Weight Loss Support - Tips to save my hair?




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CoolMom75
10-18-2005, 08:54 PM
Every time I diet, my hair breaks off around my face...so I look like I have these little bangs (even though I never cut bangs). I call them my "faux bangs." This last time I had to get a yucky hair cut, just to layer in the breaks. :(

I just started another journy to reach my goal weight. I was so close at 15 pounds away...but then we moved and ate out a lot, etc. I gained back TEN pounds. While I was eating all that "great" food, my "bangs" grew back out, and my hair looks great.

Knowing my body, I have to keep my calories somewhere close to 1200 to lose anything. So far I added in a prenatal vitamin, but I'm not sure about the stuff they put in this one.

What should/can I do to keep my hair from breaking?


LovesBassets
10-18-2005, 09:27 PM
I'm not a nutritionist, but it sounds like a vitamin or mineral deficiency of some kind, so I'd focus on what's going on internally rather than on a good hair product :) .

Are you staying around 1200 cals a day or going way under that? DO NOT go below 800 cals, unless a doctor has expressly told you to. I only ask because if you go on a super low cal diet, unhealthy/weak hair can be a (bad) signal that your body is starved of certain nutrients. My (anorexic) Mom's hair was forever breaking and sometimes fell out in clumps depending on how low her weight got (I'm talking 95 - 100 lbs). But she never ate more than 600 cals a day for nearly 2 decades, so she's an extreme case.

I can ask my Animal Nutrition professor tomorrow if he has an idea of what vitamin or mineral would cause weak hair. I assume it's the same for all mammals ;) . Or maybe someone more knowledgeable than me will give you an answer tonight.

You said you're on prenatals...now this is a stupid question, but are you actually pregnant or are those just "left overs" from a recent pregnancy?

funniegrrl
10-18-2005, 11:34 PM
The thing is, hair problems from nutritional issues start at the root. By the time it emerges from the skin, it is what it is going to be. Emerged hair can certainly fall out due to health issues, but I can't think of how nutrition could cause hair to break if it had grown out before the nutritional issues started. Especially odd is that only the hair around your face would break, instead of all over.

As far as the nutrition itself, I do know that you need to be sure you're getting enough fat, not only for the fat itself, but for the proper absorption of fat-soluble vitamins.

You might take a look at the hair section on Paula Begoun's site here: http://www.cosmeticscop.com/learn/article.asp?PAGETYPE=ART&REFER=HAIR&ID=158. For more info, look for her book either at the bookstore or library; there is a TON of useful info on hair, how it grows, how to take care of it, etc.


AnnieFannie
10-18-2005, 11:42 PM
I don't really have an explanation for this. I tried to do some research to see what I could find. Not sure how much this will help you.


Hair loss can be triggered by a variety of factors including pregnancy, stress, surgery and age-related hormonal changes, to name a few. But few people realize that weight loss can also cause hair to shed, likely due to a nutritional deficiency. Although iron deficiency is often associated with diet-related hair loss, a range of nutrient deficiencies can result in thinning hair, dermatologists say. Changes in levels of zinc, magnesium, protein, essential fatty acids and vitamins D, B and A can all trigger episodes of shedding hair. The problem affects both men and women, but women are more likely to notice it and seek treatment, say doctors.

The fact that so many different nutrients can be the culprit in hair loss means any diet can take a toll on the tresses.

The threat of thinning hair shouldn't discourage patients from losing weight, but it should convince them to avoid fad, quick-reduction diets, says Wilma Bergfeld, head of clinical research for the department of dermatology at the Cleveland Clinic. Such diets often lack proper nutrition, and rapid weight loss in itself is a stress on the body and can also trigger metabolism changes that affect hair growth.

For hair health, doctors say the best weight-loss plans are reduced-calorie diets that promote gradual weight loss with healthful foods from all of the food groups. Diets low in protein and iron, such as vegetarian diets and very-low-fat diets, often result in deficiencies. But high-protein diets like Atkins that initially discourage fruits and vegetables can also trigger hair loss, says Dr. Bergfeld. The typical patient complains of thinning hair after losing about 20 pounds in a relatively short period of time, she says.

