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Hair loss

I have been raw for almost one year now, and I have only one problem, my hair keeps on falling out. It started doing this almost immediately when I went raw, and has not stopped since, any idea why this would be happening, or how I can stop it? Thanks!

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  • I was told that it is too low of a fat intake and to increase fats in the diet, like oils, avocados, coconuts, nuts, seeds, olives…coconuts are great for your hair, also fresh cucumber juice (I mean drinking / eating coconuts and cucumber juice, but you can put coconut butter or oil on your hair in addition to eating them :)).

  • Try eating brown seaweed. I take Modifilan (raw seaweed supplement) for mercury detox and thyroid. The iodine in it has helped me with this problem. It has also made my receding gumline repair and my fingernails are long and strong, shiny too. I also eat lots of fats in nuts, avocados and flaxseed/flax oil, but my hair fell out in handfuls until I added iodine. Allison

  • When you do a dramatic change in diet this can happen. Even SAD eater when they go on “crash” diets they don’t get the right nutrients for their hair. Often they don’t notice until a few months after and don’t realize the relation. Also stress in another one that can cause hair loss. The hair loss will often not show up until a month or two after the big stressful time has ended so again, people don’t notice the relationship.

    good advice to include more fats and oils if you are not. Also make sure you are getting the right minerals. If you are, you might have to clue us in on the rest of your diet so we can help you figure it out.

    One thing you might want to try is MSM. It help your hair grow in thicker. I have been taking it for 2 months now and my hair is getting thicker. Remember that it is normal to lose up to 100 hairs a day and the cycle changes throughout the year. So, don’t freak out if one day you see more hairs in your comb than you did a month ago – often it is part of the cycle. It depends on how much you are losing (you didn’t say). It is hard to believe that the hair would start falling out the same day you went raw so my guess it was related to something that might have happened before you went raw. It takes a while for the deficiency to build up.

    This may seem sort of off topic but what else do you do to your hair? Like what kind of shampoo do you use etc. Do you use any chemicals on your hair? You might want to stop using shampoo. Shampoo dries and weakens your hair which may cause you further problems. I stopped shampooing my hair a little over 2 months ago and my hair is so much thicker an stronger than it was when I was shampooing. We have a thread going on it in the “Other” section if you are interested in checking it out. Also try using some conditioning on your hair too – like coconut oils or avocados if your hair is dry. Another tip is scalp massages – these stimulate the blood to get up to your scalp to feed your hair folicules. The scalp is often the last area in your body to get the nutrients – it gets any excess that is leftover so if you don’t have enough – the scalp doesn’t get any.

    I used to be a hair dresser so I know about hair. There can be so many underlying factors that it can be hard to pin it down. Stress is actually the number one reason people start losing their hair like this. But nutrition and a big sudden change in diet is another too.

  • Thank you sooo much for all the suggestions! I to ahve been wondering if my diet is sufficient, so I will list what I eat, and maybe you all will have some insight. Four days a week I eat only fruit, I tend to have apples, bananas, oranges, grapes, pineapple, watermelon and the like. Then three days a week I make nice big salads for lunch with sprouts, micro greens, spinach, tomato, beet root, carrot, and a dressing of acv, evoo, lemon juice, honey, avocado and hemp protein powder. Then I will have three fruits for dinner. I snack on dates during the day, and have bananas with pureed dates and sucananat for dessert. I also ahve banana ice cream once a week, and a treat meal, with a pate or salsa. I don’t eat before noon or after eight, becuase of the bodies natural digestive cycles. Is that enough do you think? I also drink tonnes of water. I do use just a regualr shampoo, and I have extremely dry skin, so I am wondering if I am maybe allergic to soaps. Thank you all so much again!

  • Good fat. I agree. It is good for hair.

    Someone (a nutritionist) once told me that my pores were clogged and taking 2 Tbs a day of flaxseed oil for 2 weeks and without washing my hair would help. It did. (I had a lot of stress where I lost hair.)

    Of course, after 2 weeks of that, my stomach didn’t feel too well. I think that’s because of too much flaxseed oil. So, I cut back since then… (it’s been years) and rarely take it now. (Now, I just eat other kinds of fats… nuts, avocado, and also Udo’s). And my hair after 2 weeks… oh it was so oily/greasy… not good! I couldn’t wait to wash it again. I read queenfluff’s post about not shampooing hair; it’s very interesting, I may have to try it sometime… or at least slowly introduce myself to the idea.

