What can we do to have healthy hair? Eat healthy! So…vegans should have healthy hair because they eat healthy, right?
Here’s the truth: Hair loss can happen to anyone! When that happens, finding a solution that works can be frustrating.
In this article we will go over what can cause vegan hair loss, and how to aid vegan hair growth. If you’re new to veganism and feel like your hair is thinning, you’ve come to the right pace, just keep on reading!
Do Vegans Lose Hair?
If you don’t choose the right foods, yes it can happen, to anyone actually, regardless of dietary preference.
For new vegans, hair loss may occur in the beginning of the transition process. However, in no way does it mean that it comes with it. Hair loss only happens when you’re missing or having too much of something.
Contrary to what you’d often hear, you can get all the nutrients you need from plants. Yes, there’s no need to rely on animal products to nourish yourself and your hair properly. So if you’re losing hair (literally!) early in your journey to veganism, then you’re doing something wrong.
What Are The Causes Of Hair Loss?
In many cases, hair loss stems from nutrient deficiency. However, there can also be more beyond that. Hair loss commonly occurs because of the following:
- Nutrient deficiency (see below)
- Hormonal changes, as in the case of pregnant or menopausal women.
- Medical conditions like alopecia, thyroid disease, scalp infections, lupus, etc.
- Side effects of medications such as some antibiotics, blood thinners, and drugs for blood pressure management
- Old age
- It can be hereditary
Nutrients For Hair Growth
For new vegans, hair loss is often a result of poor food choices. A lot of cases of hair loss happen when you don’t have enough of the nutrients essential to hair growth.
According to Healthline, these are the nutrients we need for a healthy hair growth:
- Vitamin A
- B Vitamins
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
If you notice, these nutrients are mostly what one also needs for healthy skin and nails. Supplements that are made for skin health are also the same with those made for hair and nails. That’s because the hair, skin, and nails require keratin for its production and maintenance.
So, if you want to keep your locks in its glorious thickness, these are the nutrients you should never miss out on.
However, remember not to consume too much. For example, excessive Vitamin A (toxicity) can cause hair loss too!
Does Being A Vegan Help Hair Growth?
To be more precise, it’s the nutritional quality of your food that helps hair growth. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a vegan or not. The same thing goes with hair loss. If you’re doing veganism correctly, then yes it can help with hair growth.
Notably, there have been many cases of people with hair loss problems turning to a vegan lifestyle as a solution. This means that a good vegan diet can be a solution for hair regrowth.
My honest advice is, if you want healthy hair, look at your food quality. Don’t just choose a diet without learning it first. A vegan diet requires a lot of commitment and discipline. That’s what it takes to reap its benefits. Yes, hair growth too.
Can A Vegan Diet Cause Hair Loss?
On the dietary side, hair loss is a result of nutritional imbalance. New vegans (not all!) may experience hair loss when they spear ahead into transitioning without the right guide.
So, NO. A proper vegan diet does not cause hair loss. Even if you’re just starting out, if you prepare with the right knowledge, you won’t lose hair over it. Take time to learn and plan, and you won’t have to worry about hair loss.
Vegan Hair Thinning: What New Vegans Could Be Doing Wrong
If you are starting out on being a vegan, it’s okay to make mistakes. You’re still learning anyway. Just make sure to keep yourself educated at all times.
Now, weeks into being meat-free and you notice an increasing amount of hair left on your comb and also on your bathroom floor every time you wash your hair. You freak out and howl. What can you do?!
Well let me just say this. Think first what you could be doing wrong. It’s the best start, I guarantee. Here are some ideas:
1. You have cut down your meat consumption completely without a proper replacement.
Protein is vital to hair health. If you eat a lot of meat before turning into a vegan, chances are majority of your protein supply is from meat. It’s also likely that your iron and B vitamins come from meat. So if these sources are suddenly taken away without any alternative, your hair (and skin) will eventually suffer.
How to correct it: Remove meat from your diet gradually every week. With every reduction, make sure you have a vegan source to replace the nutrients. For example, add more legumes and soy every time you reduce meat.
2. You are transitioning too fast.
Transitioning into a vegan diet is ideally done gradually. If you go faster than your body can adjust, you may have problems with nutritional balance. The thing is you may not notice it until the deficiency starts to wreak havoc on your body (and hair!).
How to correct it: Start your changes in a gradually increasing manner. Add more vegan food items before omitting animal products. Transitioning may take months. Make sure you have something healthier to make up for what you are removing from your diet.
To learn more about how to transitioning to a vegan diet properly CLICK HERE.
3. You did not plan your new diet properly.
Careful planning is what makes a transition work smoothly. Without planning for your meals and food choices while transitioning, you are bound to make poor choices. You are also likely to miss out on essential nutrients.
How to correct it: Write down what you must eat for the next weeks to come. You may need to do this for a few months too until you get the hang of it. Choose your variety of daily food according to its nutritional value. This way, you know what you’re getting and not just hoping for the best.
