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Hair Loss Health Center

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Hair Loss Caused by Lack of Protein - Topic Overview

Hair loss may occasionally be caused by lack of protein in the diet. Some people who go on crash diets that exclude protein or who have abnormal eating habits may develop protein malnutrition. When this happens, the body will help save protein by shifting growing hairs into the resting phase. Increased hair shedding can occur 2 to 3 months later.

This condition can be reversed and prevented by eating the proper amount of protein and, when dieting, maintaining adequate protein intake. For adults, this means 2 to 3 servings of protein a day. Protein is found in meat, chicken, fish, eggs, some cheeses, dried beans, tofu, grains, and nuts.

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Michele Rosenthal of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., has tried every styling trick in the book to make her hair look thicker. She’s grown bangs to provide the illusion of more hair in the front and uses wide headbands to make it look fuller in the back. She is self-conscious about her hair and over the years it has affected her. On dates, when a man would ask her to let her hair down, she often found herself exclaiming, “Don’t touch the headband!” Rosenthal has dealt with thinning hair since the age...

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    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: March 12, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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