OK I will keep this as short as possible while still trying to give as much information as I can. I posted a WHOLE LOT of information in another thread but it was old so it kind of disappeared - and I guess it wasn't in this section so it got less views. Sometimes you just need a fresh thread - though I did read Bristol's recent hair thread, twice, and will read it again.
I was a raw vegan since early 2008, but switched to LFRV, in general, this summer. Since late summer I have suffered through a lot of hair loss. I'm 5'4", 130 pounds, and 23 years old. I don't have the opportunity to do any strenuous exercises right now, but I walk a whole lot, having no car in Europe. The hair loss fluctuates, it seems...but, and I'm not sure about this, it seems to be worse when I am eating raw and very low fat. I did fall off of raw (parents were visiting and we were traveling France) around Christmas time and felt the hair loss lessened, though, again, I'm not sure - I guess I was eating high fat vegan at the time, which is not a long term option, obviously.
What I eat: I eat 3400+ calories on average, and I have been tracking myself in nutridiary daily (save 2 days I missed) since January 6, just so I can always know exactly what I'm consuming. For a while I wasn't getting nearly enough greens, but over the last few weeks I have been getting over 2%, and I don't know how I ever went weak on the greens in the first place. I recently upped my fat intake for about a week (up until a few days ago), using avocados, to see if it would help the hair loss - all I know is that it might have given me more dandruff (which has been a problem, along with acne though it's not nearly as bad as it used to be). So I'm not sure about the raised fat's effect on my hair - I do know that it didn't make hair sprout out.
Water: I realized I wasn't peeing as much as I "should be" (i was maybe 4 times instead of 6+), so I recently started adding a lot more water to my diet...but it was never a big issue...
Sleep: I'm not going to say my sleep is perfect either - I probably average around 7 hours...but I'm not suffering from fatigue. A lot of times I just wake up earlier than I'd like to, but I can't go back to sleep.
Throughout my time as a "regular raw" person (not too gourmet), my hair was exceptionally healthy. I never even thought about it. Now it's dry and thinning, especially on the left side (my left) of my forehead - near the corner. Before, the worst hair losses were on the side of that side of my head, as opposed to the top, but I think it had been exacerbated by the calcium water there is where I live (I was washing my hair too much with hard water). I think there may be some improvements on the side of my head from a few months ago...but the area that I am now worried about is getting worse - almost like it moved.
How I feel: I feel fine in every other way. I am somewhat stressed, but MUCH less than I have been in the past as I was an architecture student working full time while being regular raw. I've lived all alone before, but this is my first time far far far away from family at the same time.
Look, I really believe in fruit as the perfect food. I don't preach to people about it, most people don't even know I'm LFRV, but I love fruit. But I can not have my hair falling out. I just can't. I gave a bunch of details about how I live, and I know some people might want to nit pick at them: get more sleep, for example (even though I've gone through times where I slept less). But I know it isn't something like that. My hair health is night and day. Something is wrong - and a lot of people get dry and thinning hair as LFRV, we can all admit. I just want to know what to do.
No, I don't get a lot of strenuous exercise. But if I have to be able to burn off hundreds of extra calories daily to not lose my hair in this lifestyle, then I guess it isn't for me because I can't right now. Nor can I move to a sunnier place right now (I'm in rainy normandy :( ). I also cannot make myself stress free, though I can take steps. One of the most stressful thing to me right now is the hair, ironically. I just know there is something more to it, as a lot of these factors were worse in the past.
I hear here: not enough calories, not enough iodine, not enough fat (yes, it's been stated). Any other ideas? Care to expand on any of these? Should I really try to cram in 4000 calories, even forcing myself, and see what happens?
After seeing appleman just announce that he is leaving after years of this, and that he realized how much thinner his hair now is, I can't say I'm not STARTING to lose some faith. I just want open minded answers.
Thanks so much in advance.
Wow. I really hope someone on here has some advice for you! This is a serious problem, esp if it is happening to others too...
Hair is 91% protein, so maybe you are missing an amino acid? All guesses. I hear that coconut and avocado is supposed to be good for hair, but let's see what more knowledgeable folks have to say.
thanks for your idea :)
yeah, things need to change. not at all uncommon. supposedly I get enough protein if I'm not under-eating, and I'm definitely not!
yeah. there are some things I love. I love learning how to consume NO salt...feels great. That's just one example....another is only eating a couple of times a day - I love that.
I'm still pretty sold on 100% raw since that's how food is natually, but the under 10% fat thing I'm not so sure about. You know, I can't even say what it is though - might have nothing to do with fat - but I know that something isn't right. We shall see. I am an experimenter. I don't hold onto any doctorine but I do what makes me feel right, using guidance of people who strive for the same things.
Some people would say that people like you and I just aren't "doing it right" - but no one is perfect. I eat 3500 calories of fruit at 130 pounds - I'm always full when I eat - I sleep - I drink a lot of water. I just don't want to lose my hair :) - and I'm not convinced it's detox - appleman saw his hair decrease over time, for example.
Thanks so much!
Exercise: No money for a gym, and I find working out in a foreign place w/ strangers in a muggy environment, kind of a turn off. My apartment is TINY TINY TINY...but I guess I could do pushups (barely lol). As for jogging, I can't stand the cold outside at all. Put me in 40 degree weather and I can't run a block. On the same day, put me in the summer warmth and I can run 8 miles, cold turkey, not having run for months. That's just how I am.
Sunlight: No, I got no sun traveling, period...literally, it was always cloudy, every day. I could look into vitamin D...I was thinking about it anyway...it's the only thing that I am lacking according to a blood test - but not lacking my that much...could be more now though.
