Sudden restriction of calories restricts certain foods you would take, and that carry nutrients your body needs. Being deprived of such nutrients affects your body processes, and this has some consequences. And yes, one of them is that a crash diet affects your hair.
What Are Crash Diets?
As explained before, crash diets are a radical change in your food intake that severely limits the number of calories you consume daily. This usually takes the form of replacing most routine meals with unconventional, very low carb options. One popular one is only consuming cabbage soup, for example.
This not only deprives you of calories, but it also deprives you of the nutrients you would otherwise get via the food you were consuming before. The consequences for this are that your blood is no longer rich in some nutrients your body needs to run properly.
And this is how crash diets affect hair specifically. Hair grows out of the hair follicle, a structure located beneath the skin of the scalp. The hair follicle receives nourishment the blood flow from your body, which supplies essential nutrients to it. Hence, depriving your blood of nutrients because of a crash diet will also deprive the hair follicle, which means less hair produced.
Specific Mechanics of How Crash Diet Affects Hair
Hair grows out in a cyclical manner comprised of several different phases. There is a growing phase, called the ‘anagen phase’, during which hair grows and its last years normally. After the hair ceases growing, it will enter the resting phase, called the ‘telogen phase’, where it will fall and renew.
At any time, most of our hair is in a growing phase, with at least 10% of it actively in the resting phase. But that balance can change due to a number of things like a crash diet which affects the hair growth cycle.
Crash dieting means deprivation of essential nutrients like Vitamins A, B, C and E alongside Iron due to not eating foods rich in them. Thus, your hair will not receive any of them to nourish with, and it cannot grow without it.
This affects the whole growth hair cycle, causing the hair on the growing phase to shift into the resting phase before its time. This means that now much more of your hair is simply not growing and waiting to fall out. This is why hair loss happens during a crash diet.
Treatment for Hair Affected by Crash Diet
Hair loss triggered by a crash diet is usually reversible, however. Six to eight months after reverting back to a regular diet, you should see your hair come back to its former self. If not, contact your doctor and have a check-up because something else might be amiss.
As a side note, crash diets really don’t work in the long term. After achieving the weight loss proposed, most people revert back to their usual diet, and so does their weight. Try exercise combined with proper calorie intake diets for better results.