Saturday, 11 June 2011

Shedding & Iron Levels

During a check-up at the doctors regarding my low iron levels, my doctor mentioned briefly that low iron stores (serum ferritin levels) can cause hair loss.

A few months ago my serum ferritin level was at a shockingly low level. Any level less than 40 can result in heavy shedding of hair amongst other symptoms. My level was less than a quarter of the normal level. I took this warning on board and tried even harder to remember to take my iron tablets religiously. I succeeded although I did have a lapse for about 4-5 days during the beginning of May whilst I was on holiday but since then I have kept on top of my iron supplements and have since changed to a tablet that I now take once a day (instead of 2-3 times a day) which is much easier to manage. Low iron stores (serum ferritin level) is a condition which is caused by anemia.

After emailing the lovely Tola @ My Long Hair Journal, she also mentioned that low iron could be the cause of my shedding. She even went as far as pointing me in the direction of a possible supplement called Floisene which contains all of the supplements that I could benefit from and that could help with hair growth and reduce shedding. I took a look and thought it was great but since I already take prescription iron I thought it best to steer clear, but I did however make a note of the ingredients and sourced these separately from Holland & Barrett.

Also, on YouTube I stumbled across a lady called Mary Corrigan who along with a YouTube page also has a website which has lots of useful information on diet and supplements you could take to help reduce hair loss and grow your hair back after significant hair loss. I found this website really very useful and was even tempted to purchase her book for the diet element of her plan. I decided not to do so at this stage, but it is something I may consider in the future if my hair shedding continues.

As a result of Mary & Tola's insight, the supplements I now take are:

1. Odourless Garlic capsules - Applied directly to scalp 2-3 times per week

2. lLysine - Taken twice a day

3. Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) - Taken twice a day

4. Zinc & Magnesium - Taken twice a day

5. Iron (prescription dose) - Taken once a day

6. 1 x cube of jelly - Eaten once or twice a day (mainly to benefit my nails)

I don’t always remember the supplements, sometimes I only manage to take them once a day. I remember the supplements, sometimes I only manage to take them once a day. To be honest I think any amount is better than none.

I always take my iron though as I don’t want my haemoglobin and serum ferritin levels to plummet again!!! I’m pleased to say that my serum ferritin level is now in the normal range as are my haemoglobin levels. I will continue to take the prescribed iron, and other supplements, whilst continuing to have my levels monitored.

If you think you could be anaemic or if you are suffering from unexplained heavy abnormal hair shedding you should definitely contact your doctor for some blood tests.
Shed hairs are full strands of hair which include the white bulb at the end which has grown and shed directly from the folicle.  Luckily my shedding seems to have halted, but this could be due to the fact that I relaxed my hair on 10th June.

Ciao 4 Now



  1. I've also had the same problem with shedding and low iron levels. In the past 5 years I have cut my 3 times because of severe shedding. I belive relaxing it makes it worse. I have decided to go for the big chop for the third time a couple of weeks ago and go natural permanently. I did notice that My hair sheds less when its natural.

  2. Hi (",)

    Thanks for your comments. It is always interesting to hear the experiences of others with regards to shedding and iron levels.

    In my recent post this weekend I mentioned that I was considering chopping off my hair. It is still something that I am considering. At the moment, I my options are to either wait for a year and to see whether medication, supplements and tackling the underlying issue for the low iron helps. I think it will take about a year from now. Alternatively, I could just bc.

    I think you could be right though in the fact that relaxing hair can make shedding worse.

    How long did it take you to decide to bc and go natural?



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