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Hair loss and diet

by (60)
Updated about 16 hours ago
Created May 25, 2010 at 4:09 PM

I'm a 22 year old male, been mostly paleo since the end of January. Just the past few week or two, I've noticed more hair on my pillow and coming off my head in the shower. It's not balding in a single patch on my head, and but there is definitely more hair coming off my head on a day to day basis.

I didn't expect to go bald because my maternal grandfather never did. Could this be a temporary phenomenon related to stress / diet? Has anyone else experienced a hair change while going paleo?

I also have recently changed to not shampooing as often and using only doctor bronner's soap.

Any info would be appreciated.

Medium avatar
39841 · March 14, 2013 at 2:30 AM

Old thread, but that is a symptom of omega-6 deficiency.

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1327 · January 04, 2012 at 5:19 PM

This is valid. We have to be careful with iodine because too much can cause problems, but the likelihood on a paleo diet that you're not getting enough is quite high. Eating seaweed isn't all that common these days, so dairy is the primary source of iodine in most people's diets. If you've got paleo, it's quite likely you've given up dairy - and so you have lost your main source. Other important nutrients for hair are zinc, biotin and EFA's.

Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63
2890 · December 20, 2011 at 4:11 AM

Not saying you're wrong, just saying you're wrong to say what you're saying.

Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63
2890 · December 20, 2011 at 4:11 AM

It is BS. There has been 1 small study that showed DHT increases with creatine but it is far fetched to say creatine causes hair loss.

A8ddd54bd5284341622e9a1211b07dcc
95 · July 26, 2011 at 4:38 PM

Broken links! Dead website!

A8ddd54bd5284341622e9a1211b07dcc
95 · July 26, 2011 at 4:37 PM

I don't really buy this. How does your scalp know when you've reached your "target weight." Hair is affected by thyroid, estrogen, testosterone, vitamins, minerals and cortisol. It's really complicated!

Df88a06002d03bba261c1ac1531c0817
15 · July 03, 2011 at 7:45 AM

Do you have any evidence to back this up? Sounds like BS...

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2004 · December 31, 2010 at 9:47 PM

Very interesting link, thank you.

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3651 · May 27, 2010 at 12:26 PM

yep, we are the same height and i got 20 lbs on you. perhaps Ambimorph's Dr Eades analysis is about right. Changing your life is stressful and if you've read Mark's Primal Blueprint it is interesting to note how easy it is to under eat on this diet actually. After my fish oil in the morning i can forget about food for a while so that probably messes with our hair too. Also agree with Rick - beards are clutch. I've grown my hair pretty long, but if I ever lose it, I will be the muscled bald guy with the beard.

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529 · May 27, 2010 at 3:22 AM

I can vouch for what Patrik said personally...hope it sticks around AJ! Otherwise its time to grow some facial hair and buy some hats.

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10502 · May 25, 2010 at 10:41 PM

Sorry to break the news to you but the maternal grandfather baldness rule-of-thumb is pure BS.

Be708058841f74874740051e91a12ddd
60 · May 25, 2010 at 10:34 PM

This makes sense, although I haven't really aimed to lose weight and I've maybe lost a pound or two since going paleo. I'm 5'8 and 137 (not much to lose). I went on the diet hoping my skin and teeth would benefit more than anything else.

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60 · May 25, 2010 at 10:32 PM

i was taking some vitamin d/k2 and fish oil but recently stopped.

Be708058841f74874740051e91a12ddd
60 · May 25, 2010 at 10:32 PM

does anyone have a link verifying this for humans? could be interesting.

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15 Answers

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1
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18671 · May 26, 2010 at 2:46 AM

If I understand correctly, hair loss can actually mean you have just gone from a state of poor nutrition to one of better nutrition, because hair stops growing and when it starts again it pushes old hair out. Dr. Eades explains it better.

0e4e5882872d6a7c472ea51aec457e66
2004 · December 31, 2010 at 9:47 PM

Very interesting link, thank you.

26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867
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7967 · June 28, 2011 at 4:23 AM

I'm a woman and have had diffuse hair loss (chronic telogen effluvium) since late 2007. It's much worse on one side of my head for some reason. My hair grows in okay at the roots, but much of it sheds out at a very short length. I used to have decently thick hair past my waist - I've had to keep it cut above the shoulders for years because it got so thin past shoulder length.

