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Please help me apply Danny Roddy's hair growth ideas to my diet

by (3197)
Updated about 17 hours ago
Created February 24, 2012 at 1:54 PM

Before I start, let me mention that though I want, predominantly, to hear from people who are familiar with Danny Roddy/Ray Peat, I would appreciate any advice on hair loss!

Dear all,

I have been experiencing hair loss recently, and I suspect its a result of my decreased appetite/heightened hunger awareness (hence eating just 2 times a day), combined with stress. I eat paleo + dairy (full fat, fermented, raw when I can find it/minimally pasteurised).

I need to sort this out before it gets worse. I'm a model and I really can't lose my hair. Besides, its making me so depressed. I am trying to increase calories as much as I can in two meals, though keep in mind that I can't just go wild with this as I need to maintain my dress size.

So I've come accross Danny Roddy's weblog, and thought I'd give some of his recommendations a try. However, I have a problem with some bits of his recommendations. Bear with me:

What he recommends is dairy, namely milk; he emphasizes fruit over vegetables; he also recommends sugar, orange juice, raw carrots; he says avoid grains, legumes, nuts, seed oils; he recommends shellfish, liver, and gelatinous cuts of meat such as oxtail over de-animalized muscle meat.He says, eat fat, protein and sugar together.

So, the bits I have no problem with: obviously paleo-friendly things like gelatin, more shellfish & organs, are all recommended anyway; dairy (I have, up to now, used mainly cream; I can source organic full-fat buffalo milk from a local farm, so I could give that a try); avoiding nuts - I don't eat very much of them anyhow; seed oils - I avoid like the plague

Now, the carbs: I've been thinking of upping carbs a little anyhow, since I have no weight to loose, I work out a lot, and I have no appetite - and more carbs often increases appetite. I am not 'orthodox paleo', but closer to sticking to traditional, real foods - think 'nourished kitchen', or Weston Price (minus the grains).

On the flip side: I do not want to eat sugar as he recommends; there can be nothing good about white sugar, an isolated, processed ingredient. It isn't real food; besides, though I want to increase carbs a bit (with an eye on the scale) I don't want to gain fat, and sugar might do just that. Neither do I like the idea of drinking fruit juice.

I think that simply adding milk (has lactose), perhaps some raw honey or dates, starches such as sweet potatoes and squashes, and whole fruit (e.g. an orange - preferably a blood orange, more colour more nutrition - rather than friggin juice) would do to both stimulate my appetite a bit so I can go back to having three meals a day, and help boost hair growth.

Let me mention, also, that I am not the type to be easily sold on things, but this helped Danny himself reverse his hair loss, and a lot of what he says about hormones, nutrition and hair makes sense; however, I am a strong believer in traditional eating and I don't think its necessary to consume industrial foods (which early man/peoples in traditional societies would not have had access to, and from what I see in pictures of traditional peoples, with their long shiny hair, they don't suffer from hair loss!). So, especially those of you who have tried/looked into Ray Peat and Danny Roddy's work, what do you think? Can I adapt a whole/real/traditional food diet to Danny's ideas?

Thank you for bearing with this long question, I'm not very laconic I'm afraid...and thank you in advance for insights, tips and answers...I'm really quite desperate.

Milla

B9637ddb9a9a5c6a7306e3c804fcd21d
3197 · September 07, 2013 at 1:28 AM

thank you for answering, cliff, but you completely by pass the fact that I don't want to gain weight. Also, if they didn't use table sugar in pre-industrial times, to me it makes no sense that without it you'd be 'stressed'.

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8933 · April 20, 2012 at 11:19 AM

Well I did try ice cream and it makes me sleep very well.

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12847 · February 26, 2012 at 1:25 PM

@Pheonix- Mangoes are alright if tolerated but the skin can be allergenic.

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1515 · February 25, 2012 at 8:47 PM

You're deluding yourself if you think that 1) everybody's life now is more stressful 2) high blood sugar is healthy 3) high blood sugar will solve stress issues

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4620 · February 25, 2012 at 8:23 PM

Cliff: Are mangos yay or nay according to Ray Peat? (Sorry for the off-topicness.)

