Whilst hair loss for many will be rooted in their genetic makeup, this isn’t always from female or male pattern baldness. There are many other factors, both hereditary and environmental, for losing your hair, with iron deficiency hair loss one that can fall into both. If you have been struggling to understand the cause of your thinning hair, having an iron deficiency could be a contributing factor. So, can iron deficiency cause hair loss and how do you find out if you have this condition?
Can Low Iron Cause Hair Loss?
Understanding iron deficiency and what this looks like if you have it is important before linking this to your own hair loss. With someone experiencing a lack of iron in their body, this will result in a reduced production of haemoglobin in the blood. The reason this has a direct effect on hair loss is that oxygen carried around the body by haemoglobin will not be able to reach the cells responsible for hair growth. Oxygen is needed to repair cells and stimulate hair growth, meaning less haemoglobin in the bloodstream links iron deficiency and hair loss together. Having an iron deficiency may leave you feeling tired, fatigued or with pale skin. Can low iron cause hair loss? Yes, but it doesn’t necessarily mean it is a permanent condition. When managed well, those experiencing low iron hair loss may be able to reverse the effects.
Is Iron Hair Loss Hereditary?
Iron deficiency is a type of anaemia, where the body has a reduced level of haemoglobin, and is one of the most common with an estimated 3% of men and 8% of women having the condition in the UK alone. Many types of anaemia can be linked to your genes, such as Thalassemia where the body does not produce enough haemoglobin to carry oxygen. In pregnant women, a low level of iron can be linked to blood loss through heavy periods, whilst in both men and women, bleeding inside the stomach and intestines can be a cause. Many of these issues are discoverable through blood tests and treatable with medication.
Most commonly, iron deficiency hair loss is linked to a lack of iron in the diet. This can be prevented with the right intake of iron-rich foods. With iron deficiency hair loss and early-stage male or female pattern baldness, for example, addressing your dietary intake is crucial. You may find that with increased iron within your diet, found in cereals, meat, pulses or green vegetables, the symptoms of an iron deficiency can be reversed.
Seek Advice for Iron Deficiency Hair Loss
As there can be many reasons for hair loss, ruling out any temporary or preventable factors first is always the first step. Here at Vera Clinic, we help those with permanent hair loss discover life-changing hair transplants that provide natural-looking results, however, if your hair loss is temporary or affecting you at a younger age, addressing these other factors first may help with natural hair regrowth. Iron deficiency hair loss can be a temporary condition, but if your hair loss is permanent, seek further medical advice or a consultation with a hair specialist.