Whether you’re male or female, hair loss can be a horrifying thing to deal with. Your body is trying to tell you it needs something or that something’s wrong, but what on earth is it? In some cases, a deficiency in your diet could be causing it, and a couple of simple tweaks can help alleviate the issue.
Sometimes the hair loss isn’t related to the diet, but a result of illness or something else in your life that’s changed. Sometimes, if you have really thick, long hair like mine, and you don’t get regular trims, the hair gets so heavy that it can pull on the hair, causing more to fall out. While it’s normal to lose up to 100 hairs per day, or even 250 on the days you wash your hair, if you’re watching more and more strands fall to the floor as you brush your hair, or you notice excessive amounts on the shower floor, take a look at your diet and lifestyle to see if you can get to the root of the problem (no pun intended!).
Deficiencies That Could Cause Hair Loss
Protein: If you aren’t eating enough protein, you could notice that your hair is thinning. Your hair is mostly made of protein. You can get enough protein on the Beauty Detox diet (no animal products required!), but if you just aren’t eating enough food in general or you tend to shy away from some of the plant protein sources because you don’t like them, you could try adding a deliberate boost. In general, if you are not deficient in calories it is virtually impossible to be truly deficient in protein. However, those on severely calorie-restricted diets or anorexics could have this problem.
What to add to your diet: Nutritional yeast (it has 18 amino acids and nine grams of protein in three tablespoons), broccoli, mushrooms, romaine lettuce, raw nuts (like almonds, Brazil nuts, pecans, hazelnuts, and pine nuts), legumes, beans, and hemp or sprouted raw protein powder. There’s no need to panic and start eating animal protein again if you’ve decided to stop. There’s plenty of protein in the plant world. Eat up! I’ve had a major hair transformation myself, which I often talk about. The combination of kale salad made with nutritional yeast is a substantial dish made of lots of easily assimilated amino acids to create protein in your body, and it is what I’ve had almost daily throughout my hair transformation, and to this day.
Fatty acids: Essential fatty acids, omega 3 and omega 6 foods, nourish the scalp, and a healthy scalp is necessary for thick, luxurious hair.
What to add to your diet: If you drink the Glowing Green Smoothie, you are getting a daily dosage of omega-3 fatty acids from spinach, kale and other salad greens, which are blended and concentrated in large amounts, to make the smoothie. Brussel sprouts are also a great source. Pumpkin seeds (which also contain zinc, B vitamins including biotin, and other vitamins and minerals for hair health), chia seeds, avocados, flaxseeds, acai berries, and walnuts.
B vitamins (especially biotin, which is B8, and B12): Along with thinning hair, you may also experience loss of hair color if you’re deficient in biotin. If you’re vegan, consider a B12 supplement since it’s difficult to get that vitamin on a plant-based diet. It, along with vitamins B6, E, and A, helps nourish the hair follicles.
What to add: Nutritional yeast is a winner in this category, too (a few Tbs has well over 100% of the recommended daily intake). You can also add more sprouts, dulse, pumpkin seeds, and spirulina to bump up your B vitamin intake. Taking daily probiotics, which I wholeheartedly recommend, helps to balance your gut, where B vitamins can be synthesized internally.
Vitamin A: Antioxidant vitamin A (and beta-carotene) helps cleanse and detoxify the liver and the blood, which means nutrients can more easily get to your scalp and hair. In addition, it works with vitamin C to create sebum, which keeps the hair from becoming dry and brittle (and breaking off!).
What to add to your diet: Carrots, of course! Spinach and other leafy greens like collards and kale, sweet potatoes, red peppers, sea vegetables, and squash also contain vitamin A. And do not give into the hype of the rasberry diet or any other “natural solution” widely commercialized.
Iron: While the jury is still out on whether an iron deficiency could directly cause hair loss, there is evidence to suggest that it could. Iron is one of the most common deficiencies in the world. If you do suspect that you have an iron deficiency, consult with your doctor to discuss how much iron you need and how to get more in your diet. It is possible to get too much iron, which can come with dangerous consequences. When you’re eating plant foods to increase your iron intake, always be sure to eat something with vitamin C, as well. This aids in the absorption of non-heme iron (iron that isn’t from animal products).
