Woman hair loss solution - get the facts

Published: 03rd November 2009
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Hair loss among women is not an unusual problem. In one study, 34% of women from Japan, the USA, and the UK reported increased hair loss compared to 5 years earlier. The reasons are complicated and can vary from person to person. Thus, it is important to see a doctor who can diagnose the specific problem.

In some cases, it can be diet-related. Hair loss sometimes occurs in rapid weight loss. In one study, hair grew back within a few months after weight loss. In other cases, there are less obvious nutritional reasons for the common problem.

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Hair loss can be divided into two categories: skin shedding (also called "scaling") and without skin shedding. Loss of hair with skin shedding is likely related to a skin disorder. In some cases, supplementation with the vitamin biotin (1 - 2 mg for 2 months) has helped. Essential fatty acids (omega 3s and/or omega 6s) might also help in hair loss caused by skin conditions.

There is a lack of objective data about hair loss without skin shedding. At one time, there was a widespread belief that zinc deficiency is a common cause. However, zinc supplementation has not been shown to improve loss of hair, even when a deficiency is suspected. One area that seems clear is that iron deficiency (a low serum ferritin without anemia) is linked to loosing hair in women. In one study, 72% of women with low iron stores (a serum ferritin less than 40 mcg/l) had reduced hair density.

The amino acid L-lysine plays a part in the absorption of iron and zinc. Among plant foods, L-lysine is only found in high amounts in legumes, and a vegan who doesn't eat many legumes could find themselves falling short on lysine. In some women, iron supplementation does not lead to an increase in iron stores. But in one study, adding L-lysine (at 1.5 - 2 g/day for 6 months) to iron supplementation in such women did increase iron stores by one half.

Here are some notes:

In a multivitamin, if the level of zinc is equal to the level of iron, then iron uptake is significantly decreased. A ratio of 3 to 1, iron to zinc, is desirable to prevent competitive interference.

Excessive vitamin E supplementation (for example, 600 IU per day for 1 month) can adversely affect hair growth. In patients who show high levels of folic acid (also known as folate), excessive folic acid supplementation should probably be discontinued.

Reducing the frequency of shampooing does not help preserve hair and can increase the fear of loosing hair because a higher amount of hair will be lost all at once when it is washed.

Regrow hair naturally: The New Hair Loss Solution


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