Is Hair Loss a Byproduct of Becoming Vegan?

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Daisy Huck

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I've been vegetarian for two years now, and strictly vegan for about three months. I have recently noticed that my hair has been coming out very easily and in large quantities. I still have a full head of hair but I'm getting slightly worried about a possible deficiency! I read that sometimes iron and protein deficiencies can cause hair loss, but I've never had a problem getting enough iron or protein before, and I thought I had been eating a very balanced diet. Has this happened to anyone else, or would anyone have any ideas about if this is linked to my recent vegan transition? Thanks!
 

Alexia

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I do think it's also about genetics as well as the myths of hair falling out. While I am not vegan, I do have a vegan/vegetarian diet and my hair is fine. In fact it grows very fast, but that's more my genes. I do remember when I first became a vegetarian my mother said my hair would fall out, but I have strong, healthy and thick hair and may nails grow fast and strong.

It could be a number of things; you could try increasing protein levels and seeing it that makes a difference. It maybe hormonal or related to some medication you have taken. There are so many factors, but being vegan for three months doesn't seem to be long enough for any drastic changes.
 

Josie

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Are you eating enough? Sorry, that's always my first question. The biggest problem I come across with people failing any diet or lifestyle is not eating enough. You need a lot of calories for every function, that's why it's so important to eat the right foods, so you're not filling up in the first meal on calorie dense foods (highly processed). I highly doubt it's protein.. you don't see many people in the hospital from protein deficiency lol, it's one of the easiest needs to fill. Next is b12. How are you getting it? Many don't supplement in any way and that isn't just necessary for vegans/vegetarians, MOST people aren't getting enough b12 and fortified foods won't always cut it.

It could be a number or combo of things (each nutrient is connected in one way or another to the next which is connected to another.. so when one is off, the rest are at risk), so the best thing to do is take this to your doctor and get all your levels checked, then work from there.
 

Connie

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Stress is one of the biggest factors with hair loss and it could be as simple as that. It affects my husband badly and I can tell when he is stressed because his usually really good mop of hair will suddenly thin. When my back went last November, he said nothing to me, but looked after me completely. I was left with no use of my right leg and given my job involved an awful lot of walking it was obvious that my chosen career path was over. He said nothing to me, but his hair thinned dramatically. A sign of stress in him - he has alopecia brought on by stress. It is useful because I can monitor his health discretely and watch for the warning signs and help out where I can to reduce his stress levels. He is the sole provider in this household now.

Another factor is tiredness, as in not getting a full night's sleep, not the tiredness related to iron deficiency.

I know the first time (and only time) I had my hair permed it came out in huge quantities afterwards as a direct result. Of course I could not prove it, but I went from having hair that I could not find a bobble large enough to hold it all back with, to very little hair that I have now which is basically you can see my scalp through it.
 
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Daisy Huck

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Are you eating enough? Sorry, that's always my first question. The biggest problem I come across with people failing any diet or lifestyle is not eating enough. You need a lot of calories for every function, that's why it's so important to eat the right foods, so you're not filling up in the first meal on calorie dense foods (highly processed). I highly doubt it's protein.. you don't see many people in the hospital from protein deficiency lol, it's one of the easiest needs to fill. Next is b12. How are you getting it? Many don't supplement in any way and that isn't just necessary for vegans/vegetarians, MOST people aren't getting enough b12 and fortified foods won't always cut it.

It could be a number or combo of things (each nutrient is connected in one way or another to the next which is connected to another.. so when one is off, the rest are at risk), so the best thing to do is take this to your doctor and get all your levels checked, then work from there.
Oh, I'm definitely eating enough! Probably too much, actually. Do you think I should I take this to my doctor now or should I wait and if so, how long?
 

LilAnn

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I think you should go ahead and take it to him. It may be an easy fix, and the sooner you find out the sooner the better.
 

Josie

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Oh, I'm definitely eating enough! Probably too much, actually. Do you think I should I take this to my doctor now or should I wait and if so, how long?

If you think you're getting everything you need in your diet and you otherwise feel healthy, I would definitely take it to your doctor and ask to get a full workup. It could be anything.. is hair loss in your family? It could be hormonal, environmental.. it's a super common thing that they really don't have much clue about. Best to rule out the obvious with your doctor first and go from there. Good luck..
 

nytegeek

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Hair loss from being vegan is just an urban legend. Nutritional deficiencies can happen on any diet if you don't eat enough of the right things.
 

Connie

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One dietary deficiency that does cause hair loss is insufficient protein in your diet. You need to be getting around 45g if you are female (according to the UK recommended amounts) and 54g if you are male. Moving over to a vegan diet can initially make it hard to ensure that you are getting enough protein, though there is no reason as to why you should not be getting sufficient protein in your diet, it is just initially it can be harder and this could be something you need to look at.
 

mothwings

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The solution to hair fall is consuming more biotin, which is found in ruch quantities in dairy foods. There are vegan foods that are rich in biotin. Almonds, potatoes, walnuts, onions, just naming a few off the top of my head.
 

LyraLyra

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I would suggest getting your blood tested if your are worried and then you can have some objective evidence to go off, but I have heard of people losing hair when they come from a standard American diet to a raw vegan/vegan diet, although the dietary has been drastic when this has happened, it is a common complaint. Also, I know of several women who have lost a lot of hair due to hormonal imbalance caused by the contraceptive pill, so that could be something you could look into!
 

Louisa Tori

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About 2 months after I transitioned to veganism from a vegetarian diet, my hair started falling out rapidly and in ridiculous quantities. Several doctor and dermatolist appointments later, turns out it had nothing to do with my diet - it was just genetics/autoimmune disorder and stress from school. Although I did become low in iron and my doctor thought it was aggravating the issues. However, after a few months of high carb low fat eating and taking regular iron/b12 supplements, I haven't had any further issues :)
 
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elvisish

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Never had this problem myself, and I've been vegan for about 7 years :) But yes you could try Iodine, my dog had an iodine deficiency and had a little hair loss, I gave her a seaweed mix and after a couple of weeks her coat improved and hair starting growing back. SO you could try seaweed tablets!