Vegan Diets Are Great For The Environment- But What About Your Hair?
Once upon a time, being a vegan did not have the most positive of images. Choosing not to eat or use any animal products created a stereotype that many wanted to avoid.
However, that has changed dramatically in recent years. Over 3.5 million British people now identify as vegan, and one look at Instagram will reveal 57 million #vegan posts. It has become a mainstream lifestyle, promoted by some of the most famous names and faces around the world.
Still, there have been some studies that suggest taking on a plant-based diet may not be good news for men’s hair. In fact, one of the most famous doctors in the UK believes becoming a vegan could accelerate loss of hair.
Can veganism cause hair loss?
Dr Hilary Jones, who regularly featured on programmes such as GMTV, Lorraine and Good Morning Britain, is responsible for making the bold claim. He believes male vegans will suffer increased hair loss due to the lack of iron in their diets, a vitamin that is found in many meats.
Poultry, pork and red meat all contain a number of important nutrients that contribute towards a healthy, balanced diet. These meats are also rich in iron. It is believed that low levels of iron in the body can make hair loss more pronounced.
Jones also points out there are a number of reasons why men suffer hair loss. It may simply be genetic, or due to skin conditions like eczema, or simply because of nutritional deficiencies. The presence of iron plays an important role in hair growth, and its absence could be the reason why some vegans lose their hair.
There have also been studies conducted by the Mayo Clinic about this idea. They suggest an underactive or overactive thyroid gland could lead to loss of hair. When people go vegan, their soy intake will also usually increase. Too much soy can impact the thyroid, especially when someone is naturally inclined to have thyroid issues, or their iodine levels are not high enough.
How to get more iron into your diet
For anyone who isn’t eating meat, Dr Hilary Jones mentions that dried fruit, beans and spinach are also high in iron. Finasteride oral supplements may also help, as it manages an important hormone responsible for damaging hair follicles.
Of course, turning vegan or even vegetarian does have its benefits. But if you are worried about hair loss it’s important to make sure you are getting the right amount of nutrients in your diet so you hair remains healthy.
Along with iron, Vitamin A and Vitamin C are important for stimulating hair growth. Although remember, there is a balance to be struck. Too little Vitamin A can lead to dry, brittle hair, while too much can also accelerate hair loss.
There are no definitive scientific studies that confirm a lack of iron is directly responsible for increased loss of hair. Even those with the healthiest diets can also experience it. And if you are genetically predisposed to experience hair loss, unfortunately there is no way of avoiding it.
The best thing to do is ensure you have a healthy, balanced diet, make sure you get the right amount of nutrients and vitamins into your body and make sure you enjoy life to the full, without or without hair.
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