Dermatologists say they often advise dieters to take a multivitamin with iron and keep weight loss to a pace of one to two pounds a week. Dieters with a family history of thinning hair or baldness should be especially careful about proper nutrition and slow weight loss. Patients considering obesity surgery, which often results in rapid weight loss, should also talk to their doctor about ways to protect their hair.

So from what I can see you should be taking a multivitamin with iron. And possibly consult with your doctor if you continue having troubles. Gosh it's a scary thought to think that you can lose your hair along with weight. Hope things get better for you.

CoolMom75
10-19-2005, 01:45 AM
Thank you, thank you!

Iron must be the problem. I am chronically low. Even a menstrual cycle, makes me so weak and tired. I was told to take "Lo-Fe" an iron suppliment, a while back.
You said you're on prenatals...now this is a stupid question, but are you actually pregnant or are those just "left overs" from a recent pregnancy?

I am not pregnant...just using some leftover prenatals. But, when I enter all the contents of the vitamin, it seems to be giving me an over abundance of stuff I already get nutritionally, and not enough of what I don't get.

Are you staying around 1200 cals a day or going way under that?

Yup! 1200-1500, using Fitday.

The thing is, hair problems from nutritional issues start at the root. By the time it emerges from the skin, it is what it is going to be. Emerged hair can certainly fall out due to health issues, but I can't think of how nutrition could cause hair to break if it had grown out before the nutritional issues started. Especially odd is that only the hair around your face would break, instead of all over.



You have a good point here. Maybe they do fall out completely, but I'm not noticing them until they are short, stubby hairs sticking off my head? The C&P info is really helpful. I also have bad hair in my family (my poor mom is a lot of scalp) :()

I'll try adding in a different vitamin, and some iron. If anyone has any more info, I'd love to hear it. :)

Tani
10-19-2005, 10:59 AM
I'd suggest making sure you get enough good fat in your diet too. I really notice it in my skin and hair if I go too lowfat. :)

funniegrrl
10-19-2005, 11:54 AM
Maybe they do fall out completely, but I'm not noticing them until they are short, stubby hairs sticking off my head?

I've lost over 170 pounds in the last 4 years, and I have gone through cycles of hair loss. It seemed that after every 40 or 50 pounds I dropped hair. I certainly noticed the increased hair all over the floor, shower, etc., but perhaps if you're not losing as much as I was you wouldn't notice it. But yes, it does start growing back and then you have all of these short hairs all over. Because I keep going through these cycles, it seems no two hairs on my head are the same length. :P

eatnothingalive
10-19-2005, 04:39 PM
I just wanted to add that if you are taking a prenatal (I still take them, my daughter is 4 months old)...you shouldn't need an iron supplement because one of the things about prenatals is that they usually have way more iron than regular multivitamins due to the risk of becoming anemic when pregnant... I would check with your doctor...

Also, how many months post partum are you? I noticed my thick, lovely hair started coming out A LOTTTT about 3 months post partum, and I have heard that it can fall out as late as 1 year post partum as your hormones take about that long to get back to normal!

Just a thought!

Good luck!

Autumn Night
10-19-2005, 04:53 PM
What a great time for this question to be asked. In the past month I've noticed a lot more hair falling out - in the shower, in the brush, and on my clothes. Thinning hair is a problem for the women on both sides of my family. However, I think I'm still too young (38) for age/hormone related hair loss. I've never lost hair when I've dieted before, but then again I've never stuck to a weight loss program this long before (since April). I've started taking a multivitamin. My average weight loss is about 1.25 pounds per week. I've not cut any food groups out of my diet, and I'm averaging 1,500 calories per day. Even though I'm eating fewer calories than before, I really thought I was eating a lot better quality of food.

