Crash diets and caloric deprivation of less than 1,000 calories per day or sudden weight loss of more than 20 pounds have been reported to be associated with hair loss. The evidence of hair shedding can be noticed one month after the diet begins. Nutritional factors that are necessary for essential hair growth are protein, fatty acids, Zinc, Iron, Biotin, Magnesium, vitamins A,C, E, and B complex. Like any other body organ, the hair needs food to grow. Therefore, it is important to know about the quality and quantity of the various nutrients necessary for healthier hair. Tailoring of a diet to achieve a reasonable weight-loss goal must include appropriate levels of essential nutrients.
Certain nutrient deficiencies are known to be specifically associated with hair loss such as:
- Iron deficiency causes anemia, which is known to contribute to hair loss.
- Zinc Deficiency is known to be associated with hair loss. A very low-calorie diet with little or no red meat protein can contribute to zinc deficiency because zinc is absorbed less readily from plant sources of zinc than from animal sources.
- Biotin Deficiency is associated with hair loss as well as some skin disorders. Biotin is one of the B vitamins that have a broad range of functions in the body. Biotin is found in many foods, and has rule in food metabolism. Biotin is found in wheat germ, brown rice, red meat, and egg yolk.
- Protein deficiency is an outcome of inadequate protein in the diet over a period of time. Extreme vegetarian diets and extreme low-calorie diets may proved inadequate protein intake. Main sources of protein are meat, fish, and dairy products.
Your daily food intake should contain adequate vitamins including: vitamin A 800mcg, biotin 50mcg, folic acid 400mcg, vitamin C100mg, vitamin E 10mg and Zinc 10mg per day. Should you decide to engage in a weight-loss program, before or after hair transplantation you should discuss the intention with a hair restoration specialist. You should take caution to avoid diets that could cause or contribute to going bald.
Dr. Michael Meshkin