New Vegan really bad hair loss

Leanne

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Hello,

I became a vegan around 6months ago and my hair is falling out from the root :pensive:. I feel like I have lost around two thirds of my hair which was really thick and am worried if I lose more it will be noticable that its falling out, it is really thin now with really large partings. I an currently taking vegan supliments for iron and vitimin C aswell as the 'hair nail and skin' multi vitimin from Holland and Barrat, but it is still falling out by the handfull, everytime i wash my hair and lots of falling hairs throughout the day. I eat alot of green veg and fruit, I also drink almond milk and eat tofu and quinoe regularly. Has anybody else had this issue and does it subside? Or are there certain things I should be eating/making sure I get enough of. I did not plan on becoming vegan and do not know any other vegans, so my diet was not planned well. I have just been researching what foods provide which vitimins in the hope I can get what I need and this will stop. I have not had excessive wieght loss either which hair loss can be a symtom of.
 

Damo

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Hello Leanne.

I highly doubt becoming vegan is making your hair fallout, I've not noticed any kind of hair loss myself... Other's haven't either. You're probably ingesting way more nutrients compared to when you ate meat/dairy, it's a pretty bad misconception that if you become vegan you're endangering your health because you're missing all the "nutrition" from meat/dairy. I mean, think about it what are you missing by not eating meat/dairy that you can't replace with plants?

Anyway, here's another thread regarding hair loss. Also, apparently the average person loses 50-100 hairs a day you could start counting if you really wanted to. ;)
 
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Leanne

Leanne

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Thanks Damo,

I just wanted to rule veganism out as I know hair is one of the last places to recieve any nutrients and it started about a 3 or 4 weeks after I changed my diet. To be honest I have had loads more energy and have started jogging, going to the gym alot more and feel less sluggish after I eat after becomming vegan. I was just worried I was missing something or if anyone had expereinced it, what they did or ate to combat it.

I guess I'll have to have a trip down the doctors to see if it is hormone related or alopecia or god forbid age :tired_face: haha.
 

gab

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Quoting from http://www.viviscal.com/blog/vitamin-deficiency-and-hair-loss/

"researchers at Cairo University have now found a strong link between vitamin D deficiency and hair loss among women"

So try some vegan vit D, like 5000 IU / day ( basing it on this post http://articles.mercola.com/sites/a...10/10/vitamin-d-experts-reveal-the-truth.aspx ).

I took 5000 IU / day vit D for six years without any side effects that I could discern, I stopped that since turning vegan in March and just try to get as much sun as I can.

But if you are deficient, you probably need some medication help ... usage of a tanning salon would help too.

Gab
 
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Leanne

Leanne

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Thanks Gab.

Anythings worth a try, I do take a multi vitamin but it may not contain enough vit D, so I'll look vit D tablets to take on top I'm going to see if my doctor will give me a blood test just to check if I am deficient in anything anyway.

At least I have an excuse to get on the sun beds now :)
 

Naturebound

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I have really thick hair and I have been vegan for many years. The times when I lost some hair were when my hypothyroidism was acting up (I have had thyroid disease for 28 years), and when I was severely underweight from an eating disorder. I actually didn't lose my hair then until months into recovering and eating more. There is often a long delay between when something happens that causes hair health to decline and when hair actually starts falling out. So even if you are on the mend, it takes a while for hair to catch up.

What does your diet look like? There tends to be a trend for vegans to eat extremely low fat, and sometimes this can be a problem if you aren't getting enough omega 3 fatty acids. For vegans, this often comes from foods with some fat in them, such as flaxseeds, chia or hemp seed, avocado, nuts (especially walnut), some soy products. Though I tend to eat on the lower end of the fat side, I do incorporate flaxseeds and occasional nuts/seeds almost daily. Not huge amounts, but a serving or two. Some nuts also contain fair amounts of vitamin E, which is good for hair.

I am also a very big advocate of dark leafy greens daily. I even grow my own spinach and collards, and have grown beet leaves and chard too. Leafy greens are big for calcium (at least the low oxalate ones like collards, kale, bok choy) and many trace minerals and iron. Beans are a huge source of iron also, as are pumpkin seeds. Leafy greens are easy to incorporate daily in soups, wraps and sandwiches, salads, smoothies, casseroles, or all by themselves. I also eat several servings of beans each day most days. I think these foods have really helped me.

