View Full Version : Hair loss advice

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Oct 14th, 2004, 02:25 PM
my hair seems to be shedding alot more than usual. anyone know the reason for this?

Oct 14th, 2004, 02:58 PM
foxytina_69, HERES (http://www.vegan.com/issues/1999/oct99/messina.htm#hair) a nutrition answer from Virginia Messina, RD, MPH about hair loss. Is that what you meant ? Its kind of on topic. Hope it helps.

Oct 15th, 2004, 10:38 AM
thanx gert :) that answered my question great. u and all your website links! :p

Oct 15th, 2004, 02:30 PM
Stress? Change in diet? Menstruation, perhaps?


Oct 15th, 2004, 07:40 PM
hmmm it could be so many things lol

Nov 8th, 2004, 11:18 PM
Does anyone know what might cause drastic hair loss related to a vegan diet? My new neighbor was telling me that her mother tried to go vegan (she is veggie) and began losing her hair. I'm sure that she wasn't getting all the vitamins and such that she needed and that the hair loss was related to a deficiency of some sort, but I don't know a lot about nutrition. What vitamins are responsible for healthy hair? What could she have been lacking so seriously that her hair fell out? I read the past thread by Foxy (hair shedding) and followed the link that gert posted, but from the desciption that my friend gave, this was much more drastic than pulling extra hairs out in the shower and it seemed to be obviously linked to the change in diet.


Nov 9th, 2004, 02:44 AM
lack of protein or essential fatty acids causes hair loss.

Nov 9th, 2004, 08:32 AM
Good hair health is generally associated with adequate amounts of these vitamins and minerals:

Iron ~ blackstrap molasses, cocoa, wholegrains, wheatgerm, millet, nuts, pumpkin seeds, soya produce, beans and pulses, dark green vegetables, prunes, dates, dried apricots, parsley
B1 (thiamin) ~ brown unpolished rice, wholegrains, wholegrain flour, brewers yeast, yeast extract, nuts, beans, peas, cereals, potatoes
B2 (riboflavin) ~ wild rice, wholewheat pasta, soya milk, whole grain cereals, brewer's yeast, yeast extract, pulses, seeds
B3 (nicotinic acid (also known as niacin) and nicotinamide ) ~ fortified cereals, wholemeal bread, brewer's yeast, yeast extract, nuts and seeds, soya beans, potatoes, dried fruit, tomatoes and peas
B5 (pantothenic acid) ~ peanuts, avocado, mushrooms, seeds and other nuts, pumpkin, dates, bananas, wholegrain cereals
B6 (pyrodoxine) ~ whole grains (breakfast cereals, especially muesli and bran flakes, brown rice, brown bread, porridge oats, etc.), wheatgerm, brewer's yeast, nuts and seeds, lentils, potatoes, baked beans, soya beans, bananas (note - considerable loss of B6 can occur during cooking)
Biotin (was B8) ~ whole grains (wholemeal bread, brown rice, bran cereals), nuts and beans, peas, cauliflower
Folic acid (was B9) ~ leafy green vegetables (especially spinach and curly kale), sprouts, broccoli, brewer's yeast, wholegrain cereals, pulses and oranges
B12 (cobalamin) ~ fortified cereals, brewer's yeast, yeast extract, blackstrap molasses, seaweeds (B12 is present in blue-green algae such as spirulina and chlorella but it may not be well absorbed by the body)
C ~ ascorbic acid ~ fresh fruit and vegetables and their juices, especially guava fruit, kiwi fruit, currants, brocolli, brussells sprouts and peppers (vit C is easily destroyed in cooking) ~ you may find this link for a nutrition chart (http://www.wholehealthmd.com/refshelf/items_index/1,1538,FO,00.html) useful
Zinc ~ popcorn, nuts and seeds (especially walnuts, brazil nuts and sesame seeds), wholegrain cereals, pulses, ginger root, and green vegetables
Omega 3s ~ derived from linolenic acid ~ found in flaxseed oil, rapeseed oil, soya beans, walnuts
Omega 6s ~ derived from linoleic and archidonic acids ~ sourced from olive, sunflower, corn oil, evening primrose, starflower oil (borage).

Dietary imbalance/nutritional deficiencies can bring about temporary hair loss/thinning as can stress or shock and hormonal imbalance. Womens' hair can be affected by the hormonal changes brought about by pregnancy and the menopause.

The side effects of some medications - oral contraceptives, anti-coagulants being two typical examples - and chemotherapy can also cause hair loss.

Iron deficiency anaemia and hypothryoidism can also be causes of hair loss. Hair loss is just one of the (many) symptoms of hypothyroidism (http://www.endocrineweb.com/hypo1.html). (As with everything else, common sense is important here - if you feel there is an underlying problem that needs further investigation then make an appointment to see a doctor, preferably one that is understanding and/or knowledgable about your dietary choices.)