If my hair doesn't grow back, I guess I can give up my shoe obsession and start a wig collection. :D

andreaphilip3
10-19-2005, 05:56 PM
heres something that might help: i apply 1 T olive oil to damp hair 1x a day as many days as i can and its been helping. also have u had your throid checked?

lucky
10-19-2005, 09:35 PM
I think you've gotten your answer but I thought I'd jump in to say that I agree what you are seeing is probably new growth rather than broken hair. If you look at the ends with a magnifying glass you can tell the difference. Broken hair will be jagged.

As for the initial hair loss it most certainly could be from a nutritional deficiency. But, the season may also be part of the problem. I have really thick hair and lots of it. Every fall I start getting clumps of hair in my brushes, in the shower, on the floor, everywhere. I've mentioned this to some of my friends and they all seem to have a "season" too. Were you losing weight this time of year before?

Also, I bet if you look closely you'll notice the shorter hair all over. I know mine is much more obvious in the front but I can find them just about anywhere.

CoolMom75
10-20-2005, 03:10 AM
More good points!

I just wanted to add that if you are taking a prenatal (I still take them, my daughter is 4 months old)...you shouldn't need an iron supplement because one of the things about prenatals is that they usually have way more iron than regular multivitamins due to the risk of becoming anemic when pregnant... I would check with your doctor..

I'm way post-partum now. My baby is almost two. You're right about the iron in prenatals. I meant if I switched to the lo-Fe, along with a different multi-vitamin.

My hair looked the worst this summer, after I dropped another 20. But my little guy was 1.5...and I'm sure my hair looked just as "great" this time after my first baby too. :dizzy: So maybe its a hormonal thing.

I'm still glad to get the kick in the butt to do something about my low blood levels, and take some iron.

aphil
10-20-2005, 08:38 AM
Sometimes the hair IS falling out at the root, it is when the "baby hairs" start growing back, and they are a lot shorter than the rest of your hair, that you notice it-especially in the front of your hair around your face.

I lose hair very easily, any bit of stress and I have a brushful of hair. :( Sometimes my hair can get pretty thin from it.

On the other hand, nutrition is a key factor. You can eat 1200 calories a day and meet your nutritional needs, or you can eat 1200 a day and NOT meet them. What is your diet like? I have found in MY experience that hair breakage, thinning, and drying out tends to come from a diet too low in protein and fat. Iron is present in a lot of meat as well...
If you are eating too little protein and fat, I would suggest adding more to your diet.

MorticiaAddams
10-20-2005, 04:36 PM
I got my hair cut couple weeks ago and had talked to my stylist about my hair falling out.
She said it was because of the fat I had been cutting out of my diet and she suggested taking some supplements , Darn if I cant remember what it was.
Geeze now I think I need to take something for my memory. :dizzy: :lol:

Star
10-20-2005, 04:40 PM
I think it is HSN, there is a doctor on there that sells vitimins for Hair,Skin & Nails...His name may be Doctor Lesman (Lesmen?).....they are very good and have worked for me. I have also heard it is lack of fat in our diets......

MorticiaAddams
10-20-2005, 04:44 PM
Geeze dont that just get it.
You either have great hair or a great body.. Hmmmmm :lol:

andreaphilip3
10-20-2005, 04:47 PM
andrew lessman its on hsn. their so expensive.

also:what the hairdresser may have been referring to is CLA.... or a fatty acid complex. but can i tell you something? its much cheaper to buy a bottle of olive oil and add small amounts to a mouthful of something w flavor and just drink it dn. those supps only have 1g fat each not enough to do anything

mnemosyne
10-20-2005, 05:09 PM
If you're still experiencing hair loss (at the root), you might switch to a satin pillowcase. That's one of the "tricks" to keep hair longer when undergoing chemo, but if it's gonna fall out then, it's gonna fall out. You can also switch brushes to a looser brush, avoid barrettes and pony tail holders, and try to keep you hands out of your hair.

Course, that's almost impossible for me to manage...