Whey Protein and Hair Loss

Although hair loss is inevitable for some, it can be prevented in other cases. Eating a well-balanced nutritious diet is one way to help prevent some forms of hair loss. Whey protein is a high-quality complete protein commonly used in protein shakes and can be part of any nutritious meal plan to prevent malnutrition-related hair loss.



According to the American Academy of Dermatology, heredity is the most common cause of hair loss. Other causes may include stress, hormonal changes, having a baby, certain diseases, some cancer treatments, poor hair care practices, some medications and a poor diet. The American Academy of Dermatology also reports that consuming a diet too low in protein can lead to hair loss.


Consuming enough dietary protein each day can help prevent hair loss due to protein malnutrition. The Institute of Medicine established minimum daily requirements called recommended dietary allowances or RDAs for all essential nutrients including protein. The protein RDA for adults is 71 grams for pregnant and nursing women, 56 grams for adult men and 46 grams per day for adult women. Due to increased energy needs and muscle mass, athletes may require more protein on a daily basis compared to sedentary individuals. High-protein foods include whey protein drinks, meat, fish, poultry, yogurt, cheese and soy products.

Nutrition Information

Whey is a protein commonly found in dairy products such as milk and protein shakes. One cup of cow’s milk provides about 8 grams of protein. One scoop of chocolate flavored whey protein powder provides 20 grams of protein.

Groups at Risk

Although most Americans consume more protein than they need, some groups of people may be at risk for developing hair loss caused by malnutrition. These groups may include vegans, bariatric surgery patients, people with eating disorders, people on special low-calorie diets and people with malabsorption syndrome. Consuming whey protein on a daily basis may help prevent a protein deficiency, even when you’re consuming few calories.


In addition to consuming adequate amounts of protein each day, the American Academy of Dermatology recommends avoid consuming excess vitamin A, consume plenty of iron and maintain good hair care practices. Frequent permanents, bleaching, hair dyes, excess heat, vigorous brushing and frequent tightly pulled hair can all cause breakage and may lead to preventable hair loss.


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This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.