Nutritional Deficiencies & Hair Loss
Did you know that hair loss can often be related to diet, and more specifically, what’s missing in your diet?
Healthy hair growth requires nutrients, vitamins and minerals, so a deficiency in these vital sources of nourishment can lead to hair loss in various forms. Nutritional deficiencies can impact the hair’s structure, follicle development, immune cell functioning, and ultimately, hair growth. Research has shown a strong link between nutritional deficiencies and two common types of hair loss, telogen effluvium and androgenic alopecia.
At MONPURE, we believe in addressing your hair and scalp concerns holistically. We always suggest introducing a healthy combination of effective lifestyle and diet changes alongside expertly-grounded, nutrient-rich solutions for hair loss when tackling your deficiencies and their symptoms. It’s all about feeding your follicles with the vitamins and nutrients they need to prosper, both inside and out.
So, what nutritional deficiencies cause hair loss and what is the science behind it?
An iron deficiency is the world’s most common nutritional deficiency and is a well-known cause of hair loss. Specifically, iron deficiency is linked to a diffuse and rapid onset form of hair loss called telogen effluvium.
Research has shown that iron affects hair growth as:
- Iron produces haemoglobin, the protein found in red blood cells that transports oxygen to various tissues and organs. When your iron levels are low, it becomes harder to transport oxygen to important cells, such as the cells that stimulate hair growth.
- Iron is an essential component in an enzyme called ribonucleotide reductase that helps stimulate follicles, so low stores of this crucial enzyme can stall new growth and lead to fallout.
Hair follicle cells are particularly sensitive to decreasing levels of iron and a deficiency of this essential nutrient plays a central role in hair loss, particularly in certain stages in the lifetime.
Premenopausal women are at higher risk of iron deficiencies due to menstrual blood loss, while postmenopausal women are at a higher risk due to gastrointestonoal blood loss. In fact, about 20% of women and 50% of pregnant women do not have enough iron in their body.
Iron-rich foods to counteract an iron deficiency include red meat, legumes (kidney beans, chickpeas, edamame beans), nuts, dried fruit, spinach and dark chocolate.
Luckily, hair loss as the result of an iron deficiency is almost always recoverable. Studies have shown that the reversal of an iron deficiency has led to restoration of hair growth.
By adjusting your diet or introducing supplements to restore your iron supply, it’s almost always possible to regrow your hair to its maximum potential.
Zinc deficiencies are linked to a gradual form of hair loss called androgenic alopecia. Zinc is an essential trace element, which means that the body cannot generate it on its own - it must be supplied through diet, supplements or topically. Zinc builds healthy cells, aids in absorbing nutrients and regulates hormones (in this case, androgen hormones that cause hair thinning). An imbalance can upset these functions, leading to hair thinning.
Zinc imbalances can lead to gradual hair thinning, as Zinc aids in:
- Building healthy cells
- Regulating androgen hormones
- The absorption of other nutrients
Research has shown that in patients with androgenic alopecia, all participants had significantly lower zinc levels than healthy controls. Zinc-rich foods that can bolster your intake include: meat, oysters, shellfish, legumes, dairy, eggs and whole grains (quinoa, rice and oats).
Vitamin D Deficiency
Vitamin D is an important nutrient that is essential to our health and deficiencies in this vital nutrient are linked to androgenic alopecia. Vitamin D is metabolised by keratin cells, the protein that makes up our hair and scalp skin. A deficiency can interfere with keratin production, resulting in fewer follicles being created and hair growth being inhibited. A deficiency in Vitamin D disrupts this essential process, leading to stunted hair growth and thinning.
Research shows that Vitamin D plays an important role in the hair growth cycle. In fact, studies illustrate that people with androgenic alopecia exhibit significantly lower levels of Vitamin D levels and that these levels decrease as hair thinning worsens.
Reasons for insufficient vitamin D levels include spending more time indoors, living in an environment with minimal sun exposure, and not eating foods packed with the nutrient. Vitamin D rich foods include salmon, tuna, eggs and mushrooms.
Vitamin B12 Deficiency
Vitamin B12 is necessary for the creation of DNA and red blood cell formation. It is metabolised in the skin by keratinocytes, which are skin cells that process keratin, the protein building blocks that make up our hair, nails, and skin.
Studies have shown that Vitamin B12 promotes healthy hair growth by assisting in the production of oxygen-rich red blood cells, which feed hair follicles and allow them to prosper. Because the human body doesn’t produce Vitamin B12 naturally, it’s important to get this nutrient from your diet. Vitamin B12 can be found in animal-based foods such as fish, poultry, meat, dairy and eggs.
Hair loss can take a serious emotional toll, but luckily, hair loss brought on by nutrient deficiencies can be treated by effectively adding vitamin-rich foods to your diet and feeding your follicles with optimal nutrients. MONPURE always suggests consulting your doctor to investigate nutrient deficiencies before starting any supplement treatment. The best place to start is switching up your diet, ensuring your body has everything it needs to function and (as always), starting at the scalp when it comes to maximising your hair growth journey.
Feed Your Follicles with MONPURE
Coupled with boosting your nutritional intake, MONPURE’s Nourish and Stimulate Scalp Mask works like food to the scalp. It delivers essential nutrients, vitamins and fatty acids to cultivate the ultimate environment for hair growth. Hero ingredient, camellia tea oil, is rich in Vitamins A, B, C and E, delivering an intense hit of nourishment to neglected scalps and dull hair, stimulating hair follicles and enhancing the dermatological condition of the scalp.
This nourishing scalp treatment also contains hydrating star ingredients castor oil and argan oil, both of which are brimming with hair-healthy nutrients that feed the follicles. Castor oil is extremely nourishing, with a nutritional makeup composed of a powerful blend of vitamins, fatty acids, proteins and antioxidants. Argan oil has a high potency in antioxidants, Vitamin E and essential fatty acids that regulate moisture, strengthen and smooth the hair, while restoring silkiness and shine.
The Follicle Boost Hair Density Serum is also packed with vital nutrients that stimulate the follicles and minimise hair loss. Hero ingredient, pumpkin seed extract, blocks the production of DHT, the hormone responsible for hair loss. It is also abundant in zinc, magnesium and iron, thus holding a protective effect against deficiency-driven hair loss. This innovative ingredient is also brimming with Vitamin E and Linoleic Acid, which hold strong anti-inflammatory effects and decrease oxidation on the scalp, which also combats hair loss.