Hair Nutrition Tips for the Hair Care Professional

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Eating Tips to Prevent Hair Loss

The fact that nutrition has a role to play with hair loss is something that you are well aware of, but it sometimes gets overlooked.  The composition of amino acids and B-vitamins results in the keratin protein structure of hair. When a person does not get enough or does not get the right source of these ingredients hair will tend to not grow as well. Many individuals go through a variety of life experiences that can cause their nutritional needs to increase with or without their awareness.  Let’s look at some of the ways that this can happen.

At least two thirds of adults in America are overweight or obese.  So weight gain has now reached epidemic levels.  You would think that if so many people are overweight, then they have to be getting enough nourishment for their hair. However there are a number of hair loss conditions that can occur because a person tries to lose weight.

Here are some examples:

1)    HCG Diets – While the popularity of this type of diet peaked a year or so ago, many individuals still try it out when they want to lose weight in a hurry.  First of all, the requirement that a person only eat 500 calories per day is extreme and much lower than a healthy body requires. Losing 10, 15, or 20 pounds in a month or two is shocking to the body. Consequently excessive shedding of hair can develop several months after the weight loss occurs.  Most of these individuals will lose hair from the roots with white tips on the end characteristic of Telogen Effluvium hair loss.

2)    Eating Disorders – while trying to lose weight quickly can cause hair loss, so can calorie restriction associated with Anorexia Nervosa.  This pathological condition is associated with self-imposed starvation which can reach the point that not enough nutrients such as minerals like zinc, magnesium, or sulfur. Iron and biotin deficiencies can also occur and lead to increased loss and inability of hair to grow.  This can be compounded by the effect of the stress with these eating disorders as well.

So, what nutritional steps are important when your client has hair loss?

Question your clients about their eating habits to see if they are getting proper nourishment.  Keep in mind that poor nutrition causes the hair to become weaker so an individual on a poor diet is more prone to get hair damage from color applications, perms, and styling treatments more so because the hair is not normal rather than the treatment itself.

Encourage your clients to eat healthy and get an adequate supply of green leafy vegetables, protein sources such as fish, chicken or other meats as preferred.  If they follow a vegetarian or vegan eating plan then there are a number of reliable sources for protein such as oatmeal, soy, tofu, and some nuts.

Everyone knows that changes in body metabolism can increase the need for nutrients.  That’s why every pregnant female is encouraged to take prenatal vitamins. The need for nutrients also increases with stress and exertion such as long work hours or demanding circumstances at home or work.  In the case of an individual who has to care for an elderly parent or ill family members, their nutritional needs are increased as well above the minimal daily requirements.

If you have clients in any of these types of situations, then you will be doing them a favor by encouraging them to eat healthy and make sure they get the proper nourishment they need.  Otherwise your shampoo bowl will be unexpectedly filled with their hair as the stress takes its toll.

When the need arises, direct your clients to a dermatologist or other physician to get assistance as required.

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