Vera Peiffer

Hair loss and fasting

I have a number of clients who need to fast for one month a year for religious reasons. This is quite difficult for me when these clients come  and want me to do a hair or nail sample test and give them a treatment plan to help their hair regrow. The problem here is that fasting is detrimental to hair growth. This also goes for very low calorie diets or for rapid weight loss generally, after an illness or through an accident.

When there is not enough food going into the body, your system goes into survival mode. This means that any nutrients from food will be used for your heart and for your brain. So if your heart and brain get all the calories/nutrients that are coming in, there is nothing left for your hair which, as far as your body is concerned, is completely unimportant and the least of its worries.

This puts me and my clients into a quandry. If they don’t eat, their hair is falling out more, and if they eat normally, they are not following the demands of their religion. We can then either go down the route that the client follows their fasting rules and accepts that their hair will be falling out so that we will have to start again building up nutrients after the fast is over. Or we look at the option of fasting only on a few days a week and eating normally on the other days, but even this causes a problem for hair. Here is what one of my clients told me after attempting to do a few fast days in between days where she ate normally: “I asked in a previous email about fasting. I took your advice and spaced it out. I fasted on 20 July, 23 July and 27 July. By the last fast I noticed a big increase in hair loss, so I decided not to do anymore and have stuck with the treatment plan.”

Maybe there is a case of applying the rule that you are allowed to eat during the fasting month if you are ill. Losing your hair is a sign that your body is not functioning correctly which basically means that you are ill, so this might be an acceptable way of looking at the fasting month for some clients.

The message here is: if you want your hair back, you need to give your body nutrients which supply the hair follicles with nourishment. The nourishment has to come from the right foods though. If you have food intolerances and still eat those foods, it will make more hair fall out, so it is important to eat the right foods. By now, you know how you can find out whether you have a food intolerance: Go to my website and download the form for the hair sample tests to check which foods are OK for your hair and which foods will stop your hair from growing back.

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