Makeover Monday:

First of all, let me clarify something from my last post. I did NOT eat cat food. My “eating 9 Lives” referred to my cattienss over Valerie Bertinelli’s bikini shot. One of those phrases that’s apparently not as widely used as I thought. :) Sorry for the confusion. Thanks for questioning me on it as I certainly don’t want anyone thinking I’ve discovered some miracle diet. LOL

On to this week’s makeover topic:

I don’t think I’ve written much about one of the potential aftereffects of losing 100pounds: hair loss. Yep, it’s a possibility. First-hand experience speaking.

I’ve always had straight, lanky hair, so I hadn’t really noticed a huge difference until somewhere around the 50-pound mark when my hair stylist first mentioned my hair was thinning. She waved off my worry, saying that it’s something she often sees in clients who have lost a lot of weight. (She also reminded me that I was nearing menopause, which can also cause hair loss. Thanksomuch, Jill.) To be safe, I mentioned it to my primary care physician and my gynecologist, and neither of them so much as raised an eyebrow. Everyone said it would grow back. Whew!

Imagine my surprise when during my most recent visit, Jill said, “Oh, you have a bald spot back here.”

Thud. “What do you mean, I have a bald spot?”

“Don’t worry, your other hair covers it. I just mentioned it because it wasn’t here last month.”

Breathe, Cammy, breathe.

Needless to say, it certainly wasn’t what I expected to hear early on a Saturday morning, especially since I’ve been maintaining my goal weight range for five months.

A bald spot.

On my head.

In talking with Jill and consulting with her colleagues (and one eavesdropping buttinsky client), I learned that weight loss isn’t the only cause of hair loss. Other culprits include:

  • Hormonal changes accompanying childbirth or menopause (I’m 50.)
  • Stress (Between my mother’s health issues and my pending jobless situation, I think I’m covered here.)
  • A diet deficient in protein, iron, and various vitamins and minerals (My diet is fairly healthy, but it may not be as nutrient rich as it could be.)
  • Thyroid disease or changes in thyroid hormones (which can be caused by large fluctuations in weight)
  • High concentrations of metals in the blood (Well, I have been eating a lot of tuna lately. Too much maybe?)

I have my annual blood pressure check up in the next few weeks, and I definitely plan to discuss all of the above with my doctor. Part of the check up is blood testing, and I’ll ask the good doctor to make sure we cover our bases here.

In the meantime, I’ve found a whole host of recommendations for supplements and vitamins to reverse the process. I don’t really want to move in that direction until I’ve spoken with my doctor. So far, the only changes I’ve made are to consistently take my daily multi-vitamin and to add a supplement of biotin.

I know, though, that I can also improve my chances of hair re-growth by focusing on nutrition. Just to remind us all, the following foods are recommended for good hair health:

  • Lean meats for protein and iron (hair is made up of protein, after all)
  • Fruits and veggies, nuts, whole grains and legumes for fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants
  • Soy products for their plant estrogen and a protein boost. (Tofu, here I come!)
  • Water (my continuing nemesis)

I can also work on some other things while I wait for the doctor’s visit:
– To combat stress, I’m adding yoga to my exercise routine as often as I can. I’ll also make sure I get plenty of rest and sleep.
– To stimulate my scalp (and show it how much I care), I’m going to do scalp massages. Whether or not it will help re-grow my hair, I have no clue, but my head will feel better.)

Given the choice between a healthier heart and a small bald spot on the back of my head, the heart wins without much debate. Hair extensions are far less invasive than bypass surgery. :)

Still, I’d like to have healthy, shiny hair that reflects the healthy, shiny me. If you have any additional tips for healthy hair, sing out, PLEASE!

And if you’re suffering the same malady, you’ll find commiseration here. But not the kind of commiseration that allows for large amounts of chocolate or cheese dip. :)