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12847 · February 25, 2012 at 3:31 PM

If your coming from low carb expect to gain weight at first. Especially if you don't get rid of your eat as much fat as possible dogma. The weight eventually levels off for most from what I've seen.

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12847 · February 25, 2012 at 3:25 PM

@korion its in glycemia in context, at the end he said white sugar is very pure but should be used with caution because it contains none of the essential nutrients. Adding sugar to foods that already have extremely high nutrient density like milk isn't too much a problem.

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12847 · February 25, 2012 at 3:23 PM

@joshua- why would sugar be opposed to paleo when we evovled from frugivorious apes and every hunter gatherer tribe from the tropics where we evolved heavily utilizes fruit, honey and saps?

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12847 · February 25, 2012 at 3:20 PM

You realize the reason butter and coconut oil don't spike blood sugar is because they contain no sugar??

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12847 · February 25, 2012 at 3:20 PM

@korion- Pure sugar is mostly just a supplement but not reason to be afraid of it unless it makes up the majority of your diet. @dragonfly- Honey is fine if it is not allergenic. @milla-Maybe you should read your sentence again. These people didn't need sugar(they still got relatively pure sugar from honey and saps) because they lived in a less stressful time.`How can you compare you life where you are constantly exposed to environmental toxins and environmental stressors to there relatively stress free life? @dean- Um I hope it would spike blood sugar, if it didn't where would the sugar go?.

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1515 · February 25, 2012 at 12:06 AM

How they're different? They don't spike blood sugar for one thing. I'd like you guys to measure and report your blood sugar curves around those high sugar "meals".

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32518 · February 24, 2012 at 8:35 PM

Honey is fine, no?

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4080 · February 24, 2012 at 8:08 PM

Hell, the sugar is my favorite part! Bring on the gallons of OJ!

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21405 · February 24, 2012 at 7:28 PM

The only thing I consider opposed to the paleo mindset here would be the sugar.

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8933 · February 24, 2012 at 6:21 PM

Good point Milla. I was under the impression that fruit is "good enough" (though avocados are not a good option of course). Though we should never forget that "natural is not necessarily optimal". Still, if I can do it naturally, I'll do it that way : natural ways are automatically safer.

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8933 · February 24, 2012 at 6:19 PM

I can't seem to find the article where I read Ray Peat said white sugar should be used therapeutically. Does someone have the source? @Milla : yeah, I'd rather stay away from ice cream too :) I'm not Peatarian myself (yet), but I don't think I will ever be able to drink milk (disgusting stuff).

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661 · February 24, 2012 at 6:03 PM

Changing the last one for you Korion.

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8933 · February 24, 2012 at 5:52 PM

*"You eat butter, coconut oil etc.?? How are these any different than white sugar?"* So true, Cliff. I hate the sugar hate now :). Still, I thought Ray Peat said sugar was meant as a therapeutic aid? Does it matter what sugar, too? I've seen my stress levels decline a lot by just adding loads of fruit and removing leafy greens, and I want to go a step further soon.

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8933 · February 24, 2012 at 5:50 PM

The thing is, I know it's not the vitamin A or D in the fish oil that helps me. It's definitely the omega 3. I've had depression last year and I think, in the case of a deficiency, it could only be a good thing. I'll look a bit more into it, but for the moment I just can't believe omega-3, especially from fish, is bad.

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6889 · February 24, 2012 at 3:57 PM

"If you try to mold danny's recommendations to your paleo world don't expect to get very good results. You can definitely get benefits following some of the principals but if your looking for drastic results its all or nothing imo." I think this is a very fair assessment. I think we've all seen it numerous times where someone decided to try a diet (paleo, lc, whatever) and they say "I did it exactly as written... except I changed X, Y and Z. The diet doesn't work." Is that really fair? How can any of us say it didn't work if we didn't do it as written. Try it fully first, tweak later.

