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Why Do Vegans Experience Hair Loss? And How to Solve it?

Vegans Experience Hair Loss

Last updated on December 4th, 2023

Why do new vegans experience hair loss? If you’re asking this question, you are not alone! This is a common issue in the vegan community and I’ve heard people talk about it many times.

The good news is that it doesn’t seem to be a long-standing problem for most. The majority of vegans seem to be able to fix it quite quickly after they understand it.

Full disclosure, I’m not a doctor, a dietitian or even a vet, but I’ve done a lot of research into why new vegans experience hair loss.

If you want to find out the likely causes for this problem and how other vegans have solved it and regained their luscious mane then read on. I’m about to share exactly what you need to know about why new vegans experience hair loss and how to solve it.

Why do Vegans Experience Hair Loss or Thinning Hair?

Vegans experience hair loss and thinning hair when first becoming vegan for several different reasons. Here are three of the most common reasons.

  1. The sudden change to your diet can act as a detox, so it can take time for your body to adjust.
  2. The change to a vegan lifestyle can cause stress in the early days and stress is linked to hair loss and thinning.
  3. The body is missing some important vitamins and nutrients.
Why Do Vegans Experience Hair Loss

When you suddenly remove an array of things from your diet it can be tough on the body.

It can take time for your body to get used to the changes and for you to find the right food. So you need to find new foods that you enjoy and that give your body what it needs.

As you get used to your vegan diet, your body will begin to adjust and you will start to become more comfortable with what you can eat and how to get the right balance of food.

Stress Can Lead to Hair Loss When Starting a New Vegan Diet

Stressed out man - vegans experience hair loss

A lucky few take to the vegan diet like a duck to water, however, that isn’t the norm.

And please please don’t feel bad if your transition to a vegan diet hasn’t been easy. Many people find starting a vegan lifestyle difficult. This can be down to figuring out what foods to eat, understanding exactly what’s involved and what your body needs, the pressure it puts on your relationships, and a long list of other things too.

Starting a vegan diet can be stressful for a multitude of reasons, depending on your own circumstances. The one thing that is almost always certain is that time helps. It will all become second nature over time. The stress will be lifted and you’ll feel good about the change.

Vegan diets that lack the right vitamins and nutrients can lead to hair loss

Vitamins That Promote Healthy Hair:

Vitimin - vegans hair loss


Zinc is essential for healthy hair. Not only does it help with the growth and repair of hair tissue it also works to keep the oil glands around the follicles working at their best.

Vegan food with zinc for healthy hair:

  • Chickpeas
  • Tofu
  • Walnuts
  • Cashew nuts
  • Hemp seeds
  • Wholemeal bread
  • Quinoa


Biotin, also known as vitamin B7, can help to stimulate keratin production in hair and can increase the rate of follicle growth.

It doesn’t seem that adding a load of biotin to your diet is going to help your hair be healthy but if you have a deficiency in biotin it can be an issue, so ensuring you have enough can help.

Vegan food with biotin for healthy hair:

  • Legumes like peas, beans, and lentils
  • Mushrooms
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Bananas
  • Broccoli
  • Yeast
  • Avocados

Omega-3 fatty acids

‘Fats’ is now far from a bad word, our bodies thrive from the right kinds of fats. And this is the case for our hair too! Omega-3 fatty acids boost hair growth and add gloss. They help circulation on the scalp and this can improve hair density and create beautiful voluminous hair!

Vegan food with Omega-3 fatty acids for healthy hair:

  • Chia seeds
  • Walnuts
  • Hemp seed
  • Flaxseed
  • Avocado


Iron is extremely important for so many things to run smoothly within our bodies. And yes, iron also plays an important role when it comes to healthy hair.

Iron helps the blood to carry oxygen around your body. Oxygen is important for the growth of cells, including hair cells.

Vegan food with Iron for healthy hair:

  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Lentils
  • Tofu
  • Quinoa
  • Kidney beans
  • Dried apricots

If you want to know more about why iron is important for the body and the best vegan food for iron, check out this post – The Best Vegan Iron Sources – That Could Even Turn Iron Man Vegan!

Vitamin C

Getting the right collection of what the body needs is essential but Vitamin C is one of the most important vitamins needed for healthy hair.

Firstly, Vitamin C allows your body to absorb iron which is needed for healthy hair. Vitamin C also has an important role in the production of collagen within your body. Collagen is part of the hair structure, so having this is absolutely key to having healthy hair.

Vegan foods with Vitamin C for healthy hair:

  • Bell peppers
  • Citrus fruits
  • Broccoli
  • Strawberries
  • Tomatoes
  • Blackcurrants
  • Kiwis

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is essential to healthy skin and this includes your scalp. Having enough Vitamin E can increase capillary circulation in the scalp, helping to increase hair growth.

Vegan foods with Vitamin E for healthy hair:

  • Sunflower oil
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Red bell pepper
  • Peanuts and peanut butter
  • Spinach
  • Pumpkin

Vitamin D

Vitamin D helps in the creation of new hair follicles and keeps existing follicles healthy. Without enough Vitamin D and healthy hair follicles, your hair can not feel full and healthy.

Vegan food with Vitamin D for healthy hair:

  • Fortified foods such as cereal, soy milk and orange juice
  • Mushrooms
  • And of course sunshine


Protein is needed to build all the cells in your body, including the cells in your hair. If you don’t have enough protein in your body, this can lead to hair loss or hair damage.

Vegan food with protein for healthy hair:

  • Almonds
  • Kidney beans
  • Tofu
  • Tempeh
  • Lentils
  • Soy milk
  • Hemp seeds

Here is some more information about why our bodies need protein and the best high-protein vegan food – What Vegan Foods Are High in Protein? And Why is Protein Important?

Vitimins for healthy hair


There is some truth that vegans experience hair loss or thinning hair when beginning their diet, but this is not because a vegan diet does not allow for healthy hair.

It’s just because it can take time for your body to adjust, for you to feel confident in your change and for you to figure out exactly what your body needs.

Next, why not take a look at – Do You Lose Weight When Becoming Vegan? And What E Numbers Should Vegans Avoid?

Meet the Author

Author Bio - Sinead OCarroll - The Wondering Wandering Vegan

Meet Sinead O’Carroll: Vegan explorer, sustainability advocate and the founder of The Wondering Wandering Vegan. Embracing veganism since 2018 and vegetarianism since 2005, Sinead is armed with a Vegan Health, Nutrition and Lifestyle qualification, and is on a mission to share her passion for cruelty-free living. 

With a taste for adventure and a heart for eco-conscious choices, she’s here to prove that vegans never miss out on flavour, fun or style. Join her in enjoying the delights of a vegan-friendly world! 🌱✈️🌍
Want to know more? Check out Sinead’s About page here.

Follow me on Instagram to see all the delicious vegan food I find, the vegan and cruelty-free products I use and what I get up to as a travelling vegan.

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