Could my diet be the cause of my thinning hair? I began a diet six months ago and have dropped 87 pounds, only 13 to go! But there’s a problem: My hair has started to fall out, and now my scalp is visible. Why?

The most common cause of hair loss for dieters is an iron shortfall, which can be triggered by weight-loss plans that limit foods like meats or eggs due to calorie or cholesterol concerns. This fallout can be reversed by increasing iron intake to at least 8 mg daily. But since supplements can create the risk of iron overload, I recommend relying on waist-friendly food sources such as spinach (3.2 mg per 1/2 cup), beans (4 to 6 mg per cup), pumpkin seeds (5 mg per 1/4 cup) and blackstrap molasses (3 mg per tablespoon). To double the body’s iron absorption, consume these foods with vitamin C-rich fare like tomatoes.

That said, shortages of other nutrients like zinc and biotin can also cause hair loss, as can thyroid issues. So if you don’t notice fuller hair within four weeks, see your doctor for testing.

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