READ ME: Hair loss and endometriosis

Why is my hair falling out?

Hair loss is complicated but there is one thing you need to remember about your hair.

It’s not necessary for survival. I say that, not to be blunt but to simply demonstrate a point.

Sure we may have needed it way back when, to protect us from the sun when we were out working for hours on end outside, but for the most part right now it’s purely for vanity purposes. On the contrary, I completely understand (myself included) why hair is so important for us as women.

There is a reason the phrase “bad day hair” exists. It’s hard to feel normal if your hair is falling out.

But because it isn’t necessary for survival. our bodies being the clever machines that they are, will always prioritise other functions over making our hair pretty. It just makes sense.

Which brings me back to endometriosis. If our bodies are busy fighting inflammation, trying its best to make healthy hormones whilst otherwise doing its best to make enough energy to get you through the day it stands to reason why you may not have the most luscious mane you desire.

But what can you do about it?

You can think of your hair being on the very end of a very long to-do list. It never gets seen to and seems to get kicked to the start of the same list every single day.

That’s what your hair feels like when it comes to nutrition.

Are you eating a nutritionally balanced diet that has enough nutrients in it for your hair? If not your body simply won’t have enough left for it.

Nutrients that are especially important for hair include:

Protein: Your hair is made of (you guessed it… protein). Which means you need to be getting good quality protein in your diet. Aim for 0.75g - 1 gram per kilogram bodyweight. So for example if you are 65kg you need 49-65g per day (you can get a checklist of some good quality protein sources below).

Iron: Anemia is common in women with endometriosis. Which makes sense if you have heavy prolonged periods. If you suffer from hair loss and also suffer from symptoms such as fatigue it could be a good idea to get your iron levels checked by your GP. Foods that are high in iron that can be good to incorporate into your diet. Some of these are also included in the checklist below.

B vitamins: All the B vitamins play a role in hair health but biotin is one of the most important B vitamins for hair health. It is quite uncommon to be deficient in B vitamins (if you are eating a whole foods diet) but did you know that being on the Pill depletes your B vitamin levels? So even if your diet is (pretty) good your natural intake of B vitamins is still being depleted. That’s why it can be good to top up with a B complex if you are experiencing problems with your hair especially. I’ve included good B vitamins food sources below also in the checklist.

Hormonal imbalances: Your hormones all work together. So if you are having problems with your female hormones (as is the case with endometriosis) doesn’t it make sense that your other hormones could be acting up too. Take your thyroid hormones for example. Your thyroid is essentially the master of your metabolism. It plays a role in the development of new strands of hair at the root, helping your body maintain a consistent supply of new hairs.

If you are experiencing other symptoms such as feeling cold all the time, an inability to lose weight, constipation, dry and brittle skin and nails it could be worth getting your thyroid checked by your GP. Including some thyroid supporting vitamins and minerals can also help (also in the checklist).

Similarly stress levels can interfere with hair growth. If you are recently undergone a very stressful event (such as an operation for endometriosis) this could impact on your hair. Give it time and also a lot of love using the tips (and checklist!) I’ve outlined.

Want the checklist? All you need to do it put in your name and email address below and I’ll send it straight to your inbox.

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Lauren Healy