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Hair Loss and Nutrition: Essential Nutrients That May Aid With Hair Loss Issues

Hair loss, or alopecia, can occur to both men and women and can be caused by several factors. It could be related to pregnancy, stress, lack of protein, female hormones, baldness patterns in males, or genetic factors. Hair transplant is an option that is now widely available, and it’s ranked as one of the best hair loss treatments. 

Aside from those, our diet could also play an essential role in our hair’s health. Here’s a list of essential nutrients that may aid with hair loss: 

1. Iron 

The lack of iron is a common cause of hair loss, especially in women. Hair follicle growth requires a lot of iron, and not having enough iron consumption can affect your hair’s health. Ferritin, which is a kind of stored iron, has been seen to aid in hair cell protein production. Make sure that take the recommended amounts of iron in your diet to avoid hair loss. Some food rich in iron are: 

  • Green, leafy, vegetables 
  • Red meat 
  • Chickpeas 
  • Tofu 
  • Beans and lentils 
  • Cashews 
  • Turkey 
  • Chicken 

Pregnant women and individuals with anemia are usually prescribed with iron supplements in addition to being encouraged a diet rich in iron. Pregnant women who don’t have enough iron intake may have hair loss even after childbirth. 

2. Protein

Hair strands are composed of 80-90% Keratin, which is a kind of fibrous protein. Protein plays a significant role in bodily functions, and this does not exclude your hair. If you lack protein in your diet, your body will make sure that the available protein is distributed to other major functions like producing antibodies, hormones, and enzymes that are necessary for survival. Because of this, there is a shortage of protein given to your hair follicles. You will then start to have dry, brittle hair that starts to break, and eventually, hair growth is compromised. Make sure that you consume enough protein by eating protein-rich food:

  • Eggs 
  • Lean beef 
  • Chicken breast 
  • Fish 
  • Tuna 
  • Broccoli 
  • Brussels sprouts 
  • Pumpkin seeds 
  • Almonds 
  • Oats 
  • Greek yogurt 

3. Biotin

Biotin is a B-vitamin which is essential for hair growth. A study has shown how biotin is linked with the metabolism of amino acids, and hair loss as a sign if biotin deficiency. Biotin deficiency is not common because this is usually found in our diet, but some sources of this nutrient are: 

  • Salmon 
  • Cauliflower 
  • Nuts 
  • Legumes 
  • Cooked egg yolks 
  • Avocados 
  • Bananas 
  • Yeast 

4. Vitamin C

Vitamin C is essential because it helps in building collagen, which is essential in hair growth, and it plays a role in the effectivity of iron absorption. It’s important to consume enough amounts of Vitamin C by eating the following: 

  • Citrus fruits 
  • Strawberries 
  • Guava 
  • Broccoli 
  • Green and red peppers 
  • Tomatoes or tomato juice 

5. Vitamin E

As an antioxidant, vitamin E can also aid in maintaining a healthy scalp and healthy hair by reducing oxidative stress so that hair follicle cells won’t break down. Examples of food rich in vitamin E are: 

  • Nuts 
  • Seeds 
  • Whole grains 
  • Soy products 

6. Zinc

Zinc has been seen to be a critical component in the formation of hair follicle structures. Brittle hair and hair loss are some symptoms of zinc deficiency. Zinc can be found more on meat than vegetables, so this may be something vegetarians want to watch out for. Some zinc-containing food are: 

  • Oysters 
  • Red meat 
  • Crabs and lobsters 
  • Whole grains 
  • Beans and nuts 

7. Essential fatty acids

Essential fatty acids, especially omega-3, nourish hair follicles to give you healthier hair and scalp. It can also prevent dryness of scalp, and promote strong and thick hair. Consume more fatty acids by eating: 

  • Fatty fish (tuna, salmon, mackerel, sardines, etc.) 
  • Walnuts 
  • Almonds 
  • Flaxseed oil 
  • Soybeans and tofu 

8. Other B-vitamins

B-vitamins B6, B9 (or folate), and B12 also play their roles in making your hair healthy and avoid hair loss. Vegetarians and vegans may not have enough of these vitamins compared to non-vegetarians.

  • Food rich in vitamin B6: 
  • Chicken and turkey 
  • Fish 
  • Whole grains 
  • Eggs 
  • Soya Beans 
  • Food rich in vitamin B9: 
  • Citrus fruits 
  • Edamame 
  • Spinach 
  • Asparagus 
  • Broccoli 
  • Food rich in B12: 
  • Clams 
  • Sardines 
  • Beef 
  • Animal liver and organs 
  • Tuna 
  • Salmon 
  • Milk and other dairy 


As the famous quote says, “You are what you eat.” If we take in more of healthier food, our body will show the benefits, including the hair. While hair loss can be common and several treatment options are available, it is vital that you don’t neglect taking in adequate amounts of the essential nutrients that may aid with hair loss issues.