  • Hi Dancin Durian! Based on what you say you are eating you may be deficient in zinc. The best source of zinc for vegans is probably cabbage juiced or raw. There are small quantities of it in sesame seeds, asparagus, and mushrooms. Also sprouted mung beans and some grains and nuts.

    I hope this helps! =)

  • Dancin’ Durian – I am not an expert on raw nutrition by any means but my guess is that the four days on exclusive fruit might be a factor. It is great you are getting the greens in there. Is there a reason why you only eat fruit those four days? I would mix it up if I were you. I realize that everyone has there own philosophies on how to eat and that is fine but I think eating a variety each day (eat fruit and greens) would be best. Get a fat in everyday too. Maybe make a green soup with avocadoes? Add some coconut oil to your fruit smoothies.(coconut oil very good for hair in and out). If you decide to try the MSM, you can add it to your smoothies. Another thing you might try is spirulina – because it has protein. You might want to up the hemp protein powder you are taking. It is good you are getting the Olive oil but do you eat any whole olives? Those are good for the hair too. You might want to check out David Wolfes Eating for Beauty book – it lists a lot of raw foods that are great for hair. :)

    I don’t see any nuts or seeds on your list. Zinc is important in hair too – you can lose hair from zinc defiency. Cashews are high in zinc. I forget what else. So, that is something you might want to look into – getting a food rich in zinc. Pumpkin seeds are high in zinc too.

    I never heard of not eating before noon (aren’t you hungry when you wake up? :) )- I have heard of not eating after 9 pm.

    For the shampoo, there are lots of completely raw natural shampoos you can use that you can make at home if you don’t want to be “shampoo free” yet. There are lots of links on our no shampoo thread that you might want to check out. These will be all around way better for your hair than regular shampoo.

    If your hair is really dry too, it would make sense because you are not eating much oils or fats and shampoo already strips the natural oils from your hair already. One question: are the hairs that you are losing – do they have a little bulb on the end of them? The reason I ask is I was wondering if the entire hair is coming out or it is just “breaking off”.

    germin8 – When you go off shampoo, your hair WILL be oily for a while and yes, it will drive you nuts! You will be very tempted to shampoo your hair. This is just your scalp still over producing oils from them being over stripped by chemical shampoos for too long. It just takes your scalp and body a while to realize that it doesn’t need to produce as much oil anymore. Once your body realizes this, it balances out after a while. Hard to believe but it does! It just takes time. By the way, there is a homemade flax shampoo you can make – it is basically just blended soaked flax – might be a way to get flax in. The recipe in on the shampoo thread in the “Other” section.

  • Hi Again. I just thought of something else. Peas could really help you. Sugar snap peas are great raw. Eat a cup or two! They are so good for you and yummy!

  • Hey guys! So, my hair does have the little bulb at the end of it when it comes out, so I guess that is the whole hair. Thank you soooo much for all the suggestions. How much fat is enough fat in a day do you think? I am no nutritionist either, so I would really appreciate some insight into how much of what I should be eating every day. Thank you again so much everyone.

  • Hey Dancing Durian—

    I would use the free program cronometer. I have personally used it and found it very helpful and user friendly. Because you eat such a consistent diet, it should be pretty easy to plug in a couple of typical days and click through the various nutrient lists to see what you’re lacking. In addition, I think you should strongly consider immediately supplementing with some methylcobalamin or any form of b12. Iodine as well. Dry skin certainly sounds like an essential fatty acid issue. But could also be from heavy metals. (or probably many other things i don’t know about.)

    But anyway I would cover all your bases just to be on the safe side. Looking at your diet the most likely nutrient deficiency candidates appear to be b12, iodine, essential fatty acids, protein, selenium, vitamin D and zinc. However, it could totally be something else too. That’s why that program is helpful in identifying issues.

    There’s always the possibility too that it has nothing to do with your diet and could be from a medication (like birth control pills) or something else to which we are not privy.

    out of curiosity, what are your nails like? (i.e. brittle or flexible, any white rings or vertical ridges)

  • Hmmm… what to vertical ridges indicate?

