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Looking Good - May 9, 2016

*-- Is My Diet Making Me Bald? --*

Most people associate hair loss and balding with men, but an increasing number of women are also falling victim to that four-letter word that no woman wants to become: "bald". Though there are several reasons why you may be experiencing hair loss - genetics, stress, fungal problems ad hormonal problems - a lot of hair loss is also caused by what you eat. Listed below are some of the primary nutritional causes for hair loss:

Iron Deficiency

Did you know that nearly 50% of all women have some level of iron deficiency or iron depletion? It's sadly true. For most women who are still pre-menopausal, an iron deficiency is the most common cause of hair loss in women. So what can you do to give yourself an iron boost?

There are a lot of foods that you can eat to boost your iron levels, such as:

- Lean beef
- Oysters
- Beans
- Spinach
- Raisins
- Prunes
- Liver
- Kidney
- Mussels
- Lentils

NOTE: If you do suspect that you have an iron deficiency, make sure you go and have yourself tested first, especially if you are thinking about taking iron supplements. Never take supplements without instruction from your doctor, as too much iron can cause damage to your organs as well as be a contributing cause to hair loss.

Zinc Deficiency

Without enough zinc in our bodies, the shafts of our hair then become weak and break off. Not having enough zinc also means that there are less oils being secreted, which help attach the hair to the hair follicles. Lack of zinc also causes for the hair re-growth to be a slowed process.

If you do suspect that you may have a zinc deficiency, the best thing to do is to go and get tested by your doctor. A simple blood test will tell you if you either have too much zinc, or too little, as both can cause your hair to fall out and break off prematurely. There are several different zinc supplements available today, some even created just to help prevent hair loss.

Not Enough Protein

Not having enough protein is often why those crash or fad dieters and vegetarians begin to notice their hair falling out. When someone makes a drastic change to their diet, their body will try to hold onto and save that protein in the body's "reserves". What this means is that our body doesn't release enough protein for our hair to grow, so the hair is kept in the "resting" phase. Often within 2-3 months after this point the hair will actually completely shed, and can even be pulled out by the root.

It's important that people of all different diets take care to eat enough protein. You don't need to eat only meat to obtain adequate daily amounts of protein; you can also try:

- Soy products (like soy milk and tofu)
- Eggs
- Fish
- Brewer's yeast
- Beans
- Yogurt
- Low-fat cheese

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