PDA

View Full Version : Dieting equals hair loss?



ChatNoir
September 27th, 2010, 01:52 PM
Okay, so this has been stuck on my mind for the last couple of weeks.

I am about to start a kind of "hardcore dieting" I'm really overweight and I'm going to be watched over by a nutritionist. I do know that this might lead to me losing hair. I've been shedding for some time now. My physician couldn't find anything wrong with me, so I guess it's just the season. Even so, I'm scared that I will go bald or something :(

My diet will be very strict the first months because I need to lose a pretty big amount of weight, after that I'm going to build up my everyday diet so that I'll keep my weight down.

I guess what I'm fishing for is some support. And advice too. Is me losing those extra kilos worth the supposed shed?

Tabitha
September 27th, 2010, 01:57 PM
I don't think you need necessarily lose hair to lose weight.

If what you cut out is the "rubbish" ie. sugar, white bread/flour, white rice, trans fats and you make sure that you get plenty of quality protein, good fats and colourful vegetables, your body should actually be healthier.

I'm trying to stick to a better quality of food now, in a bid to get my high cholesterol down without statins - and if I lose some more weight, that will be a bonus.

Good luck!

chloeishere
September 27th, 2010, 02:01 PM
Extreme dieting can cause hair loss, as well as lean body mass loss. I'm assuming if it's under supervision of a dietician though, they will do their best to preserve the lean mass.

Losing weight doesn't mean you are going to lose hair though. I've lost about 21 pounds (trying for about a pound a week) since April, with no abnormal shedding. I am being careful about not cutting out too much food, though. I am losing weight for health reasons, so it doesn't make sense to cause my body stress by cutting out too much necessary food!

Centaur
September 27th, 2010, 02:03 PM
I think dieting would equal hair loss only if you stop getting all the nutrients, including healthy fats, that your body and hair need. Another consideration with heavy dieting is the possible hormonal changes you will make to your body temporarily and the possible effects on hair shed and growth.

pepperminttea
September 27th, 2010, 02:07 PM
If what you cut out is the "rubbish" ie. sugar, white bread/flour, white rice, trans fats and you make sure that you get plenty of quality protein, good fats and colourful vegetables, your body should actually be healthier.

This. I'm sure your nutritionist will make sure you're getting enough of what you need to stay healthy. Incidentally, you're not alone (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/group.php?groupid=35). Good luck! :)

Krentje
September 27th, 2010, 03:55 PM
It could very well be that you will experience a change in your hair growth or some shedding: Changing your diet makes many body systems to change and that may cause a shed. On the contrary: if you make sure getting enough protein, especially early on the day, and betacarotene, it doesn't need to be so, for the longer term it would be more likely to see improvement :D.

I lost weight last spring and first noticed my hair was getting more greasy and noticed many thin ends, but as i changed my food lifestyle in healthy and regular, it seems to be better, growing faster and healthy structured. (but i am babying my hair more due to LHC, so i am not sure to which extend the nutrition had an influence).

All the best for both losing weight and maintaining beautiful hair!

NiAosSi
September 27th, 2010, 03:58 PM
I posted something in my blog so similar this morning. I feel the same way.

MsBubbles
September 27th, 2010, 04:28 PM
This is a subject with many parts to it.

(OK what the heck?! Now there's a banner ad at the top of my page with french fries in it for heaven's sake!!)

I have observed a common progression here on this board that when somebody switches their diet, i.e. goes vegetarian, or cuts out all wheat, or goes paleo or something, that they then come back to the boards three to four months later saying they're having a pretty large shed (for them). they don't immediately make the connection between that and having switched their eating habits a few months beforehand. They don't lose all their hair and sure enough, like the other perhaps diet-related shedders, their bodies and diets regulate themselves and the shedding stops after another month or so. Everything goes back to normal for them. So I have kind of developed an assumption that changing one's diet significantly might precipitate a shed. However, I don't know anything and I'm fine with being wrong about that :).

Outright hairloss due to lack of nutrients/malabsorption is another matter (I believe). This I *have* experienced and don't want to do that ever again. But that was due to an intestinal condition.

I might want to know your 'hardcore dieting' data, before saying 'yes you will shed' and 'no you won't shed'. If you're talking about less than 1,000 cals a day plus working out in some capacity - well then yeah, you probably will shed. But I agree with the others who say that you shouldn't need to go on any drastic weight loss 'diets' to lose weight. Especially not for an extended period of time.

Muscle mass contributes to keeping your metabolism kicked in, and very low calorie diets don't promote good muscle mass - they rob from it, and your hair health.

