Do Vegans Risk Hair Loss?

There are many reasons why people choose to refrain from eating meat or animal byproducts and adopt a vegan diet. Whether motivated by ethical, environmental, or health concerns, vegans need to prepare themselves for the physical changes and challenges that come along with living on plant-based foods alone. While there are certainly benefits to a vegan diet, it can have negative impacts as well if the body does not get the nutrients found in meat and animal products. One of these potential problems is hair loss.

A healthy and balanced diet abundant in crucial nutrients can help strengthen your hair and boost its growth in addition to improving your overall health and sense of well-being. Conversely, a diet lacking in these essential substances can weaken hair follicles, making them more prone to breaking and falling out.

Beware of Protein and Iron Deficiency

As you may remember from your high school biology class, protein and their amino acids are the “building blocks” of the body. That applies to hair, as well. A diet which includes a sufficient amount of protein from various sources can be the key to resilient and growing hair.

Eliminating meat from your diet means removing a primary source of protein, putting you at risk for hair loss. With limited amounts of protein in your body, what little is present will fuel other vital organs – your heart, lungs, and liver – before it gets around to helping with the hair growth cycle as it otherwise would.

Similarly, an insufficient amount of iron is one of the more common causes of dietary-related hair loss. Low iron levels limit proper blood flow – something hair follicles need to receive and absorb growth-stimulating nutrients.

Plant-Based Foods Abundant in Protein and Iron

The good news for vegans is that with thoughtful grocery shopping, they can get all of the protein and iron they need in their plant-based diet.

If you are considering or are already on a vegan diet, make sure that you incorporate the following foods into your lifestyle:

Plant-based sources of protein:

  • Quinoa
  • Tofu and soy products
  • Chickpeas
  • Chia seeds
  • Lentils
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Beans

Plant-based sources of Iron:

  • Beets
  • Dark leafy greens such as kale and spinach
  • Watercress
  • Dark treacle or molasses
  • Soybeans
  • Pulses
  • Almonds

Schedule an Appointment for a Hair Loss Evaluation Today

Of course, a change in your diet or a lack of sufficient nutrients may be the reason you are experiencing hair loss. Understanding the cause of your hair loss issues is the first step towards doing something about it.

At the Miami Hair & Skin Institute, our world-renowned hair restoration physicians diagnose and treat hair loss cases no matter what the underlying cause. Through advanced hair restoration surgery techniques and alternative non-invasive treatments, we can help patients restore their hair and their confidence.

To receive your personalized hair loss evaluation and treatment plan, contact us online or call our office directly at 305-925-0222.