Why does hair fall out and what does iron deficiency have to do with it: an expert answers

Why does hair fall out and what does iron deficiency have to do with it: an expert answers
Why does hair fall out and what does iron deficiency have to do with it: an expert answers

Anastasia Koroleva, Crescina brand expert

What is iron deficiency anemia

Iron deficiency anemia (IDA), or iron deficiency, is one of the key factors in hair loss and thinning, which in trichological practice is almost more common today than androgenetic alopecia. This is a pathological condition, which is characterized by a decrease in the amount of iron in the body for one reason or another. The main function of this trace element in this case is participation in the transport of oxygen, which is necessary for most biochemical processes. As a result of oxygen deficiency, anemia develops and, as a result, oxygen starvation, which leads to disruption of body functions, including damage to the hair follicles.

With a lack of nutrition and a deterioration in metabolic processes in the follicle, the hair first becomes thinner, and then the telogen stage – the resting and hair loss phase – lengthens. Low iron levels that persist over time can lead to diffuse alopecia – uniform hair loss over the entire surface of the scalp.

Why does iron deficiency anemia occur?

Doctors now identify several causes of iron deficiency, all of which essentially boil down to two:

  • lack of intake or digestibility;
  • increased microelement consumption.

A common cause of iron deficiency is dietary habits, which lead to a lack of iron in the body. The fact is that the body best absorbs heme iron (the divalent form of Fe + 2), the main source of which is red meat and offal (liver, kidneys and spleen).

Non-heme iron found in plant foods is less easily absorbed and requires additional consumption of foods or supplements rich in vitamin C. Excessive coffee and caffeinated drinks reduce the absorption of iron in the small intestine. Also, the absorption of iron is affected by the intestinal microflora and the amount of coenzymes.

Another cause of iron deficiency anemia is increased iron consumption. It occurs with chronic diseases: internal bleeding, inflammation, problems with the gastrointestinal tract. In this case, thinning and hair loss is a marker indicating a violation of certain processes in the body, which gets rid of unnecessary ballast, mobilizing to solve more serious problems. To correct such conditions, consultation with a therapist and then with a specialized specialist is required.

Photo: Freepik

Why is iron deficiency anemia more common in women than in men?

Physiologically, women lose a certain amount of blood every month. With excess losses associated with hormonal or other disorders, anemia occurs, usually to a mild degree. If a girl follows a strict diet or has had an acute respiratory infection, the body’s iron supply may begin to deplete more quickly, and anemia then progresses to a more serious stage.

Is it possible to get rid of iron deficiency anemia?

Anemia caused by iron deficiency is treatable. The main thing is to find the true cause of its occurrence. In some cases, for example after childbirth and a long illness, the body can recover on its own. In all others, correction of the condition is required under the supervision of the attending physician.

How quickly does hair recover after replenishing iron deficiency?

In all conditions that force the body to mobilize, all forces will be devoted to restoring metabolic processes and all vital functions, and hair, nails and skin will be the least significant. It will be possible to talk about improving hair quality a few months after the deficiency is replenished. Sometimes hair continues to fall out even after iron levels have been restored. This is due to the life cycles of hair, when some of them are still dormant and not growing, while the growth phase of others has already ended.

To improve the situation and combat hair loss, complex therapy should include external agents that stop hair loss and stimulate its growth.

The Crescina brand offers two lines of products aimed at combating heavy hair loss: Crescina HFSC 100% Complex and Cadu-Crex Hair Loss. The first complex is designed to combat hair loss and restore hair growth, the second is to quickly reduce hair loss.