I have had a weird hair experience on my 5.5 month primal journey, and I am curious if this has happened to anyone else. When I first started, I was trying to do low-carb, aiming for about 50 carbs a day. After about two months, I would start to feel really deeply cold on occasion for the first time in my life (I was always someone who ran hot). I also started noticing much more hair falling out as well as many tiny hairs all over the top of my head. I should also mention that this whole time I have also been lifting weights rather intensely 3x/week after mostly just running, doing yoga and casually lifting pre-primal. I also got a ridiculously high LDL reading at this time and had a lot of insomnia.
This lead me to the connection between low-carb and hypothyroid symptoms and high LDL as discussed by Chris Kresser and Paul Jaminet, so I began to add in "safe starches" to up my carbs to 100-120/day. I also began eating 2 tablespoons of dulse and 2 Brazil nuts each day to help the thyroid, and I began doing bone broth daily and taking magnesium at night. Since then I have never felt the cold feeling again and my sleep is much better. The hair loss seems to have stopped (though short of sitting and counting hairs, this is a more a feeling than a certain fact). I have read several accounts of people experiencing hair loss when going paleo. My question is, is this purely related to low-carb paleo (I know hair guru Danny Roddy is very much against low-carb) and if you did experience it, did it resolve? I am especially wondering about people who have been doing this for a while. I know when you adopt a new diet, there is a period of adjustment. I want to know if long-term paleo/primal is pro-hair. I really want to believe it is because everything about eating this way makes sense intuitively to me, but I would love to hear anyone's experiences.
Just speaking from personal experience and living this life (which, in my opinion, is just as important as a doctor's research), after losing 215lbs in a year with VLC paleo, my hair loss absolutely slowed down. It's become part of the entire, healthy-looking, picture. That's not to say I don't have thinning areas, but it has seriously slowed down and appears much fuller.
Also, I went from being dramatically hot all the time to being dramatically sensitive to the cold. Doing a re-feed day and/or adding about 25-40g of carbs a day helps but only just a bit. If I go to town on carbs, I am a sweaty mess in bed no matter the room temperature which is enough of an answer for me!
I know very little but I am willing to share what I do know:
I had hair loss as well as brittle nails, etc. Reason? Lack of nutrients. What was happening to my nutrients? They were consumed by my lovely gut bacteria overgrowth. I did not know it at the time and thought I had hormone problems, etc. When I added biotin vitamins, my hair stopped falling out. But the root problem was still there.
Low carb works for insulin resistant people. Higher low carb (keep it within 75-100 carb grams per day) works for insulin sensitive people.
Your gut and your thyroids are connected somehow. The last time I checked Chris Kessler's blog, he recommended .... GAPS diet. Interesting, isn't it?
I think it's really hard to say generically if "paleo/primal is pro-hair" -- there are a wide range of possible nutrient intakes (and carb intakes) within primal / paleo, first of all, and then second, nobody can say what effect different diets will have on YOUR thyroid -- that might depend on all kinds of factors, including your age and your long-term iodine & carb intake before you started paleo.
Carb intake below 25% does not work for me at all, and very low dose supplemental iodine made me hyperthyroid which caused more hair loss.
Not related to thyroid, but I was noticing bigger and bigger clumps of hair coming out in the shower after about the ten month mark of eating paleo. I got a shower filter and drink a breakfast drink with 1 - 2 raw egg yolks in it daily and my hair has become noticeably thicker. I don't know if it is the biotin or the filter, but I am quite pleased.
I have notice hair loss I the summer when I tend to eat lower fats. I know during times of stress too my hair falls out and I need more fats. I usually reach for the avocados and coconut oil and it helps within a day or two.