Diabetes and hair loss

In the case of unbalanced diabetes, some people suffer from diffuse hair loss. Few diabetologists are concerned about this symptom, which is not vital and which they regard as a "cosmetic" sign of the disease. But for patients who are already finding it difficult to come to terms with their diabetes, a hair loss problems is experienced as an additional difficulty they could have done without. This dossier is aimed at them.


Your hair is gradually thinning and weakening, growing more slowly and then falling out more than usual. This hair loss is of the "telogen effluvium" type, i.e. diffuse and all over the head. Depending on the case, its intensity can range from moderate to abundant, with some women complaining of "handfuls" of hair loss.


But beware: to treat hair loss effectively, you need to determine the cause. And to get it right, you need to be certain of the origin of your hair loss. Many factors can come into play: hereditary, medication, lack of iron... to name only the most common. Clearly, before blaming your diabetes, we recommend that you do the following diagnose your hair. This will allow you to proceed by elimination and ensure, for example :

1° That it is not a androgenetic alopecia the most common form of alopecia, accounting for more than 95% of cases in men and almost 90% of cases in women.

2° That it is not a thyroid complication, which is often linked to diabetes mellitus and can be detected by a blood test. Thyroid dysfunction alone can lead to significant hair loss. See our dossier Thyroid problems and hair loss.



The first cause cited to explain how diabetes can cause hair loss is a deficiency in blood circulation. In diabetic patients whose blood sugar levels are not yet, or no longer, balanced, the blood does not sufficiently irrigate the cells of the hair follicle, the casing in which the hair root is housed. Under-supplied with the vital nutrients they need from the bloodstream, hair can no longer grow, develop and renew itself normally, especially if hyperglycaemia attacks are frequent.

PLEASE NOTE: A silent disease (nearly 600,000 people in France are thought to suffer from it without being detected), type 2 diabetes can sometimes even be diagnosed when you experience unexplained hair loss. A simple blood test with a blood sugar level must then be taken to confirm the hypothesis. If the fasting level is equal to or greater than 1.26 g/L (or 7 mmol/L), diabetes is confirmed*.

*According to the Bulletin Épidémiologique Hebdomadaire (published in November 2008), 2.5 million people in France suffered from diabetes in 2007, representing 4 % of the population. This figure, which is rising steadily, is thought to be due to the increase in obesity and the ageing of the population.


Coping with diabetes and the life constraints it brings is often a source of chronic anxiety, or even depression. This is why day-to-day stress is another cause cited as a possible accelerator of hair loss. This is all the more true because hair loss is often seen as the most visible sign of the disease, the one that cannot be hidden from the eyes of others and which can quickly lead to a drop in morale and self-confidence. It's a circular process: stress triggers hair loss, which triggers stress, which triggers further hair loss... Stress and hair loss


If you want to regain beautiful hair and counteract hair loss, the first thing to do is to balance your diabetes by scrupulously following your GP's prescriptions (diet, exercise, anti-diabetic medical treatment, etc.). As far as nutrition is concerned, we also recommend that you click on this link Diet and hair loss.
The general recommendations made in the first part of this dossier also apply to diabetics: they are based on monitoring the glycaemic index.


It is an essential adjunct to your basic diabetes treatment. In your case, your hair follicles need help to make up for their lack of blood supply. Local treatment will "boost" the irrigation of your hair roots and provide them with the nutrients they absolutely need to stabilise hair loss, restore normal growth rate and strengthen their vigour: Clauderer anti-hair loss treatment.

Jean-François Cabos

Jean-François Cabos is the creator of a unique hair care method based on the research he coordinated, which led to the publication of the book "Cheveux, Racines de Vie" with Hélène Clauderer by Robert Laffont (Collection "Réponses/ Santé").

  • Thank you so much for this article, it is the very first source that explains the causes of my hair loss. Thank you for sharing this, my doctor doesn't give me details/explanations like this. Thank you very much.

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