Do Vegans Risk Hair Loss?


Adopting a vegan diet, meaning one that does not include any animal products, comes with some health risks including hair loss. Because your body experiences a drastic change in the vitamins, minerals, and proteins it is used to, it may respond with dramatic weight loss and hair loss.

Decreased protein intake

Because vegans do not consume meat from animals, they risk losing a great portion of protein from their diets unless they get it from another source. According to the American Hair Loss Council, one of the first things the body will do to protect itself from this decreased level of protein is decrease hair growth. Additionally, because strands of hair are built with proteins, this decrease in protein intake could reduce hair health and strength, resulting in easier breakage.

Vitamin deficiencies

Many people get their iron intake from red meats, which vegans cannot consume. Low iron levels can cause hair loss because the body has trouble producing hemoglobin in blood, which carries oxygen to cells throughout the body. This oxygen is key to repairing the body’s cells, including those on the scalp. When people experience an iron deficiency, they sometimes mistake it for male pattern baldness, which is more common and caused by genetic inheritance. However, this can be easily remedied by adding iron supplements to your diet.

Sudden weight loss

People who adopt and stick to a vegan diet suddenly without slowly acclimating their body sometimes experience dramatic weight loss. When your body undergoes such a sudden change like weight loss in a short amount of time, it responds as if under a great amount of stress. This stress pauses hair follicle production until your body can acclimate and understand why it feels stressed. However, after an adjustment phase, the hair follicles will resume producing again as normal.

Hair loss following the adoption of a vegan diet is relatively normal for many people. Usually, it only lasts as long as it takes your body to adjust to a new diet, and you will see your hair growing at a normal pace again. But if you are experiencing male pattern baldness and are searching for a permanent solution, contact the team at Trillium Ink for a consultation.