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Oh No, my hair is breaking off

Not sure what the problem is but my hair is breaking off, not falling out, just lots of breakage. I’m clueless why though. I stopped using shampoo probably a year now, no hair dryers or other appliances,and no chemicals, I started letting my hair dry naturally long ago(1 yr.)You can actually see all the broken little hairs on the top and down the sides of my head, What a bummer to see all these squirrely little hairs runnin lose, now I’m wondering is it raw food thing, a missing nutrient or the big 40, yes, I just turned 40,This seems to have started somewhere around the time I went raw, possibly before, I’m just not sure. Oh Man , I hope it’s not a 40-thing.Drats! ~Karen


  • queenfluffqueenfluff Raw Newbie

    You didn’t mention where your hair seems to be breaking off (towards the ends or near the roots) either. That would help to know.

    Are you sure they are not new hairs growing in and your are just starting to notice them? Check out the ends of your hair in natural light – are they all split? if not,these may be new hairs.

    I am no ‘poo myself for about 8 months. I have no chemicals on my hair nor do I blowdry and I haven’t blowdryed for years. But I still have broken ends. I feel I will need to grow out all my old previously shampooed hair that is in a damaged weakened state from the shampoo and cut it off to have all smooth unbroken hair. I can see the difference in my last 9 months growth in comparsion to my ends from my shampooed days.

    Have you trimmed your hair at all lately? How long is your hair? If it is pretty long (at least shoulder length), don’t forget that those ends of your ends are from at least a year or so ago – the end of your hair will be dry (don’t forget about the quality of your water – the chlorine in your water can dry out your hair at lot – and being in the sun and wind and extreme temperatures) – these ends may be dryer and more prone to breakage because they were exposed to shampoo at one point since you said has been year when you quit shampoo. The ends of our hair are the oldest parts – they will be the weakest and the driest part so more likely to break off. If your ends have splits and are dry, it is best to keep them trimmed until stronger hair grows in – because splits can keep traveling up the hair shaft. They are unrepairable – the only fix is to cut them off.

    Also, what are you using inlieu of the shampoo? If you are using baking soda and vinegar, these can get drying if you use them too much.

    I highly doubt its a “40-thing”. My guess is they are actually new hairs. :)

  • My guess is new hairs, too.

    “You can actually see all the broken little hairs on the top and down the sides of my head,”

    I see those on my head, lots of new hairs.

    Could just be me though, I shed like crazy! I read these posts by people worried their hair is falling out, but my hair is always falling out. I think it’s normal for me. When I shower I brush my hair in the shower and end up with a giant hair-ball every time. I’d guess I lose around 50 hairs a day, sometimes maybe 100. Been like that for years. I think it’s living in the south now, mostly. Heat is supposed to increase the turnover rate of hair growth. Whatever. I’m constantly growing back all the hair that I lose, hence I see lots of little new hairs of all lengths, in addition to the majority of my hair which is about 4 inches past my shoulders.

  • PamPam

    Do you think that brushing your hair wet is a good idea? I don’t use a brush at all, but I really wouldn’t use one on my wet hair. My hair broke off horribly both the first and second time I went raw. (The second time was in January.) Now it’s growing but, yes, I have severe breakage on the top. I have attributed some of the thinning to age, but I also think that the diet has something to do with it. My body is adjusting (and hormones are fluctuating) and I just need to be patient with the process and gentle with the remaining hair and new growth.

  • Why would brushing it wet be bad? I don’t blow-dry my hair, I just let it dry naturally. If I didn’t brush it in the shower, or right after I got out, I think it would be a mess to try to brush it later once it was dry. I think it’s okay. My hair doesn’t break, I just shed a lot.

    Actually, whenever I (rarely) see an actual hairstylist to get it cut, they always freak out about how healthy, strong, shiny, etc. my hair is. Like, “What do you do to it???” And me… “Nothing!!!” I’ve never used a blow-dryer, I think they are terrible and drying. Even before going raw I only shampooed every-other day at the most. And I haven’t used conditioner since I was a little kid. Now I use baking soda, or just water, but I still use shampoo about once a week, so I’m not really doing the “no-poo” thing.

