Hair loss and veganism/vegetarianism
The other hair loss threads on here didn't really fit my issue so...
I've only been vegan for like a month now and before that I was a vegetarian for a year. During that time I noticed my hair starting to get really thin around my forehead and now it feels a lot thinner in back and on top too.
I've always had really thick wavy hair so you can imagine my alarm at experiencing this out of nowhere. I've been to the dermatologist and the doctor and they've just tested me for iron, hormone, and thyroid levels and everything's normal.
I've read that it could be due to a lack of protein but I've started eating more in beans and nuts and it hasn't helped (this has been going on for months), and besides I'm having trouble eating that many calories (since weight gain is also a concern of mine).
My question is: is this normal? Did anyone else experience this when they stopped eating meat? And does the thinning stop or go back to normal?
And above all - can ANYTHING make your hair grow back? (Because I've heard that peppermint essential oil can...)
My hair is very thick (my profile pic was taken after getting my hair thinned and a pixie cut but trust me it grows very fast) and being vegan for almost a year has not made it better or worse. In fact it may be slightly thicker and sheds less because I stopped using commercial shampoos (which have alcohol in them that dries your hair out despite their claims) when going vegan and simply use essential oils and vinegar with a little castille soap.
The times when I lost significant hair (all as an omnivore): were because of severe hypothyroidism or when I was exercising hard and restricting (800 to 1000 calories a day with two hours of exercise and my weight dropped dangerously low). Even when I recovered from restricting and gained weight I lost more hair at first but eventually it came back.
When I restricted hard as an omnivore I still ate dairy (the fat free crap) and tuna and egg whites (shudders) but I ate virtually no fat. I think some vegans tend to go too low on fat intake and that can make a difference in hair thinning, especially if you are active. Make sure to incorporate avocados, nuts and seeds, olives, coconut, that sort of thing. It doesnt have to be a huge amount but it can help with hair thinning. Sometimes though it is just genetics. Most of my family are blessed with thick hair. My hair was so thick when it was waist long that it was nearly unmanageable. Even short I have to have it thinned or it gets crazy on me.
And like the above poster, unless I was deathly ill from eating vegan (I have yet to hear of anyone responsibly taking care of themselves as a vegan falling deathly ill due to diet), no way would I go back to eating animal derived food knowing what I know now. But then I am not vegan primarily for health reasons...