Iron Deficiency and Hair Loss | Finasteride

Iron Deficiency and Hair Loss | Finasteride

Anemia results when the body’s tissues have inadequate amounts of iron to synthesize hemoglobin, which is essential in the transference of oxygen and energy production. Some of the usual factors include deficiencies in diet, body absorption of iron lowered by conditions such as intestinal diseases, and constant bleeding. Some of such symptoms are fatigue, weakness, paleness of the skin, shortness of breath, and hair loss. Some of the symptoms are headaches, dizziness, cold hands and feet, claw-like nails, and odd food cravings. 

An early intervention involving iron administration and the identification and management of causes is vital to avoid severe conditions such as iron deficiency anemia, which affects cognitive abilities and immunity. 

Treatment often includes the prescription of Iron supplements to help replenish the body’s Iron stores. Another important component of sustained treatment is addressing all the causes that lead to Anemia, in particular, changing the diet or coping with a disease that impacts the body’s ability to absorb iron. 

The Connection Between Iron Deficiency and Hair Loss

Role of iron in hair follicle cells:

Iron is essential for the everyday workings of hair follicle cells. It has an important function in synthesizing hemoglobin, which is a part of the red blood cell and is responsible for transporting oxygen in the body. Hair stem cells necessitate oxygen to create new hair cells, depending on their resources. When the iron level is low, these cells could slow down hair production, resulting in hair loss. 

Impact of low iron levels on the hair growth cycle:

The hair growth cycle consists of three phases: anagen, catagen, and telogen. Iron deficiency, for instance, can disrupt this cycle, putting more hair follicles in the telogen phase. This leads to hair loss, called telogen effluvium, which is accompanied by inflammation around the hair follicles. 

Scientific evidence and studies linking iron deficiency to hair loss

Some research works have also pointed out that people suffering from iron-poor diets are likely to lose hair. A survey carried out on 800 women with hair loss and published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology revealed that 40 percent of the women had Iron deficiency anaemia. Journal of Dermatological Treatment also conducted research and revealed that out of 118 women with DH, 76 percent of women had low ferritin levels – an indicator of iron stores. 

Diagnosing Iron Deficiency-Related Hair Loss

Iron deficiency leads to hair loss signs reduction.

  • Diffuse thinning:

In other words, this kind of iron deficit is different from that, which results in less hair density in some parts of the scalp than others. Instead, the former tends to be all over, leading to a lower number of hairs across the entire head.

  • Increased shedding:

Hair fall is a common indication that iron deficiency causes hair thinning. Thus, it is more likely that one will experience excessive hair loss when brushing or simply washing and styling because more hair follicles will enter the telogen phase as their growth cycle is interrupted. 

Blood tests that help in diagnosing iron deficiency 

To diagnose iron deficiency, healthcare professionals typically order blood tests to measure the levels of specific markers, such as:

  1. Serum ferritin: This test shows how elevated the storage of this metal in the body is. Low levels of ferritin are worrisome and can indicate low iron levels. 
  2. Hemoglobin levels: Haemoglobin is an element of red blood cells that takes in and transports oxygen present in the blood. Low hemoglobin levels in the results showed that a patient may be anaemic, which is usually a symptom of iron deficiency. 

Consulting with healthcare professionals: 

Men and women with baldness issues and those who opine that it might be a result of a lack of iron deposits should consult a dermatologist or their physician. It would be desirable to go to them since they can perform blood tests and provide a comprehensive evaluation to determine the causes of hair loss and, therefore, the most appropriate therapeutic intervention. 

What has to be grasped, though, is that iron deficiency could be one of the possible reasons for hair loss. Other factors that cause hair loss include hormonal change, stress, thyroid problems, and others. This just means that one must achieve an aggressive checkup for the facility that detects the basic cause of the illness as well as the best course of action to pursue. 

Treating Iron Deficiency to Promote Hair Growth

Iron-rich foods: 

To increase your iron intake through diet, focus on consuming foods that are naturally high in iron, such as: To increase your iron intake through diet, focus on consuming foods that are naturally high in iron, such as: 

  • Meats such as beef, pork, lamb, goat, chicken, turkey, fish, and other sea animals. 
  • Cultivated dark greens such as kid display and kale 
  • Legumes such as beans and lentils, soy-based products such as tofu 
  • Predictably, products such as fortified cereals and breads 
  • Apart from crisps, other snacks like raisins and apricots are also processed from dried fruits. 