What to add to your diet: Sea vegetables (kelp, nori, dulse, spiruina, chlorella, etc), lentils, beans, almonds, squash, pinenuts, quinoa and pears. Dark leafy green vegetables like spinach contain iron, and the vitamin C your body needs to use it. If you eat cooked spinach, the vitamin C would be denatured though so be sure to add fresh lemon juice for vitamin C.
Zinc: Zinc deficiency is uncommon in North America, but if you’re a vegetarian, you do need to be careful about getting it into your diet.
What to add: Beans, grains, and seeds, soaked as instructed in The Beauty Detox Solution in order to increase the bioavailability of zinc in your food (unsoaked beans, grains, and seeds can inhibit zinc absorption).
Water: If you’re dehydrated, the way your hair looks will be your body’s last concern! You need water to keep the hair you have healthy and to grow more. If your scalp is dry and dehydrated, it’s not exactly a welcoming place for new hair to grow.
What to add to your diet: First of all, drink more water! Guess what else is very hydrating? The Glowing Green Smoothie of course! You can also increase your water intake substantially by munching on watery fruits and vegetables like watermelon, cucumbers, tomatoes, celery—really anything with a high water content that you love. Every little bit helps.
Foods to Avoid for Healthy Hair
In addition to adding nourishing, nutritious foods to your diet for healthy hair and scalp, be sure you’re cutting out the things that can add waste to your blood, making it more difficult for the blood to get to the hair follicles (the capillaries get clogged). These clogging foods include dairy, soy, wheat, animal fat, sugar, and cooked vegetable oils (this includes vegan products like vegan butters and mayonnaise). Stay as far away as possible from those!
Other Lifestyle and Illness Causes
Stress (physical or emotional) can cause hair loss. It can happen after child birth, serious illness, surgery, or after taking certain medications. Once the stress is under control again, the hair may return without any adjustments to your diet. Unfortunately, this can sometimes take six months to two years.
Hormonal changes from menopause, childbirth (as I mentioned above), and even birth control pills can also cause hair loss. It’s totally normal and will generally correct itself with time. That’s probably not what you wanted to hear and you can try adding more nutrition into your diet to minimize the loss, but ultimately, in cases like this, the body sometimes just needs to shed the hair and then stabilize once again.
Sometimes hair loss stems from underlying causes that aren’t as simple as fixing a vitamin deficiency, de-stressing, or waiting out the hormonal changes after a significant event. Hair loss is tied to PCOS and thyroid disease, for example. If you’ve taken all the steps with your diet and lifestyle to promote beautiful hair and you’re still not seeing any changes, schedule an appointment with your health care provider to find out if there’s some other cause.
Suggested Meals for Healthy Hair
Some of my favorite recipes that include foods to promote thick, healthy hair include:
- Glowing Green Smoothie, for its mix of greens, pears, and celery (for stress and anxiety)
- Rainforest Acai Smoothie, for its acai and avocado
- Power Protein Smoothie, because of its extra protein and the fatty acids in the chia seeds
- Raw Taco Gorilla Wraps, thanks to their collards (leafy greens!), peppers, and walnuts.
- Raw Taco Salad Meal, similar to the Gorilla Wraps, but with romaine lettuce, avocado, and tomato instead of collards and peppers.
- Dharma’s Kale Salad, which is full of good stuff for your hair, like kale, sprouts, avocados, nutritional yeast, and dulse flakes. This is nearly a daily staple for meal for me.
Here’s to your healthy, gorgeous tresses!
I loved today’s post. One thing that I’ve been struggling is to determine the best, natural way to wash my hair. I tried ACV and Baking Soda, and after 3 months of trying this method, I stopped due to an over tangled mess with my hair.
Recently, I’ve been using J R Liggett’s Original Old Fashioned Bar Soap Shampoo (Ingredients Olive Oil, Coconut Oil Castor Oil, Sodium Hydroxide, Pure Spring Water, and Rose Oil). I really like it a lot since its all natural ingredients. I was curious what you use to wash your hair?
Where do you buy it?