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12847 · February 24, 2012 at 2:59 PM

O3 oils are the most easily oxidized oils. In a lot of studies they don't control whats in the fish oils and often they contain important nutrients. If you goes to rays site he has plenty of studies on the negatives of O3. The biggest one being decreased glucose tolerance.

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8933 · February 24, 2012 at 2:59 PM

I have difficulties to understand this too, especially since I had lots of success with supplementing cod liver oil. Still, he considers all PUFA to be bad, and I gotta say removing fish from my diet didn't have negative effects.

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12847 · February 24, 2012 at 2:55 PM

Thats why you eat high carb high protein

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4991 · February 24, 2012 at 2:49 PM

I am astonished that he considers oils made from fish to be pro-inflammatory. I thought fish oil = omega 3 = anti inflammatory?

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3197 · February 24, 2012 at 2:44 PM

10 apples? Do you have an extra foldable stomach...? I want one too. Evolution is such a bitch, argh!...Thanks Korion, I'll try with increasing fruits, especially as I just need to maintain weight, not lose. To be honest I haven't researched Peat very extensively, I'm glad he notes that white sugar isn't a must. Needless to say ice cream - no thanks, ha! And yes, rice cakes have long since gone out of fashion (literally...). 'Clean & Lean'/Bodyism is quite popular at the moment, which is quite close to paleo!

B9637ddb9a9a5c6a7306e3c804fcd21d
3197 · February 24, 2012 at 2:38 PM

*sigh*. Please read the bit in my question about weight gain.

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8933 · February 24, 2012 at 2:24 PM

Oh and YAY I can tell my father that models do paleo too :).

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8933 · February 24, 2012 at 2:22 PM

Do NOT be afraid of fruit for weight loss. I lost fat around the belly by eating 10 apples on top of what I was already eating. **Coconut oil is your friend**. Isolated white sugar is NOT necessary : it is *empty nutrition*, says Ray Peat (and should only be used in a therapeutic way). Fruit is a better idea. Just put the emphasis on fruit, gelatin, coconut oil and maybe starchy veggies.

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5 Answers

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4080 · February 24, 2012 at 4:43 PM

If you are that worried about the whole thing, you really need to do some study. Make the decision for yourself -based on evidence, not speculation or fear.

Read Danny's whole entire blog, buy his book, or even pay for consult with him. Read up on Ray Peat. Listen to Ray speak on the East West Healing Podcast. There is even a ton of threads here on Paleohacks about both Danny and Ray Peat.

I think the reason's behind the dietary suggestions are valid, but that is because I have done my homework by studying the information presented on my own. But that being said, I think you are confused with your assumptions in regards to the application of sugar in the recommendations.

I have been eating 90% (very little liquid milk is my alteration) this way since August, and have seen some health improvements. Including in the hair growth department (although that is not an area I have been concerned with). Don't try anything before you research it and are comfortable with it. Even then, sometimes you just have to cherry pick what works best for you, and move on, always learning and researching.

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12847 · February 24, 2012 at 2:51 PM

Danny roddy's recommendations won't work well without the sugar. Its the main component of his diet. You could try to use rice or potatoes but OJ/sugar are much more therapeutic in my experience.

The number one reasons I see people getting bad results with a peat inspired diet is because they try to adapt it to there paleo/lowcarb dogma. Getting enough sugar to combat stress is the main component of the diet. You have to eat the right fruits too, strained OJ is recommended because the fibers can produce serotonin/endotoxin. Sweet potatoes are a big no no.

If you try to mold danny's recommendations to your paleo world don't expect to get very good results. You can definitely get benefits following some of the principals but if your looking for drastic results its all or nothing imo.

You eat butter, coconut oil etc.?? How are these any different than white sugar?

