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Low Serum Ferritin  - Hair Loss

Jun 26, 2008 - 4 comments

Low Serum Ferritin  - Hair Loss

Low serum ferritin hair loss is a serious issue in women's health. Though hair loss (alopecia) does not cause any physical pain or ill effects on the workings of the body, it can have a significant negative impact on the emotional and psychological state of a woman. Therefore, it is important to understand the relationship between ferritin levels and female hair.

Though hair loss has historically been a difficult disorder to understand, scientists and doctors are gaining a new perspective through the discovery of the low ferritin hair loss phenomenon.

What causes low serum ferritin hair loss?
At the simplest level, an iron deficiency is to blame for low ferritin levels and female hair loss. Ferritin is a protein that stores iron in the body. To determine if a woman has low serum ferritin levels, a blood test is performed. (It is important to note that hemoglobin is the standard measure for iron in the blood, and while hemoglobin levels can diagnose anemia, they do not always correspond with low serum ferritin hair loss. A woman can have plenty of hemoglobin, yet still suffer from low serum ferritin levels.)

When it comes to ferritin levels and female hair, ferritin levels are simply more important to the body. If iron levels are insufficient to maintain blood health, the body "robs" iron from other cells. Since hair is not as essential to the body as is blood, the body often sacrifices the less important function of hair growth for the essential function of blood maintenance.

What is CTE?
When low ferritin levels and female hair loss coexist, the patient is most likely diagnosed with Chronic Telogen Effluvium, or CTE. This hair loss condition usually occurs in women of childbearing age (18-50 years old), and results in evenly-distributed hair loss. Women with low serum ferritin hair loss usually notice one of two things:

Increased loss of hair during shampooing or brushing.   Less density of hair, as in a thinner feeling ponytail, or less hair to clip back.


Fortunately, there are a few proven ways to prevent low serum ferritin hair loss:

Eat a balanced diet that includes plenty of iron. Sources include red meat, spinach, broccoli, prune juice, kidney beans and chickpeas.   Add Vitamin C-rich foods to your diet to help boost absorption of iron: citrus fruits and juices, berries, green peppers, tomatoes, broccoli and spinach.   Try an all-natural hair loss treatment product that will help prevent hair loss. (See the Recommended Products section for our best suggestion.)

If you are already suffering from low ferritin levels and female hair loss, you may want to try one of these treatment options, or a combination of options:

Iron supplementation. The use of an iron supplement may help low ferritin hair loss by adding more iron to your system. The rationale for iron supplementation is that once the serum level is raised to the necessary threshold point, hair growth will resume. However, one of the biggest drawbacks to this type of treatment is that it takes a long time, because ferritin levels must be increased gradually. Allow 2-3 months for hair to stop shedding, and 5-6 months for new hairs to become long enough to make a visible impact.

Many women who want to look and feel their best are turning to all-natural remedies to treat low serum ferritin hair loss. All-natural products will begin acting immediately, and do not carry many of the risks or side effects associated with most medications. An additional advantage is that many all-natural ingredients have added health benefits as they provide important building blocks to the body.

An all-natural hair loss treatment that we have seen a lot of success with is Provillus. This treatment acts with your body to help prevent hair loss, and to grow and maintain healthy hair. It has a specific formula to address the needs of a woman.

If you are suffering hair loss, you should consult with your doctor. Although for many people hair loss is a normal part of aging, there are also illnesses that can cause it. Be sure to ask your doctor about the relationship between ferritin levels and female hair.

Hair Regrowth

People often ask us if scalp hair regrowth is possible. In many cases, it is. There are many necessary minerals and vitamins for hair growth, and proper nutrition or nutritional supplements can go a long way toward restoring natural hair growth.

Hair loss is a problem both men and women experience. Hair loss is more common as people grow older, but can affect younger people as well. Those with thinning hair, especially women, are often very self-conscious about their appearance.

In addition to treating hair loss, people also want to know if hair loss can be prevented.

The best and simplest way to prevent hair loss is by eating a healthy diet.

