Female hair loss

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meglet | 10:05 Sat 10th Jan 2009 | Body & Soul
12 Answers
Hi there, can anyone help me?

Last summer I started the LighterLife diet which restricted my daily calorie intake to 500 calories. I was on it for 5 months and am now a healthy weight but about 2 weeks before Xmas I decided to begin eating normally again as it got too hard to stick to. I know that one of the side effects of the diet is to lose hair but that didn't happen to me.

However since I started eating proper food again my hair HAS now started to thin badly. Every time I wash or brush my hair it just comes away and really upsetting me. Can anyone advise if this hair loss can be put down to what my body has just gone through (I appreciate I have stressed it) or whether it may be something as simple as the weather getting colder!

I'm an otherwise healthy 34 year old. Thanks


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500 calories, that's very low, less than half the normal recommended! Were you exercising as well?

Do you mind me asking how big you were before and after?

I'd go get yourself a checkover by your GP and let them know about the diet and get his advice so you can also discuss whether anything else could be causing it and act on it.

It could be a delayed reaction to the diet, stress, a variety of things but best to get it checked out so you and your GP can keep and eye on it and other things the diet may have caused.

This so called "diet" has been scientifically shown to be dangerous.
Especially as most (if not all) persons who go on it do not consult their GP first!
Just "Google" Lighter Life Diet and see what you get,you may be surprised/shocked!
As Jenna says 500 calories a day is completely unnatural and can seriously damage your health.
What good is losing a lot of weight in a short time,when your health will not recover?
Vitamin deficieny and stress would both be the causes of your hair loss. It takes about 3 or 4 months for body to react. Due to such a low calorie diet you might have a hormone unbalance which also results in hair loss. There are Vitamin tablets to take and scalp massage oils to do to help with hair loss so have a talk with your chemist.
Question Author
Mr Veritas I didn't ask for opinion on the diet itself - I am well aware of what has been written about it and most certainly do not agree that it has been "scientifically shown to be dangerous". I would also add that having the BMI of that I had meant I was morbidly obese which was far more dangerous. Anyway I do not intend to get into a debate about the diet.

I was 16.5 stone and am now 11 stone and been eating normally for a month now so it could be a reaction to that I suppose. I will try some multivitamens I think.

You may not want opinions on such a diet...but people cannot help but be concerned. 500 cal is very low....and at such levels the body believes it is being starved...and reacts accordingly.The fact that someone can refer to eating 3 meals a day as normal (which it is) ,means that what happened before was not.
All that aside,along with vitamin deficiancy as a cause for hair loss-it may also be the body sheding copious amounts of hair that is stressed as a result of the diet.....most of the hair you are losing may all be the same age,and therefore ready to fall out. The diet it self may have slowed down the natural growth of new hair.
I had a read up on it after replying earlier. I have to say well done on losing the weight though, must feel like a great achievement.

Did you follow the proper course, with the counselling and eating all the daily packs, which I note are meant to contain your RDA, and be monitored by your GP throughout?

I found a post by a lady who said she found hair loss, as did some others, after coming off the diet, like a delayed reaction.

Pop and see your GP just to make sure nothing else is causing it and they may be able to help you are not getting all you need in your diet now you are eating normally again in case you need some vitamins or minerals and such.
Question Author
I agree, 500 cals is low. But what I think is relevant here is that the diet provides you with 100% of your RDA of all nutrients (vits, protein and carbs) and frankly there was plenty of fat to live off. What has annoyed me several times over the past 6 months or so is people reading very biased articles (mostly in the Daily Mail I have to say) where no comment is ever sought from Lighterlife itself so a very one-sided picture is shown. But thanks for your comment that the diet may have restricted natural hair growth as I have to say I think that has been the case, even my leg hair hasn't grown that much!

Thanks Jenna, I was monitored throughout which showed that my high blood pressure dropped within normal range within a month which was a relief. I'll pop and see my GP and get some multivits too.
you could try viviscal tablets for a few months to see if they make any difference. or phone 0845 399 1962. There is a drawback though - they are expensive!
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Hi Meglet- you may not get this but I would love to know what happened to your hair after this. And also your weight - were you able to keep it off with Lighter Life? I have had hair loss from a strict low carb diet for 3 months and wonder how long it took for your hair to return to normal, if it did? Many thanks
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