Importance of vitamin C for iron absorption:

There is an added advantage of combining iron-rich foods with those foods that are rich in vitamin C since they help to improve iron absorption. Some good sources of vitamin C include: Some good sources of vitamin C include: 

  • Fruits that are obtained from citrus trees include oranges, grapefruits, and others. 
  • Bell peppers 
  • Broccoli 
  • Strawberries 
  • Tomatoes 

Iron supplements 

However, if simple dietary changes do not help correct the problem of iron deficiency, the doctor may prescribe iron supplements. Typical forms of iron supplements include:

  • Ferrous sulfate 
  • Ferrous gluconate 
  • Ferric citrate 
  • Ferric sulfate 

Dosage and safety considerations: 

One must also adhere to their doctor’s prescription on the amount and period of usage of iron supplements. Taking too many iron supplements can cause side effects, such as constipation, nausea, and stomach aches. Such supplements should, therefore, not be taken without consultation with a medical practitioner. 

Treating medical conditions: 

At times, low levels of iron in the body may be a result of other diseases that affect the absorption of the mineral in the body, for instance, diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, including Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, and ulcerative colitis. It has been understood that a proper medical intervention aimed to treat a particular condition that caused the lack of iron in the body can solve a whole problem and set one on the way to hair regrowth. 

Managing menstrual blood loss: 

Other common conditions that affect this group include heavy/ prolonged menstrual bleeding, which is a leading cause of iron deficiency in women. To prevent low iron levels, it is recommended that women regularly consult a healthcare provider so that they can enroll in proper menstrual blood loss treatment, including hormonal therapy or having their gynecological conditions treated. 

Finasteride as a Treatment Option

Finasteride is an androgen receptor, and 5-ARI has been demonstrated to have efficacious indications in subjects suffering from male pattern baldness. It is done by preventing the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) through the inhibition of the enzyme 5—alpha-reductase. DHT is partly involved in causing the shrinking of hair follicles, and its impact is manifested in baldness. Through shrinking DHT concentrations, Finasteride loosens the hold of male hormones on hair follicles and boosts the ability to grow hair. 

Finasteride is a pill that should be taken at one milligram per day. Therefore, it is necessary to receive specific recommendations from the healthcare provider concerning the way to take Finasteride and the period of intake. Men can expect to see growth in their hair and decreased hair loss after the fourth month of using Finasteride, while the full benefits of the medicinal may be felt after 12 months of using it. 

It has been found that if Finasteride is taken alongside iron supplements, there are other benefits to combating hair loss. Although Finasteride deals with the endocrine factor in hair loss, lack of iron also plays a vital role in hair loss and deterioration of hair growth. In this regard, while Finasteride deals with the hormonal aspect of aging and hair loss, iron supplementation helps regulate the nutritional aspect of hair loss. Hence, the two complement each other. 

Scientific research has revealed that if male individuals take both finasteride and iron supplements, then their hair improvement is much higher than the improvement observed in the group that was treated only with Finasteride. 

Complementary Hair Care Tips

Maintaining a Healthy Scalp 

It is for this reason that one needs to ensure that they take proper care of the scalp if they want to have healthy hair. Personal hygiene should be practiced, such as washing your hair with a mild skin-pipeline shampoo that is free from sulfates, and while rinsing your hair, apply pressure on your head. Do not use chemicals or hair products that have chemicals, and rarely use heat tools like blow dryers, straighteners, and curling irons, as these harm the hair and scalp. 

Factors that Contribute to Overal Health of Hairs with Regards to Nutritional Support 

However, aside from iron supplements, one should ensure that he or she is eating a healthy diet that fulfills all the body’s nutrient requirements. Make sure to have the recommended amount of protein and sufficient vitamins (Vitamin A, C, and E) and minerals (Zinc and selenium) in your diet. Make sure to consume enough water because the health of your hair depends on it. 

When to Seek Professional Help

If there is excessive hair shedding or one is in doubt as to the cause, then one must seek the services of a doctor. In addition, with years of experience, a doctor will be able to make a proper diagnosis by examining the patient and ordering blood tests or scalp biopsy if necessary. Once you know what has led to your hair loss, your healthcare provider can design for you an appropriate treatment plan. 

Dermatologists and trichologists are subspecialists in hair and scalp diseases, usually skin doctors who focus mainly on hair loss. They can also offer recommendations on the proper treatment process, given the type of hair loss, any other medical conditions that could be related to the problem, and personal inclination. 

They can advise the client on the proper hair care regimen, suggest suitable hair and scalp treatments, and collaborate with the dermatologist to manage hair loss treatment. Thus, self-diagnosis is exceptionally ineffective, and it is highly recommended to consult with a healthcare provider, dermatologist, or trichologist to identify the actual cause of hair loss and determine the best course of treatment. 


Iron deficiency can facilitate hair loss by interfering with the hair growth cycle and lessening the hair follicle strength. Hence, the pull of iron deficiency should be treated not only as the best solution for hair problems but as the essential step towards a healthier life. Thus, medications like Finasteride, which affect hormonal causes of hair loss, are helpful when included in the complex therapy. 

Therefore, it is relevant to seek a doctor to determine one’s requirements and to describe the approaches to the treatment. It is possible to improve hair by changing diets, taking iron products, or taking some medications such as Finasteride; hence, taking the initiative leads to improvement in hair quality and life.