So……just like everyone else on January 1st…..I was determined to get rid of the months worth of mulled wine, roast dinner and Quality Street that clung to my thighs!
As many of you may know (who have followed me on YouTube) I’m avidly into my strength training, and I’m always looking for ways to cut body fat whilst preserving my hard earned muscle. I had seen lots of talk about intermittent fasting all over the bodybuilding and fitness websites and I naively thought that it would be the perfect way for me to kick start 2015.
I saw instantaneous, dramatic results within the two weeks of adopting the eating pattern! Feeling my jeans become baggy and saggy by mid January gave me an immense sense of satisfaction!
However……I hadn’t done my research properly.
By week 2, I started to notice more hair in my Denman brush during detangling sessions. Thinking nothing of it…..I didn’t connect this to my drastic change in eating and carried on depriving myself for 16-18 hours per day.
It wasn’t until I started to see thinning patches at my temples that I clocked something serious was going on. Frantically, I started googling away in desperation for an answer! It wasn’t until I dug deep into the search engine that I unearthed that Intermittent Fasting had been the problem all along.
According to my findings, fasting (especially after exercise/weight lifting) threw womens hormones out of whack…..leading to imbalances and an unnaturally high level of testosterone! For many women, it can lead to severe acne and hair loss!
Of course…..you wouldn’t find this information on many fitness blogs (but that’s a WHOLE other topic….)
What we as women need to understand is that our hormones are the biggest influences on our overall health. Our whole purpose is to grow and nourish another life…..and that’s the main thing our bodies will prioritise……so be very careful and selective when you listen to non female specific/generic health advice!
This is also the exact reason behind why women can lose hair after giving birth. I lost handfuls! I lost so much hair, I was having to plunge the bathroom plughole every three days!
Hormonal hair loss can also be linked to contraceptive pills/injections, menopause and thyroid imbalances. If you suspect that any of these may apply to you, it is important to see your doctor so you can manage the problem safely and efficiently.
Of course, my temporary hair loss in January was linked to hormonal swings.
But a much more common cause of hair loss (especially amongst health conscious women) is diet. For many women who are still idolising and striving to become stick thin, the realisation that becoming unnaturally skinny for their frame may lead to a loss of healthy hair is very unpalatable.
Hair is a non essential element of the human body. If you aren’t getting enough calories for “maintenance”, then your body will see growing hair as too “calorie expensive” and will choose to divert the limited energy to vital organs and functions instead. You can check your maintenance calorie amount here.
This is why its known for people with eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia to lose their hair. This is also a similar reason for those with severe illnesses, such as thyroid problems or even cancer. When your body is desperately trying to keep you alive, it would rather send any (be it small or large) energy and nutrients you consume to your vital organs and functions, comprising anything non essential like hair growth.
You don’t necessarily have to be suffering from something as extreme as an eating disorder to see hair loss. Restricting calories from short-term fad diets can also lead to a loss of volume.
But here’s the worst part…..you could be consuming enough calories and still see hair loss! Nutrient deficiencies are very common and are also known to compromise a full head of hair.
One of the most common deficiencies is iron. Anemia is notorious for causing hair loss. The lack of iron in the body can cause insufficient blood supply to the scalp, which prevents hair from getting the water and nutrients it needs to flourish from the inside out. Sista With Real Hair discusses her experience with anemia and how she ultimately managed to get her hair and her health back on track.
Other deficiencies known to cause hair loss are zinc, protein, vitamins A & C and sulfur.
Here is where the magic of hair vitamins and similar beauty supplements come into play. As you all know I have just started the GoldCrush Hair vitamins trial, the ingredients are:
Biotin (2.5mg), Collagen (100mg), MSM (200mg), Bamboo Silica (300mg), Spirulina (50mg), Vitamin A (100% of your RDA), Vitamin C (62% of RDA), Iron (128.57% of RDA), Selenium (36.36% of RDA) and Zinc (1mg)
Its actually quite hard to get ALL the recommended amounts of vitamins and nutrients you need per day for optimal health, meaning that your rate of growth may be compromised even on the healthiest of diets. Hair and beauty supplements just help to give you a boost in anything that you may be slightly missing out on.
As I said previously, your hair is considered non essential to the body, a lot of the nutrients consumed through your diet may very well be going to somewhere much more needed , meaning that your body may welcome the top up from supplements to help support lower priority functions.
Remember that hair growth/loss is internal and breakage/retention is external.
If you want to maximise your hair growth and reduce hair loss, try these tips:
– Get your blood circulation flowing to further stimulate hair follicles and deliver nutrients to the scalp. This includes drinking more water, eating a sufficient amount of iron, exercising, scalp massages, etc.
– Eat a nutruent rich diet. Plenty of fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, oily fish and eggs. Omega 3’s and proteins are found to be the building blocks of hair….load up on oily fish such as salmon/mackerel and snack on nuts/seeds such as almonds, brazil nuts and chia seeds.
– Stay healthy. The second you notice any unnatural hair loss, seek your doctors advice immediately and get tested for thyroid/hormone imbalances, nutrient deficiencies, underlying medical conditions, identify any medication side effects, etc.
For tips on how to increase length retention and decrease breakage……just check out my blog posts! 🙂 I also highly recommend taking a gander over to the YouTube page or my actual YouTube channel and watching a few of the videos!
I hope this is helpful my chickens!
Lots of Love,
The Curly Cockney