How are ya? I hope you’ve all had a great week! It’s been back to work and whatnot. If you’re in Nigeria or America, we had Monday off – BUT is it just me or do shorter weeks always feel SOOO much longer?? I feel like this has been the longest week ever but, hey, it’s nearly the weekend so I can’t complain too much! Are you guys doing anything interesting this weekend?
We all know we are what we eat, right? This means that your outward appearance and the general health of your body often reflects what you put inside it. Well one of the things we need on the inside to make the outside (especially hair) look good is iron. We all know that iron is one of those important minerals for our overall health – but without adequate iron levels, it’s virtually impossible to grow thick, healthy and/or long hair. If you’re anaemic or you know anyone who is, you might know that hair loss or thinning is very common.
Iron is an essential mineral that is responsible for making haemoglobin (a part of red blood cells), which carry oxygen around the body. A lack of iron can lead to iron deficiency anaemia. The symptoms of anaemia are usually extreme fatigue, dull skin, dark undereye circles, hair loss/thinning, brittle nails, chest pain, fainting spells, rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, headaches, leg cramps and many others. If you are worried you may be anaemic, PLEASE always speak to your doctor. It is not a good idea to self-diagnose due to the many complications the condition can bring.
An iron deficiency affects the hair in many ways. According to this article, “the lack of iron absorption for people dealing with an iron deficiency makes it harder for healthy cell turnover needed to generate new growth. It also makes it harder for the follicle to be retained, meaning hair is prone to falling out. An iron deficiency can also affect hair by making it brittle and prone to breakage”. In many cases, when an otherwise healthy person experiences hair loss, an iron deficiency might be to blame. Definitely go to the doctor and get a blood test if you think this may be affecting you. Below are pictures of people who have suffered from an iron deficiency and the effect it’s had on their hair:
So where can you get iron from? Well it depends on your eating habits!
- I personally don’t really eat red meat (I probably eat red meat like once every 3-4 months) and we all know that red meat is a source of iron. So if you’re a meat eater, this might be your source.
- I tend to eat a lot of dark leafy greens (e.g. spinach, kale – I LOVE spinach) and these types of veggies are packed full of iron
- Beans, broccoli and peas are also quite high in iron as well
- I also take iron tablets everyday (along with a multivitamin, cod liver oil and a hair, skin & nails tablet). I’m not anaemic but my iron levels were pretty low just before I started taking iron tablets. It was so bad that I would often feel very dizzy and I used to faint when I was on my period. These are the ones I take (this particular one is combined with vitamin C – pairing the two together helps to increase the absorption of iron in the body)
- I know that some people, especially many vegans and vegetarians, take a B12 supplement. B12, more or less, helps the body manufacture healthy red blood cells. I’ve never tried B12 but people that take it seem to swear by it.
There we have it, ladies and gents! Proper iron levels are important for your overall health – without a doubt!! But if you want that healthy, luscious hair, be sure to keep your iron levels in check.