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Thread: Nutriton and hair/scalp health - any experts here?

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    Member massivecnqstdr's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Nutriton and hair/scalp health - any experts here?

    Around the age of 15/16ish I started experiencing chronic dry scalp and hair, and by 19 I had noticed considerable hair loss and a straightening of texture. When I went to specialists, they insisted I just had a genetic predisposition to male pattern baldness. What has made me question my initial diagnosis is this - I found out I had celiac disease at the age of 20, and a few months after changing my diet I STOPPED losing hair. I regained very little, but I haven't experience abnormal shedding since then and I am now 24. What I want to know is, why hasn't the dry scalp issue subsided, too? (by the way, my main dry scalp symptoms are lack of sebum and tightness/inflexibility of the scalp.. no flaking) Is there any way to regain some of the hair I lost? What should I do nutritionally to help the health of my scalp and hair?

    I know I should see doctors for this, but my doctors have understandably put hair and scalp on the backburner, as I have more pressing medical issues at the moment! I am really just looking for any tips or similar experiences. TIA

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    Default Re: Nutriton and hair/scalp health - any experts here?

    Some people find that oiling their scalp works well to combat dryness. However, be warned - other people experience a significant shed from trying this. The same goes for washing with conditioner rather than shampoo. This is a great, mild cleanser that doesn't strip the hair and scalp of too many oils, but it can also cause shedding in some people.

    Whatever you try (and I hope other people will weigh in with more ideas), I wouldn't implement more than one change every few weeks. That way you can be sure to see if it's working or not, without wondering which of the myriad new things is responsible.

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    Member cosmic crusader's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nutriton and hair/scalp health - any experts here?

    Sounds like you need healthy fats to me... internally. If you are a tea drinker, I'd recommend adding 2 tbsp of coconut oil (virgin, unrefined) and drinking that throughout the day. A good, organic rooibos would be a good option. Add raw honey if you'd like. Within three months, you should notice your skin's acid barrier balancing. I think you might be having trouble digesting fat-soluble vitamins, which could be the celiac symptoms interfering.

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    Default Re: Nutriton and hair/scalp health - any experts here?

    Firefox7275 is an expert. You can put in a search for their posts.

    Daily scalp massages may help with the tightness/tension you are feeling. When it comes to dry skin I would look to treat it through diet. Incorporating more omega 3 fatty acid rich foods like oily fish, cutting down on processed foods, etc. Best of luck.

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    Default Re: Nutriton and hair/scalp health - any experts here?

    I second the suggestion to add more healthy fats to your diet like coconut oil, fish and flax seed (Doctor permitted of course). You should see the effect on your skin and hair in 1 to 3 months of regular use.

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    Member massivecnqstdr's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nutriton and hair/scalp health - any experts here?

    Thank you, all! Sounds like an adjustment in the fats in my diet is in order. I feel like I eat a fair amount of fats in my diet - but not the healthiest ones! Also, I have started using bhringaraj based oil to oil my scalp since melusine suggested oiling. I have noticed more shed than I'm used to, but nothing dramatic. I'm also seeing more root coming in than usual already. I'll stick with it for a couple months and see what happens.

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    Default Re: Nutriton and hair/scalp health - any experts here?

    Sorry to read your diagnosis took so long. My work background is lifestyle healthcare, don't pretend to be an world renowned expert tho! Most times dermatological issues are a combination of what goes on in the inside and what goes on on the outside. Coeliac disease is linked to other diagnoses, sounds dumb but is that definitely all you have? Has it been confirmed the scalp issue is simple dry skin (xerosis) and not inflammatory? How much advice have you been given on a balanced nutrient dense diet, common deficiencies and repairing your gut? Have you taken high strength freeze dried probiotics?

    Nutritionally look at your intake of oily fish (ideally daily, for bioavailable vitamin D and long chain omega-3s), mineral and fibre rich foods (esp beans, lentils, seeds), other healthy fats preferably from wholefoods not oils (coconut, avocados, olives, cocoa powder, omega eggs), organ meats like liver and/ or molluscs like oysters for haem iron, zinc and other nutrients. Don't be tempted into eating processed grain replacement foods (gluten free bread and pasta) because these are often low nutrient and can be pro inflammatory, avoid sugar including honey and that in higher sugar fruits (have rhubarb, berries, red or blackcurrants, grapefruit).

    What are all your haircare products, are you gluten free for those too? Are they super gentle, pH appropriate, no alkaline products or anionic surfactants? In general the best lipids for strengthening the skin barrier are a combination of the saturated fatty acids stearic and palmitic, cholesterol and ceramides NOT the unsaturated fats in most oils. Medical grade lanolin is king, egg lecithin is also useful - lanolin is very sticky tho so I wouldn't apply straight up it needs diluting. How you achieve that for the scalp ... maybe one of the more experienced DIYers could help? Commercially there is CeraVe, no idea what that would do to hair. Certainly massage, research as suggested it can help in some forms of alopecia, but avoid oils rich in oleic acid because it is a known irritant and penetration enhancer.
    Dyed-in-the-wool redhead, growing out a major shed & mechanical damage to hairline. Eight years 'modified' Curly Girl, just past BSL stretched but keep trimming.

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    Member CousinItt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nutriton and hair/scalp health - any experts here?

    I definitely 3rd (4th?) everything said about healthy fats, and firefox's recommendations are solid.

    My husband has celiac disease and we found going gluten free alone was not good enough. He still had a lot of health issues despite our change in diet. I did some research and discovered that this is not uncommon for many celiac sufferers. About four months ago we started the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) which is said to help people's guts heal from years of damage (although there haven't been studies to prove this, and many doctors poo-poo the diet). It has been life-altering. Many of his lingering health problems have disappeared, and his skin is just glowing, hydrated and healthy despite living in a dry climate.

    My husband never experienced thinning hair, but his nails have hardened up nicely since we change our diet, so I suspect when your body is better able to absorb nutrients, and with good scalp care, your hair may thicken up too. Scalp massages with oil, and scritching with a wooden or horn comb, or brushing with a scalp massaging brush, are some of the things we both do to keep our scalps free from dry skin cells which can clog pores (or so I'm told. It feels so darn good, so I'd keep it up anyway, even if that proves untrue).

    Keep hope. I would never have believed such a dramatic change was possible, if I hadn't witnessed it with my own eyes.
    Wurly-girly

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    Member massivecnqstdr's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nutriton and hair/scalp health - any experts here?

    Ok, so I see its possible that my gut has not healed. I researched the SCD a long time ago, but I will revisit it. Thank you.
    Growing out short hair, bangs, and bleach/dye abuse all at once. Hold me!
    1c/2a - F - i (<- this one's a mystery. Hasn't been ponytail-able in 10 years!)

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    Member massivecnqstdr's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nutriton and hair/scalp health - any experts here?

    Firefox7275, do you have any examples of hair products that meet the specifications? I do prefer more natural ingredients in general.
    Growing out short hair, bangs, and bleach/dye abuse all at once. Hold me!
    1c/2a - F - i (<- this one's a mystery. Hasn't been ponytail-able in 10 years!)

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