• You're all caught up!

Salt & Hair Loss

author image Lynne Sheldon
Lynne Sheldon has over 12 years of dance experience, both in studios and performance groups. She is an avid runner and has studied several types of yoga. Sheldon now works as a freelance writer, editor and book reviewer. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and art history from Boston University and recently completed her Master of Fine Arts in writing from Pacific University.
Salt & Hair Loss
Salt contains iodine, which is essential for hair growth. Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images

Iodized table salt is a good source of both iodine and sodium, and these minerals are essential for many bodily functions, including hair growth. Furthermore, if you become deficient in iodine, you may develop hypothyroidism, and one of the symptoms of this condition is hair loss. On the other hand, getting too much iodine and sodium can have adverse effects on your health. Talk to your doctor about the amount of salt you should consume.


Without enough iodine, your thyroid cannot function properly, and this can lead to irregular hair growth and even loss, as well as hypothyroidism. It is rare for a person in the United States to develop a iodine deficiency, since this mineral is found in table salt. But if you do develop hypothyroidism, you may experience such symptoms as fatigue, weight gain, dry skin, muscle pain, depression and constipation, as well as thinning hair. To avoid this, adults should get between 120 and 150 mcg of iodine a day. The primary source of iodine is table salt, and you can also get it from shellfish, garlic and sesame seeds.


Salt also contains sodium, which helps your body maintain its balance of fluids, as well as transmit communications between your nerves. Additionally, your blood volume and blood pressure depend on iodine to stay regulated. This helps keep your body functioning at its best, and proper bodily health is essential for proper hair growth. However, there are no known direct associations between sodium intake and hair loss. Sodium chloride, which is found in table salt, is the most common form of sodium, and 40 percent of salt is comprised of this mineral. You should consume no more than 2,300 mg of sodium a day, which is the equivalent of 1 tsp of table salt.

Too Much Salt

While both iodine and sodium are essential for proper health and hair growth, eating too much salt and building up high levels of these minerals can be dangerous. Too much iodine can actually inhibit your thyroid's production of hormones, which can in turn result in hypothyroidism and subsequent hair loss. Getting more than between 160 and 600 mcg of iodine, or what you would consume from salt, can be harmful to your health, and doses in excess of 2,000 mcg can be toxic. More than 2,300 mg of sodium can result in high blood pressure and fluid buildup, as well as increase your risk of stroke and heart disease.

Additional Considerations

If you are experiencing hair loss, it may not be associated with your salt intake or lack thereof. Your health care provider can help determine the cause. See your doctor if you have noticed any changes in your hair growth, or if you suspect you may have a deficiency of iodine or sodium. Additionally, if you have any symptoms of hypothyroidism, seek medical attention as well, as this can be a serious condition that requires medical treatment.

LiveStrong Calorie Tracker
THE LIVESTRONG.COM MyPlate Nutrition, Workouts & Tips
  • Gain 2 pounds per week
  • Gain 1.5 pounds per week
  • Gain 1 pound per week
  • Gain 0.5 pound per week
  • Maintain my current weight
  • Lose 0.5 pound per week
  • Lose 1 pound per week
  • Lose 1.5 pounds per week
  • Lose 2 pounds per week
  • Female
  • Male
ft. in.



Demand Media