The Vegan Diet For Hair Growth
Hair Nutrients With RDAs For Adults*
Best Vegan Sources
Vitamin A (700-900 mcg)
Apricots, broccoli, cantaloupe, carrots, kale, red bell peppers, sweet potatoes, spinach, turnip greens, winter squashes
B Vitamins (biotin 30 mcg; choline 425-550 mg; folate 400-600 mcg; niacin 14-16 mg; pantothenic acid 5 mg; riboflavin 1.1-1.3 mg; thiamin 1.1-1.2 mg; B6 1.3-1.7 mg; B12 2.4 mcg)
Banana, bread, broccoli, cereals, fortified non-dairy milk, green vegetables, legumes, nutritional yeast, oatmeal, pasta, potatoes, soybean, tomatoes, watermelon, whole grains
Vitamin C (75-90 mg)
Bell peppers, berries, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, collard greens, grapefruit, melon, oranges, papayas, potatoes, romaine lettuce, spinach, strawberries, tomatoes, turnip greens, watercress
Vitamin D (600-800 IU)
Fortified plant milks & cereals, fortified vegan products, sunlight exposure on the skin
Vitamin E (22 IU)
Green leafy vegetables, nuts, peanuts, raw wheat germ, safflower, spinach, sunflower seeds, vegetable oils, whole grains, whole wheat flour,
Iron (8 mg)
Blackstrap molasses, cereals, dried fruits, green leafy vegetables, legumes/beans, nuts, prune juice, sea vegetables, seeds, spinach, watermelon, whole grains.
Protein (0.8 g per kg of weight)
Chickpeas, beans, seitan veggie meat (from gluten), lentils, nutritional yeast, soy (tofu, tempeh, edamame), spelt/teff
Zinc (8-11 mg)
Corn, garbanzo beans, legumes, lentils, nuts, peas, pumpkin seeds, raw collard greens, soy foods, spinach, sunflower seeds, wheat germ, whole grains/cereals, yeast
*the lower numbers are for females while the higher numbers are for males.
Note that the RDAs increase in some cases such as for:
- Pregnant and lactating women
- Athletes or individuals with a highly active lifestyle
- Sick individuals or those recovering from an illness
The RDAs are your guide for a better estimation. You don’t need to over analyze your nutrient intake every time you eat.
One good idea is to throw in more of those with a higher RDA, then go moderate on the ones with lower values.
It would take a lot for you to reach the upper limit (or toxic levels) of these nutrients. So don’t worry about exceeding your RDAs a tiny bit. Food is better when you enjoy it.
BONUS: To learn some tips about healthy hair growth as a vegan, check out the video below!
Raw Vegan Hair Growth
A raw diet eliminates foods that are processed and have GMOs. Without these nasty chemically-laden food items, your body can do so much better! You might not even know it, but all these chemicals may be one of the reasons behind your hair loss.
If you’re looking at raw vegan hair growth options, you can indulge in salads with fruits and vegetables. Just take your pick from the table above!
Organic Vegan Hair Growth
Whether it’s about food or commercial supplements, organic vegan hair growth is a good idea too. Organic food items have become quite popular in the last decade despite its usually higher price tag.
Shops that sell organic food have grown over the years. However, if you can’t find one near your area, then it’s time to learn to make your own. You can start with a little garden with all your favorite food plants.
For organic hair growth supplements, you can thank the internet because you don’t even need to leave your home just to get ‘em.
Vegan Hair Growth Products/Supplements
If you feel you’re not getting enough from your daily food intake, supplements are the answer.
With the growing popularity of veganism these days, finding vegan hair growth products is much easier. The bonus? They work for your skin and nails too!
Vegan Vitamins For Hair Growth
Vegan Protein Hair Treatment
- Aubrey Intensive Hair Repair Mask
- Bio Follicle
- Giovanni Nutrafix Hair Reconstructor
- Sante Hair Treatment Products
The products I listed above are the most popular ones. However, it might come as a surprise, but there are actually dozens of vegan hair products in the market today. More than you might expect, so finding the right one for you will probably not be too hard!
DIY Vegan Hair Loss Treatments You Can Do At Home
One of the best things about plants is their usefulness for DIY home remedies. Here are some of the plants you can easily use at home to work on growing back and maintaining your headful of hair:
- Aloe vera
This slimy plant has always been a popular solution for thinning hair. Cut an aloe vera and rub the slimy part on your scalp. Let it soak it for 10 minutes before rinsing it off. Just remember not to use it on broken skin.
- Olive oil and ginger
You can either use olive oil alone or mix it with minced ginger. Massage it onto your hair. Leave for 30 minutes and wash. If you want to soak it longer, wrap your hair in a towel and leave it on overnight.
- Rosemary and nettle tea
Put a tea bag of nettle in boiling water and add a handful of rosemary. Once cool, strain and pour it in a spray bottle. Spritz it generously on your hair and leave it overnight before washing it off.
A vegan diet does not cause hair loss. Poor food choices do. To avoid hair loss while transitioning to veganism, plan your meals carefully. Make sure you’re getting your daily dose of hair nutrients.
Have you experienced hair loss in your newbie days as a vegan? Share your experience with us! Let me know on the comment section below. And don’t forget to share this article in your favorite social media platform.