Hair loss has many causes and affects people of all ages and demographics. While genetics is the most common cause, some hair loss conditions are associated with nutritional issues, including iron deficiency.
What Is Iron Deficiency?
Iron is an essential mineral your body needs for growth and development. Your body uses iron to produce a protein in red blood cells called hemoglobin. Hemoglobin carries the oxygen necessary for the growth and repair of your body's cells, including the ones that stimulate hair growth.
Iron deficiency occurs when the iron level in a person's body is too low. Prolonged or untreated iron deficiency can change the quantity, size, and function of your body's red blood cells, a condition called iron deficiency anemia. Iron deficiency can have many symptoms, including weakness, tiredness, and poor concentration. The condition can also cause your skin to be dry and affect the growth of your hair.
What Causes Iron Deficiency?
A variety of factors can cause iron deficiency. One of the most common causes is a lack of iron in your diet. Your body stores iron and releases it when needed. If your diet doesn't contain enough iron-rich foods, your iron supply can become low, leading to an iron deficiency.
An iron deficiency can sometimes result from stomach or intestinal issues. Your small intestine absorbs iron, and intestinal disorders can affect your body's ability to absorb iron and other nutrients. Even surgical procedures where a part of the small intestine is removed or bypassed can affect the body's ability to absorb nutrients.
Blood loss is another common cause of iron deficiency anemia. An iron deficiency may be due to blood loss from internal disorders, such as ulcers, colon polyps, or colorectal cancer. Any significant blood loss, including heavy bleeding experienced by women during their menstrual cycle, increases the risk of developing an iron deficiency.
Iron Deficiency and Hair Loss
Iron deficiency is a condition that can affect men and women of all ages and commonly causes hair loss. Low iron levels limit the amount of oxygen and other essential nutrients that reach the scalp and hair follicles. Your hair follicles need oxygen to remain strong and healthy and continue to produce strong, healthy strands of hair.
An iron deficiency can usually be corrected by increasing the amount of iron in your diet or with supplements. For most people, an iron-rich diet, including meat, green vegetables, eggs, and iron-fortified foods, can provide an adequate supply of iron.
Much about the connection between iron deficiency and hair loss is still unknown. Current research has not provided enough evidence that iron deficiency directly causes hair loss. Still, studies have found that some people experiencing hair loss also have an iron deficiency.
Research does show that the hair loss associated with iron deficiency does not scar or permanently damage the hair follicles. This is important because if the hair follicles are not damaged, they will likely be able to grow hair again once the iron deficiency is corrected.
Contact LH Hair For Help
A variety of factors, including an iron deficiency, can cause thinning hair and hair loss. However, before you start treating yourself with an iron supplement, you should consult a professional to determine the exact cause of your hair issue.
Whether your hair loss is related to an iron deficiency or has another cause, our team of hair specialists can help. At LH Hair, we offer a variety of hair loss solutions for both men and women, and our expert staff can help you find one that meets your needs. To learn more about the connection between iron deficiency and hair loss, contact us today and schedule your FREE initial consultation.