Iodine. The first thing that comes to your mind when anyone mentions this mineral is salt. But, did you know it is also an essential nutrient for hair growth? Yes, you heard that right! Iodine (along with iron, zinc, and magnesium) is a micronutrient that plays a major role in not only the growth of your hair but also the growth and development of all the organs and tissues in your body. Who knew that such an obscure element plays such a huge role in the health of your hair, huh? I am not sure until I started researching it myself. And what I discovered about the relationship between iodine and hair loss shocked me. So here’s all that I found out about iodine for hair growth. Iodine deficiency can cause hair loss.
Benefits Of Iodine For Hair Growth
The idea of a micronutrient like iodine being so essential to the growth and health of your hair may be mind-boggling to some but there’s some pretty solid scientific reasoning behind it. Here are all the ways that iodine promotes hair growth process:
- This may surprise you, but the functioning of your thyroid has a significant effect on your hair. This is because the thyroid gland uses iodine to produce thyroxine and triiodothyronine that dictate the rate of growth, thickness, texture, and color of your hair. Therefore, any thyroid disorder caused by an iodine deficiency can lead to dry and rough hair. This is one of the most common causes of hair loss among women.
- Iodine has some excellent anti-bacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal properties that fight any infections that could be developing around your hair follicles and causing hair fall.
- Iodine combats a variety of hair problems like dryness, hair fall, and premature greying.
- It also plays a role in strengthening your hair from the roots and making it thick.
[ Read: Ways To Combat Thyroid ]
Symptoms Of Hair Loss Due To Iodine Deficiency
Since iodine plays such a huge role in maintaining the health of your hair, its deficiency will have some detrimental effect on your hair. Here are a few hair-related symptoms that could be caused by a shortage of iodine in your body.
- A reduction in volume and thinning of hair
- Hair starting to get coarser
- Premature greying
- Appearance of bald spots in areas that used to be covered with hair
Along with these hair-related symptoms, there are some other symptoms you might experience that could confirm that you have an iodine deficiency. These include:
- Extreme weight gain
- Dry skin
- Muscle pain
- Excessive sweating
- Swelling of wrists and ankles
- Reduced sleep (insomnia)
- Heightened cholesterol levels
- Rapid heartbeat
- Anxiety and panic attacks
Surely, these are some pretty serious symptoms and bound to cause more than a little discomfort. So, your next course of action needs to be to get some iodine in your diet and on your hair ASAP. Keep reading to see what you need to do next.
[ Read: Effective Home Remedies For Goiter ]
How To Stop Iodine Deficiency-Related Hair Loss
The quickest and most effective way to stop hair fall caused by iodine deficiency is to use white (decolorized) iodine. When applied topically on areas that are experiencing hair loss, white iodine can get absorbed into your scalp and enter your bloodstream to boost hair growth. It has shown promising results in treating bald spots caused by alopecia. Another way it combats hair fall is by attacking any fungal infection that could be feeding on your hair follicles and weakening your hair. So, here’s a simple way that you can use it…
What You Need
- White iodine (It comes in a bottle in liquid form and is easily available in drugstores)
What To Do
- Wash your hair as usual and let it air dry.
- Once your hair and scalp are completely dry, apply some white iodine on areas that are experiencing hair loss.
- Gently massage it into your scalp to ensure maximum absorption.
- If using white iodine directly on your scalp causes irritation, dilute in a couple of tablespoons of water before applying it.
- Repeat this application every day to see effective results. You can also apply white iodine twice a day on areas that have too much hair loss.
Iodine Rich Foods
Though white iodine can treat hair loss and aid hair growth to an extent, you still need to address the iodine deficiency in your body to fully solve your hair troubles. And the only way to do that is by adding iodine to your diet. Here are a few iodine-rich foods that you can start eating!
- Iodized salt: Iodized salt (and make sure that it explicitly says iodized salt on the packaging) is the most convenient source of sodium and iodine that is essentially needed to prevent hair loss and baldness caused by hypothyroidism.
[ Read: Home Remedies to Treat Hypothyroidism ]
- Sesame seeds: Primarily, sesame seeds contain iodine that boosts hormone production in the thyroid that aids hair growth. They are also rich in vitamins B1 and B6 and omega-3 fatty acids that are great for the health of your hair and scalp.
- Oysters and shrimp: These shellfish are great sources of iodine, as well as zinc.
- Codfish: Codfish and the oil derived from it contain high concentrations of iodine.
- Garlic: Not only is garlic a rich source of iodine, but it also contains sulfur and a host of other anti-inflammatory agents that boost hair growth.
- Dairy products: You can get your daily allowance of iodine from dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt.
- Dried seaweed: Dried seaweed like kelp, nori, and wakame are great sources of iodine.
Some other sources of iodine include:
- Himalayan crystal salt
- Tuna fish
- Baked potato
- Navy beans
- Green beans
[ Read: Top 10 sources of iodine ]
Though increasing your iodine intake may sound pretty easy, you still need to keep some things in mind to avoid running into more serious problems. Here are a few tips that you need to keep in mind!
- Check online or ask your physician to find out how much iodine you need to consume daily according to your age and weight. This is especially important because consuming too much iodine can cause hives, enlarged lymph nodes, and even internal bleeding.
- Avoid getting on a low-calorie diet as it invariably leads to iodine deficiency and can cause thyroid problems.
- Try to buy organic and fresh fruits and vegetables as much as possible.
So, now that you know how important iodine is for maintaining your hair’s health, don’t you want to immediately stick up your fridge with all the iodine-rich foods that you can get your hands on? I am sure you do! So comment below to let us know how you plan on going about loading up on this amazing nutrient!
Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions
Can too much iodine cause hair loss?
No, too much iodine cannot cause hair loss. But it can lead to more serious problems like swollen lymph nodes, internal bleeding, goiter, thyroid gland inflammation, and thyroid cancer.
What are the side effects of taking too much iodine?
Side effects of taking too much iodine include nausea, headache, stomach pain, diarrhea, runny nose, and a metallic taste in the mouth.
Is thyroid-related hair loss reversible?
Yes, thyroid-related hair loss is reversible as it can be treated by stabilizing thyroid hormone levels.
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