You only fail when you stop trying.
The questions I get asked the most given my nutrition background and personal health history…What can I do for hair growth?…How can I stop my hair from falling out?…Why is my hair falling out? There is no doubt that hair–for women–is a symbol of fertility and femininity. If you look at any fashion magazine, I can guarantee you it is “en Vogue” to have long voluminous locks. Yes, hair does not make the woman or man by any means, but it is a form of self-identity and when this form of identity suddenly changes (falls out), one can’t help, but ask the question: why? This post is meant to provide a solution you may never have heard of and restore your hope. After all, disease or ill health is merely an imbalance in the body–dis-ease. If we fix the imbalance, health is restored.
The Hair Loss Dilemma
It is not uncommon for women and men to face some form of hair loss in their life. There are even proper medical names and categories for the types of hair loss. I myself was diagnosed with Androgenetic Alopecia. (It took me quite a while to shake that label). However, I will spare you the lengthy list of medical terminology, simply because one can get lost in the labels, which can lead to confusion and the loss of hope. And please do not get caught up in the blame game–blaming your “bad genes” for your hair, as this is only an unproven theory. We won’t leave science completely behind though because there is one uncommon science (or practice), which provides reasons for why you face a hair loss dilemma. This science is called Hair Analysis.
In my experience, forms of hair loss all derive from the same underlying issue: stress exerted on the body whether internal, external or psychological, which creates a state of imbalance in the body. After doing extensive research, reading endless amounts of books and trying every possible hair growth concoction and hair product on the market, I finally reached a defining conclusion:
Stress and environmental factors are the key triggers to hormonal, digestive and nutritional imbalances, all of which eventually lead to imbalance in the body, including hair loss.
Stress, Trauma & Hair Loss
To be more specific, whether it be a sudden trauma (the loss of a loved one, relationship or job), a great exertion of stress on the body (giving birth, an illness, a high fever, over exercising) or environmental toxins (chemicals in our food, smoking, drugs, medications, birth control, alcohol, too much sugar, etc.) or any combination of the above, hair loss is usually triggered by a increase in stress and/or overload on the body. Ultimately, stress weakens the digestion and at the same time creates a hormonal imbalance, due to an excess of cortisol and adrenaline circulating in the body. Say that ten times fast! To add to this picture, in times of high stress, the body rapidly burns through its stores of vitamins and minerals, and if not properly supplementing or making up for this higher demand of nutrients with the diet, the body becomes depleted (i.e. keys nutrients for hair growth) and health issues arise.
Stress creates a cascade of changes in our mineral patterns. – Dr. Malter
The Stress Dilemma
In a nut shell, stress creates imbalance in the body, which leads to a state of nutrient depletion, the loss of digestive integrity and hormonal disproportion. In upcoming posts, I will explain how to make up for hair loss with foods, teas and herbs, how to restore balance through stress management techniques and what practices you can adopt to grow your hair. Here is a quick summary of why hair loss usually occurs in men and women:
Stress = Digestive imbalances/disorders
- Undigested Food/Fermented Food
- Makes way for Parasites/Candida/Viruses/Bacteria
- Creates overload on body
Stress = Hormone Imbalance
- High cortisol and adrenaline
- Adrenal Insufficiency
- Thyroid Insufficiency (Low Potassium)
Stress = Demand for more nutrients
- Creates depletion of important vitamins for hair
Environment (Heavy metals, pollution, mold, toxic cosmetics, pesticides, contaminated water, electromagnetic frequencies, etc.)
- Creates more overload on body
It might be overwhelming to think about where to start with this issue and often times your doctor will tell you to stop stressing and all will be well…or you might receive a medical diagnosis (like I did) that provides little hope. Yet, if you are anything like me and simply must know the underlying issue for why the hair loss is occurring, I highly suggest the following test–hair analysis. This test began to provide answers to the questions I had circulating in my head. And don’t forget, if your hair is falling out, mostly likely you have other co-occurring health issues. It is important to address them all in order for the hair to restore itself. So, what did I do and what do I recommend to anyone who suffers from hair loss?
Hair Analysis testing seems to be a forgotten science in the US. However, it is not forgotten in other countries. I first came across this practice when searching for tiles of books on Amazon. I typed out, “Healing Hairloss Naturally,” and low and behold a book title popped up from the UK called, “Regrowing Hair Naturally: Effective Remedies and Natural Treatments for Men and Women“ by Vera Peiffer. This book finally led me to answers. In her book Vera writes about HGUK hair testing, which analyzes the frequency of our hair and/or nail cells to determine imbalances in the body. The website https://www.hairgrowthuk.net/ allows you to send away a sample of your hair or nails, which will be tested for heavy metal and mold toxicity, candida, food allergies, parasites, nutritional deficiencies and viruses. Basically, just like CSI, this test enables you to receive an analysis of your hair to find out what underlying issues your body is facing that could contribute to ill health.
Hair Analysis Results
When I received my test results, I simply couldn’t believe the outcome. There were 10 pages that described my multiple food sensitivities (due to poor digestion), vitamin and mineral deficiencies, severe heavy metal toxicity, viruses and even a parasite. I had a lot of shit happening in my body, but nothing that an elimination diet couldn’t fix, along with the proper supplementation. And after about a year and a half of healthy eating and a few choice supplements, my health improved tremendously.
So, let me remind you 1) you are not crazy 2) there is probably an underlying issue to the hair shed you are experiencing and 3) Do NOT give up! My questions ultimately led me on a health journey that changed my life forever. I found real answers and solutions and a new healthy lifestyle that I wouldn’t change for all the money in the world.
The following is a check list I recommend for anyone who is suffering with hair loss:
Check List for Understanding Hair Loss
- Check Thyroid, Iron, Zinc, Vitamin D, B vitamins & Hormones with Doctor
- Get Hair Analysis, GI Map and/or the Dutch Test
- Improve Diet & Digestion
- Drink Plenty of Filtered Water
- Consider Adaptogens for Stress & Hormone Balance
- Make Stress Management a Priority
- Detox with Organic Fruits & Vegetables
- Minimize Toxins in Environment & Diet
The Take Away
It took me more than 3 years to finally pin-point and correct the underlying issues related to my hair loss. Those three years gave me a lot of time to come to terms with self-image and self-love. I came to accept myself with or without hair and I grew stronger within as each day passed. However, I never gave up the thought that I would find my balance and restore my health–this is the take away–do not give up! Whether it be something as simple as a food allergy or the result of a hormone imbalance due to giving birth…whatever the reason, you owe it to yourself to have your hair loss questions answered. I hope this information will empower you to keep going in your health journey and to remember that nothing is impossible.
In divine health,
Peiffer, V. (2013) “Regrowing Hair Naturally: Effective Remedies and Natural Treatments for Men and Women.” Singing Dragon, UK