Thank you for this post! I’ve been wanting to grow my hair out long and I have thick, curly hair. Thanks for sharing! 🙂
Your posts are always so thorough and informative! Every girl wants silky, luscious, healthy hair, so these are really great tips. Being on a plant-based diet, I take a B complex supplement, and I eat tons of nutritional yeast. Nooch is where it’s at! Not only is it a great nutritional boost, but it adds an awesome cheesiness to everything. I love it mixed into quinoa or brown rice, with some turmeric and cayenne pepper too. So good.
I love this! Thank you so much! I’ve always had really great hair, but lately it’s been very dry. Now I can clearly see why. If you have time, can you recommend a great B12 supplement that is effectively absorbed into the bloodstream please? I just want to be sure if I take a supplement, it’s going to be fully available to my system 🙂
Much Love & Big Nonlocal Quantum Hugs! 🙂
Can I have nutritional yeast if I have candida?
Super helpful post Kim. I have struggled with multiple hair transformation myself. After reading this I’m adding more nutritional yeast to my diet. Thanks so much for all the detailed info.
lol I been craving carrots recently – just never happened before and now I read they help with hair fall prevention….interesting.
Do you think there is a connection? o_O
I work overnight and I wonder if that has anything to do with the decreased hair growth in the middle if my hair. It itches the most there too and can sometimes get sore and crusted. Tired of going to a dermatologist as all they give are steroids. But I’ve not been taking my vitamins lately so I will try that and see how it goes because it’s intermittently that it gets really bad!
I don’t know why I get acne the moment I take vitamin b supplements. I have started consuming nutritional yeast and I’m getting acne again :(((
Ive found the hard water in some cities and towns can contribute to almost a blanching of the scalp too. gentle but thorough warm oil massage just with the tips of lightly oiled fingers encourages circulation and is super fortifing to the scalp. Also worth trying and totally fun is a remineralizing mud masque. be sure its not full of alcohol or preservatives but a good clay can really amp up volume. rinse with cool water whenever poss. shamanuti jasmine hair balm and mudd masques are available by request on their site. Majorly exquisite items to have on hand. cheers all & thank you kimberly!! brighten us up w every read!
Thank you so much for all the information you share. I am so greatful to have found your website and learn so much about healthy lifestyle. This has really helped understand what I have been trying to figure out for a while! May you continue on your success and helping others!
Kale, yeast, dulse and choucroute plus veggies of your choice!!… the perfect combinaison!
Thank for your precious advises.
hi kimerly, I always enjoy your writings. I was wondering if you could write information sometime on-what foods high in oxalilc acid, will do to your body. I hear several talk about the dangers of eating the foods high in it, such as spinach, kale, and many more that I didn’t even know contained it. some claim they have kidney pain after eating these foods. thank you.
Thank you soooo much
FINALLY I have been able to get someone to bring your two books to me in Indonesia where I live! You have CHANGED MY LIFE and I mean that in every way…After 3 months on your plan, I can for the first time in 20 years, sleep without sleeping pills, my moods are totally balanced, I am happy all the time, I can jump out of bed and go to the gym in the morning, I have tons of energy, I am not depressed, my hair and nails are healthier and not falling out/breaking, my skin looks amazing and many fine lines have disappeared, etc! THANK YOU so much for cutting through all the crap that is out there and giving us normal and reasonable ways to live our lives to the fullest and teaching us to love our salads and enjoy our vegetables!!! Still learning the food combining thing but my whole life is 100% better thanks to YOU!!!! I LOVE YOU!!!! xxoo
I have a question regarding hair oiling. Is it beneficial to hair to leave it over night?
I love this post, I have hyper thyroid and it has my hair falling out that I can make a wig from it. I will be trying everything.
Thank you again
Would you know how I can get off my thyroid pill and substitute it with something natural & healthy? I hate taking medicine. Just wondering. Any suggestions:-)
Thank you so much for this Kim! Despite feeling so much better on the BDS, my hair has been falling out a LOT on this diet (lots of hairs in my hairbrush every morning). Even some of my eyelashes have been falling out and I have been extremely distressed about it!
I am definitely going to incorporate a lot of the foods you said, especially the kale & nutritional yeast salad, pumpkin seeds and the protein smoothies. I hope my hair thickens up soon!