  • Dancin’ Durian – It is normal in shedding hair to have the bulb on the end. I asked because I was just trying to deteremine whether or not your hair was breaking off and thereby, that would mean your hair was in a damaged or fragile condition. You probably have a little of both (bulb and non bulb) which is normal for lot of people. Most people today have some sort of breakage in their hair from drying shampooing and combing and brushing and blow drying etc…

    It sound like your focus should be nutrion right now. But I would also “go gentley” on your hair too on a daily basis. Since you are deficient, the hair on your hair is too. I highly recommend doing scalp massages – just use your fingers and be gentle.

    Also good recommendation from Avo Cado about the B12 too! I take that every once and while – maybe half a tablet once a week.

    germin8 – the vertical ridges on the nails basically indiciates a vitamin defiency of the things Avo Cado mentioned. Esp Iodine I believe but the other play a role too. I remember having a few when I was a vegetarian and not eating well. I also had the “white spots” or calicum stains from too much dairy.

    Oh, along the line of nails – just a side note – the worst thing you can do to your nails is paint them. You could have the best nutrition in the world and still have bad nails if you put all those chemicals on them. Speaking from experience. :)

  • Hey everyone! I down loaded the cronometer, and I think it is really going to help me figure out just what is going on. Avo Cado, how do I do a heavy metal cleans? Writeeternity, you seem to know ALOT about nutrition, did you take courses? It is kinda funny that you mentioned peas, I crave them all the time, but I am a but weary to eat the frozen ones, so I am sprouting some right now. Queen fluff, all of your suggestions have been so helpful, I had some coconut oil with my dessert tonight! And my nails are looking good, it is just the fry skin. It is really bad on my knuckles and one little spot on my ankle. I suppose it couple be lack of fat, but I am never sure how much to eat. Thank you all so much again! God Bless!

  • Durian— good to hear you downloaded the cron-o-meter. I’m using the mac version but I think the windows/mac are pretty similar if you have any questions. or hey maybe you’re using mac too.

    Just for fun I put in two durians to see what the nutritional crunch would be like. You can see that for 1770 calories it’s low or zero in selenium, zinc, calcium,b12, vit. D, etc.. Probably fine if that was one day once in awhile but you can see how if you were eating that way all the time you’d start to run into some problems.

    One thing I disagree with on the cron-o-meter program is the amount of calcium it thinks you need. I think the ideal ratio for calcium to magnesium is more like 1:1 they think it’s 2:1. I would also dispute the amount of protein it thinks you need. However, at least it should give you a better picture on most vitamins and minerals where you stand.

    germin8— In truth I’d have to plead ignorance on exactly what vertical ridges mean. I’ve seen different sources say different things. some claim iron. some claim zinc. others claim a stop and start of the growth process. So I don’t think there’s any consensus. Nails do seem to be a good general marker for deficiencies though and are easier to look at then hair so that’s why I asked.

    anyway - heavy metals - unfortunately there’s no great or perfect way to get them out right now. (please someone tell me if I’ve missed a new product.) Gabriel Cousins likes liquid zeolite but I’ve seen zero proof on that other then the strange bi digital o ring test. edta and dmsa both seem to have potential side effects associated with them. About the only thing I’ve found that seems both safe and has a little proof behind it is cilantro. you have to take approximately 100mg 4 times a day. (you can low temp dehydrate the fresh leaf and then grind it up in a coffee grinder into a powder.) cilantro’s effect on heavy metals was discovered by Dr. Yoshiaki Omura who happened to be testing patients’ urine for heavy metals. And then at the same time a new chef had been hired who was adding cilantro to every meal.

    Also see Allison’s post above on modifilan. Though I thought the alginic acid in modifilan was better maybe at binding metals in the digestive tract then at getting to ones that are stored in the bones and fatty tissue. But who knows? heavy metals are a big complicated subject.

  • I think that cilantro could be dangerous as it’s a mercury mobilizer. You also need a binder if you eat it regularly. Chlorella or alginates work to bind mercury. This is a topic that I have studied extensively because a bio-feedback test revealed that my mercury level was off the meter! My homeopathic doctor diagnosed me with Lyme disease and mercury toxicity and related symptoms such as thyroid distress and candidiasis. He also recommended that I take Modifilan three years ago. I took it in minor amounts, but quit because I didn’t see any results. That doesn’t mean that there weren’t any though. Reading an interview between Mike Adams (News Target Insider) and Sergei Zimin (maker of Modifilan) I decided to try it again in higher doses. The results have been amazing. Many symptoms associated with mercury, thyroid and lack of iodine have improved. I have the link to the interview if anyone wants to read it. Allison

  • how much of the Modifilan did you end up taking to make it work?

    and…I will take that link to the interview.

