Why is my hair getting thinner?
I’ve recently noticed that my hair has started thinning. I normally have very thick hair, my hairdresser mentioned there is often nutritional reasons behind hair thinning – is there any truth in that? With thanks, Lesley.
Hi Lesley. It is certainly normal to lose some hair daily – however, there are a number of reasons why your hair may be thinning, here are a few:
Being low or deficient in iron can lead to hair loss. Symptoms of iron deficiency anaemia can include fatigue, weakness and pale skin. You may also notice headaches, difficulty concentrating, cold hands and feet and hair loss. Iron deficiency essentially sends your body into survival mode, so your body channels oxygen to support vital functions as opposed to what it deems non vital – like keeping your hair intact. The best way to check your iron status is to see your GP for an iron studies test.
Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the body lacks sufficient thyroid hormones; it can result in a host of symptoms including unexplained weight gain, fatigue, constipation, depression and difficulty concentrating. Hair, nails and skin may become more brittle and break more easily, and hair loss is also common.
In order to have healthy hair and avoid hair loss, we need to make sure that we are getting enough of the right nutrients in our diets, including omega 3 fatty acids. Adding more of these fatty acids to your diet can help to prevent hair loss and even encourage hair to grow healthier. Omega 3 fatty acids have antiinflammatory properties, which can help to open the hair follicles, promoting healthy hair growth. When the body is not receiving sufficient nutrients, the hairs that are lost regularly each day are less likely to be replaced, and hair loss is more likely.
Low Vitamin D levels interfere with healthy hair follicles regenerating. Again, this can be assessed via a blood test.
There can also be physical reasons such as excessive styling, straightening and dying, which can lead to hair loss. Heat and some chemicals can weaken the hair, causing it to break and fall out. If your hair loss is consistent it’s best to seek individualised advice from a health professional. I don’t have time to eat/prepare good quality meals, what are your quick fix ideas that are nutritious for my family and I? Thank you – Fiona
Hi Fiona. Firstly, I do believe that in general, we need to undergo a priority check. While I appreciate that many of us are juggling many different things daily, there is nothing on earth that replaces the power of a nourishing diet.
Preparing real food does take Email your questions for Dr Libby to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note, only a selection of questions can be answered.
more time, but it is time we have to allow for in our day. When we say ‘‘I don’t have time’’ what we are essentially saying is ‘‘it’s not a priority for me.’’
How does that make you feel when you say, preparing a nourishing dinner is not a priority for me? The reality is we cannot compromise our nutrition and expect to still have fantastic health.
In saying all of that though, there are a number of ways you can add nourishment to your meals that don’t take much time. For example, chop up a mixture of greens, spinach, kale and herbs and stir them through a stir-fry, salad, or soup – this is a great way to add a little nourishment booster.
Prepare big batches of meals on the weekend and freeze them or stick to one-pot/pan meals packed full of vegetables.
I cannot encourage you enough to explore how to make having a nourishing meal a priority for you. You are worth taking care of!
There are a number of reasons why your hair may be thinning, including iron and vitamin D deficiency.