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Does Diabetes Cause Hair Loss? Causes and Treatment Options

Imagine waking up one day to find more hair on your pillow than on your head. For many of the 537 million people worldwide living with diabetes, hair thinning or hair loss is becoming a startling reality. It's a tough pill to swallow, but you're definitely not alone in this.

Join me as we dive deep into the relationship between diabetes and hair loss, explore the factors contributing to this issue, and, most importantly, provide practical tips for prevention and treatment.

Short Summary

  • Diabetes can cause hair loss due to poor blood flow, insulin resistance, and certain medications.

  • Stress and hormonal imbalances disrupt the normal hair growth cycle in people with diabetes. Poor nutrition can also lead to hair fall.

  • Managing your blood sugar levels, reducing stress & practicing gentle haircare is key to preventing diabetes-related hair loss. There are various treatment options available too!

The Connection Between Diabetes and Hair Loss

A close-up of a person's scalp showing hair loss.

Diabetes impacts various parts of the body, including our hair. Diabetes causes hair loss when elevated blood sugar levels in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes damage blood vessels, leading to poor blood flow. This, in turn, affects the supply of oxygen and nutrients to your hair follicles, resulting in hair fall and loss.

Interestingly, the type of diabetes you have can also influence hair loss patterns. Let's see how both type 1 and type 2 diabetes can impact your hair health and what you can do to minimize hair loss.

Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disorder wherein the immune system mistakenly attacks the body's cells, leading to high blood sugar levels. If you have Type 1 diabetes, you may have a condition called alopecia areata, in which your immune system attacks your hair follicles leading to hair loss.

Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes, on the other hand, is mainly characterized by insulin resistance and elevated blood sugar levels. In this case, hair loss can be attributed to stress and hormonal imbalances caused by the chronic condition. Uncontrolled blood sugar, stress, and hormone imbalances can reduce the flow of oxygen and nutrients to the hair follicles, ultimately causing hair fall and loss.

Certain medications prescribed for type 2 diabetes, such as metformin, can also indirectly affect hair loss. Metformin can interfere with the body's absorption of B vitamins. These vitamins are important for healthy hair growth and maintenance. However, supplementing with B vitamins and managing blood sugar levels can minimize the risk of hair loss.

Factors Contributing to Hair Loss in Diabetics

A bald man stressed out with hand on head

If you're losing hair due to diabetes, don't worry. Diabetes is just one piece of the puzzle in your hair loss condition, and by controlling the other factors, such as stress, hormonal imbalances, poor nutrition, and certain medications, you may reduce the risk of hair loss.

Stress and Hormonal Imbalance

Diabetes-related stress can disrupt the normal hair growth cycle, causing hair to fall out faster than usual. Chronic health issues, such as diabetes, can lead to hair loss, and hormonal imbalances, such as thyroid hormone levels getting thrown off and high cortisol, can further mess with the natural hair cycle.

Managing stress is crucial for preventing hair loss in diabetics. Relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, meditation, and prayer, can help reduce stress levels and promote a sense of calmness and peace. By maintaining a balanced state of mind, you can minimize the impact of stress on your hair health.

Poor Nutrition

photo of healthy food and hand pricking for blood sugar testing

Poor nutrition can also contribute to hair loss in diabetics. Nutrient deficiencies are known to cause hair loss. These encompass proteins, iron, zinc, biotin, copper, and essential fatty acids. Biotin, a type of vitamin B, has been shown to help slow down hair loss in some people with diabetes.

However, it is essential to consult with your doctor before taking biotin supplements, as everyone has different biotin needs, and excessive intake can cause adverse effects.

To maintain healthy hair, consume a balanced diet rich in essential vitamins and minerals. Eat high-fiber foods, fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins to keep your blood sugar levels in check and give your hair the nutrients it needs.


Some diabetes medications may cause hair loss, but it is relatively rare. As mentioned earlier, metformin can indirectly affect hair loss by depleting B vitamins.

If you suspect your medication is causing hair loss, consult your healthcare provider. They may suggest trying a different medication or other strategies to manage blood sugar levels and minimize hair loss.

Prevention Strategies for Hair Loss in Diabetics

A group doing a stress reduction technique breathing exercise

To prevent hair loss in diabetics, it's essential to manage blood sugar, reduce stress, and practice gentle hair care. By taking a proactive approach to diabetes management and hair care, you can significantly reduce hair loss and maintain healthy hair.

