How Iron Deficiency Can Cause Hair Loss

iron and your hair

You may remember the hair loss your parents experienced and are anticipating the same to happen for you when you reach the same age. After all, hair loss largely is hereditary.

If you are losing something like 100 hairs from your head every day, this is not actually a cause for concern.

However, when young individuals begin to quickly lose hair, there is often a different complication in play. This is even more of a notable red flag if you believe hair loss is not a hereditary issue.

The two most common causes of hair loss in young people: low thyroid function and iron deficiency. Both can be identified with a blood test and are correctable issues.

Iron deficiency is a particular concern today – specifically for those that eat little or no meat.

What does hair loss from iron deficiency look like?

Hair loss as a result of iron deficiency looks just like the traditional hair loss patterns people often develop as they age. This can make it difficult to distinguish traditional balding from iron deficiency, but when balding starts at a young age it likely is set on by another underlying issue.

What other health concerns can arise from iron deficiency?

The Mayo Clinic describes iron deficiency as a common type of anemia where your blood lacks adequate healthy red blood cells.

Besides issues with your hair, a deficiency of iron can also cause:

  • Extreme fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Pale skin
  • Brittle nails
  • Cold hands and feet

What foods should you eat to boost your iron intake?

The most common source of iron is meat, but those who consume little or no meat in their diets will want to seek alternatives.

Supplements are always a great option, but there are a few foods to also try, including:

  • Beans
  • Dark green vegetables (spinach for example)
  • Dried fruit
  • Cereal, bread, and pasta that are iron-fortified
  • Peas