There is a connection known to exist between iron deficiency on the one hand and hair loss on the other, and this is something that impacts women far more than men.
In fact only recently are clinicians realizing the close association between iron deficiency and hair loss and that it may be possible to arrest hair fall by correcting the deficiency of iron in the blood.
Though there is the view that the link between iron deficiency and hair loss is tenuous and unsubstantiated, research does support the link to show that low levels of iron in the blood could result in hair loss.
Even if the deficiency doesn’t amount of anemia, it is still seen to impact hair growth and when the deficiency is addressed the hair fall is also seen to lessen and the hair is likelier to re-grow, according to many practitioners.
Hair loss caused by iron deficiency is more often seen in women under 50
It has been seen that nutritional deficiencies including iron and others as well, are most likely to underlie hair fall in women of reproductive age.
In one study where women with telogen effluvium (a type of hair loss) were examined, it was seen that iron deficiency was the cause for the hair fall in 72% of the women who formed part of the study. Women between the ages of 35 to 50 are seen to be most susceptible to hair loss caused by lack of iron.
Some women at some points in life are more prone to iron deficiency and hair loss than others
Anemic women are more prone to hair loss. Pregnant women are seen to shed more hair than normal as are women who have just given birth. Sometimes even if they had full, lustrous hair all through pregnancy, women can start to lose hair right after pregnancy.
Deficiency of iron could occur due to several different reasons which could ultimately lead to hair fall
One is blood loss, either through excessively heavy periods, bleeding during and after pregnancy, or if there is bleeding in the digestive tract, due to the presence of ulcers and so on. In injury or trauma could also result in serious blood loss.
Secondly the deficiency could be caused due to the inability of the body to absorb iron properly.
Thirdly there could be an iron deficiency due to a poor diet that is not balanced in terms of consumption of the nutrients that a body needs.
The importance of not self medicating with iron supplements for hair loss
It has to be clarified that just because a woman is shedding hair, this is no reason to start taking iron supplements – supplements are not advisable unless an iron deficiency is established. Such supplements can only be taken under directions of a physician and if the deficiency as been diagnosed.
High levels of iron in the blood are actually harmful and unlike other nutrients in excess, the body is not able to eliminate excess iron or iron overload as it is also called as quickly.