  • Ok, I just checked my hair and I don’t see any splits up higher just a few on the ends, so maybe you guys are right, there’s just so much hair fall when I shower, I actually counted them one day and counted almost 150 hairs, yikes, that seems like a lot and the ones I thought were breaking at the top and sides are all different lengths,so that’s why I thought they were breaking. luckily I have a head of hair, it’s long( middle back) course and wavy and I only use a shower comb when it’s wet, the only other thing is it does seem a little thinner to me but maybe I’m paranoid, You know when I looked at my hair this morning, the strands feel more course than usual,I hope that is a good thing, otherwise I was worried it could be harmones as a friend said she went through something similar around the year she turned 40 and had to take a vitamin (she could’nt remember the name) that really helped. Oh and I actually only rinse my hair and then use conditioner, what do you all use for “shampoo” I thought I wasn’t supposed to use anything,we definetly have hard, chlorine city water,so that has always been hard on my hair and this weekend I broke down and bought Nexuss Emergencee for breakage cause I was freaking out, boy did it make my hair soft, I do still use gel but I make my own homemade stuff and I almost did,nt need to use it, usually my hair is frizzy and fluffy like a puffball if I don’t use some gel it’s always a battle of wills with my hair, so ok what do you all think now? ~Karen

  • queenfluffqueenfluff Raw Newbie

    Pam (and others) – Never brush your hair when it is wet! Only use a wide toothed comb. When wet, hair is in a more weakened state – as meaning, it can be stretched really easily and breaks more easily. When you use a brush, your hair is more likely to get tangled and stuck in the bristles and will break off. If you can, get some natural wooden items – I use a wooden wide tooth comb and fine toothed comb on my hair and a wide toothed wooden brush (you can buy them at Whole Foods). If you brush, only do it when your hair is dry.

    Although it could be different for raw foodies – it is consider within “normal” ranges to lose up to 150 hairs a day maximum. At different times of the year, your hair will shed more and at other times less. There are natural shedding cycles for hair. Normally, most people will not notice it because there are new hairs growing in while old ones are on their way out.

    When you go raw, your body does a lot of detoxing so you might shed more hairs and your hair may seem thinner (almost all rawies seem to say this has happened to them before) – how much you lose is really up to you body and how much cleaning it feels it needs to has to do do. Plus, the hair on your head when you are eating cooked is (my guess) not grown of the same nutrition as the hair you grow when you are eating raw. Most research and information you find on hair is based on people who have hair grown of a SAD diet – not much research done on those who have hair grown out of a raw vegan diet – so be aware of that when you read info on the net and stuff. You are different!

    I think that people who have been raw for a long time and have hair grown out of a raw diet will have different kind of hair. Maybe it changes texture or something which is not surprising when you consider your diet is completley different than it was before so shouldn’t hair be different as well?

    Also, when you stop using shampoo, your hair will change. I know mine is! It has more wave and it curls easily if I tie it up and it just feels different and behaves differently.

    monark -

    I would definatley invest in a shower filter – I have to replace mine too! – I have been useing one for many years (even when I used shampoo) and I feel the difference in my hair and skin (plus, I love not being able to smell the chlorine). Also, if you live in an area with hard water it can leave residue on your hair that can be difficult to get out (which is why shampoo is used) if you can afford a water softener for your shower go for it. I am planning on getting one. I live in an area with very hard water.

    Keep in mind that products like Nexxus Emergencee (I used to use that stuff too) basically just coats your hair with waxes, silicones or other chemicals to make it feel soft and strong. The best conditioner is your own natural conditioner – sebum. If you are still using conditioner, keep it at the ends and let the sebum at your roots do the job of keeping your roots conditioned.

