Nutrition and Hair Loss

Man eating nutritious mealNational Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day is the second Wednesday in March, which means this year it falls on March 11. That makes it a perfect time to address some common questions we get about nutrition and hair loss.

Can Diet Cause Hair Loss?

Yes, diet and poor nutrition can lead to hair loss. However, good nutrition will not stop all types of hair loss. People lose their hair for a variety of reasons from genetics to medication side effects. Good nutrition will not prevent hair loss that’s a side effect of chemotherapy or radiation treatments, traction alopecia, which involves long-term hair pulling or certain types of hair styles, or androgenetic alopecia, which is based on hormones and genetics. Poor nutrition could compound any of those problems, leading to faster hair loss than usual. So the bottom line is that if you want to maintain a healthy head of hair, a good diet with the proper nutrients is essential regardless of other mitigating factors.

What Vitamins Are Important for Hair Growth?

If you want healthy hair, certain nutrients are essential. Biotin is at the top of the list and frequently found in vitamin formulas promoted for good hair and nail growth. Biotin is also referred to as Vitamin B7. A biotin deficiency contributes to hair loss, brittle nails, and nerve damage, among other things.

Other nutrients important for maintaining healthy hair are:

  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin B12
  • Folic Acid
  • Essential fatty acids, especially omega-3s.

Protein is also vital for proper hair growth. The average American diet is very carbohydrate-heavy so some people who think they are eating right can actually be consuming inadequate levels of protein. Vegetarians and vegans can also have low protein levels if they’re not substituting a sufficient amount of protein from beans and other plant-sources.

A good multivitamin is also useful for trace minerals important to good hair. Those include iron, magnesium, and zinc.

What Should I Eat to Prevent Hair Loss?

Wide ranges of foods contain the nutrients needed for healthy hair so you don’t have to suffer from terrible tasting meals to have good hair. Below are foods that contribute to healthy hair.

Essential Fatty Acids/Omega-3 Sources:

  • Salmon
  • Tuna
  • Mackerel
  • Herring
  • Sardines
  • Flaxseed oil
  • Soybeans
  • Spirulina algae
  • Walnuts
  • Almonds

Foods That Contain Vitamin B6 Include:

  • Bananas
  • Sweet potatoes
  • White potatoes
  • Spinach

You can also find Vitamin B12 in dairy products, meat, poultry, and fish. Folic acid is found in fresh fruit and vegetables, especially tomatoes and citrus like lemons and oranges. Beans, lentils, whole-grain, and fortified grain products also contain folic acid.

Eggs contain biotin and are a good source of protein. They also contain the amino acid L-lysine, which also supports healthy hair.

Get a Free Hair Loss Evaluation

If you are experiencing hair loss, call RHRLI for a free consultation. My many years of experience as a hair restoration surgeon and my state-of-the-art facility using the ARTAS® Robotic Hair Transplant System means that you will have an outstanding experience. Contact us at RHRLI for an appointment by filling out our contact form or giving us a call at (516) 218-1876.

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