diet and hair lossWith the New Year and heavy eating over the Christmas periods comes a rise in people making resolutions to lose weight and take up some extreme diets in order to achieve their goals. A trichologist has now said that a rise in veganism and extreme dieting is causing an increase in the number of cases of hair loss. Anabel Kingsley is a trichologist and claims that she is seeing more cases of telogen effluvium amongst young women. This condition is a reactive form of hair loss and leads to excessive thinning and shedding of hair. This rise in number of cases could possibly be linked to the rise of nutritional deficiencies which are a result of fad diets and the recent popularity of vegan and vegetarian diets. In fact, Kingsley is not the first who has suggested there may be a link between the diet factors and hair loss, however there has not been much research in the area.

How can dieting affect tour hair?

Telogen effluvium can be the result of many factors, such as stress, illnesses and nutritional deficiencies. Although diets can be an excellent way to lose weight and improve your mental and physical wellbeing, you must be mindful of what you eat. Hair is not as essential tissue – meaning that you can survive without it if you have to. This means that if the body does not receive enough protein and iron, the hair cannot grow healthily – even if you are only slightly deficient in the required nutrients. Therefore by not eating enough or getting the correct nutrients, you can suffer from excessive shedding. Kingsley also pointed out that although men may also use crash diets and restrictive eating methods to lose weight, they are less likely to become iron-deficient as they do not menstruate. She recommends to her vegan and vegetarian clients to take vegan-friendly protein supplements. This is because eight of the essential amino acids which are required by our bodies need to be consumed on a daily basis. All of these essential amino acids can be easily sourced from fish or eggs.  

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By Ian Watson

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