Food Prep: I blend just about everything. I actually went blender free for months and I had no free time because I spent my whole day cutting up and biting fruit. Getting a transformer for my vitamix that allows me to use it out here really has revolutionized my life!
Don't you refer to your advice as bad! I highly appreciate it. Don't hold your tongue because you are new.
One thing - you say your hair isn't falling out but that it's thinning. Isn't that the same thing?
Ill look into vitamin D. Tanning bed meaning at a tanning salon? I donno about that lol. I also dont know if a supplement would do me any good... I really do miss the sun. I get so excited when it decides makes an appearance for a day or even a few hours, admittedly.
My B12 was fine when I tested in in mid Nov. I had taken supplements for about a month before then because I noticed "geographic tongue" and self diagnosed myself with a deficiency - no idea if I really had one lol
Vitamin E - I eat about 2 or 3 pounds of kiwis daily, sometimes more. I also get about .75 pounds of raw spinach per day (though I haven't been doing it for too long). I love avocados :). Like you, I don't believe there is a vitamin A deficiency.
Oh yeah, this hair loss problem started when I was still in "sunny" New Jersey (comparatively). It really coincided with when I started LFRV...or, at least, some weeks afterwards. That is important, I should have mentioned it before. I was happy, stress free, in the warmth...and it started. I guess it didn't bother me as much because it just started, but according to my mother I was really bugging her about it (hardly remember lol).
My hair is dry, too :(
The scary part is, I don't have enough time to try a whole lot before my hair situation is worse so I have to go for the best options - I just wanna stop the bleeding. I'm 24 for years old lol.
I was outside alllll the time when I was in a sunny climate. I practically lived outside. Even on a bad day I was in the car getting sunlight. But I had a real serious habit of hanging out poolside or at the part for most of the spring and summer. Long bike rides. It was great. I was doing all of that when the symptoms started...not to say I will rule out it getting this bad because of vitamin D, but I do consider it less of a possibility than I would otherwise.
My A was pretty high back then...my E may have been somewhat lower...but, a lot of times I was really stressing, before the summer (May, June), was eating a lot worse (again, comparatively), and never once did I ever ever ever have a single hair symptom. In fact, going back to the very stressful spring before this summer/fall when the hair problems started - I was getting no sunlight, was higher fat raw, sometimes slipping into cooked vegan for short stretches - and sometimes I'd go plenty of days without fresh greens, for example. My hair was always perfect. It just seems like there is something big at work here...but I'm not sure.
Thanks man...I hope it works out too.
mine keeps going though :(
ill try to try to stick it out lol
thanks so much...
prison workout is def the only workout i could ever get in here...big help man...regardless of how i eat thatll help me
Hey David...sorry to hear of your struggles with hair loss. I do hope you find a solution and there are many suggestions in the above comments that could be helpful to you.
My understanding of the causes of hair loss are as follows:
-Deficiency of nutrients (macro-nutrients, vitamins, minerals, etc)
-Chemical exposure (from unwashed non-organic produce, tap water, etc)
-Stress Hormones - when I was recovering from adrenal fatigue, my doctor had me take hydrocortisone (medication version of cortisol), a stress hormone, and somehow forgot to prescribe the counteracting medication called DHEA...short story, my hair thinned by about 40% (luckily I had SUPER thick hair before) within 2 months...it was scary...the good news is after quitting the poorly prescribed meds and starting a LFRV diet, 90% of the lost hair grew back.
I'm not sure which cause could be affecting you, but it would pay to look into them all.
Please let me also say, the way you're living is not congruent with the 811rv lifestyle...yours is severely deficient in several areas, including sunlight exposure, activity levels, temperature exposure, and probably variety in available foods. Winter in cold climates is intensely challenging on this diet, and moves it more into the realm of a science (and full time job) than lifestyle...if you're not getting high quality, fresh, organic fruits and vegetables, and a large variety of them, there is a very good chance you're developing nutrient deficiencies which could cause the hair-loss troubling you...and couple that with stress without an outlet (like intense exercise).
I do hope you find solutions to these tough issues!
<3 and a bounty of fruit to you
I think I may take a break from this diet
all of the thinking about it is just frustrating me more...because there is no way I can tackle all of that (tanning beds, exercise, and not being able to afford organics aside from greens and avocados - I'm working on bananas, though, as I talked to a seller who will start selling me then in bulk :) ) as I try to apply for schools, jobs, and deal with a lot of French bureaucracy. I just can't have my hair falling out as I try a bunch of little things, bit by bit.
And you and Entomba both are saying that only 90% of your hair came back. That scares me. I guess I'll have to eat another way - though I don't even know how to eat other than this - but I'll find something. It's just kind of discouraging to deal with all of that right now.
Maybe I'll move to 100% organic, make sure that I drink enough water none of which will be from the tap, and exercise for the time that I can maintain it, but no way I can tackle alllll of that without being sure which one it is that's causing me a very specific problem :(
It doesn't help that this all started when I was practicing just about all aspects of the lifestyle (though I may have lacked greens, slightly)...and after I time where I was practicing very little of the lifestyle (yet had no problems)
I hope to be back oneday
thanks for the positive words :). I try to think about what I have been doing...sometimes it's stressful being part of a community like this because ur reminded of what you aren't doing. There was a time, when I had a whole lot of money (to my standards lol), and it was summer, and I had a lot of free time - and I could do ANYTHING that anyone was talking about on online forums. It's frustrating when you can't. Thanks for the reinforcement :D
As for not being about to jog outside. I really don't think people understand my old issues lol. I can't have my hands exposed in 45F degree weather, let alone run. I can't make it a block without wheezing. And that's not even close to freezing conditions. I wanna die when I'm out in the cold.