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Iron Deficiency Hair Loss: Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

Iron Deficiency Hair Loss: Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

Are you afraid of losing your locks at an early age? If your answer is yes, then you need to buckle up for malnutrition can impede hair growth. A shortage of vitamins and minerals can endanger the quality of your hair and affect its overall growth.
 
One way to strengthen your strands is to fill your body with enough iron, an essential mineral found in your everyday diet. Studies show that iron deficiency can trigger hair loss.
 
How does iron influence hair growth? Discover more about this hair-strengthening mineral and its effects on your locks.

 

Iron, the Hair-Strengthening Mineral

 
Doctors prescribe anemic people to take iron supplements because iron is vital for blood production and distribution. Iron is needed by hemoglobins, proteins that serve as the red blood cells' oxygen carriers. It is also an essential component for myoglobin production, a protein that delivers oxygen to your muscles. Without enough iron, many body organs, such as your heart, brain, skin, and hair, may not receive proper oxygen nourishment. Thus, iron depletion can adversely affect your body's organs and their biological activities, including hair growth.

 

Getting to Know Why: Causes of Iron Deficiency

 
What are the common causes of iron depletion? Check out several reasons why your body lacks this essential nutrient.

 

1. Blood loss

 
Losing blood means depleting the iron levels in your body. Blood loss is a big deal for hair growth because around 70% of your iron levels can be found in red blood cells. Don't worry, for small abrasions or minor cuts will not harm you, but severe injuries can reduce your blood levels. Heavy menstrual periods and some gastrointestinal disorders can also cause blood loss.

 

2. Iron malabsorption

 
You can receive your daily dose of iron from your everyday diet. However, some people may experience difficulties in absorbing this hair growth nutrient. For instance, intestinal problems, such as celiac disease and Crohn's disease, make it challenging for your intestines to suck up iron from your consumed meals. These health-related problems can affect not only your digestive system, but it can also hamper your body's holistic development.

 

3. Insufficient consumption of iron-fortified foods 

 
Your life, as well as your locks, depends on your eating habits. Therefore, you must consume iron-enriched meals with animal-based sources such as fatty fishes, chicken meat, lean beef, and dairy products. You also need to munch on many leafy greens, soybeans, baked potatoes, and sweet carrots for a pump of iron. 

 

4. Menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause

 
Women are prone to iron deficiency for these reasons. When a woman experiences menorrhagia or heaving menstrual bleeding, it also signifies a loss of iron. It is also one reason women during their menstrual periods experience muscle aches and extreme fatigue. 
 
Iron levels are also at risk during pregnancy because a woman's body allocates more iron to the developing fetus inside the womb. Iron deficiency can put both the baby and the mother in danger.
 
On the other hand, excessive bleeding can occur during perimenopause, indicating a loss of iron. But don't worry; iron levels start to increase after menopause since there are no longer menstrual periods.

 

Checklist: Symptoms of Iron Depletion 

How will you know if you need to amplify your iron dosage? Check out the common symptoms of iron deficiency.

 

1. Fatigue

 
Feeling restless and exhausted most of the time may seem familiar to you, but it may indicate a scarcity of iron in your body. Your muscles require myoglobin to get enough oxygen. Without enough iron, your muscles may start to ache, causing you to feel fatigued. Most women experience this symptom during their menstrual periods.

 

2. Pale skin color

 
Aside from vampires, anemic people do also have pale skin because of iron deficiency. Your red blood cells are the underlying reasons for your rosy and healthy-looking skin color. When there is no enough iron supply, fewer red blood cells can circulate all over your body, making your skin look whitish and dull. 

 

3. Cold and sweaty hands and feet

 
Psychological stress can disturb your body's hormonal levels, thereby affecting iron absorption. Stress and anxiety can also affect your blood flow, limiting the red blood cells that can deliver oxygen. In turn, your skin may become cold and sweaty due to poor blood circulation. 

 

4. Breathlessness

 
Your body needs enough oxygen to perform daily activities, such as standing, walking, and running. When there is an inadequate iron supply, your body exerts more effort to perform body movements, causing shortness of breath.