Hair is primarily made up of protein, just like fingernails and toenails. Protein can be found in foods such as meat, poultry, fish, beans, cheese, and nuts. If you don't get enough protein in your diet, you may experience thinning hair. Increasing the amount of protein in your diet can help to prevent hair loss and can lead to hair regrowth if you've already begun to lose hair.

Healthy hair also requires vitamins for hair growth, particularly B vitamins. It also requires minerals, such as iron and magnesium. Many people don't get enough of these vitamins in their daily diets, so taking a regular vitamin and mineral supplement can help to prevent hair loss.

There are many treatments available to stimulate scalp hair regrowth.

The easiest treatment is to improve your diet. Taking vitamins for hair growth may resolve your concerns. B vitamins are probably the best vitamin for hair growth. If that doesn't do the trick, there are a number of other options.

There are topical creams such as Rogaine, which has been shown to be effective in both men and women by stimulating scalp hair regrowth. It can have dangerous side effects though, and can be rather messy to apply as well.

There are also medications that come in a pill form, such as Propecia. Sometimes it needs to be combined with a topical treatment such as Rogaine in order to be effective. Propecia also carries the risk of some side effects, including sexual side effects.

Hair transplants are yet another option. This is a surgical procedure in which the surgeon removes a plug of hair from an area where hair has not yet thinned, and transplants it in an area where hair has been lost. This does not really cause hair regrowth; it just spreads the hair out better. A skilled surgeon must perform this procedure in order for the transplant to look natural. This is a surgical procedure, so it carries with it all the usual risks of surgery.

Laser treatment is another option available. It is meant to stimulate follicles and cause hair to grow. There is some controversy among experts about whether or not this treatment is very effective.

In order to avoid the side effects and risks of medical treatment options, many people prefer to try natural products instead. In addition to helping with scalp hair regrowth, these natural treatments often have other health benefits as well.

Provillus is the best option we have seen for scalp hair regrowth. This all-natural solution contains a combination of vitamins and minerals that are known to promote hair growth. According to the companies web site, Provillus is "specifically tailored to prevent hair loss and to help you regrow hair naturally."

See a doctor if your hair loss is sudden or seems severe, or if you are otherwise concerned about your hair loss. Hair loss can be a sign of serious conditions such thyroid disease, so it's important to get that checked out. Ask your doctor about the best vitamins for hair growth.

Get long hair fast! Sure, short is sassy and bobs are beautiful. But if long, lush locks are what you crave, we nave your step-by-step strategy: yes! You can make your hair grow faster!
Girls' Life,  Oct-Nov, 2004  
Let's be honest: Almost every girl has dreamed about having past-the-shoulder Barbie-length hair. Is long hair the most practical? Not exactly. Is long fun and flirty? You bet! Here's how to tap the Rapunzel in you!

(Step 1) Cut your hair. The secret to long hair? Strong hair. And that means getting rid of all damaged ends. So, believe it or not, your first step is to suck it up and head to the salon for a good snip. How much is enough? Unless your hair is very thick or very curly, have the stylist trim until your hair is all one length (as short as the shortest layer in your hair). All-one-length hair stays healthier and that means you can grow it without having as many trims from here on out. Thick- or curly-haired girls will want to keep a few long layers to help weigh hair down. You don't want to look like a mushroom-head as your hair grows out.

(Step 2) Give yourself a head rush. Kick your hair follicles (and hair growth) into high gear by increasing circulation to your head. How? "There are three easy ways," says Riquette Holstein, author of Grow Hair Fast. One, get more exercise so your heart is pumping (yet another reason to get up off the couch). Two, flip your head upside-down once a day, brushing your hair from roots to ends (use a natural boar bristle brush to prevent breakage). Three, massage your scalp daily, using your fingertips. "You can do this while you are shampooing or just sitting around watching TV," says Riquette. "It feels really good!"

(Step 3) Eat right. "You know That expression "You are what you eat"? Well, it happens to be true. Hair can only stay long and healthy if you eat well-balanced meals. Foods rich in vitamin A (dairy products, fish, spinach, apricots), vitamin B (meat, fish, bananas, leafy green veggies), vitamin C (citrus, melon, tomatoes and potatoes) and vitamin E (nuts, broccoli, whole grains) are essential for truly healthy hair. Feel like eating a steak tonight? Perfect. Red meat is rich in iron and zinc, two nutrients proven to help your hair grow its fastest.
(Step 4) Stress less. Studies show that hair actually grows slower when you are stressed to the max. Your hair also needs a good night's sleep. So chill out, and get some shut-eye already.

