Diet and hair loss: effects of nutrient deficiency and supplement use.
Patients presenting with hair loss should be screened by medical history, dietary history and physical exam for risk factors for nutrient deficiency. If warranted, laboratory studies may be performed. In patients with no risk factors, further laboratory evaluation searching for nutritional deficiencies is not warranted. For patients with nutritional deficiencies, it is clear that those deficiencies should be corrected. Further research is required to determine whether any benefit exists for nutrient supplementation in the absence of documented deficiency. At this time, patients must be informed that such research is lacking and that in fact some supplements carry the risk of worsening hair loss or the risk of toxicity.