Have you ever felt you’re lacking or hoarding on some nutrients in your daily diet? It’s quite impossible to get all the nutrition you need when you’re living a busy lifestyle, with little to no time for proper meal planning. And it’s also possible to get much of one nutrient, especially if you’re fond of eating foods loaded with it.
But your bustling life shouldn’t be an excuse to forget all about your nutrition needs. Your body needs proper nourishment not just to keep it generally healthy, but also to keep hair loss at bay.
Indeed, certain nutrient deficiencies and excesses may cause hair loss problems in both males and females. This may take place regardless of age or race.
Our post for today will highlight three common nutrient imbalances that lead to excessive hair shedding and hair loss. We give you some tips on how to overcome them as well.
Get ready to assess the foods you frequently include in your daily fare. They just might be lacking or having too much of these nutrients, and it shows on your hair!
1. Imbalanced Vitamin A Levels
Vitamin A is a nutrient known to aid in proper growth and development of the body. It also has plenty of other functions, including:
- Maintaining healthy vision
- Improving the immune system
- Keeping the reproductive system healthy
Hair is touted as the fastest-growing tissue in the entire human body. And as such, vitamin A also plays a role in its growth.
Vitamin A triggers the skin glands to secrete sebum, an oily substance that lubricates the skin and scalp. This leads to a moisturized scalp and hair that grows healthier every day.
A deficiency in vitamin A could possibly lead to hair loss. There was a study conducted on rats that showed evidence of alopecia on those who were fed a diet deficient in the vitamin.
Likewise, too much vitamin A consumption can be harmful. It can cause hair fall by hastening the hair growth cycle, reaching the end of the growth phase too quickly and leading to a massive fall-out of strands. Thinning hair will result if your body doesn’t keep up producing new hair to replace the ones who quickly fell out.
Also, an overdose of vitamin A in the body could disrupt the balance of nutrients in the blood. Vitamin A is stored in the liver, and when an excess of it occurs, the liver becomes overloaded and the vitamin spills outside into the blood circulation. This renders the excess vitamin useless as the body cannot metabolize it properly when it spills into the bloodstream. All of these ultimately end up in unhealthy hair that’s prone to breakage and shedding.
Given these facts, it is important to regulate the intake of vitamin A-rich foods such as:
- Sweet potatoes
Supplementation with vitamin A must always be upon your doctor’s advice. Never go beyond the prescribed dosage and length of supplementation.
2. Biotin Deficiency
Biotin belongs to the family of B-complex vitamins. It’s also known as vitamin B-7 and vitamin H.
This vitamin plays an active role in:
- Converting carbohydrates into glucose to create energy for the body
- Metabolizing proteins and fats
- Aiding in the proper nervous system and liver function
- Keeping the hair, skin, and eyes healthy
Biotin cannot be stored in the body, as it is water-soluble.
The nutrient is naturally present in the intestines, as the normal bacterial flora residing here create the vitamin. Several foods, mostly nuts and legumes, contain small amounts of biotin in it.
Rarely do people who eat a balanced diet get biotin deficiency. This is due to a wide range of foods that contain the vitamin.
Biotinidase deficiency (BTD) is a rare disorder where your body finds it hard to process biotin. This ultimately leads to a deficiency of the nutrient. BTD is an inherited disorder that affects one in 60,000 babies and is carried on through adulthood.
One of the main symptoms of this illness is hair loss or alopecia. Hair thinning may eventually progress to a generalized loss of hair across all possible body areas.
See your doctor if you think you have a biotin deficiency. Apart from hair loss, other symptoms of this illness include:
- Brittle nails
- Infections on the skin
Biotin supplements are often prescribed to treat a deficiency. You may also increase your intake of the following foods:
- Cooked egg yolks
- Nut butters
- Almonds, walnuts, pecans, and peanuts
- Whole grains
As your biotin deficiency clears up, your hair should start growing back in.
3. Iron Deficiency
Iron is an important nutrient needed for healthy hair growth. It is responsible for transporting oxygen throughout the body. Iron is found in red blood cells, which then circulate through the body to deliver oxygen to the cells.
Inadequate iron in the body is a common nutrient deficiency that causes hair loss. This is because the blood that circulates throughout the body up to the hair follicles contain less oxygen, and therefore cannot meet the requirements of your body for healthy hair growth. Hair falls out at a fast rate as a result of this.
Women are especially at risk for iron deficiency due to the monthly loss of blood from their periods. It was found out that the levels of ferritin in the blood can influence the rate of hair loss in women. If left untreated, the condition may even lead to anemia.
Your doctor may prescribe iron supplements to help bring back your iron levels on track and fight hair loss. It is also recommended to increase the intake of the following iron-rich foods:
- Red meat
Hair loss will slowly improve once good iron levels in the blood are restored. Adequate hair growth will start again because the scalp will now receive oxygen-rich blood, thanks to proper iron levels in the red blood cells.
Wrapping it All Up
Vitamin A, iron, and biotin all play crucial roles in keeping your hair and scalp healthy. Imbalances in these nutrients may cause hair to fall due to:
- Abnormal acceleration of the hair cycle, leading to faster hair loss than it is replaced
- Inadequate oxygen reaching the scalp and hair
- Inadequate amount of glucose to fuel hair growth
Adding foods rich in these three nutrients can help counter a deficiency. Conversely, reducing the intake of vitamin A-rich foods can help slow the abnormally fast hair cycle that happens with vitamin A overdose, leading to restored normalcy in hair growth rate.
It is important to see your doctor to confirm a nutritional imbalance before taking specific supplements for hair growth. Seeking consultation first ensures that a targeted supplement, dietary change, and lifestyle modification will be tailored according to your symptoms and hair fall needs.
Always remember that nutrition is important for keeping your body healthy – including your hair. So, find ways to boost your diet’s nutrition levels and get ready to see fuller hairs on your head in no time.