a nutritionist creating an iron rich diet plan against anaemia

Iron and Zinc Deficiencies – Can They Cause Hair Loss?

While the main cause of hair loss is female pattern/male pattern baldness, deficiencies in your diet can also lead to hair shedding. Micronutrients such as zinc and iron are important to the health of your hair so deficiencies can be contributors towards hair loss. 

When you lack iron, the body starts its “survival mode” whereby haemoglobin, red blood cells and iron are reserved for the body’s most vital organs. In turn, less important functions (i.e. hair growth) are temporarily disregarded until iron levels improve.

Zinc is responsible for a lot of essential processes in your body from cell reproduction to maintaining hormone levels. It can only be found in small quantities in food so you can easily become deficient. Zinc deficiency hair loss can result from the micronutrient not being in high enough levels to block the hair loss hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT).


  1. What Are The Causes and Symptoms of Anaemia?
  2. How Can I Combat Hair Loss From an Iron Deficiency?
  3. What Are The Causes and Symptoms of Zinc Deficiency?
  4. How Can I Fight Hair Loss From a Zinc Deficiency?
  5. Conclusion

What Are The Causes and Symptoms of Anaemia?

Iron deficiency, also known as anaemia, is more common in women than men, however, men also need to look out for the symptoms. Women experience it more due to menstrual cycles and pregnancy, however other causes include:

  • Vegan/vegetarian diets that are lacking iron-rich foods
  • Blood loss (e.g heavy menstrual bleeding, peptic ulcers, and hiatal hernias)
  • Intestinal disorders (i.e. coeliac disease) that affect your ability to absorb iron and other nutrients.

The symptoms can vary from person to person. Therefore, you may experience only one of these symptoms, or you may notice a few of them. If you suspect you are experiencing hair loss caused by iron deficiency (anaemia) then you need to speak to your doctor.

The 9 Symptoms of Iron Deficiency Anemia Are:

  1. Fatigue
  2. Weakness/low energy
  3. Pale skin
  4. Dizziness
  5. Cold hands and feet
  6. Headaches
  7. Thinning hair and hair shedding
  8. Brittle nails
  9. Heart palpitations

How Can I Combat Hair Loss From an Iron Deficiency?

Food high in iron on light grey background

The best way to counteract iron deficiency hair loss is to eat iron-rich foods or through iron supplements. This will help ensure that the body can maintain a proper balance between the iron intake and how the body absorbs and uses it.

You should also pay attention to your vitamin consumption, especially vitamin C and B12, as it improves the retention and absorption of iron. Foods that have a high iron content include lean red meat, brown rice, eggs, dried fruit, green vegetables, beans, nuts and fish.

How Long Does it Take Hair to Grow Back After Falling Out?

It is not a permanent condition although an early detection of the condition is crucial. Therefore, the sooner that you identify that you’re suffering from iron deficiency hair loss the sooner you can grow your hair back.

As soon as you believe that you may have low iron levels, you should arrange an appointment with your doctor. They will measure your ferritin levels in your blood to analyse whether you are anaemic. Then they will be able to recommend which treatment options are best for you depending on the cause.

Sometimes, consuming more iron-rich foods is the only solution that you need to increase ferritin levels, and thus making your hair grow back.

What Are The Causes and Symptoms of Zinc Deficiency?

Studies have shown that changes in zinc levels can have a central role in hair loss. A zinc deficiency can appear similar to an iron deficiency when it comes to hair loss. Here however it can also cause damage to the remaining hair leading to breakage. While zinc can be found in a lot of foods, it needs to be ingested daily in order to remain at healthy levels. This is because the body cannot store zinc so excess amounts will be excreted.

There are several signs of zinc deficiency including loss of appetite, stunted growth, weak immune system, hair loss and skin lesions. Again people who are vegan/vegetarian, pregnant or those with gastrointestinal problems are more likely to develop a zinc deficiency.

Have you tried Dr. Balwi’s food supplements?

Thanks to a unique combination of ingredients your hair receives the essential nutrients that nourish the roots and hair, and reduces hair loss. This is because our food supplements contain all the essential nutrients for your hair. Therefore, unlike ordinary hair care products, ours tackle the problem at the root!

a woman accessing her hair loss from iron deficiency

How Can I Fight Hair Loss From a Zinc Deficiency?

Your zinc levels can be determined with a blood test so contacting your doctor for medical advice is important if you think you have a deficiency. With an improvement in the level of zinc, hair should return along with it.

There are a variety of foods that are rich in zinc from lamb and beef to kidneys, peanuts and milk. While beans and pulses are good sources of zinc they need to be soaked before consumption since they have phytic acid. This acid can make it harder to absorb the zinc in these foods. 

To increase the effectiveness of zinc in your diet you should try our zinc supplements. By strengthening hair follicles, our 25mg tablets are anti-inflammatory while helping to improve hair regrowth. Moreover they are vegan, lactose-free and gluten-free which means they are easy to work into your diet to fight zinc deficiency hair loss.


Iron is an important part of your body’s natural function. Therefore, when there is a shortage your body isn’t able to function as efficiently as it should. Hair follicles need oxygen-rich red blood cells to function properly, thus when they don’t receive sufficient nutrients the hair becomes weak and falls out.

When there is a lack of zinc, hormone regulation can be disrupted leading to hair loss. In helping to build up keratin, zinc supplements can aid in hair growth while protecting the hair from loss against inflammation. Not only that but zinc is beneficial for your skin and nails making it advantageous to have as part of a healthy diet.

To prevent these micronutrient deficiencies, it’s important to consume the right food and supplements. We recommend speaking to your GP for advice about how to manage your deficiencies and check our shop for more help on supplementing your diet.

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