    I just ordered some Modifilan.

  • The developer of Modifilan says we can take 9/day because most people are iodine deficient. The bottle says for maximum benefits take 6 in the morning before meals. I started slower because it’s better to ramp up than to suddenly take a large amount (from my experience). My initial dose was the minimum listed on the bottle, 3/day all at the same time, in the morning. The following week, I added 3 caps, in the afternoon, between meals. Now, I take 6 in the morning, 3 in the afternoon after being on this for three months. 4 months is how long the company suggests treatment to see benefits. We all will have a differing experience. For me, it was almost immediate because I feel I needed iodine. A break is suggested for a couple of days per month. I feel bad when I do that. My legs get weak. I have had some dizziness from detox and my fingers have gone back and forth from being numb/tingly to normal. Having a neurodegenerative disease, I had this anyway. I sometimes feel that I am retracing symptoms as I cleanse.

    Fucose and mannose in brown seaweed are glyconutrients (essential sugars). They’re two of the eight that the cells need for communication with each other.

    This is a long PDF about Modifilan.

    http://downloads.truthpublishing.com/OceanMedic…

  • By the way, the free program Avo Cado mentioned earlier, CHRONoMeter, is available here:

    http://sourceforge.net/projects/cronometer

    Note that it’s written in “Java,” which basically means they have both a Windows and a Mac version available for download. It’s quite a hardcore program, but I’m sure it would be very helpful for those trying to track the nutrients in their diet.

  • Awesome..thanks for posting 123!

  • Since you are getting your fruits and greens, sounds like you need essential fatty acids and more sea vegetables. I also recommend blending those dark leafy greens and juicing, as well. Salads are fabulous but we cannot assimlate all of the nutrients from them because the tough cellulose prevents this. By blending them into smoothies you’ll be able to assimilate the nutrients far better. Also, I only use organic dark leafy greens, because dead enzyme-less soil equates to empty, degraded plant quality.

  • Dancin Durian – hair loss is an inidicator of protein deficiency. Basically, your body is lacking the basic building blocks (amino acids) that keep your hair healthy. I’ve experienced the same problem with my diet and decided to go to an actual licensed dietitian. I was happy to find that she was able to supply me with a meal plan that was easily adaptable to the raw diet- the bottom line that she stressed though was getting in enough protein at every meal. And it’s really not the problem i thought it would be! I know there are a few raw protein powders out there, like the ultimate meal or a hemp one by living foods, so if you threw that into a morning smoothie that would probably be a good booster. And for lunch and dinner, it’s important that you get about 1/2 a cup of protein, some good sources are raw almonds, sprouted lentils, quinoa, or mung beans, etc. Try adding these into your diet and see how you feel. For me personally, i now experience tons more energy and stamina, stronger muscles, and minimal hair shedding! (remember the average person loses about 100-200 hairs a day). These are all the product of a more well-balanced diet, getting enough protein is VERY important, but that doesn’t mean we have to overdo it like the rest of the country! Good luck!

  • Amacleod-The average person isn’t a raw fooder who uses non chemical products on their hair. I don’t see how you can measure protein by the cup. It should be measured by the number of amino acids the food contains. Since green foods contain an abundance of protein/amino acids, why would you (or your dietitian) think a lack of protein is the issue? Hair loss could be from many things. Lack of B-vitamins (particularly biotin), thyroid distress, inability to digest and assimilate vitamins and minerals, just to name a few. I’m curious as to what lead you to this conclusion, if you were tested or if this was just a possibility from a dietitian.

  • I agree there with ya Allison…I think I get enough protein with green smoothies and all the nuts I eat. I feel I get most things I need. Then I realized I wasn’t getting enough sea vegetables. I am trying to put Dulse in my smoothies and soups and starting taking the Modifilan. It’s only been a few days..but it feels like I have a bit more energy. So maybe this is the key. Thanks for the advise.

