Vegan diets have become increasingly popular in recent years, with the number who shun dairy, meat and other animal products rising by 360 per cent between 2006 and 2016.
A number of celebrity fans – such as Casey Affleck, Beyonce and Jared leto – and health claims, including weight loss and longevity, have caused many to drastically alter their eating habits.
However, ditching meat could mean missing out on vital nutrients for hair growth.
Foods such as red meat, pork and poultry are rich in iron, and a deficiency in the mineral can speed up hair loss.
Vegan diet warning: Shunning animal products has grown popular in recent years
“There are lots of factors causing hair loss in men,” said Dr Hilary Jones, a GP.
Hair loss could be genetic, due to skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema, a thyroid issue but also because of nutritional deficiencies.
“It could be genetic, due to skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema, a thyroid issue but also because of nutritional deficiencies.
“Iron deficiency is a factor in hair loss since it’s necessary for hair growth.
“With a lot of people shunning meat – possibly due to vegan and vegetarian diets – it is possible people are missing out on the nutrient.
Vegan diet warning: You can get iron from plant sources like spinach
“It is possible to consume enough iron on such diets, but it’s more difficult and easy to not get enough.”
Other sources of iron include spinach, beans and dried fruit.
According to the NHS, it is recommended men get 8.7mg a day.
Dr Jones’s comments come as new research reveals the phycological impact of hair loss on young men.
The relationship between genetics and hair loss explained
Vegan diet warning: Half of men usually experience some hair loss by the age of 50
It is estimated that around 50 per cent of men will lose some hair by the age of 50, with many suffering from an even earlier age.
Research carried out by Asda Pharmacy revealed that 38 per cent of those under 35 said their hair loss made them feel depressed.
Additionally, 26 per cent admitted it made them more prone to drinking and drug taking.
As well as consuming enough iron, Dr Jones also recommends finasteride oral supplements for men experiencing hair loss.
It works by regulating the production of dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which can harm hair follicles.