I hear this a lot! Women curious if the amount of hair they're losing down the drain after every shower is normal, or are they losing too much? It's no fun to pull out those clumps of hair from the drain, and wonder if there'll be any left on your head. Losing a few hundred a day is quite natural. On days you shampoo your hair you may noticed extra loss, but when it exceeds that you may need to start exploring what's going on.
Whilst there are numerous factors contributing to female hair loss (alopecia), today we will look at the role iron deficiency plays in contributing to hair loss.
A European Journal of Dermatology study found that women can experience excessive hair loss due to iron deficiency. The study reported that low iron stores increase the rate of hair fall, especially in non-menopausal women. Iron also helps improve hair texture and reduces dullness by increasing the flow of oxygen and nutrients to the hair roots and scalp.
Is Iron on your side?
Iron is essential for maintaining good energy levels and optimal health. It is arguably one of the most important minerals, particularly as it is involved in carrying oxygen to every cell in your body. Haemoglobin is the body’s oxygen-carrying protein and where you find approximately two-thirds of your iron; therefore, without adequate iron the transportation of oxygen is affected. As iron is involved in maintaining healthy immunity, it’s no wonder you don’t feel great when your levels are low!
Symptoms of low iron
The following symptoms could be signs of low iron levels:
Reasons for low Iron
Iron deficiency can be mild, however when it is very low you can become ‘anaemic’. Low iron can be a result of not obtaining enough from your diet. Factors that may cause low iron include tea and coffee intake, blood loss, pregnancy or poor absorption as a result of underlying gut problems.
Certain populations have been identified as potentially more at risk of low iron levels, including teenagers, the elderly, pregnant women, vegetarians and vegans.
Test - Don't Guess
If you suspect you may be low in iron, it is important to speak to your healthcare Practitioner or Doctor about a simple blood test to assess your iron levels, especially if you are at increased risk. Testing can ensure your safety, as symptoms of iron excess may be similar to signs of iron deficiency and in some circumstances, high iron intake can be detrimental.
Include plenty of iron-rich foods in your diet to maintain a healthy intake. Animal foods provide a good source of iron, including beef, lamb, kangaroo, turkey, chicken, fish, oysters, liver and sardines. The redder the meat, the higher the iron content.
Plant-sources of iron include molasses, shiitake mushrooms, dark green leafy vegetables and lentils. Vegetarian sources of iron may not be as well-absorbed as animal sources.
Iron needs a little help from its friends
Certain forms of iron can lead to constipation, so always work with your health practitioner to get the best, most bio-available form. Iron works best in your body with the help of other nutrients:
+ B vitamins: Vitamins B6, B12 and folate are involved in iron transportation and red blood cell production. Taking an essential B vitamin can help you build healthy cells and move energising oxygen around your body.
+ 5-MTHF: Known as 5-methyltetrahydrofolate _ the activated form of folate. It is the same form made by your body and is readily utilised.
+ Vitamin C: It has long been known that vitamin C increases the absorption of iron; therefore when taking iron, ideally pair it with vitamin C
Keeping our minerals, such as iron, at a healthy level, involves a varied diet, a healthy gut and a good detoxification system. You can ensure your body is not having to handle additional toxins by choosing good quality clean skin care.
It's said that by the time a woman’s got ready in the morning and before she's walked out the door, she's exposed herself to between 15 and 50 chemicals. Reduce your load by choosing natural skin care.
We decided right at the start that we would only include ingredients that work to improve your skin. That’s why we leave out any ‘question mark’ ingredients. We’ve carefully removed the obvious toxins and controversial synthetics, like parabens and sulphates that are linked to internal health and hormonal distruption.
Leaving you with products that are gentle, plant based and formulated with modern science designed to get results.
Thanks for reading! Please leave a comment in the comment section below if you’ve experienced hair loss, or iron deficiency. I love your comments, read them daily and will respond to you.