(Step 5) Keep your hair clean. Oily roots and product build-up can clog follicles and prevent your hair from growing as quickly as possible--the max is about a half-inch per month. So be sure to shampoo daily (or even more often if you work out) and give your hairbrush a weekly cleansing so you don't rebrush in old dirt and oil.

(Step 6) Be kind to your hair. The longer your hair is, the older it is. So treat it with the respect it deserves. When you lather up, use gentle shampoos formulated for your hair type. Treat your locks once a week to a leave-in conditioner or hair mask. And try to lay off your blow-dryer, hot curlers and flat iron as much as possible. Throwing your hair up in a ponytail to disguise growing-out layers? Be careful not to pull too tight--you'll risk breaking your hair. Yikes.

(Step 7) Get regular trims. After eight weeks, your hair could be up to an inch longer. So don't leave all that hard-earned length on the salon floor. Ask your stylist to snip no more than an eighth of an inch, just to get rid of any split ends and end your above-the-shoulders hair rut forever.


How do I tell if long hair is right for me?

Long hair isn't for everyone. Short on patience in the morning? If you're not up for spending extra time washing, conditioning, blow-drying and styling your hair, stick with above-the-shoulder locks. While ponytails are always an adorable option, long hair can also be a drag for girls who play lots of sports. Long hair looks best on girls with oval faces. Square and round face shapes can also pull off long hair, just be sure to add layers to break up the lines. Girls with long and heart-shaped faces look best with shoulder-length hair.


SHAMPOO Lamas Botanicals Pure & Natural Chinese Herb Stimulating Shampoo ($19, contains 50 Chinese herbs to stimulate and energize hair.

CONDITIONER Once a week, deep-condition with Freeman Binge Sundae Splurge ($6, drugstores).

BRUSH Anti-Static ION Brushes from AC Continental ($10 to $14, 1-800-647-7980) are easy on hair.

LONG HAIR, NO WAITING! Want long hair by tonight? Try Hair U Wear's Flawless by Danilo ($24 to $58, for instant ponytails and clip-on layers.

COPYRIGHT 2004 Monarch Avalon, Inc.
COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group

Maximize Your Hair Growing Potential~Gorgeous Long Hair ~ All Rights Reserved.

The number one question that I receive through the AskKaren column is how to make hair grow faster.

Many people write to tell me they are in a hair growing hurry because they are getting married, going to a Prom, meeting the future in-laws or fill in the blanks.  

They want me to advise them how to grow their hair from short to long in a matter of just weeks.

Note:  Although you might see similar articles as this, unfortunately many Web hair copycat sites have illegally "lifted" content from this original article and slightly "rewritten it" to avoid copyright issues.  Please note that this original article first appeared in 2001 and has been constantly updated.  It is the original article.

As many of you know, I am going to tell you the truth, as I know it, about hair.  So the answer to "instant hair growth" is that there isn't any.  

There is no magic bullet. If you want to go from a short Bob to long flowing locks instantly than you do have some options, but depending on a variety of factors, they may be limited. Your best bet for overnight long hair is to consider hair extensions, clip on ponytails or long wigs.  

Yes, there are lots of things that can maximize the potential of your hair growing cycle but it is absolute folly to imagine that you can go to bed one night with shoulder length hair and the next day wake up with a new inch of growth.

There are some very rare exceptions, but most hair on most people is genetically programmed to grow a maximum of 6 inches a year.  

There are some people like Crystal Gayle who obviously grow hair at a much faster rate than the average human soul.  However, she is definitely the exception and not the rule.

Your Hair Is Dead - Let It Rest In Peace

Unfortunately many people are not aware of the fact that while hair can be extraordinarily resilient, once it has emerged from your scalp is has no facility for renewing itself.  It is considered to be dead protein.

The average person has around 100,000 strands of hair on their head and the average rate of growth is a mere one-half of an inch per month.  

