Could an iron deficiency be the cause of your hair loss? It was one of the factors that contributed to mine! If you already know you have an iron deficiency (anemia), you can go back to taking iron pills, they’re pretty reasonably priced and come in vegetarian versions as well. Anemia is one of the central causes of hair loss for women of child bearing age, so iron pills could really help. However, if you’ve never been properly diagnosed as anemic, it’s vital to go to the doctor and get a blood test. In the meanwhile you can also check out foods rich in iron and change your diet!
A 2007 study by French dermatologists looked into the relationship between anemia (iron deficiency) and hair loss in women. For their study, they looked at a group of 5110 women from the ages 35-60 years old. First, they rated the hair loss of the women and put them into three categories. In their study, 43% of the women had no hair loss, 43% had “moderate” hair loss and 9% had “excessive” hair loss. They used a serum ferritin assay (some fancy test) to see how much iron the women had in their blood. The results were clear. Among the women who had excessive hair loss, 59% had low iron, while among the rest of the women; only 48% had low iron. While this might seem insignificant, these scientists ran variance and logistic regression that showed that yes, this was significant.
Low iron is a risk factor in hair loss for women before menopause.
So what can I do?
Go to your doctor and test your blood’s iron level. If you know that your iron levels are low, take iron supplements (with doctor’s permission of course!) When you do visit your doctor, make a note of any dietary changes you may have had. When I experienced hair loss due to iron deficiency, I was asked “are you a vegetarian?” I was like, huh, what does this have to do with it? But sure enough, because of a busier schedule, I had stopped paying so much attention to my diet. I don’t eat much meat, but eat lots of different sources of iron and a good steak during my period (hehe). In those two months, I was under so much pressure, I neglected my usual diet. So pay attention, these things matter! Also important to mention, many multi-vitamins DON’T have iron in them! So pay attention.
If you need to buy multi-vitamins with iron or iron pills (various mixes), check out my Iron Pills page and buy Iron Pills!
You can also try and eat more iron and check out 5 surprising things about iron.