Let's look at some prevention strategies that can help you keep your hair healthy and strong:

Blood Sugar Management

photo of glucometer

Managing blood sugar levels is the cornerstone of preventing hair loss in people with diabetes. Keeping your blood sugar levels within the recommended range allows you to maintain healthy blood vessels and ensure an adequate supply of oxygen and nutrients to your hair follicles.

To manage your blood sugar levels and achieve blood sugar control, monitor your glucose levels regularly, adjust your diet to include high-fiber foods and lean proteins, and follow your healthcare provider's recommendations regarding medications and exercise. By staying on top of your blood sugar levels, you can minimize the impact of diabetes on your hair health.

Stress Reduction Techniques

As we mentioned earlier, stress caused by diabetes can lead to hair loss. Stress reduction techniques can help you maintain calmness and peace, preventing hair loss due to stress. Some effective stress reduction techniques include meditation, prayer, and deep breathing exercises.

In addition to these practices, maintaining a healthy lifestyle and staying connected with friends and family can help reduce stress and promote overall well-being. Remember, a healthy mind contributes to healthy hair!

Gentle Hair Care Practices

woman holding wide tooth comb

Gentle hair care practices prevent hair loss in people with diabetes. Tight hairstyles and wearing tight hats can damage hair follicles and cause hair loss, particularly in those with type 2 diabetes. This is called traction alopecia. Opt for looser hairstyles and avoid harsh chemicals and heat-styling tools to prevent damage.

Stick to gentle hair products and use a wide-toothed comb on wet hair to minimize breakage. By taking good care of your hair and scalp, you can reduce hair loss and promote healthy hair growth.

Treatment Options for Diabetes-Related Hair Loss

man applying Rogaine solution on scalp using dropper

If you're already experiencing male pattern baldness or female pattern hair loss due to diabetes, don't lose hope! There are various treatment options available that can help you manage and even treat hair loss. From topical treatments and oral medications to alternative therapies, a solution exists for you.

Topical Treatments

photo of Rogaine topical solution

Topical treatments, such as minoxidil (Rogaine), are popular over-the-counter medications that can help treat hair loss, including male pattern baldness and, in some cases, alopecia areata. These treatments are applied directly to the scalp and have been proven effective in promoting hair growth and slowing down hair loss.

Oral Medications

Oral medications like Propecia (finasteride) can also be prescribed for hair loss treatment. These medications work by inhibiting the production of hormones that can cause hair loss. However, they may have side effects, such as lowered sexual drive and difficulty getting an erection.

Talk to your healthcare provider about any potential side effects before taking oral hair loss medications. They can help you determine the best treatment plan based on your needs and medical history.

Alternative Therapies

You can explore alternative therapies like acupuncture, herbal remedies, and scalp massages. An oil massage using coconut oil is a good treatment for hair loss since it increases blood flow and stimulates hair follicles.

An Alternative Solution: Shaving Your Head

bald and bearded man holding a Freebird FlexSeries shaver

If you have diabetes and alopecia areata has started attacking your hair follicles, we need to face the reality that there is no cure for the condition mentioned.

While head shaving may not be for everyone, it's one of the best hair loss treatments you should consider.

It's a simple, cost-effective, and stylish way to treat hair loss due to diabetes.

If you decide to shave, the Freebird FlexSeries is one of the best shavers you can try out.

Why not rock your bald head with confidence while managing diabetes?


Diabetes and hair loss can be a challenging experience. The good news is that with proper diabetes management, stress reduction, gentle hair care practices, and appropriate treatment options, you can manage hair loss and maintain healthy hair.

Remember that the key to preventing hair loss if you're diabetic lies in addressing the underlying factors contributing to hair loss and taking a proactive approach toward hair care and overall health.

Now that you're equipped with valuable information and tips on tackling diabetes-related hair loss, it's time to take action and embrace a healthy lifestyle for the sake of your hair and overall well-being.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you stop hair loss from diabetes?

To prevent hair loss from diabetes, closely monitor and control blood sugar levels, eat a balanced diet, maintain a healthy weight, reduce stress, and speak to your doctor about diabetes medication that may help.

What kind of hair loss does diabetes cause?

If you have type 1 diabetes, you are prone to developing a condition called alopecia areata. This condition causes noticeable hair loss since your immune system attacks hair follicles.

Can too much sugar cause thinning hair?

Yes, too much sugar can cause thinning hair. Extreme sugar levels damage blood vessels, reducing oxygen and nutrients that reach the hair follicles, which may lead to severe hair loss if not addressed properly.

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