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Diet and Hair Loss

By: Jody Ehrhardt - Updated: 19 Apr 2013 | comments*Discuss
Reduce Hair Loss Hair Loss Diet Related

There are many reasons people start losing hair and these can range from stress to heredity to illnesses. One factor that many people don’t even realise can affect hair health is diet.

There are a variety of vitamins and minerals that should be included in your daily diet in order to reduce the loss of hair. When your diet is lacking in proper nutrition, or when you make drastic changes to your current diet, hair loss can result.

Extreme Diets

While simply not having enough of a certain vitamin in your diet can certainly contribute to Hair Loss, extreme dieting is the number one cause of diet related hair loss. Diets that are considered extreme are typically those that are also known as fad diets. This includes any drastic change in the way a person eats in order to achieve nearly instant results.

Many extreme diets can cause severe health issues, including loss of hair. Some of the most recent extreme diets have included the Atkins Diet, the South Beach Diet, as well as any diets that require pill-taking on a regular basis. Also, if your diet includes laxatives as a weight loss booster, your body may not be able to retain all the nutrients it needs to keep your hair healthy and can often result in hair loss. It is best to avoid these types of diets and instead stick with a healthy daily eating plan that will promote general health and the health of your hair.

Foods that Affect Hair Growth and Loss

There are many vitamins and nutrients that your body needs in order to produce healthy hair. If any of these are lacking, your hair shafts can become weak resulting in massive shedding, also known as hair loss. Sometimes, simply altering your diet to include healthy foods can decrease the amount of shedding you experience. Some foods you should add to your diet to increase hair health include:
  • Fruits – melons, berries, bananas, oranges, apples and many other fruits can supply your body with the proper vitamins to reduce hair loss.
  • Vegetables – while all vegetables will provide your hair with additional vitamins, the ones that offer the most benefits are those of the green leafy variety, including spinach, cabbage, etc.
  • Dairy – increasing your dairy intake, including milk, eggs and cheese, can increase your hair’s overall health by providing it with the vitamin B-12 as well as protein.
  • Lean, healthy meats – this includes chicken, nuts, fish, and organ meats (such as liver). By adding these to your diet, or increasing your intake of these items, you will supply your hair follicles with the vitamins they need for optimal operation and hair growth.
  • Water – consuming at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day will help transport the needed nutrients to your hair and help keep your hair strands hydrated and strong.
As you can see from the list above, the foods necessary to achieve healthy hair are the same that are necessary for overall body health. By regulating your intake of sweets and fatty foods (which should be avoided), and increasing your intake of the healthy foods listed above, you can reduce the severity of hair loss and improve your overall health.


In order to reduce or avoid hair loss, eating healthy to acquire the necessary vitamins is the first step. But sometimes it can be difficult to reach the necessary vitamin intake through food alone. This is particularly true for those who have a problem digesting a certain type of food (such as those with allergies or lactose intolerance). In this case, it is often best to take a supplementary vitamin to reach your daily goals and promote the health of your hair. You can either choose to take only the vitamins your diet is lacking as a supplement, or choose a multivitamin that contains all (or as many as possible) of the following:
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Amino Acids/Protein
  • Iron
  • Folic Acid
  • Vitamins B-6 and B-12
  • Copper
  • Zinc
By altering your diet to include the proper nutrients, or by supplementing your diet with vitamins to achieve these goals, you will reduce the amount of hair loss you experience and will instead have healthier hair than you ever thought possible!


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I have had thinning hair for many years. Also limited intake of hair helpful foods - little leafy green, limited dairy, limited red meat.Some walnuts, fruits. Decided to change diet with more balance - all the good stuff, beans, lean meat, leafy greens (spinach, etc.) more fruit, some dairy. Been doing this for about 3 weeks. Surviving hair is coarser, stronger, but have more vellus hair, and overall have less hair. More shinning scalp. Is it possible that the change (albeit good) disrupted the hair cycle, and caused shedding? Seems very strange. Could this be temporary?
Rae - 19-Apr-13 @ 3:08 AM
Hey my hairs r whitening..what should i do. I am happy that they r silky but they r whitening...!:-D
Salman.S - 30-Sep-12 @ 3:18 AM
love this infos, i'm taking biotin supplements too in addition to my hair growth diet. great article! i'm very optimistic to get my old thick hair back.. ;)
whitesnow - 7-May-12 @ 4:55 AM
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