October 1st marks the official World Vegetarian Day, a day created to spread awareness about the benefits of a vegetarian diet. But what are the effects of avoiding meat on hair loss?
Many people will suffer from hair loss at some point in their lives, and it has been estimated that as many as 60% of women will be affected. However, not all hair loss is permanent, and it can simply be a reaction to lifestyle changes or dietary changes. On the occasion of World Vegetarian Day on the 1st of October, here are a few things to consider in terms of diet and maintaining normal, healthy hair growth.
One of the common issues that people notice when going on a strict diet or simply change their diet, for example, by avoiding meat, is that their hair begins to shed more. A protein deficiency can cause hair loss, because hair fibres consist of 80-95% protein. Severe weight loss due to dieting can also cause an increase in hair shedding due to metabolic changes in the body. Even infrequent eating may cause the hair to fall out prematurely due to a decrease in the amount of energy available to the hair follicle.
The condition called Telogen Effluvium, which is characterised by increased shedding and at times lacking regrowth, has often been associated with these types of lifestyle changes as well as stress and hormonal changes. What these factors have in common is that they, in one way or another, disrupt the normal Hair Growth Cycle.*
In relation to dietary changes, hair loss often occurs due to a lack of protein. This is because hair requires a regular supply of protein as well as glucose and vitamins to grow normally. Since the hair follicle is a non-essential tissue it is one of the last tissues to receive nutrients and one of the first to have them reduced, meaning, any deficiencies of nutrition may cause to hair loss.
If the Hair Growth Cycle becomes disrupted due to the lack of protein, the hair follicles will enter the resting phase prematurely and the hairs will be shed. The hair fall can happen gradually or quite suddenly, which can be a very stressful experience. However, while the hair follicles might be dormant, they are still intact, meaning that the hair loss can usually be reversed.
It is simply a matter of normalising the Hair Growth Cycle to promote normal, healthy hair growth after it has been disrupted. Proteoglycan Replacement Therapy has been demonstrated in several clinical papers to help to normalise the Hair Growth Cycle and help to induce hair follicles from the resting phase into the growth phase.
According to Dr Erling Thom, proteoglycans are essential in ensuring healthy hair growth: ‘It has also been documented that hair growth is associated with the presence of specific proteoglycans in the follicle environment as they regulate hair follicle growth. Proteoglycans are important substances for the human body’.
Editor's Recommended Articles
Must Read >> Pernicious Anaemia: The world’s forgotten disease