    I use only water for my no ‘poo routine. Every one and a while I use a diluted white vinegar or sea salt water rinse if my hair seem to be getting overly oily. But other than that I just use water. I think you should only do water only but some people don’t like it and use the baking soda/ACV method. I don’t use any conditioner on my hair. I use some coconut oil every once and a great while on my ends – but my hair has gotten to the point where most of it stays soft enough for me with just the sebum. My ends are still on the dryer side and I still have some splits but I feel I have a while to go to grow those out and cut them off. I still keep trimming my hair when the ends start looking bad.

    monark, for the gel, have you tried just using aloe vera? It is a great sub for gel! :) Usually, frizzy hair is dry hair. Maybe try a dab of coconut oil?

  • Ok, now I feel better, I am definetly going to try the aloe vera,I have always, always battled dry hair along with my sister,holy moly it’s so dry sometimes I get static in my hair and shocked everytime I touch something it’s terrible. and just so I understand correctly, when just getting out of the shower, you don’t comb your hair? what if your leaving somewhere, I mean mine can be a messy mass.What I normally do is to wet it down with a spray bottle,on days I don’t shower, then comb through with my shower comb and leave to dry.Ummm, maybe that’s the problem coupled with changes in my hair from the raw foods. ~Monark

  • queenfluffqueenfluff Raw Newbie

    Usually when I get out of the shower, after doing my water rinse, I put my hair is a towel and than I usually let it air dry a bit and than use my comb on it. Sometimes I don’t comb it until it is dry if I am not going anywhere right away. You can comb your hair when it is wet (blot it dry with a towel so it is not soaking wet though – I normally squeeze the extra water out with my hands in the shower when I am finished), just don’t use a brush until it is dry. Only comb for wet hair. :)

    I have noticed my hair is dryer the more I eat raw – and I don’t usually have dry hair. Try eating more oily things – like avocadoes or coconut.

  • Got it , thanks for your reply.~monark

  • Do you take a B12 suppliment?
    one symptom you’re not getting enough is brittle/lost hair.
    Another is bruising easily.
    Just a thought.

  • NappyveganrunsNappyveganruns Raw Newbie

    My hair has been breaking a lot! Not at the ends but from the roots. I've also noticed that my hair has become very thin. At first I thought this was hormonal (I'm only 33 years old) but now I'm worried it might be my diet (high fruit, greens only consume hemp powder in smoothies) I read online that sugary foods can block the absorption of protein... Anyone have any experience with this..?

    Oh I had a full medical exam done 3 weeks ago blood work and all-- I am healthy! No iron deficiencies or anything!

  • tardigradetardigrade Raw Newbie

    I am extremely disappointed with the answers responding to this poor person's problems.

    Thinning hair does seem like a common calamity amongst raw foodies. Thyroid problems can often be to blame, due to the increase of consumption of goiterogenic foods, or any number of nutritional deficiencies as a raw food diet is not sufficient to maintain optimal health by itself. You MUST find a good multi-vitamin to supplement your diet. I recommend Orthocore by AOR, and perhaps try Iodoral iodine supplements to deal with any potential thyroid troubles?

    I have reason to believe a raw food diet can be aging, as fats and collagen consumption are at a low and the sugar from the fruit denatures proteins in your skin, definitely think about the ratios of the food groups in your diet.

  • Claire TurnipClaire Turnip Raw Newbie

    I agree that fats are essential for the skin, tardisgrade (I'm not entirely sure about the hair. I've never had hair issues myself). There are plenty of fats to be found in avocados, nuts, raw coconut oil and more. I think it just takes some mindfulness to incorporate them into a daily diet. What do you think?

