Ferritin is known to protect the skin against UV radiation, stimulates growth of blood vessels, helps in healing process and reduces hair loss and promotes regrowth of hair. This article discussed about what is a good ferritin level for hair growth?
Ferritin is a type of protein present in the body which stores iron and uses when it is necessary. Ferritin does a number of functions like production of red blood cells, detoxification by inhibiting the reactive oxygen species, regulate other minerals like zinc, cadmium, etc. and also helps to maintain equilibrium iron, overload and deficiency. Ferritin is indeed good for hair growth. Knowing about the stages of hair growth can help to understand about the good ferritin level for hair growth.
Hair grows from the follicle or root. It is situated under the skin. The nutrients for hair are supplied by the blood vessels that are present at the base of the follicle. Hair grows through the following stages-
Anagen Phase- It is the phase where the hair actually grows. It may last for 2 to 7 years. The length of the hair is determined by the duration of this phase.
Catagen Phase- It is a transitional phase between growth and hair fall. It may last about 10 days. Gradually the size of hair follicle is decreased and detachment from the dermal papilla takes place.
Telogen Phase- This is the resting phase that usually lasts for 3 months. At a given time, around 15% of hair of a normal individual will be in this stage. These are the old hair which will be in resting period and allows the new hair to grow.
Exogen Phase- It is known as shedding phase where the detachment and shedding of old hair takes place. Normal rate of hair shedding is found to be 50 to 150 hairs per day for a healthy individual on an average.
This background of a person with hair fall complaints helps a trichologist to address the problems related to hair and its growth.
What is a Good Ferritin Level for Hair Growth?
As iron is stored in ferritin protein, iron deficiency is managed by ferritin. During severe cases, if the deficiency of iron is not treated in time, it may lead to depletion of ferritin level too. This condition causes hair loss as iron is necessary for maintaining healthy hair. Iron deficiency causes reduction of ferritin level which is found in hair follicles in the process of maintaining a balance between stored and circulating iron.
It is estimated that the ferritin level is necessary for arresting hair fall and also needed for regrowth of hair. So, let us know what is a good ferritin level for hair growth? The normal ferritin level for women would be 20 ng/ml to 200 ng/ml, whereas, some trichologists say that at least 40 ng/ml is necessary for stopping hair fall. Some researchers have found out that an optimum level of 70 ng/ml is required for hair regrowth. From many studies, it is understood that thyroid function is also managed by ferritin, and optimum level for this is 90 – 110 ng/ml.
It is also true that based on individual health concerns, it would be necessary to assess the good ferritin level for hair growth. The most suited dose is best advised by the treating physician and regular assessment can help.
Factors that Influence Hair Growth
There are many factors that influence the growth of hair. Some of them are climate, age, vitamins and minerals, exercise, stress, rest, sleep, genes, health issues, scalp and hair condition, lifestyle, hair products and also diet. One more very important factor that influences hair growth is level of ferritin, storage of iron. An individual may not be anemic but they might be having low ferritin level.
As mentioned earlier, the more the duration of anagen and telogen phases, the more the growth and healthier the hair would be. These phases actually depend upon the level of ferritin.
Normally, on an average, 80 to 100 strands of hair may be shed in a healthy individual. If hair loss is unusual and crossing this range, it is a matter of concern. Some people may complain that they do not have hair growth at all. This indicates that the duration of anagen phase is reduced. Hair may fall prematurely. The causes for hair loss might be stress, autoimmune disease, inheritance and hypothyroidism. There are different types of hair loss categorized based on the cause. Androgenetic alopecia, alopecia areata and telogen effluvium are some of the types of hair loss.
How to Increase Ferritin Level?
There is a direct relationship between the circulating iron in the body and the stored iron in ferritin. Hence it is important to increase the level of iron which in turn increases ferritin level. Here are some of the ways to increase iron level and hence ferritin level-
Including foods containing the “heme” iron supplements which are better absorbed by the body. It is present in animal products. Some of the foods are liver, beef, turkey, and chicken.
Iron in nonheme form in plants also may be included. It is found in foods like beans, nuts, spinach, and green leafy vegetables. Compared to heme form, the nonheme form has lesser degree of absorption.
Including foods which help in better absorption of iron in the diet like citrus fruits, and food containing vitamin C.
Sometimes, iron rich foods are not sufficient. In such cases, doctors may advice digestive enzymes, high dose probiotics, liver pills and also iron supplements. In some extreme deficient conditions, intravenous iron is also advised by the doctor when the patient is not able to take iron orally. All these depend on whether there is a good ferritin level for hair growth.
Good ferritin level is always desirable for maintaining healthy hair. Regrowth of hair is promoted and hair fall is avoided if the optimum level of ferritin is maintained. Since ferritin level can be increased by increasing the iron supplements in the diet, more and more iron rich foods are to be included in the diet. Any iron supplements, be it in the form of tablets or any other form must not be taken without doctor’s advice. Sometimes, iron supplements (oral) may cause constipation and gastrointestinal upset. Moreover, iron supplements do not cure baldness; although they might be helpful to some extent in an indirect way. Instead, it is the best thing to include the iron rich foods in the diet and also to include the foods which support iron absorption.
To know what is a good ferritin level for hair growth in your case, it is important to seek medical for detailed evaluation. Other medical conditions like hormone issues, thyroid problems, etc. too have an impact on hair growth. However, with proper medical advice and a planned healthy diet, you can have healthy hair and maintain good health too.
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