By the time the ends of your hair actually grow down to your shoulders, they are approximately two years old.

Think about it. Two years is a long time for hair to be subjected to the daily wear and tear of the environment, washing, drying, brushing, combing and any chemical processing.  Just imagine what a piece of silk or fine fabric would look like after 2 years of constant handling.

Even if you take the best care of your hair possible, your hair still goes through a natural aging process which can also impact the growing cycle of your hair.

Maximizing Your Growth Cycle

The right vitamins and minerals play a major role in keeping your hair healthy. Any nutritional deficiencies can lead to thinning hair or even total baldness.  

It is a well known fact that an under active thyroid can result in frizzy or brittle hair while an overactive thyroid turn hair greasy and limp.

The bottom line to this thread is that your hair ultimately reflects the overall condition of your body.  If your body is healthy and well nourished, your hair will be your shining glory.  

If you are having any health problems or suffering from any nutritional deficiencies, your hair may stop growing or show damage.

If your body is in good health, you can maximize your genetic growth cycle through taking the proper blend of amino acids and B-vitamins.  

It is also important to include B-6, biotin, Inositol and folic acid in the supplemental program.  It has been found that certain minerals including magnesium, sulfur, silica and zinc are also very important toward maintaining healthy hair.

Beta-carotene is also essential to hair growth.  This is because it is converted to vitamin A as the body needs it, helps maintain normal growth and bone development, protective sheathing around nerve fibers, as well as promoting healthy skin, hair and nails.  

Beta-carotene is found in green and yellow vegetables and fruits.

Protein Is Important

Gorgeous Long Hair

Since hair is protein, a diet that is too low in protein may cause some thinning in hair or a retardation in the growth cycle.  The converse is true,  If you eat a protein-rich diet it will often result in improved hair growth.

Some nutritional experts suggest the dietary utilization of calves liver, brewer's yeast, wheat germ and a daily dose of two tablespoons of granulated lecithin to maximize hair growth, strength and beauty.

Other good food sources for protein include fish, eggs, beans and yogurt.  Soy protein has also been found to be helpful in stimulating hair growth.

One study of the results of soy on the hair found that it not only strengthened the hair but caused it to grow. A great source of soy is tofu.

Growth Blockers
Excessive stress and some medications are conclusively known to retard hair growth.   If you have a medical condition and your physician has prescribed medications it is imperative that you follow your doctor's orders regardless of the impact to your hair,

Warning:  Always consult your doctor BEFORE you undertake any new type of vitamin, mineral program or herbal program of any type to make sure it does not interfere with any medical treatment you may currently be on.

However, if you are under severe stress it is helpful to reduce the stress as much as possible.  Consider meditation or relaxation as a way to cut back on any major stress in your life.  Your hair will love your for it.

Another secret hair helper is rest and sleep.  It has been discovered that to grow faster, hair needs an adequate amount of sleep (7-9 hours are suggested).

Hair Growing Supplements
Eat right, exercise, reduce stress, rest, gets lots of sleep and your are well on your way to maximizing your hair growth potential.

You can either take a good supplement that contains the necessary vitamins and minerals or you can make up your own formula.  

I have personally had some long term success (at least for me) with the HairTopia vitamins that are specifically designed to assist the body with the maximum hair growth building blocks.

For more details check out Jane Bullock's review of the Hairtopia Vitamins and also get the facts on what the vitamins consist of.

While eating the proper foods that contain all the necessary vitamins and minerals will help, it is a lot more difficult to guarantee that you will get all the vitamins and minerals you need from the foods you eat.

List of Supplements
In addition to making lifestyle changes, taking the following supplements every day can boost hair growth for many people:

Vitamin B-complex - 50 mg. of the major B-vitamins (including folate, biotin and inositol)
Vitamin B-6 - 50 mg. of vitamin B-6
Vitamin C with bioflavonoids - one to two grams daily
Vitamin E - 400 to 800 IU daily
Beta-Carotene - 10,000 to 15,000 IU of beta-carotene daily
One recommended daily dose of magnesium, sulfur, zinc
Silica (horsetail) - 300 mg. daily
Nettle - 250 mg. three times daily
Flaxseed oil -  one tbsp daily or one tablet
Beta-Carotene - 10,000 to 15,000 IU of beta-carotene daily
Hair Growing Tips
Some hair loss experts have discovered that people have excellent hair growing results by following the Zone Diet, which is low in fat.   Many other hair care experts recommend the Zone Diet as very helpful for hair care concerns.

