Nutrition and hair

Clin Dermatol. 2010 Jul-Aug;28(4):412-9. doi: 10.1016/j.clindermatol.2010.03.038.


Healthy-appearing hair is a sign of excellent general health, as well as good hair care practices. Most healthy individuals have adequate nutrients in their diet; however, many people do not have access to good nutrition, and others have medical illnesses that predispose them to nutritional deficiency. This is often reflected in changes of scalp and, at times, body hair. Malnutrition, congenital heart disease, neuromuscular disease, chronic illnesses, malignancy, alcoholism, and advanced age can cause hair to change color, be weakened, or lost. Recognition of the populations at risk for vitamin deficiency is the first step to their detection. Changes in skin and hair can provide clues to the presence of an underlying vitamin deficiency.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Avitaminosis / diagnosis
  • Child
  • Diet
  • Female
  • Hair / physiology*
  • Hair Diseases / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Malnutrition / complications*
  • Nutritional Physiological Phenomena / physiology*
  • Risk