 

5. Hair growth problems

 
You've read it right. Iron deficiency can cause hair loss. Remember that the hair follicles underneath your scalp consist of thriving hair cells. If your blood fails to transport enough oxygen due to low iron levels, your strands may not survive, leading to hair loss. 

 

 how iron deficiency affects hair growth

 

Uncovering the Truth: The Link Between Iron Deficiency and Hair Loss

Research shows that hair growth problems arise because of iron deficiency. Discover how low-iron levels can trigger hair loss.

 

1. Your hair becomes dry and brittle.

 
A dull-looking hair can be an after-effect of iron depletion. Blood is essential for hair follicle nourishment. Without sufficient iron in the body, your follicles may not receive enough vitamins and minerals to keep your strands healthy and hydrated. As a result, your hair grows dry and brittle.

 

2. You may experience thinning hair.

 
Iron deficiency can shatter your "thick hair" dreams. A lack of certain antioxidants from vitamins and minerals allows free radicals and microbes to invade, damage, and dehydrate your hair follicles. In turn, your hair's protective barrier weakens, causing thinning hair problems.

 

3. You start losing your hair strands.

 
Early intervention is vital to prevent the worst-case scenario – hair loss. A dearth of iron in your body can disturb your hair's growth cycle. If left untreated, iron depletion can push your hair follicles from the anagen or growing phase into the telogen or resting phase. Once these follicles remain dormant for a long time, it can lead to unwanted hair loss.

 

how to treat iron deficiency hair loss

How to Treat Hair Loss Caused by Iron Deficiency

Don't get flustered yet. You can still beat iron depletion from losing your hair strands. Here are several ways to treat iron deficiency hair loss.

 

1. Start hair restoration with a healthy diet.

 
Your hair growth's quality starts from within. Hence, the best way to revamp your locks is to have an iron-enriched diet. It would be best to supply your body with iron from plant-based sources, such as beans, greens, and fruits. You must also include eggs, milk, fish, and beef in your daily meals for an extra iron pump.

 

2. Boost iron absorption with vitamin C.

 
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is a potent hair vitamin that offers myriad benefits for your hair. This essential nutrient has antioxidant properties that prevent free radical damage on your hair. It also can ward off unwanted microbes and fungi from causing dandruff and other scalp infections.
 
Aside from the benefits mentioned above, vitamin C can also boost your body's iron absorption. Since it's a water-soluble vitamin, it can increase iron's solubility when they join forces. Therefore, this vitamin-and-mineral combo makes it easier for your intestines to suck up enough iron.

 

3. Avoid anything harmful to your tresses.

 
Iron deficiency can make your strands more sensitive to external damage. Thus, you must be careful not to pull the trigger. 
 
Don't mess up your hair's recovery process. Avoid using heat-based styling tools, such as blow-dryers, hair straighteners, and curling irons for heat could dry up and weaken your locks. Also, stop treating your hair with harsh chemicals, including hair relaxants, dyes, and sprays. These products dehydrate your hair, leading to strand breakage and hair shedding. Lastly, do not brush your hair with excessive force. A person with low iron levels may have brittle hair strands, and abrasive brushing can easily break them.  

 

4. Strengthen your locks with hair-strengthening products.

 
Want to make your locks lovely-looking? Prevent iron deficiency hair loss by using hair-strengthening products. Therefore, choose hair growth shampoos, conditioners, and serums enriched with vitamin C and iron to fortify your hair. You can also create your personalized haircare treatments using citrus fruits and essential oils.

 

5. Keep calm and wait for the results.

 
Hair recovery is not a magical process. It requires your ample time and constant effort to revive your beautiful locks. Therefore, never give up and continue taking good care of your hair for good things come to those who wait.

 

Hair Loss? No Problem.

 
The journey towards having healthy hair is a rocky path. However, the power to treat your mane lies in your hands. Therefore, shoo the worries away. With proper nutrition and a healthy lifestyle, you can stop iron deficiency from ruining your hair goals. 

 

Check for More.

 

Learn more about hair loss causes. Check out the most effective hair growth products that can prevent female alopecia. Use the best shampoo for hair loss to avoid losing your strands and make sure that your haircare favorites are loaded with the best hair growth vitamins.