I was reading Gwenyth Paltrow’s new cookbook, “It’s all Good”. Gwenyth speaks about the impact that adrenal burn out had on her health. She shares how holistic medicine and healthy eating helped to restore her well-being. I noticed looking at her pictures that her hair was thin and dry, not the usual beautiful Gwenyth hair. I could relate to all of this! I myself have experienced a prolonged period of stress where I lost too much weight, was burned out, anxious and half of my hair fell out.
While I was going through this period of ill health I spent much time running tests and trying different things in order stop the gobs of hair from falling out daily in the shower. I tried everything to get my shiny, never thick, but full head of hair back to its glory days. I am happy to say that things have turned around and I have a lot of short baby hairs growing in – a sign of new hair growth. AND shampooing my hair is no longer a traumatic experience!
There are many reasons for female hair loss or thinning. Firstly we have to differentiate between hair breakage and actual hair loss. Hair breakage occurs due to over-processing and blow-drying which results in split ends and hair breakage. Whereas actual hair loss occurs when hair falls out from the root. Hair loss will be noticed when shampooing as handfuls of hair will fall out. Or you my notice that your brush is full of hair a lot faster than it used to be. We are talking about hair loss here, not breakage.
Causes of hair thinning or loss
A number of nutrients need to be considered when we are assessing hair quality and loss. These include protein, iron, silica, and a number of others. It is important to remember that your hair is a reflection of your over-all health!
Pregnancy can be very depleting, especially if we do not have adequate stores of nutrients before becoming pregnancy. The fetus becomes first priority! This ties into nutrient deficiencies as above.
Digestion and nutrient absorption
You may be eating the right balance of foods and nutrients, but if you are not adequately breaking it down and absorbing the nutrients they will not be available for use by your body.
Stress affects many functions and processes in our body. Digestion becomes impaired which leads to poor nutrient absorption. Hormones get thrown out of balance and adrenal stress can lead to thyroid dysfunction, hair loss, weight gain and fatigue.
Hormone levels should be tested if you are experiencing hair loss. Low thyroid function needs to be considered and can cause a number of other symptoms such as fatigue and weight gain. Other hormonal causes of hair loss include an imbalance in the ratio of male to female hormones.
Hair recovery tips
A balanced, nutrient-dense diet is important for healthy hair, as well as over all health.
Stress throws off everything from digestive function, sleep, recovery and hormonal health. Exercise, meditation and having fun are important in stress management.
Assess you digestion
Excessive gas, bloating, diarrhea and constipation are signs that your digestive system is not functioning optimally.
Have your hormone levels tested
Thyroid, cortisol and sex hormones. Imbalances with any of these can lead to hair loss.