Hair is constituted almost entirely of protein, therefore it is unsurprising that much research has been conducted to establish whether or not a lack of protein in the diet could cause head hair to be lost.
In a study conducted by Harvard University the majority of American citizens consume enough protein, effectively ruling out the possibility of a widespread explanation for hair loss.
However, a protein deficiency can also be caused by the inability to effectively absorb consumed protein. Additionally, women who are expecting a baby and bodybuilding men require more protein than normal to meet the increased demand.
How can you tell if you have a protein deficiency?
A deficiency in the intake or absorption of protein can also be evidenced by a weakened immune system, anemia or depression. As far as the hair is concerned, actual hair loss is often preceded by a drying out of the hair shaft, which can make the hair very brittle.
If you feel that you are suffering from any of the above, the only way to determine for sure if a lack of protein is the cause is to visit your doctor, nutritionist or suitably qualified medical professional.
Good protein sources
Assuming that your protein deficiency is related to your intake rather than an inability of your body to properly absorb the nutrients in your food, there are many excellent sources of protein that will help to avoid this problem.
Great sources of protein include poultry such as turkey or chicken, all types of fish and meats such as pork and beef. Vegetarians can source protein from beans, nuts, grains and pulses.