By Julian of Guyanesesista.blogspot.com
This week I’ll be covering vitamin deficiency with a special focus on iron. This is information that I’ve gathered through my own research over the years and talking to doctors pertaining to my own issues with hair loss. So I hope that this could help someone.
When we experience hair loss, apart from being completely horrified, we tend to first think about outside factors being the cause; such as traction alopecia, relaxer burn or severe dryness. We then employ topical remedies like castor oil, sulfur, temple balms and essential oils. After months of using these remedies the hair still may not have grown back and this is where you might want to see a doctor because it may be an internal problem.
You see, sometimes when we experience hair loss because of external factors the hair may not grow back because of internal factors, i.e. vitamin deficiency. Be it because of stress and/or extremely poor eating habits, when the body is experiencing nutrient deficits it well go into survival mode and use the available nutrients on the vital organs and whatever is left over will go to the non-vital hair and nails. If poor eating habits persist, the body will provide even less nourishment to the hair. Now when this happens, the follicles eventually die therefore production of hair in those areas ceases and you eventually experience even more hair loss because when the hair completes the shedding phase it may never grow back.
Of course not everyone necessarily has poor eating habits but one may still be lacking one or two vital nutrients, which brings me to Iron Deficiency Anemia, “a condition in which blood lacks adequate healthy red blood cells. Red blood cells carry oxygen to the body’s tissues.” According to research, the theory linking Iron deficiency to hair loss is not solid yet but some doctors find that most women who experience hair loss also have low iron stores and that raising levels helps with re-growing hair.
Symptoms of iron deficiency include headaches, low energy, lethargy, sleeping all hours of the day, sore or smooth tongue, pale skin, rapid heartbeat, craving for ice or clay (picophagia), fainting spells in severe cases, etc. To remedy this you could eat red meat more often or take OTC elemental iron tablets which usually come in 65mg or less.
Another option is liquid iron supplements such as Beef, Iron & Wine Tonic or my current favourite Feroglobin. These liquid supplements can be found online or at some Caribbean/Ethnic supermarkets. Also vitamin c and lysine are said to help the body absorb iron better as well as drinking liquid iron on an empty stomach. If iron levels are found to be too low it could take six months to a year to get to a healthy level. This is why at the end of the day it is always good to check with a doctor to know what you are working with because chances are you may need prescription iron or may have another issue causing your hair loss.
I know we all want healthy hair, but remember what Jenell is ALWAYS saying – “Healthy Hair Starts from the Inside!”
Are you taking your daily vitamins? Which ones?
Are you eating right? Why/why not?
Are you getting in the daily minimum for water? Why/why not?
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Jenell Stewart, formally known as BlakIzBeautyful is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Kinky Curly Coily Me. Jenell has a MS in special education and dedicates her time to educating and uplifting women with kinky, curly, coily hair. She big chopped on March 26, 2010 and currently lives in Brooklyn, NY.View all Jenell posts.