Is your diet affecting your hair? If you aren’t getting enough of certain key vitamins and minerals, you may be at risk for hair loss. Find out which foods you can get these important nutrients from, and make sure you talk to a medical professional before you take a supplement. When it comes to vitamins, more is not better, and sometimes too much can be harmful.
Biotin (vitamin B7) is important for cells inside your body. Low levels of it can cause hair loss, skin rashes, and brittle nails. Your levels may be low if you’re:
- Pregnant or breastfeeding
- Taking certain antibiotics or epilepsy drugs
Most people get enough biotin from their diet. You can find it in foods like:
- Egg yolks
- Whole grains
Red blood cells need iron to carry oxygen. Low levels can cause iron deficiency anemia. Symptoms include fatigue, pale skin, and hair loss.
You’re at risk for low iron if:
- You’re a woman who gets heavy periods
- You have a chronic disease
- You’re a vegetarian or vegan
Some foods that are naturally rich in iron include:
- Red meat, grass-fed
- Leafy greens
3. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is essential for your gut to absorb iron. Some good sources of it are:
- Citrus fruits
- Leafy greens
- Bell peppers
“Eating your iron-containing foods at the same time as a food that contains vitamin C will help you better absorb the iron in that food,” Megan Byrd, RD, tells WebMD Connect to Care.
4. Vitamin D
You might already know that vitamin D is important for bones. But did you know that low levels of it are linked to hair loss? Your skin makes vitamin D when you get sunlight, but many people can’t get enough from sun alone.
You can boost your levels by eating fatty fish or drinking fortified milk. You can also ask your doctor to recommend a supplement. Taking magnesium with Vitamin D will enhance bioavailability.
Zinc can play a key role in making proteins in your hair and other cells. Your body can’t make it, so you need to get it from food or supplements. Signs of low zinc levels include hair loss, poor wound healing, and a weak sense of taste or smell.
You’re at risk for low zinc if you:
- Are pregnant or breastfeeding
- Have a bowel disease or severe diarrhea
- Have kidney disease
Byrd says you can get zinc from whole natural foods like:
- Nuts and seeds
Get Help Now
Don’t wait. The sooner you address the symptoms of hair loss, the more likely you are to prevent irreversible damage. Speak to a medical professional today to begin your journey to a fuller head of hair.