41dfb1a4fecb38d24075ff52f13ccb28
6889 · February 24, 2012 at 3:57 PM

"If you try to mold danny's recommendations to your paleo world don't expect to get very good results. You can definitely get benefits following some of the principals but if your looking for drastic results its all or nothing imo." I think this is a very fair assessment. I think we've all seen it numerous times where someone decided to try a diet (paleo, lc, whatever) and they say "I did it exactly as written... except I changed X, Y and Z. The diet doesn't work." Is that really fair? How can any of us say it didn't work if we didn't do it as written. Try it fully first, tweak later.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f
8933 · February 24, 2012 at 6:21 PM

Good point Milla. I was under the impression that fruit is "good enough" (though avocados are not a good option of course). Though we should never forget that "natural is not necessarily optimal". Still, if I can do it naturally, I'll do it that way : natural ways are automatically safer.

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c
12847 · February 25, 2012 at 3:20 PM

You realize the reason butter and coconut oil don't spike blood sugar is because they contain no sugar??

B9637ddb9a9a5c6a7306e3c804fcd21d
3197 · September 07, 2013 at 1:28 AM

thank you for answering, cliff, but you completely by pass the fact that I don't want to gain weight. Also, if they didn't use table sugar in pre-industrial times, to me it makes no sense that without it you'd be 'stressed'.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f
8933 · February 24, 2012 at 5:52 PM

*"You eat butter, coconut oil etc.?? How are these any different than white sugar?"* So true, Cliff. I hate the sugar hate now :). Still, I thought Ray Peat said sugar was meant as a therapeutic aid? Does it matter what sugar, too? I've seen my stress levels decline a lot by just adding loads of fruit and removing leafy greens, and I want to go a step further soon.

2870a69b9c0c0a19a919e54cb3a62137
1515 · February 25, 2012 at 12:06 AM

How they're different? They don't spike blood sugar for one thing. I'd like you guys to measure and report your blood sugar curves around those high sugar "meals".

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c
12847 · February 25, 2012 at 3:31 PM

If your coming from low carb expect to gain weight at first. Especially if you don't get rid of your eat as much fat as possible dogma. The weight eventually levels off for most from what I've seen.

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4620 · February 25, 2012 at 8:23 PM

Cliff: Are mangos yay or nay according to Ray Peat? (Sorry for the off-topicness.)

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12847 · February 26, 2012 at 1:25 PM

@Pheonix- Mangoes are alright if tolerated but the skin can be allergenic.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab
32518 · February 24, 2012 at 8:35 PM

Honey is fine, no?

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c
12847 · February 25, 2012 at 3:20 PM

@korion- Pure sugar is mostly just a supplement but not reason to be afraid of it unless it makes up the majority of your diet. @dragonfly- Honey is fine if it is not allergenic. @milla-Maybe you should read your sentence again. These people didn't need sugar(they still got relatively pure sugar from honey and saps) because they lived in a less stressful time.`How can you compare you life where you are constantly exposed to environmental toxins and environmental stressors to there relatively stress free life? @dean- Um I hope it would spike blood sugar, if it didn't where would the sugar go?.

2870a69b9c0c0a19a919e54cb3a62137
1515 · February 25, 2012 at 8:47 PM

You're deluding yourself if you think that 1) everybody's life now is more stressful 2) high blood sugar is healthy 3) high blood sugar will solve stress issues

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8933 · February 24, 2012 at 2:28 PM

Did you see his 11 ways to hack your hair loss series? These are his 11 steps (though the last one is pretty stupid) :

1) Theory - Hair loss is much more complicated than the mainstream would suggest. Drugs like Propecia and Rogaine have poor success rates and life-altering side effects. Optimizing thyroid function (metabolism) and decreasing the stress hormones, serotonin, estrogen, prolactin, aldosterone, cortisol, and adrenaline should significantly slow down or stop hair loss.

2) Raw Carrot a day - acts as a natural antibiotic, decreases serotonin, estrogen, cortisol, and endotoxin.

3) Calcium - In the form of dairy, calcium can be utilized to increase metabolism and decrease numerous hormones and inflammatory triggers associated with male pattern baldness.