Good luck in your diet endeavour! You are not alone! But slow and steady wins the race and you get to keep your hair...

SlightlySoprano
September 27th, 2010, 04:35 PM
Have you thought about taking some vitamins (biotin, for example)? My dermatologist recommended taking biotin when I was experiencing severe hair loss, and its really helped me!

LittleOrca
September 27th, 2010, 04:43 PM
Dieting alone will not cause hair loss as long as you are getting the right nutrients in, for the most part.

However, an extreme change in nutrients did cause my hair loss. While it was a side effect of my weight loss surgery and not just a "regular" diet change, it was still a massive change in my diet. Though I was getting the nutrients I needed to get in, my hair still did shed a massive amount. about 4 months after surgery my shed was at it's peak, so much so I just did a trim on my ends to get rid of the evidence of the shed. It stopped about 6-7 months after the surgery and my head now has a little halo effect to it.

I would treat your hair gently during this phase, maybe more so than normal. That along with some other things I did kept me from losing more hair. My shed could have been a lot worse. What I did was:


Extra gentle treatment of hair
Lots of vitamins for my body & ones for my hair, like biotin
Typical LHC stuff (like not over combing, satin sleep cap, etc)
120 grams of protein a day (as recommended by my doctor to reduce the hair loss) (Premium Protein Drinks, 30g protein, chocolate flavored, available at Costco)
Switched to Nioxin/Nutriox shampoo and conditioner to help prevent hair loss.


I hope that will give you a place to start. Good luck!

Dragon
September 27th, 2010, 06:16 PM
As long as you keep an eye on you protein and make sure you get plenty of vitamins and minerals, you should be ok. I have had a lot of shedding befor when dieting but I was not eating properly.

little_cherry
September 27th, 2010, 06:39 PM
I'm dieting...well, actually I've made a total lifestyle change to lose weight and I'm not losing hair. If you make sure you don't lack in any nutrients, you'll be fine. Take a full spectrum multi vitamin if you don't think you're getting enough vitamins and minerals. Eat more protein and whole grains...increase your water intake, too! Hair and nails love water.

I've lost a little over 20lbs.

Good luck!

Dragon
September 27th, 2010, 10:26 PM
I'm dieting...well, actually I've made a total lifestyle change to lose weight and I'm not losing hair. If you make sure you don't lack in any nutrients, you'll be fine. Take a full spectrum multi vitamin if you don't think you're getting enough vitamins and minerals. Eat more protein and whole grains...increase your water intake, too! Hair and nails love water.

I've lost a little over 20lbs.

Good luck!

Congrats on your weight loss:)

Alex Lou
September 27th, 2010, 10:36 PM
I have a friend who recently lost over a hundred pounds. She did loose hair. But it was pretty extreme dieting resulting in malnutrition. She was supervised by a doctor. She definitely thinks it was worth it. Her hair is still long and soft and beautiful.

Syaoransbear
September 28th, 2010, 12:20 AM
I think it also depends on the person. I had a friend that lost around 20 pounds over a period of 5 months (1 pound a week) and she lost half of her hair. It was coming out in clumps, and it was weird because she did it very healthily.

pullanmuru
September 28th, 2010, 01:37 AM
It's not even so much to do with nutrients but the decreased caloric intake and the changes it causes in our metabolic system. Our body thinks that we're starving so it turns off "secondary" things to preserve energy for more important things and growing hair is pretty useless (even though we might not agree with our bodies on this! :) )

Everything we eat and in the case of dieting, don't eat, affects our hormones and our hormones determine the life cycle of hair. And all other things as well. That's why dieting may cause irregularity in our menstrual cycle as well.

You can also see the effect of lowered caloric intake in your nails and skin... you will feel cold more often partly because your body is trying to preserve energy and the regulation of body temperature is one thing that is affected negatively.

x0h_bother
September 28th, 2010, 03:28 PM
Your hair is like a timeline, and what you get in nurtitionally comes out. I would say if you have better nutrition, you should end up with healthy hair as long as you are not deficient in anything. If your diet is deficient in an area, or does not provide enough calories to have complete nutrition, your hair will suffer. My diet has been deficient for a very long time and I have seen the change in hair condition but my hair has not fallen out in an unusual or alarming rate.

