I’m trying to determine if I’m balding due to genetics or an iron deficiency. Can hair loss really be caused by a lack of iron in the body?
This question was posed by a hair loss sufferer seeking hair loss help on our hair restoration forum and answered by Dr. Steven Gabel of Hillsboro, OR who is an elite member of the Coalition of Independent Hair Restoration Physicians. His professional answer is below.
Iron deficiency is a real cause of hair loss. I have seen several cases of iron deficiency as a causative factor for alopecia in women. When I see women for hair loss, one of the things I investigate, along with other blood tests, is their iron levels. For men, a blood work up is rare, however, if their history and examination are not consistent with androgenetic alopecia, then I will investigate further.
A while back, I went to a lecture about hair loss by an expert dermatologist who specializes in alopecia (she was one of the original physicians in the phase trials for Propecia before it went to market) and she reports that even low iron levels contributes to hair loss. Women do have a higher degree of iron loss because of their monthly cycles, but I think you may want to have your physician work this up.
Steven Gabel, M.D.