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Using Protein to Prevent Hair Loss

Using Protein to Prevent Hair Loss
Dr. Constance Odom, MD Picture of Dr. Constance Odom, MD

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Written by our editorial team.

Last Edited 5 min read

For those that deal with male pattern baldness, receding hairlines, or thin patches around the scalp, you may be desperate to find a cure for your hair loss. Losing your hair can cause embarrassment, frustration, and even exhaustion as you lie awake at night wondering what you are doing wrong. Through some loss can be attributed to genetic causes, there are also several lifestyle factors that can influence how much and how quickly your hair falls out.

The Basics of Baldness

Noted medications like chemotherapy and radiations are linked to balding, but so can be the use and abuse of illicit drugs. Aging is a genetic influence of loss, but so are dysfunctional habits of pulling and tugging on hair strands when nervous or bored. Prolonged experiences of stress can also cause your hair to fall out, as can living in an environment where pollution is high. Poor hygiene habits can weaken your hair strands, causing them to fall out more quickly, and poor dietary habits can contribute to loss as well. For this reason, crash diets can wreak havoc on the strength and growth of your hair. Each strand of hair is carefully cultivated from a hair follicle, which relies on a steady supply of nutrients to function properly. When these follicles are denied the needed supplements, you may experience more drying, thinning, and breakage than normal.

A Proactive Prevention for Balding

As a way to counteract a potential loss of hair, many have considered improving their intake of certain nutrients as a preventive measure. In particular, beefing up your protein intake may be related to the strength and longevity of your hair. Protein is vital to the growth of tissue within the cells of your body, including the cells that comprise your hair, nails, and skin. Almost 85% of your hair is made up of the protein keratin, and the dietary protein you consume contributes to the growth phase of your hair. Though not necessarily prevention against falling out, logically speaking, if you have healthy hair that is fed with enough protein, it should reduce the amount of loss you experience (at least that can be attributed to dietary influence).

The Diet of Hair Champions

Modifying your diet can have a profound impact on your hair health. The following foods aren’t just good for a healthy waistline, but they also strengthen and grow your hair.

  1. Carrots. These colorful orange vegetables are full of Vitamin A and provide nourishment for the scalp. With a healthy scalp, you can keep your hair moisturized and shiny, which not only looks great but lasts longer too.
  2. Prunes. These tiny little fruits aren’t just for those looking to stay regular as they age. For hair that is dry, stiff, thin, or discolored, you may be suffering from a lack of iron in your diet. Prunes are full of iron, which will help improve the overall quality of your hair. You can also find iron in green leafy vegetables and beetroots.
  3. Green Peas. Since these were rarely a childhood favorite, green peas don’t often find their way to the dinner table on a regular basis. This is a shame since these little veggies contain a strong balance of minerals and vitamins like zinc, iron, and B group vitamins.
  4. Oats. Doctors often recommend oats to improve your fiber intake as a way to improve the health of your heart and digestive tract. However, oats also have a high concentration of essential nutrients like omega-6 fatty acids, zinc, and iron. Your hair relies on omega-6 fatty acids for normal growth and development. You can only get these fatty acids through your diet, so try to at least eat a bowl of high-quality oatmeal a few days each week.
  5. Shrimp. Dieticians and health experts recommend that you reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke when you limit your consumption of red meat. However, this can make it harder to get enough protein in your diet. Seafood, and shrimp, in particular, is a good substitute for red meats. Shrimp have a high concentration of iron, Vitamin B12, and zinc, all of which play a crucial part in the prevention of hair loss.
  6. Low-Fat Dairy. Too much dairy can increase your accumulation of belly fat, but low-fat dairy products like yogurt and skim milk promote healthy hair growth. These products contain calcium, which is an important mineral for both strong bones and hair. Dairy is an easy addition to your daily diet, whether you have cottage cheese with your breakfast fruits or still some granola into a cup of yogurt for an afternoon snack.


Armed with the right information, you can take preventative steps to avoid a catastrophe with your hair. Feed your hair with a diet rich in vitamins and minerals, and you will see your hair thrive.


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This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your physician about the risks and benefits of any treatment. Nu Image Medical may not offer the medications or services mentioned in this article.