It started when I was an uncommitted vegan, continued into my first phase of low-carb paleo (which I started with in mid-2009) and has only improved significantly quite recently, months after I added a lot more starch and vegetables (and dairy fat, while decreasing dairy protein) back into my diet. I noticed a ton of 'new' short hairs sprouting at the scalp in the late fall and winter, I was a frizzball. As of yet I only have less than 6" of of thicker regrowth but it seems like my former thickness is returning. Looking forward to growing my hair long again.

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3651 · May 25, 2010 at 4:59 PM

Sometimes hair loss accompanies episodes of weight loss. This article is targeted at women but it talks to the point. Should grow back unless you really are going bald.

In ANY weight loss program that you follow, hair loss often occurs at the same time. This is a natural result and the hair will grow back in once you reach your target weight. Often the hair is even thicker than before!

In fact, compared to other diets, the low carb diet is BEST for your hair. Three key vitamins to take to help your hair are protein, iron and zinc - and these are in high supply on a low carb diet. Note that these vitamins will not STOP the temporary hair loss while you diet. The hair loss is a normal part of your body's reaction to losing the weight. However it will help the hair grow in more fully when you have reached your target.

http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art16071.asp

691f120a3e7a1a036845d105d86c99a3
3651 · May 27, 2010 at 12:26 PM

yep, we are the same height and i got 20 lbs on you. perhaps Ambimorph's Dr Eades analysis is about right. Changing your life is stressful and if you've read Mark's Primal Blueprint it is interesting to note how easy it is to under eat on this diet actually. After my fish oil in the morning i can forget about food for a while so that probably messes with our hair too. Also agree with Rick - beards are clutch. I've grown my hair pretty long, but if I ever lose it, I will be the muscled bald guy with the beard.

Be708058841f74874740051e91a12ddd
60 · May 25, 2010 at 10:34 PM

This makes sense, although I haven't really aimed to lose weight and I've maybe lost a pound or two since going paleo. I'm 5'8 and 137 (not much to lose). I went on the diet hoping my skin and teeth would benefit more than anything else.

A8ddd54bd5284341622e9a1211b07dcc
95 · July 26, 2011 at 4:37 PM

I don't really buy this. How does your scalp know when you've reached your "target weight." Hair is affected by thyroid, estrogen, testosterone, vitamins, minerals and cortisol. It's really complicated!

0dc1d63c3d5975f5115f535c6a90c9dd
2
2283 · May 25, 2010 at 4:50 PM

One thing with the paleo diet that gets overlooked is iodine. Not enough iodine can lead to thyroid issues which in turn can lead to hair loss. It's something to look into

Bfddc0ab925c8ea0e0c2e87198514907
1327 · January 04, 2012 at 5:19 PM

This is valid. We have to be careful with iodine because too much can cause problems, but the likelihood on a paleo diet that you're not getting enough is quite high. Eating seaweed isn't all that common these days, so dairy is the primary source of iodine in most people's diets. If you've got paleo, it's quite likely you've given up dairy - and so you have lost your main source. Other important nutrients for hair are zinc, biotin and EFA's.

5b42b247495a616a902e17657427f6e0
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10 · March 14, 2013 at 1:37 AM

Creatine can cause shedding and thinning hair. It happened to me. Im a huge advocate for creatine and its results but it does cause hair loss. I was losing lots of hair all of a sudden. Went to the doc and he asked what medications and supplements I was taking. I was only taking whey protein and creatine. He said creatine can starve hair follicles when taken in large doses. I was only taking 3 grams per workout. He recommended I stop taking it if I wanted the thinning to stop. It took about a month for my hair to stop falling out after I stopped creatine. Its slowly starting to thicken up again after 6 months. Prob doesnt do it to everyone but it does happen alot. Im gonna miss it but I like my hair better. The doc said its pretty common complaint with creatine.

