The season of indulgence is definitely upon us, with the new year just around the corner. We know that many women will be kick starting 2013 with strict diet and exercise regime designed to shift their holiday weight, but for those worried about hair loss, could this increase the chance of thinning hair?
Losing a fair amount of weight, even when you still follow a healthy diet and do not take any medication designed to help weight loss, can still, and often does, result in hair loss. This is due to a condition called telogen effluvium, where hair loss is a result of a sudden shock to your body, in this case the strain of a low calorie diet which necessitates the body working harder to burn calories from its fat reserves. Happily, hair tends to regrow a few months later, but if it doesn’t, you could have developed the long term pattern hair loss, which requires treatment to halt its effects.
What’s Up Doc?
Problems could also result from a lack of nutrients and protein in your diet. As our hair follicles are elongated keratin structures, and as keratin is a type of protein, it follows that a diet very low in protein (such as a very low calorie diet) makes it harder for hair follicles to create strong, healthy hair. Low iron could also be a problem, as could deficiencies of vitamins A, B and D and low levels of zinc and magnesium.
It’s telling that when you search for ‘diet pills’ in Google, the fourth suggestion is ‘diet pills cause hair loss’. This would suggest that many women are concerned about this potential side effect, possibly after hearing worrying stories from friends and on internet forums. Diet pills by their very nature often cause a change in metabolism and hormones, and this sudden change can play havoc with your body, leading again to telogen effluvium hair loss. Always consult your doctor before beginning a course of diet pills, and ask them if hair loss is a known side effect of your particular medication. If after several months, the hair loss is still substantial, it might be worth coming in to see one of our hair loss specialists who can check for other causes of the hair loss.
So what’s the solution to dieting and hair loss? We recommend that you ensure your diet, whilst low in certain fats and carbohydrates, is high in nutritious foods, and doesn’t cut out any food groups. Aim for slow but steady weight loss which avoids diet pills, faddy eating and a very low daily allowance of calories. Exercise regularly and, most importantly, allow yourself the occasional treat!
The Belgravia Centre
The Belgravia Centre is the leading hair loss clinic in the UK, based in Central London. We offer clinically proven treatments for hair loss, as part of comprehensive treatment programmes offered by our hair loss specialists. Our in-house pharmacy produces high-strength medications for hair loss that contain medically proven ingredients and are available at no other clinic worldwide. Treatment programmes are available by visiting the centre or for home-use, anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our hair loss success stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of hair regrowth so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 0800 077 6666 for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.