Eating enough calories is the biggest issue for a lot of new vegans. It is easy to undereat when one first changes the way they eat, especially moving to vegan, because animal products tend to be higher in fat and calorie content in most cases, such as plant versus animal milks, or tofu/tempeh/beans versus chicken or steak. Fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans, are high fiber and can fill one up long before enough calories are consumed, so it is important to make sure you are eating enough. My weight will drop more quickly if I don't consume at least a little fat in my diet. Weight loss can also mean some hair loss, especially if you lose weight at a fast rate.

Also, chances are if you went vegan you changed your hair products and so on. Maybe what you are using now is making your hair more dry or sensitive? Did you change products? I found that getting rid of alcohol based products and using natural oils really made my hair less dry. Just something to consider.

My Mom tried to go vegan and I witnessed her literally lose half her hair. I wish I would have photographed it as evidence. However, she also eats gluten free, and she can't have nuts or seeds due to severe diverticulitis. So she really restricted what she ate a lot. Gluten free often means eating flours or breads that are stripped of some proteins and natural nutrients that whole wheat flours have (such as iron, B vitamins etc). I tried to get her to at least eat more whole millet, cooked buckwheat groats, brown rice etc. and less processed flour and bread. I had her take a vegan DHA supplement from Deva (derived from sea vegetables) since she couldn't consume whole nuts/seeds. I also had her consume almond butter and sunflower butter, and had her grind her flaxseeds to a fine meal before consuming. But I don't think she was keeping up with this very well (she also tends to eat a lot of junk food and slips off her gluten free diet a bit with bingeing). She went back to eating diary and some fish, and did stop losing hair but I think it was more to do with her eating more calories overall than because it was impossible to meet her needs as a vegan. My Mom doesn't cook much, and doesn' t have the experience with plant based cooking/food prep and open mindedness about food that I do (at the age of 70, my Mom has lived her entire life living and believing a certain way about food and animals), so I think it made veganism more of a challenge for her.

So to wrap it up lol:
eat enough calories and eat a variety of plant food

omega 3/6 fatty acids from nuts/seeds, avocado etc and include some leafy greens daily as well as beans for iron and trace minerals (zinc, magnesium etc)

pay attention to hair products you are using, and keep alcohol based ingredients to a minimum

Make sure your hormones are balanced (have thyroid checked, and vitamin D; are your periods still normal? Are you near menopause? Or closer to puberty?)

I have had screenings and have had my iron/hemoblogin, vitamin D, B12 etc checked every few years, and so far all is very healthy. Most of these tests are inexpensive and easy to do, but vitamin D testing might not be covered by insurance unless there is a medical necessity for it (meaning they won't just randomly check it without a reason...fatigue, bone density loss etc).
 

blazebusiness

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When you don't get the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that your body needs from your diet, it can cause a loss of hair. ... This can cause noticeable hair loss after about two to three months of :

a protein-deficient diet
diet insufficient in calories

So, track your calorie intake and Macros to make sure your not hypo-caloric. Vegan foods are usually way way lower calorie than other foods so you absolutely must eat more volume.

A lot of vegans opt for HCLF diets. (which I certainly favor) Many eat 80/10/10 which breaks down to:

80% carbs
10% fat (or less)
10% protein

Low fat or low protein diets or not enough caloric intake in a person that is already thin (like me) often causes complaints of dry (even red or cracking) skin or hair loss or hormonal insufficiencies.

So, why do some people report absolutely no dry skin or hair loss issues?

If you are of a heavier build when you go vegan, that is not normally an issue as you have a large pool of fatty acids in your tissue reserves to draw upon.
If your vegan diet is not the 80/10/10 or not hypocaloric , and includes more fat (nuts/seeds/avocados etc....) it is not normally an issue.

Even within the vegan community there is a lot of confusion about what actually works. I am on a learning curve myself to see what works.....my body does not react well to nuts/seeds or oils. So in all of our attempts to feel better (and possibly address any underlying health conditions) we often must experiment on ourselves with different dietary approaches to hopefully discover what works best with the unique physiology that we all have.
 
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