Thank you so much for this post Dear Kimberly. It is nice to see that someone really care about this problem. I struggle with major hair loss since an Anemia problem (which include a lack of iron but not only) but I also struggle a lot because hair loss is also related to emotional events. Some of us are very sensitive and hair problems are telling us so much about some damages in our lives. But hopefully, people like you are helping us to deal with it and reading you daily is helping a lot ! PS : please, think about writing a post about gray hairs and how to turn it off 🙂
Do you have guidance for thyroid issues such as hoshimotos disease?
My sister-in-law has hoshimotos and as a result her auto-immune system ate up her thyroid altogether. She thought she was eating healthy, making homemade whole wheat bread and such. That actually made it worse. After much research she started eating pretty much like Kimberly suggests, although she still eats some poultry and fish, but she cut out all gluten, dairy, sugars, caffeine (though she still drinks a bit of coffee), processed foods, etc. She lost about 40 lbs, and she looks and feels 100 times younger and healthier. Her skin is softer, smoother, and more even in color. Her face was very red, blotchy, and dry. She was also having menopause symptoms that were driving her crazy and that has stopped as well. She also added 3 days of exercise.
She looks like a new person. I hope this helps!
Hi Kim. I enjoy your articles(posts). I dont know if I am reading correctly, but you are saying one must avoid wheat? Wheat is a good source of lipids and sterols (oils) which are needed by blood cell’s plasma to allow nutrients in and allow waste out. Without these oils the cells rot from within
This is great advice but some women have irreversible genetic hair loss and once they go through menopause there is little that can be done to control it. Hormon
Hi Kin i have a problem i live in Jamaica my hair is falling very hard the Doctor said that i have thyroid i am an medication, it started to grow then it started to fall again i went back to the doctor do some more test this time he said is not the thyroid, it seem like is stress i need some help because i always like to admire people with long hair please help me thank in advance.
I had prolonged work related stress which ultimately caused anxiety attacks. Thank god that job’s gone. However, in the last year or so I lost gobs of hair (roughly 1/3 of my once thick hair). Going through menopause didn’t help. My hair is ALWAYS frizzy and everyone I’ve talked with says I should use products with a bunch of junk in it, which I’ve steered away from for years. Any suggestions for hair products to use on colored hair (sorry, my vanity won’t let me quit doing that just yet)?
Try argan oil from Neuma or Josie Maran. Castor oil works great too- it made my eyelashes longer!
if someone has candida can that person still eat nutritional Yeast?
Nutritional Yeast contains naturally occurring glutamic acid (MSG) which acts as a neurotoxin. No good.
Hi, is Biosilk good?
Thank you for sharing!
My mother is 60 years old. Can her hair grow by follow the diet you recommend.
Nice post. To Laura, sodium hydroxide (lye) from what I’ve read is not natural, it is man made but used in such small amounts that it is presumed safe in cosmetic soaps.
Hair loss? Well, I have never really paid much attention to that until now.
It never really mattered to me until I was lucky enough to go through this wonderful piece of yours.
I can only describe this article of yours as being refreshingly insightful.
I had a faint idea of how much hair we should lose but reading your piece was like having a good exposition from an experienced lecturer.
I was particularly intrigued to know that when our meals are deficient in certain nutrients.
Then you really made a lot of sense by recommending the correct things that we need to add to our diet.
What kind of dulse and brand of spirulina do you use?
This is the great blog for those who want healthy hair. There could be many causes of hair loss. We should keep close eyes on our diet, regular cleaning of hair with good shampoo like dove can give good result.
Really informative. like it.
I have been using this OxyGlow shampoo and conditioner with fruit extract since last 2 months and i can see the result. Its good my hair fall has reduced to much extent. The contents are all natural ingredients and it makes my hair smooth and frizz free.
Thanks Kimberly. I learnt something…adding Nutritional yeast to my diet! I had experienced a serious hair fall previously and started to take action and look for more information on hair loss issue.
Yes, stress, no enough sleep, certain illness, medication, diet etc. can be the factor of hair loss. And of course a healthy scalp is very important for hair growth. Avoid harsh chemical on your hair and scalp and do not use heat for drying hair if you want healthy hair.
