Iron Deficiency Hair Loss - Causes, Symptoms & Treatments

Can Iron Deficiency Cause Hair Loss?

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Our body needs some vital vitamins and minerals to function. The deficiency of any crucial mineral like iron can cause a drastic change in our body. With deficiency of iron, hair loss becomes apparent as the hemoglobin levels decrease in the blood. Both, male and female can suffer from iron deficiency, anemia and hair loss. With an iron surging hair growth treatment this problem can be treated.

Will Iron Deficiency Cause Hair Loss?

Yes, iron deficiency causes hair loss. Ideally, iron is responsible for the generation of hemoglobin in our body. The lack of iron can drastically decrease the oxygen and hemoglobin level in our blood. Oxygen is needed by our body for cell generation and to repair the old tissues. Similarly, our hair follicles need hemoglobin to generate new hair strands.

On an average, our body sheds around 100 hair in a day. Though, it follows a hair regrowth cycle which replenishes this daily hair loss. When our body suffers from low hemoglobin, it is not able to generate the needed amount of hair. Combined with other factors, this iron deficiency hair loss can develop further as male or female pattern baldness.

Also Read: How To Stop Male Pattern Baldness?

Can You Re-grow Lost Hair Due to Iron Deficiency?

Yes – hair loss caused by iron deficiency can be re-grown and restored. If it is caught at an early stage, then it becomes easier for a doctor to recover hair loss quickly. Firstly, a dedicated treatment is started to replenish iron and hemoglobin in our body. At the same time, a hair regrowth treatment is performed by an expert dermato-trichologist to help us regain the lost hair.

Symptoms of Hair Loss Due To Iron Deficiency

You should see a specialist as soon as you observe the signs & symptoms of iron deficiency that can lead to hair loss.

  • Dry and damaged hair
  • Excessive hair fall
  • Loss of the natural glow of hair
  • Pigmentation in hair (white hair)
  • Thinning of hair strands
  • Lack of energy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Pale skin and cold hands
  • Brittle nails

A doctor will conduct certain tests to check the hemoglobin level in your body. If iron deficiency and hair loss are found to be related, then a dedicated treatment is recommended. Some medical tests to diagnose iron deficiency include –

  • Serum ferritin – This helps in determining how much of the stored iron in the body is actually utilized. Ferratin is the protein which stores iron in the body.
  • Serum iron – This test measures the total amount of iron in your blood.
  • Transferrin level – Transferrin is a protein the blood that carries iron and this tests helps in finding levels of transferrin which determines how much transferrin is not carrying iron.

Also Read: Hair loss – Symptoms, Types & Medical Solutions

Treating Hair Loss Due To Iron Deficiency

Visit an expert dermatologist to determine the right course of treatment for your condition. Some popular ways to treat iron deficiency and hair loss include –

  • PRP treatment – PRP stands for Platelet-rich Plasma and is often considered as the best hair regrowth treatment. It is a non-invasive approach that works for both men and women. In this, a small amount of blood is extracted from the patient’s body. By following a centrifugal process, protein-rich plasma is generated from the blood. The plasma is then injected into the upper layer of the scalp at the site of hair loss, by using tiny needles.
    Since the plasma is rich in platelets, it provides the hair follicles with essential nutrients. This treats iron deficiency hair loss since the follicles get the direct amount of nutrients lacking in the body. The plasma is mostly injected on the bald patches. After a few sessions, it results in a uniform hair growth. Since it doesn’t have any major side effect, it is often recommended for hair regrowth after iron deficiency

    Also Read: What Are The Benefits Of PRP Treatment & How Much It Costs?

  • Biotin treatment – Biotin treatment is mostly recommended for people with dry and damaged hair. Biotin is a form of Vitamin B, which is soluble in water. The liquid solution is injected directly into the hair shaft. It may strengthen the hair, and also improves the overall quality of hair. Biotin treatment is mostly followed by various iron supplements to get a complete treatment for iron deficiency and ensure hair growth.
  • Surgical treatments – If the hair loss has reached a progressive stage, then a surgical approach might fix it in less time. There are different forms of transplant surgeries that can help patients regain their lost hair. A strip harvesting and FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction) are the two most popular varieties of hair transplant. In this, follicles are removed from the donor area and then attached to the bald patches.
    Scalp reduction is another surgical approach that can reduce the visibility of bald patches. In this, the bald areas are surgically removed and the nearby skin is stretched to compensate hair loss. Since these techniques follow a surgical approach, they can leave a small scar on the scalp.
  • Iron supplements and medicines – Needless to say, to treat hair loss caused by iron deficiency, it is important to replenish the lost content in the body at the earliest. According to a patient’s hemoglobin level, various kinds of iron supplements can be prescribed. Most of the supplements contain an ideal amount of iron, zinc, magnesium, vitamin C, folic acid, and other crucial nutrients needed by our body. You can consult a doctor to know the preferred amount of the medicines you should take.
  • Hair regrowth products – While there are plenty of hair regrowth products in the market, only a handful of them can produce the desired results. If the hair loss is mild, then a doctor might prescribe drugs like Rogaine or Propecia. There are different kinds of serums, gels, shampoos, and other hair products containing these drugs. You can visit an experienced trichologist to know more about these over-the-counter medicines.

Also Read: Is Vitamin Deficiency And Hair Loss Related?

Can You Prevent Iron Deficiency And Hair Loss?

Besides getting an iron deficiency hair re-growth treatment, it is also recommended to prevent this issue in the future. If you think your body is suffering from iron deficiency, then you can follow these tips:

  • Bring a positive change in your diet and include more iron-rich fruits, vegetables, nuts, and other ingredients
  • If your body is not able to absorb iron (due to digestive issues), then get an immediate medical treatment
  • Avoid the excessive use of chemical products that can further damage your hair
  • Exercise more often and make sure you get as much fresh oxygen as possible. It will further improve the hemoglobin levels in your body
  • If you have persistent anemia, then make sure you take all the medicines on time
  • Keep your body hydrated
  • Avoid overuse of hair dryer and heat-based hair straightening tools.

Iron deficiency can result in hair thinning and hair loss, and if ignored it can even cause pattern baldness. Treatments for this condition include a dermatologic procedure for re-growing the lost hair and a physiologist treatment for treating iron deficiency in the body.

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About The Author

Kushneet Kukreja

Kushneet Kukreja

A postgraduate in Biotechnology from Kingston University and an ISSA Certified Specialist in Fitness & Nutrition, Kushneet Kukreja is a passionate writer who works in close association with the dermatologists at our head office to generate valuable and scientifically accurate content for our blog.


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