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480 · June 28, 2011 at 3:46 AM

How much D/K2? noticed some hair loss after upping D recently and adding k2. stopping now, hoping it goes away. never had noticeable hair loss until going paleo one year ago. slowly over the last year have lost more and more - some receeding on the forehead, and generally it is thinner all around. considered that it could be low card, magnesium deficiency, too much d.

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661 · August 26, 2010 at 4:15 AM

Hair loss and diet are intimately connected. I have a couple of posts on the issue:

http://www.carnivorehealth.com/main/2010/7/15/the-four-horsemen-of-the-hairpocalypse.html

http://www.carnivorehealth.com/main/2009/5/17/diseases-of-civilization-hair-loss.html

I also just finished an ebook on the subject. With nearly 250 references, I have found many correlations to diet and hair loss.

http://www.carnivorehealth.com/ebook

Danny Roddy

A8ddd54bd5284341622e9a1211b07dcc
95 · July 26, 2011 at 4:38 PM

Broken links! Dead website!

3eafb88d6a6d762fcfa8ed4eb0576260
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642 · May 26, 2010 at 7:12 PM

This happened to me at the end of last summer, after about three months of paleo eating. During this time, I also gave blood twice (low iron can cause hair loss due to insufficient nutrient delivery to the hair follicles), stopped using shampoo (which can leave the same volume of hair feeling less thick), and lost some weight in spite of actually needing to gain weight. It stopped after about a month and has not been an issue since. I'd probably blame the adaptation to the radical shift in diet and/or the weight loss. I think it's easy to under-consume calories on the paleo diet, and that is metabolic poison for lean people like me and you. Keep your calorie intake and weight up with a lot of saturated fat and good starch, eat some liver if you're worried about low iron (but remember high iron is bad, too), and give this a month or so to resolve on its own before really worrying.

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1967 · May 25, 2010 at 6:51 PM

It might be a seasonal shedding. Since I went paleo I've noticed I'm more in tune with natural cycles. I start getting tired shortly after sundown and my hair has gotten thinner and lighter in color as summer approaches.

If you have pets you'll see this in action.

Be708058841f74874740051e91a12ddd
60 · May 25, 2010 at 10:32 PM

does anyone have a link verifying this for humans? could be interesting.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1
1
22913 · May 25, 2010 at 4:54 PM

I'm 31, I've had a receding hairline for 7+ years now months after eliminating sugar/refined carbs, I've got white fuzz on my bald patch... I'm excited even if it doesn't fill in, it's stopped receding as well, all my hair is growing faster and darker

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897 · April 24, 2013 at 11:01 AM

Common side effect of low carb diets. It usually takes a month or 2 to start after changing your diet.

A06b7c581c9a0fd40812e300e33615c9
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0 · April 24, 2013 at 10:28 AM

Hi AJ,

Well I am not a doctor, however according to Dr. Loren Cordain who is a professor and author of "The Paleo Diet??? the foundation of this diet centers on foods such as lean meat, seafood, fruits, vegetables and nuts that work to support your health and eliminate many of the consequences of unhealthy, modern-day diets. As it relates to hair loss, the Paleo diet claims it can prevent hair loss, specifically male pattern baldness, by controlling a form of the male androgen hormone testosterone called dihydrotestosterone or DHT.

However if you still think it is the main cause of your hair loss it would be good to share your problem personally with an expert as he would be able to suitably guide you. I have been consulting at Forhair clinic for my hair related problems.

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2319 · May 27, 2010 at 3:15 AM

hypothyroid is a possibility

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851 · May 25, 2010 at 5:33 PM

hair loss can also be caused by creatine supplements, if u take them.

Df88a06002d03bba261c1ac1531c0817
15 · July 03, 2011 at 7:45 AM

Do you have any evidence to back this up? Sounds like BS...

Be708058841f74874740051e91a12ddd
60 · May 25, 2010 at 10:32 PM

i was taking some vitamin d/k2 and fish oil but recently stopped.

Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63
2890 · December 20, 2011 at 4:11 AM

It is BS. There has been 1 small study that showed DHT increases with creatine but it is far fetched to say creatine causes hair loss.

Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63
2890 · December 20, 2011 at 4:11 AM

Not saying you're wrong, just saying you're wrong to say what you're saying.

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