Going Vegan Without Losing Your Hair
Lew Hutchison, Invisions of Connecticut, Middlebury, CT
So you have decided to go vegan. There may be some health concerns that you need to be aware of. One of the common issues that is associated with going vegan is hair loss. For those that decide to go vegan, during the initial transition period, hair loss is often something that is experienced. There is good news and that is hair loss due to going vegan is preventable. Here are some of the reasons vegans lose their hair and how to avoid it happening to you.
Hair Loss Causes
Going vegan means cutting all meat out of your diet as well as all animal byproducts. This change can lead to a sudden drop in protein intake. When your body has low protein levels, one of the first things your body does is to stop hair growth to conserve energy for more essential body functions. If you have a severe loss of protein from your system, that can cause you lose hair.
Deficiency of Nutrients
When you go vegan, your diet takes on some drastic changes and some of those changes can result in nutrient deficiency. Iron, which is commonly found in whole grains and red meat, is often an issue for those that go vegan. Having an iron as well as other vitamin deficiencies can lead to you having hair loss. Your body will cut hair growth to save energy for other body functions, so it is very important to watch your diet closely to avoid nutrient deficiency.
Rapid Weight Loss
Rapid weight loss is common for new vegans. This happens because you cut out of your diet most of the fattening aspects. This rapid weight loss can put a tremendous amount of stress on your body and this stress can cause confusion to your system and can disrupt your body’s natural processes. This disruption can lead to you suffering hair loss.
Anyone who goes vegan often has an increase in their soy intake. If you suffer with thyroid problems, soy can greatly worsen this issue. The problem is made worse when your body is low on iodine. When you have thyroid problems, these often result in hair thinning. If you do have a thyroid issue and you want to go vegan it is very important that you monitor your soy intake and iodine levels.
Going Vegan & Healthy Hair
Eat Nutrient Rich Foods
When you are on a vegan diet you need to be careful because you can lose vital nutrients. One way to solve this is to eat foods that are high in nutrients that you may be lacking. Items like carrots which are a great source of vitamin C, and walnuts are a good source of vitamin E. Other foods like bok choy, spinach, and other leafy greens can provide you with the iron your body needs. By eating nutritious foods, you give your body the essentials it needs, and you avoid your body from stopping hair growth.
Watch Your Protein Intake
When you eliminate meat and animal byproducts from your diet, the result can be a lack of protein. There are a number of foods you can eat to give your body the protein it needs like quinoa, lentils, black beans and Chai seeds. These protein rich foods also are high in other important vitamins that can improve your body’s overall health and help promote hair growth.
For many vegans just monitoring your diet isn’t always enough to ensure you are getting the right amount of nutrients your body needs. Taking a multi-vitamin and supplements can help a lot to make up for any deficiencies you may have. If you have thyroid problems, you may also consider taking iodine supplements to avoid hair loss that can be cause by your soy intake.
Monitor Your Caloric Intake
When you go vegan you cut out a lot of food that are high in calories. As a result, you will need to eat much more than you are used to eating. It is important for you to monitor the number of calories you take in to avoid rapid weight loss. While you might be looking forward to losing some weight by going vegan, rapid weight loss can be harmful to your body and it can lead to hair loss.