When I was young and naive, losing hair seemed like a terrifying health obstacle I could never face. Now days though, my hair has completely grown back. In fact no one would ever know I had such a struggle!
Even when I knew nothing about it, hair loss always seemed to be caused by something going on inside my body. Now I that have about 10 years of experience, it seems to be a symptom of other health issues; digestion and liver issues or stress and hormones imbalances. If I do wake up with more hair shed than usual I can quickly re-adjust my lifestyle to stop it.
I no longer treat myself once the hair loss becomes bad enough to notice. I manage my health every day. It all started with big changes that added up to creating a healthy environment and life, which makes periods of severe hairloss a lot less daunting. All these changes are now everyday for me.
For anyone experiencing hair loss, I wrote a post on how I can tell the difference between normal hair shed and hair loss associated with Alopecia Areata. This will be different for everyone, so any concerns should be discussed with a professional you’re comfortable with.
First up, I am well aware that contributing my hair loss to my diet is a bold claim and I’ve been dismissed by both a dermatologist and trichologist. You may find that diet is not a contributing factor to your hair loss at all.
However, I’m not going to dismiss my personal experiences. My first major change was to my diet because after eating certain foods, I noticed significant hair loss and a tender scalp.
There are known foods which either cause or contribute to inflammation in your body. If you experience hair loss as I do, inflammation of your scalp will be the precursor to hair loss.
When I minimized inflammation, no matter what the cause was, that’s when I stopped losing hair.
When I was at my weakest, my body reacted badly to:
- White Refined Sugar and High-Fructose Corn Syrup
- Refined flours
- Hydrogenated vegetable oils
Of course your body will have different tolerances of food than mine. Some of these won’t bother you, some people can’t eat foods with high FODMAPs.
You should consider that sensitivities aren’t always a life sentence. You can eliminate foods and then slowly reintroduce them. You can take supplements and eat foods to improve your digestion. There are plenty of food alternatives that can be better than their counterparts. It’s all about experimentation and patience. I’ll be posting a list of just a few of the food swaps I’ve found over the years.
First and foremost, I used supplements and naturopathy to heal my weak digestion and liver. I also had to address diet deficiencies to also give myself the best chance of regrowing hair. It wasn’t until later that I took supplements to improve hair growth and quality.
Do your own research. I also recommend finding someone who understands the underlying causes of your symptoms to help you. You should guide them by reporting back with what’s working and what’s not. On numerous occasions, the homepathic remedies my Naturopath gave me were too strong, but he at least had the knowledge to change dosages and reverse implications that arose. He also really appreciated that I was tracking any and all changes so well.
I struggle with chemicals at my healthiest state but when I’m weak I can’t even bear the smell of them. I can strengthen my liver and therefore ability to filter them from my body but nothing works better than eliminating them completely. It’s overwhelming trying to find replacements for all your household items, so start with what you’re exposed to the most. For me, that’s skincare and makeup. I then moved onto household items such as dish washing liquid and especially detergent. I also have the added bonus of being sensitive to essential oils, so while that makes things harder, it’s not impossible. I’ll also post a quick list of truly fragrance free house hold items that I use soon.
A little hint, never tell someone to just stop stressing! I know I’m guilty of it and I hope I’ve learnt enough to know that it’s really such pointless and unhelpful statement, even to say to yourself!
There are many things I’ve learnt through my own struggle with anxiety, the greatest being that you can’t simply tell yourself to stop stressing. It is an accumulation of small efforts that build and build over time, gradually making you stronger to face what is causing your anxiety.
I will have a much more in depth post on how I dealt with my own anxiety, but I would encourage anyone experiencing hair loss to deeply consider how much stress can be contributing to hair loss. It raises your cortisol, throws your hormones out of balance and wreaks havoc on overall health.
So my hair care didn’t change that much during my hair loss. In fact it was worse! During the worst periods of hair loss I was terrible at looking after my hair. I barely wanted to touch it, I hardly brushed it and it was either up in a bun or covered by a hat. I kept it washed and clean, but looking back I should have let it down more often than I did.
I’ve seen many shampoos and treatment that claim to regrow hair and I’m not dismissing them at all. I suppose I never tried them myself because I knew my issues were internal.
What I will say is that if you keep your scalp well nourished, your hair will have the best chance to grow back stronger. Clogged follicles will block hair trying to regrow. Also try and give it a break, don’t always have your hair up in tight hair styles, let it down at night. I know how hard it is to leave your hair alone when it’s shedding but being gentle will minimize hair loss.
In the next coming weeks, I’ll have separate posts for each of these. I can honestly say that being more conscious of myself and my environment has completely changed my life, and for the better!
Please, please remember I am not a doctor. If you are experiencing your own health issues with hair loss, you must find a professional you feel comfortable with