Hair Restoration Blog

What Do You Need to Know About Iron Deficiency and Hair Loss?
January 28 2021

What Do You Need to Know About Iron Deficiency and Hair Loss?

Hair follicles, just like every other system in your body, needs adequate nutrients to function properly. Essential nutrients for healthy hair growth include protein, water, biotin, vitamin B, Omega-3 fatty acids, and iron. A deficiency in nutrients can not only result in dull, brittle, lifeless hair but can also cause hair loss. Let's take a look at the role iron plays in healthy hair, along with everything you need to know about hair loss due to an iron deficiency.

Role of Iron in Hair Growth

Oxygen is needed throughout the body for cell growth and repair. This includes your hair. Iron is responsible for producing hemoglobin in the blood that then carries oxygen to your hair follicles.

An iron deficiency occurs when the body does not have adequate iron levels to produce enough hemoglobin in the blood to transport oxygen to the different areas of the body for cell growth and repair. This includes your hair follicles. The inability to absorb and utilize iron efficiently can also lead to a deficiency.

During a deficiency, the body redirects the iron it has for crucial life functions such as pulmonary and cardiovascular systems. Systems not needed to sustain life go without. Since hair growth is not needed to sustain life, it falls in this category, resulting in hair loss due to not having the essential nutrients to support hair growth.

What Does Hair Loss Due to an Iron Deficiency Look Like?

In many cases, hair loss due to an iron deficiency can look very similar to hereditary male and female pattern baldness. Depending on the severity of the deficiency, hair loss can either be mild and look very much like the beginning stages of hereditary loss, which is more akin to hair thinning. In severe cases, you may notice bald spots along your scalp. One of the first indications is noticing more hair in your hairbrush and the shower drain.

Is Hair Loss Due to Iron Deficiency Treatable?

The good news is that hair loss due to iron deficiency is almost always temporary and very much treatable. If you suspect your hair loss is due to an iron deficiency, the first step is to make an appointment with your healthcare provider to measure your iron levels. The most likely course of action is to take a ferritin level blood test. This test measures the protein ferritin, which aids in storing iron.

Potential treatments include consuming iron-rich foods such as lentils, red meat, spinach, eggs, and oysters. For more severe cases, iron supplements may be recommended. Your medical doctor will create a treatment plan based on your specific situation. Once your iron deficiency is treated, normal hair growth will resume.

Accelerate Hair Regrowth

Even though hair growth resumes shortly after iron levels return to normal, it takes time for hair to grow. In fact, it can take months for your full head of hair to grow back in. Seeking professional help from an experienced hair specialist can help you enjoy a full head of hair faster. As the leading hair restoration studio in San Jose, our hair specialists are dedicated to helping your hair natural hair grow back faster. A thorough scalp and hair analysis is conducted. Your hair specialist will then walk you through viable options such as laser hair growth therapy or topical thickening and regrowth treatment solutions. Custom wigs and extensions are a great option for those who do not want to wait for their hair to grow back to enjoy a full head of hair. Choose to match your natural hair, or try a bold new look while protecting your natural hair at the same time. Schedule your FREE hair loss analysis today!