If you have read past articles from my blog, you are probably aware that I am passionate about nutrition, and not just in terms of your hair health, but your bodily and mental well being too. So with the holiday season just around the corner, I would like to speak about pre-Christmas diets – something we find many people are tempted to do in order to prepare for the upcoming culinary feasts and parties.
While a healthy weight-loss plan that has been approved by your doctor or nutritionist can be fine to safely and slowly shed excess weight, crash diets are never a good idea. While most of you may know that extreme diets and exercise plans can make you feel lethargic and cranky, you might not be aware that they can be extremely detrimental to your hair.
No matter your weight, shape or size, quick fix diets and restrictive dieting deprives your hair follicles of the nutrients it needs to grow, and stay growing. While most people have a certain number of reserves (such as iron and fat), when your diet is lacking, your body will only provide energy to your vital organs – not your hair. But while your hair is the last thing on your bodies’ list of things to nourish, it’s also the second fastest growing cell in your body. You really need a sufficient daily intake of proteins, complex carbs, vitamins and minerals in order for healthy hair production.
Due to your hair growth cycle, you don’t usually see extra hair shedding until 6 weeks after a crash diet (right in time for the New Year). This is even true if you make up for what you didn’t eat later on. Associated hair loss can continue for up to a few months, depending on how restrictive your diet was and how long it went on for – and the loss can be quite severe. As hair only grows half an inch a month, and depending on the length of your hair, it can then take a few years for the hair lost to grow to the length they used to be. Really not worth it!