People choose veganism for a variety of reasons. For some, it is in the pursuit of a healthier lifestyle and for others, it is a personal belief that animal products should not be consumed by humans. There is no wrong reason for practicing veganism. The decision to become vegan results in drastic changes in the body during the initial transition period. One of the most common changes is the potential for hair loss or temporary ceasing of hair growth.
The good news is that adopting a vegan lifestyle doesn't mean you have to settle for hair loss. Taking proper precautions as you enter your exciting new lifestyle will help you hang on to your full head of hair! Let's take a look at why vegans (especially new vegans) lose hair and how to prevent it.
Significant Drop in Protein
When you go vegan, it means eliminating meat and animal by-products from your diet, which are a major source of protein in most non-vegan diets. This means a significant reduction in the amount of protein in your diet. Protein is one of the main components of hair growth and a macronutrient needed by the body for many essential functions. When the protein available in the body is limited, then the body shuts down non-essential bodily processes in order to reserve the limited stores of protein for essential body processes. Hair growth is one of the first non-essential processes to shut down, which means as hair falls out, there isn't new hair to take its place, leading to hair thinning and hair loss.
What Can You Do: Consume adequate amounts of protein. It is important to pay special attention to ensuring you find alternate sources of protein. Good sources of protein for vegans include quinoa, Chai seeds, tofu, black beans, lentils, etc. This is crucial for not only the growth of healthy hair but other essential bodily functions.
Iron is another nutrient that is needed for hair growth and maintenance. It is most commonly acquired through the consumption of red meat. Like protein, the body will cease non-essential functions, such as hair growth in order to reserve iron for the more crucial bodily functions.
What Can You Do: The remedy is to consume recommended amounts of iron to meet your body's needs. Legumes, lentils, nuts, and seeds are great options for increasing your iron intake as a vegan.
Loss of Weight at a Fast Pace
One of the attractive aspects of going vegan is that you cut inherently cut out a significant amount of fat in your diet. This leads to a substantial amount of weight loss in a short amount of time which places a tremendous amount of stress on the body. An excessive amount of stress can cause disruptions of bodily processes, including the growth and maintenance of hair.
What Can you Do: Keep an eye on your caloric intake. Many vegan foods are lower in calories than non-vegan foods. This means that you will need to eat more in order to maintain the proper amount of calories to avoid rapid weight loss and thinning or loss of your hair.
Exacerbating Thyroid Issues
Most vegans consume higher amounts of soy than non-vegans. This can be problematic for vegans with thyroid issues as it can worsen thyroid problems. Thyroid issues are in turn linked to temporary hair loss and thinning.
What Can You Do: To avoid worsening existing thyroid problems, monitor you intake levels carefully and only consume soy in moderation. Consult with your healthcare provider about the best way to manage your thyroid issues when going vegan.
Combat Hair Loss with Experts at Your Side!
Despite your best efforts, you may find that transitioning to a vegan lifestyle has left you with a less than full head of hair. Even though this is a temporary situation until your body adjusts, it doesn't mean you should have to live with it. Our experienced stylists at New Look Institute will help you find solutions to help promote your hair to grow back faster and healthier. Contact us today to schedule your FREE analysis!
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