Chestershire
September 28th, 2010, 03:30 PM
I have just read a few moments ago that dieting actually causes hair loss, because there are certain vitamins of fats or whatever you normally eat, but now you aren't eating as balanced as you should

supermanok03
September 28th, 2010, 07:28 PM
sometimes when i'm not careful with what i'm eating, and when i once in a while count my calories, i do notice an increase in shedding. i guess this is because i end up eating less protein/less healthy fats (to avoid the calories) etc. so just make sure you're getting the healthy fats/nutrients/protein and watch your hair carefully. if you notice an increase in shedding then right away talk to your nutritionist!

personally i would rather go for slower weight loss if it meant i would keep more of my hair.

also exercise is key and can help you lose weight easier than with just dieting!!

Arctic_Mama
September 28th, 2010, 09:33 PM
This has been my experience. My diet was very sensible and moderate, no significant cuts and an increase in nutrients. I still had a pretty noticeable shed. It was the change that did it, and the hormonal shifts, even though they were a good it was a change in my body's homeostasis.


This is a subject with many parts to it.

(OK what the heck?! Now there's a banner ad at the top of my page with french fries in it for heaven's sake!!)

I have observed a common progression here on this board that when somebody switches their diet, i.e. goes vegetarian, or cuts out all wheat, or goes paleo or something, that they then come back to the boards three to four months later saying they're having a pretty large shed (for them). they don't immediately make the connection between that and having switched their eating habits a few months beforehand. They don't lose all their hair and sure enough, like the other perhaps diet-related shedders, their bodies and diets regulate themselves and the shedding stops after another month or so. Everything goes back to normal for them. So I have kind of developed an assumption that changing one's diet significantly might precipitate a shed. However, I don't know anything and I'm fine with being wrong about that :).

Outright hairloss due to lack of nutrients/malabsorption is another matter (I believe). This I *have* experienced and don't want to do that ever again. But that was due to an intestinal condition.

I might want to know your 'hardcore dieting' data, before saying 'yes you will shed' and 'no you won't shed'. If you're talking about less than 1,000 cals a day plus working out in some capacity - well then yeah, you probably will shed. But I agree with the others who say that you shouldn't need to go on any drastic weight loss 'diets' to lose weight. Especially not for an extended period of time.

Muscle mass contributes to keeping your metabolism kicked in, and very low calorie diets don't promote good muscle mass - they rob from it, and your hair health.

Good luck in your diet endeavour! You are not alone! But slow and steady wins the race and you get to keep your hair...

little_cherry
September 28th, 2010, 09:44 PM
Congrats on your weight loss:)
Thank you!

Just to let everyone know, I didn't really cut anything out...I still eat fries and a cupcake, but the difference is, I don't go crazy..I limit my portions and go by what the food pyramid tells me. I'll have just one cupcake, not three and I won't have one every day. 10lb in around 2 months is not bad...I'm never hungry, I haven't lost any hair and I feel great. Exercise is important in weight loss...or shall I say lifestyle change. Going on drastic diets isn't idea. Thing about it. Are you willing to eat like that for the rest of your life? No because you'll go back to eating 'normal' and your body will store fat again...do a change that will be with you for the rest of your life.

McFearless
September 28th, 2010, 10:43 PM
You're going to lose hair. Anyone who tells you otherwise is .....an alien. Kidding, but you will see some shedding about 6 months after big changes in your diet. It won't last long and it is temporary. Don't freak out(stress causes hair loss). Just take your vitamins and enjoy your road to a healthier body:) Congrats on your lifestyle changes!!

luxepiggy
September 29th, 2010, 02:59 AM
I did some major dieting several years ago; I lost about 20lbs in the first 3 months, and another 10 in the subsequent year, but I didn't notice any associated hair loss. So, I definitely don't think it's an inevitability (^(oo)^)v

pullanmuru
September 29th, 2010, 03:11 AM
I think this is one thing that varies from person to person and from diet to diet. There anorexics out there, that eat 300calories a day and still have hair left. Then there are those that don't.

But definitely cutting down calories and the more drastically you do it, the more your body goes into starving mode the more likely you are to lose more hair than normal. Wen I've been on diet I've definitely noticed increased shedding - whether I've taken vitamin supplements or not. But other things cause shedding as well, like changing or stopping your BCP or when you have a child loads of people shed their hair for a couple of weeks or months. All these changes have to do with hormonal changes.

And things like eating loads of carbs affects too. Carbohydrates, especially those with high glycemic index, increase your insulin levels and high insulin levels then raise testosterone levels. Being a woman and having high testosterone levels usually contributes to hair shedding.

All these little things make up the whole picture. And the mixture is different in everyone's system. So whether the shedding will occure, is impossible to say but you should try to minimize it by dieting slooowly with a moderate or low caloric decrease compared to normal and eating food with loads of nutrients, eating enough protein and trying to keep a steady blood sugar.