As an ex Hairdresser and trained Tricholgist, when I started to loose my hair and my eyebrows I was so alarmed and it caused me massive self esteem issues. I’d always had thick curly hair and most of my life I wished for thinner hair and spent hours straightening and flattening it so it wasn’t so big. Suddenly I was adding volume and putting rollers in to to make it seem big . . .
At the same time I and lost a lot of weight and was very malnutritioned due to by body failing me with Hypothyroidism, Adrenal Fatigue and Mast Cell Disease so it was not a surprise.
But recently as I’m returning to health my weight is equalising, my body and cells are healthy so my hair has started growing thick and strong and my eye brows are there!!
It made me want to share with you all why this happens and how you can stop or prevent it if it’s happening to you. It can range from the simple and temporary issue like a vitamin deficiency, to the more complex like an underlying health condition.
Firstly I think the best way to look at it is your blood carries nutrients to each cell in your body, and if your under stress or have inflammation the body concentrates on the vital organs and fighting inflammation. So the hair, skin and nails are not as import and and tend to be the first thing the suffer. Which is why ladies when you are pregnant your blood supple increases and you have thick luscious hair and your nails grow like crazy and then you have baby and the body goes into repair and feeding mode and your hair nails and skin suffer. It’s not far I know . . .
Your hair goes through life cycles too and will not always be the same, for example hair has a programmed life cycle, a growth phase, rest phase and shedding phase. It also sheds more in the Autumn/Winter again due to the blood supple, and as does your skin loose more layers. But if outside of these normal stages you are thinning and its not normal you may want to look at the following to see if you have an underlying issue that may be causing your hair loss.
- Thyroid Function (Hypothyroidism or Hyperthyroidism: Hair, nails, and skin may become more brittle and break more easily if your thyroid is producing to many hormones or not enough hormones. 90% of hair loss in women is to do with their thyroid. A blood test will determine this and i’d advise that if your have more than a few symptoms of either Hypothyroidism or Hyperthyroidism, but your test result come back in the ‘normal range’ to take them to a Naturopath as you can be out of range but still have issues.
- Iron Levels: Women who have heavy periods or don’t eat enough iron-rich foods may be prone to iron deficiency especially after child birth. This is because the blood doesn’t have enough red blood cells and red blood cells transport oxygen to cells throughout your body, giving you the energy you need which is why it can cause extreme fatigue, weakness, and pale skin. You may also notice headaches, difficulty concentrating, cold hands and feet, and hair loss. Ask you Doctor for a blood test to measure ferritin, the protein that stores iron in your body, is usually needed to diagnose iron-deficiency anaemia. By eating iron-rich foods such as beef, pork, fish, leafy greens preferably, along with foods rich in vitamin C, which enhances iron absorption. And steering clear of food that prohibit iron being absorbed like dairy, alcohol, coffee and black tea, soy, and eggs (not to say you can’t eat these but just don’t pare them with iron rich foods have them as stand alone foods.)
- Inflammation: Inflammation on the body can cause each cell to be under stress and causes scalp and skin issues like seborrheic dermatitis (dandruff), psoriasis fungal infections. By healing your gut you will reduce inflammation in the body and repair your scalp and skin. See my post of healing Leaky Guts.
- Iodine, zinc and magnesuim levels: The thyroid gland relies on iodine to make the hormones necessary for the growth of healthy hair, teeth and bones. When we are deficient in these nutrients, such as iodine, magnesium and zinc the health of our hair can suffer, leading to hair weakness or total hair loss. Taking a safe nascent iodine supplement recommended by your Naturopath or Doctor and eating iodine and zinc rich foods may boost hair health and growth, and may event prevent or reverse hair loss. it has been a massive help to me.
- Fat Malabsorption: If your bodies not absorbing important nutrients and fluids like proteins, carbohydrates and espically fats your skin and hair will suffer. The problem may be caused by inflammation or an auto-immune disease. Sometimes, the condition may be the result of the body’s failure to produce enzymes needed to digest some foods and taking digestive enzymes can help along with healing the gut lining. Talking to your doctor about taking a stool test to see if this is happening is the best choice here.
- Your diet: plays a massive part, and of course if you are not putting the good stuff in your body will not be able to function and your hair will suffer. A diet rich in greens, protein and good healthy fats is essential for good hair growth. Supplementing with iodine, magnesium, grass fed collagen and MSM will help boost hair and nail growth.
- Low B vitamins but high vitamin A: A deficiency or excess of any vitamin will upset the balance of the body but vitamin B-12 plays a big role in many parts of the body, including the liver, eyes, skin and hair. One possible symptom of vitamin B-12 deficiency is hair loss, because cells need to divide constantly to produce new hair, a process that requires production of new DNA. Without enough B-12, hair grow slows or stops and existing hair starts to fall out. Hair loss that is accompanied by symptoms of malnutrition and gastrointestinal disorders should be checked for deficiencies of several vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B-12. On the flip side to much synthetic vitamin A can cause hair loos too.
- Stress: Any kind of physical trauma, surgery, a car accident, emotional stress or trauma or a severe illness, even the flu can cause temporary hair loss. This can trigger a type of hair loss called telogen effluvium. as I said hair has a programmed life cycle, a growth phase, rest phase and shedding phase. When you have a really stressful event, it can shock the hair cycle, (pushing) more hair into the shedding phase. Hair loss often becomes noticeable 3-6 months after the trauma. Which is why mothers loose hair 3-6 months after giving birth. But if this is your case your hair will go full cycle and grow back to be thick again. Mediation and self care will help balance your life and allow your body to equalise and repair.
If your hair is failing out your body is not nourished and is in need of nutrition. Please contact me and I can guide you through changing your health!