I will add nutritional yeast to my diet. 🙂
I think the most common causes includes harmonal changes, diet deficiency or iron & protiens, stress, pollution, use of unsuitable etc.Nice information to care take of one’s hair in superb manners.
It’s been great that I paid a visit to this web site and reading your ideas you shared regarding this post. I would say that your way of writing was way better, especially when explaining things. Nonetheless, your topic is really practical and worthy to be shared in my blog site. Keep it up!
Do you know of anything that helps with Alopecia Universalis?
My son is 29 and has lost all his hair including his body.
I always enjoy your writings. I was wondering if you could write information sometime on-what foods high in oxalilc acid, will do to your body. Best hair loss treatment is bio hair treatment
i used several products/treatment but nothing work then i tried bio hair treatment and really its work great and satisfied with result i recommend to every one for bio hair treatment
I use sulfate free Neuma products and argan oil- works great! Protein deficiency can definitely be a problem in a vegan diet- best plant sources are beans, soy- vegetables have very little protein and even if it did I- it’s not bio available. Actually it’s pretty common in my practice. Biotin is extremely important but it’s more how you take care of your hair that affects the quality of it. Some ethnicities such as Asian have better hair to begin with- it’s genetic.
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Thank you for reaching out! I hope you are enjoying my blog and books.
Thumbsub…Great Article…I really appreciate your blog…it’s really very informative for all….hair is main part our beauty…your blog giving a best treat for hair…it’s really very usfull to us..www.vibraclinics.com
Hi Amoli…thanks for checking out my blog. Let me know if see a difference using some of the points I suggested. Sending lots of love! 😉
First of all thanks, Kimberly for sharing this useful blog with us. I really like your blog because you mentioned each and every solution for hair loss problem in your blog. I hope your blog and all these solutions helps me for my hair loss problem.
Thanks for checking out my Hair Loss blog and for your kind feedback. Let me know if you try any of the steps and what you think. Sending lots of love! 😉
Hello. I.have not been eating well for about 3 weeks. I have noticed my hair looks thinner , and there are loose hairs all over. Not just the shower or my comb, but on the bedroom floor , the blankets , and all over my house.
My question is : I can buy food today , that I have been going without for a while.
Will my hair start to grow back after I start eating well again ?
( I am also going to start exercising. )
Hi Rebecca Reilly and thank you for your great question. I wrote up a blog about this very subject where you may find it very helpful:http://bit.ly/2cVf6C0 There I mention that the hair follicle has to absorb nutrients and if your body is clogged by poor eating, it will hinder your nutrient absorption. There are many things to consider. Take a look at the blog I attached and see if you find positive results by following the tips listed. Sending lots of love and support! 😉
You have great tips. I wrote blog on hair loss treatment as well and I found your article helpful.
Hi Sasha…so happy you were able to find information that was helpful. Lots of love and support to you! 😉
Hi buddies, it is great written piece entirely defined, continue the good work constantly.
Thank you so much National Chocolate Wafer Day! 😉
Great list Kimberly, thank you for sharing. I treated my hair with the best PRP hair loss treatment Los Angeles has to offer but I will keep an eye out on my diet that could affect my hair.
That’s great – Keep up the good work! 😉
Thank you for sharing such an informative blog.
You’re so very welcome…my pleasure. Lots of love! 😉
Deficiencies that could cause hair loss described in this article is really helpful for me. Thanks for giving information.
Thanks for checking out this post and happy to hear it was helpful to you! Lots of love! 😉
Thank you for the brilliant blog. I will surely bookmark it and come back to read more of your useful information.
Thanks so much for checking out this post. Lots of love! 😉
This is a very well written article.
Thanks so much! Lots of love! 😉
Thanks for sharing information on hair loss with us.
You’re welcome Sophie! Thanks for checking it out and hope to see you back here soon. Lots of love! 😉
Hair fall is very dangerous, so we need to protect by any how. Otherwise it kill my good looking. This very helpful tips for us, thank you very much.
Thanks so much HairFall! 😉
Thanks for sharing, also keep sharing about Hair Treatments and RM365 Products.
Lots of love! Xo