“I’m 52 and have recently noticed that my hair is falling out more than normal. Nothing much in my diet has changed but I am going through a divorce so am more stressed than usual. Do you have any suggestions or changes I should make to my diet?
Clinical Nutritionist Suzie Sawyer answers.
Going through divorce is always stressful and may be impacting on your health. Stress can also cause hair loss, but there may be other factors, which is where specific nutrients can definitely make a positive difference.
B-VITAMINS CAN REDUCE HAIR LOSS
While it’s not uncommon to see thinning hair in women in their 50s or who are going through the menopause, it can still be alarming. It can sometimes be exacerbated by a slightly under-active thyroid gland, which again is common.
The thyroid hormones need plenty of B-vitamins so make sure your diet is rich in poultry, fish, wholegrains and green leafy vegetables.
B-vitamins are used up by the body more quickly during periods of stress, so this might also account for your symptoms.
LACK OF PROTEIN CAN CONTRIBUE TO HAIR LOSS
Lack of protein is another common reason for hair loss. Protein (and especially collagen) is part of hair make up so is needed in optimal amounts.
Ensure you’re eating protein at every meal. Good sources include eggs, dairy, meat, chicken, turkey, fish, beans, soy, lentils and nuts. If you’re vegetarian, do make sure you’re combining grains with pulses to get all the essential amino acids the body needs.
As an average amount of protein (and depending on body weight), you should be looking to eat around 70g of protein daily.
BIOTIN FOR HEALTHY HAIR
Biotin, another B-vitamin, is very important for healthy hair, as it promotes cell replication and growth as well as the production of the essential scalp oil. It’s found in organ meats such as liver. Soy products are another rich source.
Regular scalp massage, which encourages blood flow and cell regeneration, may also be beneficial. You can either do this yourself or seek advice from your hairdresser or a qualified massage therapist.
I really hope this works for you.