From a personal perspective I find that, despite eating all the right foods, taking a good all-round vegan friendly multivitamin and mineral supplement each day really does help my hair - if I don't take a supplement for a while then my hair (the hair on top of my head is affected most) starts thinning again. My hair problems could be just one of the joys of being 53, who knows! However, our individual "genetic soup" should always be taken into consideration.

Btw, I also take a starflower oil capsule (vegan friendly capsule) every day as this really does benefit my skin as well as my hair.

Hope this is useful to your neighbour's mum.

Nov 9th, 2004, 08:39 AM
I know I don't always eat quite as healthily as I should, and lately I have had stress by the bucketload, yet I always get complimented on my thick, shiny hair.Guess I'm just lucky?

Nov 9th, 2004, 09:27 AM
There was an article about this in the paper at the weekend by A Doctor, which said hair loss was commonly due either to lack of iron or to thyroid underfunction (which may be helped by consuming a bit more iodine, e.g. seaweed such as kelp).

Here's a link, but be warned, there's bits you won't like:


Nov 9th, 2004, 10:44 AM
There are lots of reasons of hair loss and being vegan isnt one of them, as long as she has a healthy balanced diet. Stress can trigger hair loss.

Dec 5th, 2004, 05:40 PM
or supplements?

and what's the best way to consume flax seeds? what's the best brand?

Dec 5th, 2004, 05:43 PM
I was finding out about flaxseeds today - apparently the oil is much better than the seeds which contain more phytoestrogens and less of the essential fatty acids.
Drinking lots of water is good for your hair and skin, and Broccoli is meant to be good for your hair (shame i can't seem to tolerate it anymore) - and essential oils.

Dec 5th, 2004, 10:38 PM
Until I started taking flaxseed oil (2 tsp per day), my hair was fuzzy and unmanageable - it fixed everything. And walnuts and avocado are awesome too :)

Dec 6th, 2004, 03:41 AM
bananas, nuts, soy bean oil, flaxseed oil, seeds are good for hair and nails. I have noticed since I introduced soy milk and soy yogurt into my diet, my nails are so strong, I can't break them even if I want to.
Drinking plenty of water is good for the skin, as well as avoiding sugar and saturated fat.

Dec 6th, 2004, 12:11 PM

That must be why I lean towards these kinds of foods. I've heard that flax seed is good for your heart besides. After my supply of flax seeds is gone, then I will be using the flax oil instead.

What is Phytoestrogen's?


Dec 6th, 2004, 01:25 PM
It is my (layperson's) understanding that Phytoestrogens are literally plant 'hormones' which are similar in effect to human Oestrogen, the female hormone, and huge quantities of them could affect the body's natural store of hormones.
Please correct me if I am wrong, though, others!! :)

Jul 26th, 2005, 08:22 PM
Ive recently noticed my hair is thinning on the top (Im female), particulary around my hairline. Ive recently read about Iodine having an effect on thyroid, and how thinning hair is a symptom of hypothyroidism. I also have dry skin which is (Im told) another symptom. I have never supplemented iodine, and realise now that maybe Im lacking in it. Has anyone else experienced this? Ive just started taking an iodine supplement (at safe levels) in the hope that this will sort it out. Anyone any further advice? or ideas on what else i can do to stop my extremely long hair from falling out any further!!


Jul 26th, 2005, 08:34 PM
My hair too, is thinning an awful lot- please post any information and experiences that may be helpful. It's highly worrying.

aprille xxx

Jul 26th, 2005, 09:47 PM
It is pretty good to eat sea 'vegetables' they're full of different minerals and natuarally contain iodine. I have Nori flakes occasionally, Kombu sometimes, but i often like smoked tofu with sea veggies in it, yum! By the way i have very little hair to thin....

For me it is one of the essentials, along with making sure i'm getting regular omega-3s through hemp oil/flax and B12 through soya milk and community foods yeast extract (Marmite) but not the Unilever kind!

Jul 27th, 2005, 06:20 AM
Suggest you get a Thyroid Function Test. See your GP.

Jul 27th, 2005, 11:00 AM
i take kelp tablets for idone..

perhaps the hairloss might be due to something else? stress? change in climate? a new shampoo or conditioner? not enough oils might make your hair dry and prone to breaking. a skin condition of the scalp?

..two years ago when i was living in japan my hair started falling out heaps, it really freaked me out..it wasnt in clumps (which i hear is what happens when stress is the cause) but generally thinning all over. Everyone in my family has heaps of hair including my 60 year old dad, so it wasnt genetic! so i went to the doctors and had heaps of tests and they said my diet was fine and my blood was fine..they didnt know why it was happening either. i wasnt stressed (until it started falling out of course!) so i didnt think that was the cause..

it fell out for about a year, in huge handfuls, i thought i would go bald, but amazingly i didnt!! my hairdresser said that as long as new hair is coming through you wont go bald, so dont worry..

now its slowed down and grown back to normal. i still dont knopw why it happened. but ive spoke to people snce who have experienced the same thing. maybe its just something that happens to people every now and then. but toreassure yourself it isnt medical, see a doctor and get all the tests and if all is clear then just wait it out, it will stop eventually.. ;)

Oct 27th, 2005, 06:22 PM

I am 19 years old and vegan. I thought I was eating a well balanced diet more recently but I have been having problems with my hair. It breaks easily and is a little bit thiner than normal. I can pull some out relatively easily and was wondering what this could be from, thinking protein needs not being met pehaps.

thank you

Oct 27th, 2005, 06:36 PM
Hi there! :)

check this out (http://www.vegsource.com/jo/qa/qahair.htm)
Can a Vegan Diet Damage Your Hair?

