated with hair loss. Research has also shown that poor quality sleep is a risk factor for alopecia areata. A 2020 study of 1,825 women found that alcohol consumption and poor quality sleep were associated with more severe hair loss in women.