  • Hi Zella. How much are you taking? I’m going through my second week of having detox symptoms. I slowed down to three a day again. I also drank a lot of water today. I think that’s necessary when you clean your blood, as that’s what the alginates do. I’m glad you’re having good results with Modifilan. Just remember to go slow for awhile. Allison

  • I am taking 3 in the morning with lots of water. It doesn’t even make me hungry for awhile. Then I take two more with water while my stomach is still empty around 1:00. I missed my 1:00 dose today and yesterday.

    I haven’t felt any detox symptoms. I got my period sooner than usual. And my usual PMS headaches aren’t as bad. But the week isn’t over..so I can’t say that yet. I will cut back if I start to get major detox symptoms.

    The bottle says to take 6 a day for maximum results. I would have tried that…but I can’t afford to take that much. And maybe taking less than that will work anyways.

  • I’m lighheaded today and the skin on my chest is peeling, taking some large “age” spots with it. I’m also perspiring, which is a problem for most of us with so-called MS. Not being able to perspire (anhydrosis) causes the body to get too hot. I think my skin is coming alive again! My face is oilier than usual too. If you want to take this offline, my email address is alpdesigns1@yahoo.com

    Allison

  • I should add my hair loss saga as well since I know how disturbing this can be!

    I didn’t see anyone ask about birth control pills…Going off BCPs is just like the post-pregnancy stage when women lose all the thick hair from their pregnancy. It takes about three months off for this to happen and can last for a year I’ve heard.

    This was my experience except that it continued on over a year and I started to get concerned about all of these issues….zinc, protein, fat deficiency, etc. but honestly I’ve been eating so much of everything (and such better quality than ever before that any type of deficiency seems crazy at this point.

    My hair finally stopped shedding only recently, after giving up shampoo. It could’ve been a coincidence I guess but if so, than it must’ve been just detox. I think queenfluff is right about any significant change in the diet reacting like a “crash diet”.

    Nora Lenz has a good article about deficiency on her website: rawschool.com. It makes a lot of sense to me and takes out the FEAR surrounding deficiences.

  • I joined that group awhile back and left because Nora Lenz has strong opinions of which I don’t agree. She thinks genetically modified food isn’t as big an issue as eating cooked food, but I think the issues are equal. I also don’t agree with the intuitive dieting because intuition is based a lot on habit or desire. You may only feel like eating bananas for three days, but that will lead to a deficency in other nutrients. She eats a lot of durian, a heat treated or irradiated import. That doesn’t seem optimal to me. I know science gets in the way of health sometimes, but at least there is evidence why some things are good and some things aren’t. I think nutritional balance is important.

  • Allison, I think I will keep talking on here…it might help someone else with this problem if they see us talking about it. But I will keep your email in case I have something private I need to say. I really appreciate all your insight.

    kauaigirl…I think my hairloss might be hormonal…but what is causing the hormone imbalance was a mystery to me. I tried every BCP in the past and they all made me nauseous. I did have the hairloss after pregnancy. Then it started again three years after that when I decided that I would try and lose weight on just coffee and cigarettes. Nice huh?...4 years later and I am still losing tons of hair. Lukily I had alot of hair. It’s half of what it used to be.

    But now I am eating healthier and have been a vegan for 2 years and started raw 5 months ago..and am waiting for improvement. But I have done a number on my body and don’t expect anything overnight.

    Allison, I did notice a detox symptom from the Modifilan. Nausea. I think I will cut down to just 3 a day.

  • I suffered hair loss after I started the raw diet in January 2006. It was really devastating!! The three most-probable reasons that this happened to me were 1) my calorie intake was very low at first because I have a hard time eating enough calories when I eat all-raw. A very low calorie diet can cause hair loss. The low caloric intake caused me to lose 25 lbs my first month. 2) My protein intake was very low, and low protein is another factor in hair loss (gastric bypass patients are warned to make sure they get enough protein to avoid hair loss). 3) My diet drastically changed overnight- that’s a shock to the system!

    It’s been a year since I stopped eating raw. The hair loss stopped. I am now easing my way back to a high-raw diet, but making sure I get enough protein and calories. My hair looks better but it may never recover to what it used to be. I wore a wig for about a year and only in the past month have I given it up. :-( Nobody warned me about hair loss when I first got into raw, so I have a little resentment about that, but you live and learn.

    The good thing about eating raw was that my obsession with high sugar and high salt foods disappeared, and my complexion completely cleared up. I felt generally healthier, so I know there are wonderful benefits to a raw diet. I’m just “doing it smarter” this time around!

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