Does not having enough iron cause hair loss?

We can’t all be like Popeye and eat cans of spinach every day to get strong.

But it’s important to make sure we get enough iron in our food. The mineral can help keep people from getting anaemia and make them less likely to get sick.

And iron is very important when it comes to our hair.

Dermatologist Melissa Piliang, MD, says that iron is very important for hair growth and health. “When we see people who are losing their hair, we often check their blood to see if they don’t have enough iron. It’s not unusual for women to have low iron levels.”

Dr. Piliang talks about who might be at risk for low iron and how hair loss can be treated.

Can a lack of iron cause hair to fall out?

Yes. Hemoglobin is a protein found in your red blood cells. Iron helps your body make this protein. It gets oxygen to the cells in your body, which helps them grow and heal. Among these are the cells in your body that help hair grow.

Dr Piliang says, “Many women don’t get enough iron.” “Hair loss may be the first symptom that people notice.”

Who might lose hair because of iron?

Some people are more likely to lose hair because of iron than others.


Iron is especially important for women of childbearing age who get their periods every month and might or might not eat a lot of iron.

“Red meat is the best source of iron, but many women don’t eat it,” says Dr Piliang. “If you eat meat, two 4-ounce servings of red meat per week is the best way to deal with this problem. Most women should be able to get enough iron from this small amount to stay healthy.

People who eat only plants (vegetarians or vegans)

People who are vegetarian or vegan might want to focus on getting iron from foods.

Dr Piliang says that beans, spinach, and other dark leafy greens can be good sources of iron for vegetarians and vegans. “However, iron from plants is not as well absorbed.”

Dr Piliang says that you should eat foods that are high in vitamin C because they can help your body absorb iron better.

People who work out a lot

Running and other high-impact aerobic exercises can cause small tears in your joints and stomach lining.

Dr Piliang says, “These small tears leak a little blood.” “Over time and with regular exercise, this can cause your body to lose iron, which can lead to anaemia.”

Will my hair grow back if I don’t get enough iron?

Yes. Most hair loss caused by not getting enough iron can be fixed.

If you’ve been losing hair and think it might be because you don’t get enough iron, Dr Piliang says you should talk to your doctor. A blood test can tell if you don’t have enough iron in your body.

You might also want to use a product like minoxidil, which helps hair grow back, in addition to taking supplements and changing your diet.

“Eating a healthy diet with enough iron-rich foods or taking an iron supplement can fix the deficiency and help hair grow back,” says Dr Piliang.

How to get more iron from the food you eat

You can get more iron by taking supplements or changing the way you eat.


Constipation is a common side effect of iron supplements, so slow-release supplements are better. Before taking iron supplements, you should talk to your doctor first.

“Taking iron with vitamin C, like in citrus fruits or some combination supplements, helps the stomach absorb more iron,” says Dr Piliang.

Diet changes

Eating a well-balanced diet can help you get the recommended amount of iron every day. Spinach, broccoli, peas, tofu, and iron-rich meats like beef and lamb are all good choices.

You should also eat foods that are full of vitamin C. Oranges, strawberries, and tomatoes come to mind.

Dr Piliang says that vitamin C helps your body use the iron you get from food or supplements. “To get the most for your money, eat iron-rich foods or supplements with foods high in vitamin C.”

Overall, if you see more hair in your shower drain, it might be time to talk to your doctor. If you don’t have enough iron, your doctor will talk with you about the best way to move forward and give you ways to stop hair loss.

Dr. Piliang says, “Many things can cause hair loss.” “If you’re losing more hair than usual, see a dermatologist so they can help you figure out the best way to treat it.”

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