  • NappyveganrunsNappyveganruns Raw Newbie
    Thank you for the awesome responses! I will DEFINETLY try the multivitamin!
  • RawLiferRawLifer Raw Jr. Leader

    What great subjects (hair and skin issues, suppliments, etc...).  Something I think we all deal with at one time or another...especially on a new diet we're on.  Great suggestions by all!  I do think it's a great idea to be checked by your doctor or practicioner if you're experiencing unwanted issues that aren't going away.  I mean...who wants "broken" hair??  Right?!  tongue-out

  • ClaireTClaireT Raw Master

    I saw a headline the other day that said your hair can get burned by the sun. I never even thought about that. There are so many things out there that can destroy perfect tresses.

  • RawLiferRawLifer Raw Jr. Leader

    I've been using coconut oil as a natural sunblock and have started putting it in my hair as well.  It has remained soft so far this summer.  I'm sure it's the added oil (sunblock)!!  I'm loving it.  

  • JanaceJanace Raw Jr. Superstar

    Does the coconut oil really work as a sunblock? What spf do you think it is equivalent to? The sun is so much stronger than it used to be. It was 97degrees here today! Hello Summer cool

  • ClaireTClaireT Raw Master

    I looked around and saw some sunscreen recipes that include coconut oil and zinc (as well as a few other ingredients).  

  • Cynthia V.Cynthia V. Raw Jr. Leader

    I have to take chemotherapy for Rheumatoid Arthritis and was losing a LOT of hair...like handfuls coming out in the shower.  I did two things.  I started taking "Hair Vitamin" supplements. I also take Biotin and Brewyer's yeast...both of which are very good for hair.  The next thing I did was to address the dry texture of  my hair.  I bought a bottle of coconut cooking oil (it is a liquid, not a solid) and I generously apply that to my hair until my hair is pretty well soaked with it.  Then I put on one of those disposaable shower caps you can get at the Dollar Store - they come in packages of 8.  If you REALLY want to deep condition, put a wet, hot towel on your head (over the shower cap) and leave that on for as long as you are comfortable.  Then shower.  I suggest investing in a quality shampoo and conditioner.  The kinds that you buy at Walmart are just too drying and damaging.    These steps have really helped me to get control of the hair loss and to foster new growth.

  • pauliasmith6745pauliasmith6745 Raw Jr. Leader

    I think that you have some physical issue such as vitamins deficiency and proteins. Please consult with a doctor about your problem.

  • cry Just when I think about going raw, I discover that there's a high possibility that my hair will fall off?!? I just can't 

    Been vegan for almost two years now and I'd been thinking of going raw for a bit (for all the benefits that I keep reading about) but now I'm not so sure... Surely all raw vegans would be bald by now if there's no way to balance this hair issue out?

    freaking out over heresurprised

  • CreativelyccCreativelycc Raw Jr. Leader

    You will not lose your hair if you make sure you still eat a balanced raw vegan diet comprised of vitamins, minerals and proteins. Your body will let you know what it needs. If you find that your hair is starting to fall out it may mean that you are not getting enough amino acids which are in proteins. Eating a variety of greens and nuts along with seeds, especially flax seeds will give you the amino acids you need. Also chia seeds are great little powerhouses that help to keep your hair healthy.


    You will not lose your hair if you make sure you still eat a balanced raw vegan diet comprised of vitamins, minerals and proteins. Your body will let you know what it needs. If you find that your hair is starting to fall out it may mean that you are not getting enough amino acids which are in proteins. Eating a variety of greens and nuts along with seeds, especially flax seeds will give you the amino acids you need. Also chia seeds are great little powerhouses that help to keep your hair healthy.


    So relieved. I've decided to try out the raw life... Am not sure how I'll fare considering how much I enjoy hot or warm meals... but I suppose it's the best time for me to try this out considering that it's summer where I am. 

  • EeEssEeEss Raw Newbie
    edited January 6

    I take complex pills for hair, use coconut oil for ends and switched to the bamboo hairbrush.
    About the pills, you have to get a prescription first. But I highly recommend you buying a bamboo hairbrush and coconut oil. The wooden brush is more gentle, fewer tears the hair strands and spreads the natural oil over the length. While, coconut oil, enriches your hair ends with vitamins and essential fatty acids.


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