Sunday, May 1, 2011

Weight Loss and Hair Loss

Weight loss, hair loss - how's that for a good news, bad news scenario? It just doesn't seem fair. You finally find a weight loss program that works and what happens? Just as you experience major weight loss, hair loss threatens to sabotage all of your hard work.

What it all comes down to is the scientific connection between weight loss and hair loss, which is known as telogen effluvium (TE). When weight loss is accomplished by severely restricting calories, the loss of nutrients can cause your hair to start falling out in clumps. The major contributor to TE is a lack of protein.

Our bodies have an amazing survival mode built in. Whenever we are lacking any essential component, such as blood, oxygen-or, in this case, protein-our bodies will send the necessary supply to the critical organs first. This means that non-life sustaining elements of our bodies will not receive the normal amounts of whatever the body is conserving.

When we go on a strict diet that severely restricts calories and protein, our hair doesn't receive the protein it needs to stay strong and healthy. In order to conserve protein, our body causes more of our hair to move into the resting stage. When our body is healthy, about 85 to 90 percent of our hair is in the growth stage. The remaining 10 to 15 percent is in a resting stage before it falls out as part of the normal growth cycle. When our hair is protein deprived, a much greater amount of the hair is suddenly forced into the resting stage. This leads to large clumps of the hair falling out at the end of that resting part of the cycle.

This sudden shift of hair into the resting cycle may not happen immediately, even not necessarily while you are dieting. Instead, it may begin several weeks after your crash diet, which is why the cause of the hair loss is not always seen as the harsh dieting regimen.

Crash dieting is never a healthy way to lose weight. Not only will you probably gain the weight back, but it can also send you into the weight loss, hair loss cycle that leaves you with more hair in the sink than on your head.

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