Hair loss affects both men and women and is not confined to any age. Crash dieting, unhealthy foods and nutritionally poor diet can lead to hair loss. Hair loss and malnutrition are often an index of an unseen, severe mental or physical health concern. One of the ideal ways to keep a healthy hair is to eat a nutritious diet.

Can Malnutrition Cause Hair Loss?

The Hair-Growth Cycle

The hair growth cycle stretches to 2 - 6 years. A healthy person sheds 50 to 100 strands of hair per day. The growth process is hindered by external and internal factors, from cosmetic treatments to illness and medication. Malnutrition takes a toll and leads to excessive hair loss, it’s important to consume a diet rich in specific nutrients to support normal and healthy hair growth.


• Common causes associated with hair loss are eating disorders (under eating or overeating).

• Poor diet (lack of protein, crash diets or drastic weight loss), anaemia (loss of iron, zinc, etc.), too much vitamin A.

• Diseases- thyroid diseases, diabetes, lupus and a variety of medical treatments, including chemotherapy and radiation.

Treatment options

• Blood tests are done to decide the nutrients that are lacking. A dermatologist takes a medical history and does tests and examinations to rule out other causes of hair loss.
• Supplements or dietary change can be undertaken to provide remedy for the specific type of nourishment required and then balance out nutrient levels.
• Hair loss is due to an eating disorder; behaviour change and therapy should be implemented to ensure the long-term health of the person.

Eat Right for your hair

• Hair is made up of protein; adequate levels of protein in the diet is considered vital for maintaining healthy hair that’s strong and aid in natural growth of it. A deficiency can lead to thin, brittle hair or even hair loss. 

• Include protein rich sources such as milk & its products, dried beans, lentils, nuts, egg, fish and meat.

The required Vitamins and minerals

• Vitamins and minerals help keep the scalp healthy and prevent hair follicles from thinning.
• Good sources of iron(spinach), beta carotene (carrot), folate (lentils) and vitamin C (amala) help keep hair follicles healthy and the scalp with good amount of oil circulation.