Here are some other hair growing tips:

Eliminate or cut back on smoking, caffeine and carbonated sodas which weaken the body and block maximum hair growing potential.
Eat a healthy diet.  Avoid foods that are high in sugar or fat.
Treat your hair like a piece of fine old lace.  Treat it carefully avoiding any unnecessary brushing, combing or handling.
Avoid use of hot water, hot blow dryers or other hair care tools that may stress the hair.
Have a weekly scalp massage to provide stimulation to the hair follicles.
Do a series of ongoing hot oil treatments to protect the hair's shaft.
Have regular trims to eliminate split ends and allow the hair to look and feel healthier.
Get plenty of rest and sleep to allow your body to grow hair.
Hair Growing Tips
The answer to "instant hair growth" is that there isn't any.  There is no magic bullet. If you want to go from a short Bob to long flowing locks instantly than you do have some options, but depending on a variety of factors, they may be limited. Your best bet for overnight long hair is to consider hair extensions, clip on ponytails or long wigs.  
~"If you want to talk more about this or other hair care articles on or anywhere else, please post a message on's Hair Talk Forums."
How do you make your hair grow faster?  

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Making Hair Grow
Increase blood flow by gently massaging the scalp. Eat plenty of leafy green vegetables and plenty of protein. Soy (i.e.., tofu) and a variety of beans is a good source of protein. Drink plenty of water. Stay away from drugs and alcohol. Keep a healthy diet. This regimen should be followed for several months as hair only grows approx. One-half inch per month. Do not comb or brush hair when wet as this causes breakage. If hair has been damaged, (perm or coloring) use a good conditioner. Try to air dry versus using a blowdryer.

This might sound funny, but my hair grew almost 9 inches with pregnancy. Otherwise, prenatal vitamins will work wonders and keep you healthy. Also, "Mane and Tail" horse shampoo helps. You can buy that in Wal-Mart in the pet shampoo. If you have any hair at all, if you pull it tight in a pony tail, that works. (Takes a little longer though)


Mane-N-Tail shampoo is used to make hair grow faster.

To grow your hair faster wash it every week don't put to many chemicals in your hair wrap it every night and put a silk scarf on it regular scarfs can pull out your hair but not silky scarfs.

If you want to grow your hair fast it is good to wash and condition it at least once a day. Don't use cheap conditioner. Take niacin or other vitamins to maximize the growth potenial. It is good to get atrim every 6 - 8 weeks to cut off the dead ends. It will help it grow faster.

I would like to comment on the amswer above where it says to trim ever 6-8 weeks. This does not help hair grow faster, if nothing it will only make your hair shorter as you are cutting off the length. The only benefit for trims are to stop breakage known as split ends. But if your hair is in good enough condition where as you don't get split ends, then there is no need for a trim. Though it is always nice to do so since it helps to keep the length even as not every strand of your hair grows at the same speed. And keeping hair blunt and the same length helps to give the illusion of fuller longer hair.
Prenatal vitamins will not make your hair grow faster. Also, avoid the expensive hair growth treatments. Hair is a science and we know pretty much all there is to know. While it varies, hair usually grows 1/2 to 1 inch per month. This all depends on your lifestyle though. To maximize your growth, eat right, sleep enough, and GET OFF YOUR BUTT AND EXERCISE! Scalp massaging may help along with good shampoos and conditioners to keep hair healthy but only your personal wellness will make your hair grow faster.

Also remember that hair pretty much grows at a maximum rate of half an inch per month no matter what you do. I want my hair to grow about 4 more inches. That means 8 more months of growing it out!! It may take some time...but it'll be worth it!!!!

