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Nutrition for Hair Loss

Published: 22/Mar/2013     

Hello! My name is Laura and I am a Registered Holistic Nutritionist based in Port Moody, B.C. Victoria has asked me to write a guest post on hair loss and how nutrition factors into it.

There are a lot of women and men who suffer from hair loss and thinning of the hair, but aren’t getting the answers they need from their doctors. Sometimes, underlying nutritional deficiencies or imbalances in the body are the culprit and simple changes to the diet can help to improve hair health.

Main causes of hair loss:

1. Hormone imbalance

2. Iron deficiency Anemia

3. Thyroid Disease

4. Alopecia is an autoimmune disease, which can be linked to food allergies.

5. Nutritional causes such as calorie restriction, low-fat diets, crash diets, essential fatty-acid deficiency, zinc deficiency, bulimia and anorexia.

What makes hair healthy?

Despite what a lot of hair product companies will tell you, it’s not just their products that help make your hair as good as the person in the commercial, it’s also about what you put into your body that matters. When choosing new hair products for your condition, you might notice an immediate improvement, but it is usually short-lived and you are left searching for the next holy-grail product. Eating the right foods for your hair is important and if you make any changes to your diet, your skin and hair are usually the last place you will notice it. It can take up to a few months to see any improvement depending on your body. How do we fix it?

1. Healthy Fats: Salmon, nuts, avocado, natural peanut butter, and coconut oil. Cholesterol foods such as eggs and butter are important because cholesterol is a precursor to important sex hormones, which plays into hair health.

2. Omega 3’s: Too often people have an imbalance of essential fatty acids and have too much Omega 6 from all the highly processed foods found in today’s society. Omega 3’s are necessary for hormones and skin. Supplement your omega 3’s with a high quality Cod Liver Oil or vegetarian oil like Flaxseed Oil.

3. Food Allergies: Celiac disease, gluten intolerance and dairy allergies are closely linked to hair loss. If you think you might be sensitive or allergic, see a naturopath or a doctor for a diagnosis or eliminate the suspect foods for a month to see if there is any improvement.

4. Zinc: Zinc deficiency is especially found in women who are on the birth control pill or restrict their calorie intake. Zinc is essential to healthy testosterone levels in men and women and a decrease in testosterone can start to cause hair loss. Zinc is found in egg yolks, oysters and walnuts.

5. Selenium: Selenium is necessary for healthy hair, skin, and nails and for a properly functioning thyroid. Since selenium is a trace mineral, it is only needed in minute amounts. It is found in Brazil nuts, oysters, grass-fed beef liver, fish and sunflower seeds.

6. Vitamin E: Eating a wide range of foods that are rich in Vitamin E is necessary for hair health. Vitamin E is also beneficial to the skin and nails. Since it is a fat-soluble vitamin, eating a low-fat or no fat diet will only encourage further deficiency. Food sources of Vitamin E are sunflower seeds, avocado, almonds, spinach and other greens.

7. Cruciferous Veggies: A specific phytochemical called indole-3-carbinol found in cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts helps to lower high estrogen levels so that estrogen and testosterone can work synergistically together and not compete.

8. Protein: Protein is a necessary building block of all cells in our body and is a main component of our hair. Hair is made up a protein called keratin, which gives it strength and elasticity. Foods that are a good source of protein are: fish, avocado, walnuts, oysters, lentils and grass-fed and pastured beef and chicken.

9. Gut Health: Poor digestive health can cause problems with absorbing vitamins and minerals. When there is an unhealthy balance of healthy bacteria, or if you have a case of leaky-gut syndrome, you may not be absorbing all the nutrients needed for healthy hair. Foods to encourage gut health: kefir, unpasteurized sauerkraut,

10. Liver Health: Your liver filters everything in your body, including hormones. When it is not working optimally it may not be able to effectively filter out toxins and get rid of excess hormones like estrogen. Foods that encourage liver health are dandelion greens, garlic, lemon, cabbage, turmeric, cruciferous vegetables and leafy greens.

You may have noticed that a lot of these foods over-lap each other and are great sources of all nutrients needed for healthy hair. Eating a variety of whole foods will help to ensure that your body is getting everything that it needs. Reducing stress, getting enough sleep and exercise are other ways to ensure that your hair is always healthy and strong.


Quick note from Victoria:  “I am so grateful for Laura’s contribution today and highly recommend her services.  If you are interested in contacting Laura for a consultation to find out how she can help you grow longer, thicker hair, please feel welcome to reach her at nutraliciousconsulting.com. Happy Spring!”

One response to “Nutrition for Hair Loss”

  1. Nick Vacalo says:

    Great site. Have bookmarked it. Thanks 🙂

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