What causes hair loss? Could it be weight loss? Many of us woman jump start our weight loss with, you guessed it, a large change in our personal lives. We are religiously working out, sweating in the gym for hours at a time, only to recharge with a small snack found in our diet program. Our caloric intake is slashed, and our bodies needs have grown. And what suffers? YOUR GORGEOUS MANE.
Summer is almost here! Women everywhere are researching diets that can get them slim and trim quickly. Do not be fooled, rapid weight loss will bring on negative side effects, mainly malnutrition and hair loss. Choosing a low calorie diet without proper research could increase these negative side effects linked to hair loss and premature graying. We don’t want that. Understanding the connection between your diet and the dietary needs for hair growth and maintenance will prevent thinning and premature graying of your hair.
Why Is My Hair Falling Out?
The body needs vitamins and minerals to do its job right. Poor dieting habits can wreak havoc on your hair, impairing its growth power. When picking a diet, be aware that most low-calorie diets will not contain the right number of vitamins and minerals to keep the body running properly. Hair growth is directly linked to diet, to understand this concept let’s get scientific.
There are two phases hair naturally goes through at the same time; growth (Anagen) and rest (Telogen). During the phase of growth, 90% of hair strands are growing and usually continue to grow for 2 or 3 years. The resting phase affects 10% of hair strands and stays around 3-6 months. This is necessary to shed old hair and replace it with new and stronger hair strands. Both phases work in sync to keep hair strong and healthy.
Hair bulbs are the “pockets” that hair strands emerge from, they are made of protein and iron. The term for “stored iron” is Ferritin. Ferritin is iron the body has stored away for a rainy day, and it’s stored in the hair bulb. If the body is not getting enough iron from the diet for essential tissue like the heart, it will deplete these stores causing hair to shed before it can grow. Choosing a diet with iron rich vegetables and nuts is crucial for keeping the Growing and Resting phases functioning properly.
How to Stop Losing Hair: The Causes of Woman’s Hair Loss
Thinning hair can be a signal that this body isn’t healthy! It takes time to become deficient in vitamins and minerals. This loss of hair won’t happen overnight.
Here are the two main causes of hair loss:
- Poor dieting habits. This is an easy fix and this is not something to stress about. Healthy hair can and will come back fast with simple changes to your diet. A list of vitamins and minerals at the bottom of the post will help to regain healthy hair back in no time.
- Underlying health issues. This is not an easy fix and there are several causes to go over.
Iron-deficiency Anemia – a health issue that affects the amount of oxygen your red blood cells receive. When the body is iron deficient, the organs in the body aren’t receiving enough oxygen. Stored iron is robbed to keep other tissues functioning properly. If suffering from serious hair loss has coupled with developing of more silver strands than you could expect, contact a doctor and have him check your iron levels. If iron levels aren’t low enough to be considered “Anemic”, adding red meat, beans, leafy greens, and nuts will be enough to start hair follicle regrowth. But, anyway, stay away from iron fortified grain products. We are trying to keep the weight off not pack it back on!
Thyroid. Hyper or Hypothyroidism that goes unchecked can be an underlying cause of hair loss, as the thyroid balances hormones in the body. If hormone levels are off, they can cause more hair to fall into the resting phase. Hair will start thinning or balding during this time. Before the doctor checks thyroid levels, ask them to check Ferritin levels. When your ferritin levels are right, the hair takes full advantage of the growing phase. When the body is low in ferritin, it will take it from the hair bulb and use it elsewhere, leaving hair without a good foundation to start regrowth.
B-12 Deficiency. This has been linked to hair loss in the past but new information has shown that it may not be the culprit of hair loss but hair changes instead. Actually this could be the cause of gray hair. Vitamin B-12 taken daily with other dietary supplements will resolve this health issue.
Vegetarianism. Many women have opted for a vegan diet. The essential proteins easily received from animal products are off the menu for vegans. When choosing a diet like this, be ready to research. Zinc is important in the process of hair growth, and for vegetarians it is found in large amounts in wheat bran, beans, nuts, and seeds. If choosing this diet for a long term, it will be necessary to invest in supplements containing vitamin B-12 and Iron. Staying away from soy is important, soy products can trigger issues with thyroid regulation causing more hair loss. Consume enough legumes for ample lysine intake. See below.
How to Stop Hair Falling Out
Essential amino acids are just that. Essential. Non-essential vitamins are made in the body, essential amino acids are received through diet. One of these essential amino acids is L-Lysine. This basic amino acid can stop hair growth completely if it is not consumed on a regular basis. Collagen is a main component that forms the hair, and collagen relies completely on L-Lysine. When collagen cannot be formed, the hair cannot grow. Understanding the importance of essential vitamins and minerals for hair growth is vital to your hair health.
Protein. A protein is made up of a long chain of amino acids. These molecules are crucial in all functions of the body. Hair growth is one of these functions, and hair is composed of protein fiber. Without protein hair will become brittle, drab, and stop its regrowth. Again, when picking a diet, you must be wise. Vegetarians that do not consume animal products must be extremely vigilant when choosing their protein sources. If the body is lacking in protein, it will save protein for vital body functions and shift the growing hair into the resting phase.
Vitamins for Hair Loss and Hair Health
Now we are going to show you how to stop losing hair or prevent this issue in future while losing weight. We have some tips and tricks to help you karate kick that thinning hair problem to the curb!
Calculate your protein intake. Take a serious look at your diet. You can find protein calculators online that will ask for your weight, height, gender, and activity level. I used this one here. Once you’ve calculated the amount of protein your body needs, start finding simple ways to provide that nutrition. One scoop of Egg White Protein Powder contains up to 30 G of protein. That is a large amount and it will keep all your systems working properly and hair will grow back more beautiful than ever.
Find vitamin supplements. Choose the ones that contain amino acids like L-lysine that is involved in hair growth. Look for vitamin supplements with the following:
- Vitamin C. This is important in absorption of other vitamins needed for hair health. A powdered form is offered for those who have problems swallowing pills.
- B Vitamins. A simple B-100 complex will do the job. Take it with meals.
- Vitamin E.
- Vitamin A.
- Vitamin D.
After a strenuous workout, refuel with FAT. Omega 3 fats are easily found and very important for your diet. Fish, Leafy Veggies, Coconut Oil (unrefined) are simple ways to get your fats in to help you absorb other vitamins more efficiently.
See this post for more in-depth information on why these vitamins are essential for hair health.
Weight loss and hair loss are connected. Beautiful hair can be a great indicator of overall health. With summer approaching, find a diet that is not lacking in protein or iron to lose weight and keep that hair healthy and long.