A crash diet in January is common after the Christmas season food and drink binge. For many it is one of the New Year’s resolutions – to lose weight. Unfortunately some take it a bit too far and do not follow a healthy diet. Drastic weight loss can cause hair to be lost.

Crash is exactly what they do, food is cut down to such an extent that the essential vitamins and minerals that are needed for a healthy body are not eaten. Weight has to be lost quickly with little thought to how it will affect the body. The sudden change to the body’s system will leave the hair without its essential nutrients causing the hair follicles to go into its dormant stage longer than it should do and hair will die. Thinning of the hair may not be noticed for a few weeks by which time there could be significant damage. Fortunately, once the body starts to receive the nutrients it requires hair will start to grow and thicken again. Diets should be followed carefully and should include all the vitamins and minerals the body requires to function properly. More often than not a crash diet might work for a few weeks but as it cannot be sustained the weight will be put back on again. This in itself will have an adverse effect on hair growth. For hair to grow healthy it needs to have constant nutrition. ‘Yo-yo’ dieting does not give this consistency. In general around one hundred hair strands are lost each day and this is healthy. It is part of the natural hair cycle, growth, rest and shed. The average time for hair loss to be noticed after dieting is around two months after the diet has started. It might be seen with hair thinning so the scalp is more noticeable. This condition is known as Telogen effluvium and is when the hair stops growing and goes into the resting period. Once more hair starts to fall out then advice should be sought as there could be many reasons for the loss. Stress is one of the biggest causes of hair loss and the cause of stress needs to be found. Crash diets are a cause of stress, constantly being on edge as to how much weight has been lost and what to eat will cause stress in itself. If weight has been gained at any time and needs to be lost it should be done slowly and include the food the body requires to keep it running properly. Without the vitamins and minerals to keep the organs functioning properly hair loss will be seen. Vegetables, meat, fish and fruit are a good all round source of the nutrients the body requires. Cutting back on the amount eaten along with exercise is the best known way to lose weight. Seeking the help of a nutritionist will help to understand what a body requires in order to function. Losing hair can have a detrimental effect on a person. Hair is a part of who a person is and is one of the first attributes to be seen. It can cause embarrassment and lack of confidence to those losing hair which in turn can cause stress. Hair is vulnerable to many elements and needs care for it to grow and be healthy. Diet is a starting point as it provides the body with the essential nutrients it needs to keep the organs functioning. The hair and skin are the first signs when this might not be happening and advice should be sought. For more information please see the following links:

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By Damien

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