I have been a vegan for about six months and haven't looked back since the scales fell from my eyes. I just do NOT eat animals nor do I consume eggs, milk etc. -- there's no temptation. I enjoy selecting the foods I purchase, preparing the meals, eating my meals, and I believe I am choosing foods that include all the vitamins and minerals that I must have to remain healthy.

Effortlessly, I went from 137 pounds and have normalized at 123 pounds, which is "just right" for my 5"3" frame and 58 years of age. Friends do a double take when they see me, and I have to agree, I look darn good!

My only concern, so far, is my crowning glory -- my head of hair. I have noticed the beginnings of "strange hair" -- a shiny, synthetic look. It's not falling out, but it's as if each hair is getting thinner and, therefore, brittle. And, it isn't growing as fast as it used to. I've always had a head of healthy hair; I believe there's a problem here. You know my question: What must I include in my diet to ensure that my hair stays healthy?

Congratulations on your successful transition to a totally plant-based diet! You're right -- a well planned vegan diet should provide us with all the nourishment our bodies need. However, sometimes our diets are not as varied or nutrient-rich as we might like to think they are. And, regardless of how good a diet is, there are times when our bodies simply do not absorb the nutrients from our food adequately due to lifestyle changes, age, illness, metabolic disorders, or general health problems.

Protein is important for the growth of strong hair and nails, among many other things. When people consume enough calories in their diet, protein deficiency is essentially nonexistent. Nearly all foods contain protein (except fats and alcohol) including grains, legumes (peas, beans and lentils), nuts, seeds, and vegetables. These are the staples of a vegan diet; hence, if you are eating sufficient quantities of these foods, protein should not be a concern. In cultures where protein deficiency exists, it is nearly always due to inadequate amounts of food (i.e. starvation) rather than inadequate protein intake.

As we age, protein may be used less efficiently. As a result, older vegans may need even more protein than when they were younger. It becomes even more important, therefore, to regularly consume high-quality, protein-dense foods (such as soy products and other legumes). Low calorie intake can minimize the amount of protein in the diet as well. So if you are not getting enough calories, your protein needs may be even higher.

Omega-3 fatty acids have been attributed with many amazing properties including improving the texture of hair. These essential fatty acids are lacking in most people's diets (omnivores as well as vegans and vegetarians). Food sources of omega-3 fatty acids include tofu, canola oil, and walnuts, among others. The richest vegan source of omega-3 fatty acids can be found in flaxseed oil which is available in the refrigerated section of natural food stores. Flax oil is a pure vegetable fat and, like all fats, should be used in moderation (about 1 tablespoon per day). Flax oil should never be heated or used to cook with. It is best drizzled over foods (such as salads, vegetables, or baked potatoes) or used in salad dressing. Flax oil must be stored in the refrigerator (or freezer, to extend its life) and should be used up by the expiration date on the bottle.

Many factors can contribute to hair problems, and diet may not necessarily be the issue. Most people's hair changes as they age. Gray hair tends to be thinner and more brittle (even if it's gray hair that has been colored). Inadequate sleep, fresh air or exercise can also affect the vitality of hair. Stress takes a major toll on our bodies, most notably affecting our gastrointestinal system, skin, and hair. The consequences of intensive stress may not even be apparent for a year or more after a crisis has passed. So, even though things may seem calm at the time hair problems occur, it's valuable to take into consideration past events.

Hormonal imbalances and natural life cycles (such as menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause) can affect the quality of hair. Even shampoos, conditioners, and colorants can change our hair's characteristics. Certain detergents used in commercial hair care products (yes, even those labeled as "natural") can damage the follicle of hair and cause it to fall out.

Hair loss can be a complicated matter to sort out. Before tackling the problem on your own, get a complete physical examination to rule out any specific organic causes for the change. Then, if all is well, you may want to consult a registered dietician familiar with vegan diets to evaluate your current eating plan. Supplements may be advised in certain circumstances. This doesn't mean that a vegan diet is inadequate. However, your age, lifestyle, health, or a combination of factors may necessitate special attention to particular nutrients.


Oct 27th, 2005, 06:44 PM
Hi bocabocaboca!
Silicon is a very important and quite overlooked skin, hair, and nail nutrient. You can get it from horsetail (a bog plant), or you can try a skin, hair, and nail supplement. :)