Is Hair Affected by Diet? (photo)

I am following diet and i am loosing my hair badly. Is diet is the reason for hair fall? Plz help me out.

Doctor Answers 6

Hair affected by diet

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Without a doubt, poor nutrition (often caused by eating disorders and crash dieting) is a common trigger of temporary hair loss. If you don’t get enough protein in your diet, your body may respond by shutting down hair growth—resulting in hair loss. Great source of protein include red meat and dairy products, as well as quinoa, legumes, and nuts and nut butters (all great options for vegetarians). Hair loss can also be triggered by anemia, or a deficiency in iron. Getting enough iron (found in red meat) is key to treating this; often times, an iron supplement can help. If this is the cause of your hair loss, we can do a simple blood test to confirm this.

New York Dermatologist
4.7 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Hair loss & dieting

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A restriction of calories (i.e. dieting) causes a temporary shedding of hairs. Typically, hair loss starts 2-3 months after someone starts a very strict diet.

Not all dieting causes hair loss, but 'strict' low calorie diets can cause hair loss. I always advise patients to keep calories above 1500 per day if possible as this seems to reduce the chances of hair loss.

Jeff Donovan, MD, PhD
Vancouver Dermatologist

Diet, especially severely restricted caloric one, can sometimes cause sudden hair loss.

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Diet, especially severely restricted caloric one, can sometimes cause sudden hair loss. If this is the cause, hair usually regrows after improving eating habits. Underlying conditions such as a borderline anemia or hypothyroidism could aggravate the condition.  However, from the picture displayed it looks like you may be experiencing male pattern hair loss, which is not caused by diet. There are non-surgical treatments that can immediately begin prevention of further hair loss including Rogaine® and Propecia. You could have male pattern loss in addition to a generalized loss due to dieting.  Photos don't always tell the full story.  A board certified dermatologist specializing in hair restoration will be able to discuss additional options available to restore your lost hair.

Edmond Griffin, MD
Atlanta Dermatologic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Hair Loss and Diet

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Yes, diet can definitely affect hair loss and hair health. Whether or not this is the case for you depends on what type of diet you’re on. Hair needs certain nutrients to thrive just like the rest of our organs and tissue. The right balance of iron, protein, amino acids, antioxidant vitamins, vitamin D, and omega-3s is important. Again, the key is balance. Too much of one thing may be detrimental. For example, an overabundance of protein, fats, and salt can cause hair loss—so the Atkins Diet, or other high-protein/low-carb diets, can lead to hair loss.

Sanusi Umar, MD
Redondo Beach Dermatologic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Weight loss can cause hair loss.

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Sudden changes in weight can provoke hair loss. This is termed telogen effluvium . The good news is that the if this is the cause hair should start growing again after 3-4 months. When diet or weight loss is the culprit, the hair loss occurs evenly throughout the head. From your pictures it seems that the hair loss is localized to the temporal and frontal areas. This is more consistent with male pattern alopecia. You should see a hair transplant specialist to go over possible medical and surgical treatments.  

Male Pattern Hair Loss is Not Affected by Diet

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The photo you submitted is one of classic male pattern hair loss which is genetic and is not affected by food. The best treatments are Rogaine, which is available at the drug store and Propecia which is available by prescription. Two other treatments I have also seen excellent results from are Viviscal Professional which is a natural supplement and also low level laser treatments. I have seen the best results when the different treatment methods are combined. It can take 3-6 months to begin to see results and treatments must be continued in order to maintain the benefits.

Doris Day, MD
New York Dermatologic Surgeon

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.