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Avatar universal
by kk41, Jul 09, 2008
Please help!
I am a 41 year old woman who has noticed hair loss over the past 6 months that continues with no diagnosis made. I have had several blood tests done to test for thyroid issues, testerone, etc. and even a scalp scraping to see if there was a fungal issue. I have always had thick and abundant hair and do not understand what is happening. I eat well and have no illnesses or diseases, I am not overweight, and am not on any medication. The only thing I can relate to this hair loss is a very traumatic and stressful event lasting for 2 months a year ago. I have not seen a dermatologist as my M.D. states there is no other way to diagnose my hair loss. My scalp is tender, but there are no signs of sores, dandruff, etc. and the hair loss is throughout my whole head (not patchy). I have colored my hair for a few years now and don't feel that is the cause although I have used random brands. With each hair wash, an alarming amount of hair falls off. What do you suggest I do at this point???

Avatar universal
by Jackson_Angel, Jul 09, 2008
~I'm no doctor and when this happenned to me I went back for test after test after test ~ be sure they are running all FOUR tests for Thyroid ~ OR change your doctor ~ where do you live..??..research for a Thyroid expert and not just a regular family doctor ~ AND ~ with all the research I've done I added alot of vitamins to my daily regimin and started conditioning my hair every other day with Olive Oil at night and sleeping with it on then washing it in the morning ~ I've also heard of using Tea Tree Oil, but the stuff stinks bad so I didn't do that too long ~ try not to stress about anything ~ stress does horrible things on your body ~ relax if you can ~ and if in a volatile area remove your self or let it just roll off ~ I've begun to laugh at people who irritate me instead of getting upset ~ life is too short ~ was in a high-pressure job, and after losing my Mother & Father haven't been much for getting back into the scene ~ sort of have been on a hiatis and noticed with the Olive Oil treatments and less stress my hair is thicker and growing in here & there...

I will tell you I had a problem a couple years ago with my beautician who was burning (literally) my scalp everytime she colored my hair ~ had welts and all ..itched like crazy..~ obviously I was allergic to their chemicals so I switched hairdressers and it doesn't happen anymore ~ plus I only get foils instead of the other colorings ~ it isn't as harmful to your scalp ~

I wouldn't use any over-the-counter hair colorings ~ they are less expensive but so much more harsh on your scalp & hair than at the salon ~ and in the long run is probably cheaper ~ go to a beauty supply store and get cholesterol cream for your hair too ~ seems to help ~ and I even went so far as to "eat" Coconut Oil (although it COMPLETELY GAGGED ME) ~ but I didn't see any difference after 2 months other than my skin got a little softer ~ and I would be having slight diarrhea here and there ~

Best of luck dear ~ I see you're new to this site ~ it's a wonderful forum for tons of info you're unable to get at the Doctors' offices anymore~Best of luck....~~

Avatar universal
by Jackson_Angel, Jul 09, 2008 tried Rogain years ago ~ BIG waste of time & money ~ did more research on it and if you stop more hair falls out,'s a vicious circle ~ my best advice would be the supplements ~ the vitamins I take now are:

1-Prenatal Vitamins
1-Vitamin E- 400iu
1-L-Carnatine – 500mg
2-C – 1000mg
1-CoEnzymated B-6 – 25mg
1-L-Lysine – 500mg
1-B-12 – 50mcg
1-Glucosamine – 150mg/  MSM – 1000mg / D – 1000i.u.
1-Cod Liver oil – (A-3750 i.u./D-400 i.u.)
1-Cinnamon – 1000mg
1-Folic Acid 1000mcg
1-Selenium 200mcg
1-Green Tea/C/Grape complex
1-Flaxseed/Fish Oil-2500mg
Metamucil 2caps-2x/day

...I get my vitamins @Vitacost on line ~ they're fresher ~ just make sure you tell them to ship as they have stock and not to wait for something that's out of stock because one order I waited for a full month past when my jars emptied then they finally sent them when I complained ~ but they never offered any rebates, etc...jerks... of luck!

Avatar universal
by sumit445, Dec 08, 2011
hi name is sumit ...From last 3-4 years i m suffering hair loss..i have done my medical treatment and got my serum ferritin as 42.2. as per the doctors this value is ok but i have learned in many sites that it should be 70 to regrow new hair.can any body pls tell me if i have really iron deficieny in my body ??????

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