4) Saturated fats - Opting for butter, coconut oil, and animal fats will go along way in restraining stress and reversing hair loss. Oils made from fish, vegetables, and seeds can all be considered "anti-hair" and pro-inflammatory.

5) Protein - Protein is integral for structural repair as well as assuring proper estrogen detoxification. Gelatin is the best source of protein, due to it's lack of tryptophan (serotonin precursor). Oxtail, bone broth, and supplemental gelatin from Great Lakes Gelatin can be utilized.

6) Sugar - Sugar is needed in large amounts to support the metabolism. Using "fat as fuel" is suppresses the metabolism and the liver's ability to store and utilized glycogen. Fresh orange juice and even white sugar in the form of simple syrup can aid in increasing body temperature, pulse, mood, and vasculature.

7) Salt - Similar to sugar, salt can increase pulse and body temperature. Insomnia, anxiety, and blood sugar handling issues can also be aided by additional salt intake.

8) Iron - A perfect diet means nothing in the face of elevated ferritin (stored iron). Get your serum ferritin tested and discuss treatment with your physician.

9) Vitamin E - Vitamin E can be depleted by a diet high in polyunsaturated fats as well as high iron. Vitamin E depletion leads to increased levels of estrogen (anti-hair) and decreased levels of progesterone (pro-hair).

10) Caffeine - In the form of coffee, caffeine can be utilized to increase the metabolism as well as provide significant amounts of B1 and magnesium.

11) Overview - All of these steps are in order to maximize the efficiency of the thyroid. Malnutrition leads to a decrease metabolism and a rise in anti-hair hormones.

I think these are pretty clear (vitamin E can be applied topically). Coconut oil is great for your hair.

Apart from this, I don't think you'll find it very hard to apply this diet : you have to cook way less, it's damn tasty, and I don't really see why it wouldn't find in the paleo mindset/lifestyle. Everything he advocates is paleo, apart from the ice cream.

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3197 · February 24, 2012 at 2:38 PM

*sigh*. Please read the bit in my question about weight gain.

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4080 · February 24, 2012 at 8:08 PM

Hell, the sugar is my favorite part! Bring on the gallons of OJ!

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661 · February 24, 2012 at 6:03 PM

Changing the last one for you Korion.

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21405 · February 24, 2012 at 7:28 PM

The only thing I consider opposed to the paleo mindset here would be the sugar.

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8933 · February 24, 2012 at 5:50 PM

The thing is, I know it's not the vitamin A or D in the fish oil that helps me. It's definitely the omega 3. I've had depression last year and I think, in the case of a deficiency, it could only be a good thing. I'll look a bit more into it, but for the moment I just can't believe omega-3, especially from fish, is bad.

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12847 · February 25, 2012 at 3:23 PM

@joshua- why would sugar be opposed to paleo when we evovled from frugivorious apes and every hunter gatherer tribe from the tropics where we evolved heavily utilizes fruit, honey and saps?

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f
8933 · February 24, 2012 at 2:59 PM

I have difficulties to understand this too, especially since I had lots of success with supplementing cod liver oil. Still, he considers all PUFA to be bad, and I gotta say removing fish from my diet didn't have negative effects.

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4991 · February 24, 2012 at 2:49 PM

I am astonished that he considers oils made from fish to be pro-inflammatory. I thought fish oil = omega 3 = anti inflammatory?

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12847 · February 24, 2012 at 2:59 PM

O3 oils are the most easily oxidized oils. In a lot of studies they don't control whats in the fish oils and often they contain important nutrients. If you goes to rays site he has plenty of studies on the negatives of O3. The biggest one being decreased glucose tolerance.

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584 · March 05, 2012 at 12:31 AM

Get out of ketosis. Add fruit and maybe some starches to get yourself up to atleast 80g of carbs a day.

Iodine. Use kelp or other seafood sources of iodine.

Avoid uncooked egg whites.

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12847 · February 24, 2012 at 2:55 PM

Thats why you eat high carb high protein

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