It’s hard to believe that the New Year is upon us! As we begin to prepare for the year ahead, New Year’s resolutions often involve new diets and weight loss goals, especially after the Holiday splurge! If losing weight is on your list of resolutions this year, we have a few tips for you.

What you may not be aware of is that both rapid and extreme weight loss, as well as crash diets can actually cause hair loss! Hair loss due to dieting is typically caused by deficiencies in key nutrients, especially if the diet involves food restrictions or limitations. However, often times it may just be due to the changes in your diet or the new drastic loss of weight. Drastic changes on the body, including loss of weight can put a lot of stress on the body. Hair follicles are very vulnerable to this, and often start to shed as a result! This is called Telogen Effluvium, and it is the body’s response to stress. Typically hair loss caused by dieting and weight loss is temporary and can be restored with the proper treatment plan and a balanced diet. However, the key is to lose weight safely in order to limit or avoid hair loss all together.

In order to lose weight you must decrease the number of calories that you take in, either by dieting, exercising, or both. Unfortunately, certain “fad diets” deprive the body of important nutrients that can affect hair growth! For example, while making dietary changes, you want to make sure that your body is still receiving enough biotin, iron, zinc, copper, protein, and vitamins A, C, and E. While it is always best to get these nutrients from natural sources, you should consider taking supplements and multivitamins to ensure your body is receiving the necessary levels of these nutrients, especially while pursuing a weight loss program. Here are some examples of foods from which you can get these vitamins and nutrients naturally:

BIOTIN
Oily fish – salmon, tuna
Cheeses
Yogurt
Avocado
Eggs
Nuts
Seeds
Meats – liver
Mushrooms
COPPER
Clams
Oysters
Meats – liver
Dark leafy greens
Coffee – decaf
Nuts
Beans
Avocado
Mushrooms
Bananas
Cocoa powder – unsweetened
IRON
Meats – red meat, pork, poultry
Beans
Dark green leafy vegetables – spinach
Dried fruit – apricots
Iron-fortified breads and pastas
ZINC
Seafood – oysters
Meats – beef, lamb
Spinach
Mushrooms
Beans
Seed – pumpkin and squash
Nuts – cashews
Cocoa powder – unsweetened
VITAMIN A
Sweet potato
Carrots
Dark leafy greens (kale, spinach)
Squash
Melon
Dried apricots
VITAMIN C
Citrus — Fruits in general
VITAMIN E
Almonds – nuts in general
Seeds
Dark leafy greens
Olives
Bell Peppers
Papaya

Lastly, it is important to avoid “shocking” your body with a crash diet. A crash diet is when you lose a lot of weight in a short amount of time. Not only can this cause hair loss, but usually the loss is short lived and weight is gained back much easier then if it was lost slowly and safely. You never want to lose more than 2 pounds per week, and your diet changes and weight loss should be gradual.If you think you are suffering hair loss caused by recent weight loss or changes in diet, it is always best to consult a hair loss specialist that can diagnose the underlying cause of the hair loss and work with you to create a proper treatment plan. Medi Tresse is your local hair loss treatment team; we provide hair loss treatment to women throughout Boston and Chattanooga.

Posted by Your Medi Tresse Team