Hair Loss on a Vegan Diet? Get to Know the Details

September 13, 2020



One of the common issues people encounter when going on a strict diet or just changing their diet, e.g. by avoiding meat, is that their hair starts shedding more. A deficiency in protein can cause hair loss since hair fibres consist of 80-95 percent protein. So, you opted to go vegan and there are some health issues that you need to be aware of. One of the common issues associated with going vegan is effects on hair loss on the vegan diet. For those who want to go vegan, hair loss is always something that is felt during the initial adjustment process.

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A vegan diet fully excludes essential food groups including meat, fish, and dairy. These different food groups provide the body with vital vitamins and nutrients that lead to healthy hair growth. Hair loss and hair thinning can be related directly to a vegan diet. Nutritional imbalances associated with a vegan diet can cause damage to the hair of patients to break easily and become brittle. Today veganism is a lifestyle and it is not just related to diet, but also to vegan skin care products and clothing. We take a look at some of the reasons that may cause hair loss while on a vegan diet, and we follow it up with what you can do for the good health of hair as a vegan.

  • Iron deficiency is a well-known hair loss cause. Because iron is consumed by the body in plant food sources at a lower rate than iron in animal products, a poor vegan diet can lead to iron deficiency. Keep in mind that the recommended daily intake of iron for a vegan is higher than for non-vegan, 18 mg for women of childbearing age, and 8 mg for men and postmenopausal women. Since hair is predominantly made up of protein, and iron plays a role in the growth process, it makes sense to concern people that missing meat, a major source of protein and iron in your diet, may have a negative effect on the health of your hair. 
  • Zinc is an essential mineral in your body that requires hundreds of enzymes. Zinc is definitely present in plants such as chickpeas and lentils. But in plants, zinc bioavailability is lower than meat. In other words, the body's not really consuming the zinc found in plants. Low zinc levels can be a cause for hair loss. 
  • Low levels of protein can cause hair loss. Many plants are not full sources of protein (i.e., do not contain all 8 essential amino acids). If you don't watch your diet and don't consume a wide range of plant protein sources, you can slip quickly and be far below your daily intake of protein.

(Image Source: Pixabay)

A poor diet based on plants can cause vitamin and nutrient deficiencies of all kinds which can cause hair loss. Pay attention to the body and what you eat to prevent such deficiencies. However, everything is not grim about vegan diets when it comes to the health of your hair. Within a vegan diet, follow the suggestions outlined below to prevent hair loss and maintain the good health of your hair.

Vegan Supplements
Proteins are the building blocks for your hair so your diet should always try to include a wide-range of high-protein foods in order to obtain adequate proteins for hair cell renewal and nourishment. For many vegans, it's not just enough to track your diet and make sure you get the right amount of nutrients your body needs. Having multi-vitamins and nutrient supplements may be a great help in compensating for any deficiencies you may have. If you have thyroid issues, you may also start taking iodine supplements to prevent hair loss that your soy intake might cause.

Drink aliments rich in nutrients
You need to be vigilant while you are on a vegan diet, as you can lose essential nutrients. Foods like carrots, which are rich in vitamin C and walnuts, which are a decent source of vitamin E should be in your meal plans. Other foods such as bok choy, spinach, and other leafy greens can give you the iron that your body needs. You give your body the nutrients it needs by consuming healthy foods and you avoid preventing your body from losing hair.

(Image Source: Pixabay)

Track the consumption of your protein
When you exclude meat and animal by-products from your diet, this will result in a lack of protein. You should consume a variety of foods to give your body the nutrition it wants, such as quinoa, lentils, black beans, and Chia seeds. Such protein-rich foods are also high in other essential vitamins that can improve overall health in your body and help promote hair growth.

Check the caloric intake
When you go vegan, you cut a lot of high-calorie foods out. This will allow you to eat much more than you are used to eating. To prevent rapid weight loss, you need to track the number of calories you consume. While you may be looking forward to losing some weight by going vegan, rapid weight loss may be detrimental to your body and may result in hair loss. But don't worry if you think about practicing veganism. Your hair does not pay the price as long as you adhere to a well-planned diet with good nutrition and healthy meals full of plant-based protein and essential nutrients.





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