New Year Crash Dieting Leads to ‘February Follicle Fallout’ – Dr. Alan J. Bauman
Summary: Prominent hair loss expert Dr. Alan J. Bauman warns consumers to avoid crash diets – one tell-tale sign is sudden, dramatic hair loss that can take up to a year to correct.
Boca Raton, Florida – The first few months of every year are often referred to as ‘weight loss season’ among physicians – as countless Americans turn to extreme diets to meet New Year’s resolutions or to lose the extra pounds they packed on during the holiday season. But, as Alan J. Bauman, M.D. explains, what many men and women don’t realize is that so-called ‘crash dieting’ isn’t just bad for the body, it can also lead to temporary hair loss.
“We see this every year around February, like clockwork,” said Dr. Bauman, a board-certified hair restoration surgeon and national hair science consultant for health care and consumer products companies. “Four to six weeks after the start of a crash diet, major shedding occurs throughout the crown of the head. It’s a condition known as telogen effluvium – in this case, caused by a steep drop in nutrients to the body, which forces some hair follicles to shed their hair strands and go into a prolonged resting phase during which time no new hairs are grown. Fortunately for patients, this condition is usually temporary, but it can still take six to 10 months for the hair to return back to normal. The condition can be truly frightening for many people, particularly younger women, so it’s important that people understand its causes and prognosis.”
Each year starting in February, Bauman and other hair loss specialists and dermatologists see an influx of new patients concerned about sudden hair loss resulting from New Year-inspired crash diets. According to Bauman, many patients falsely believe that the shedding or hair loss will stop as soon as they end their diet, which he calls a dangerous misconception. “The reality is, first it’s going to take a few months to see all the shedding, then a minimum of six months for the body to stabilize and the hair follicles to return to normal operation; but, for some, the loss may be permanent,” he cautioned, “especially in those people who have a tendency toward genetic hair thinning.”
Because there is a risk for long-term or even permanent hair loss, Bauman advises those patients who begin to experience shedding, thinning or decreased hair volume or coverage to consult with a full-time board-certified Hair Restoration Physician who can help assess the risks for hereditary hair loss, as well as scientifically track and monitor the hair’s progress and prescribe a course of treatment in more serious cases. Similar to hair loss associated with childbirth and menopause, a readily treatable tendency toward permanent hereditary hair loss may be revealed by this typically temporary situation.
The HairCheck device is one of the many tools being used by Bauman and his team to determine the extent of damage to a patient’s hair. HairCheck is a simple, painless, non-invasive way to measure and track the amount of hair growing in a given area of scalp (called the Hair Mass Index or "HairNumber"). The highly sensitive hand-held ‘trichometer,’ measures hair caliber and hair density together and expresses them as a single number. It can also measure the percentage of hair breakage, which is a common cause of hair loss. Tracking these numbers over time can help determine the extent and rate of a patient’s hair loss and/or breakage and inform them of any changes. HairCheck can also be used to quantify the degree of hair breakage from harsh hair care regimens or hair loss from extreme diets.
“The data we collect provides consumers with actionable information by combining scientific hair tracking measurements with a series of non-invasive, easy-to-follow hair improvement plans and options,” explained Bauman.
Dr. Bauman’s Nutrition Tips for Healthy Hair:
While the HairCheck and other tools allow doctors a better understanding of the damage a patient’s hair has suffered, the best way to protect the hair is through preventative measures. One of the simplest preventative actions consumers can take is a healthy diet, which gives the hair the vitamins and nutrients it needs.
“Everyone knows that what you eat greatly affects your health, but people too often overlook the fact that the same is true for your hair,” Bauman advised. “Whether you want to reduce the risk of shedding or increase your hair's fullness, shine or thickness, the first step to achieving healthy hair is eating well and maintaining a balanced diet.”
- Caloric, iron and protein deficiencies are among the most common nutritional triggers for unhealthy hair, while vitamins, especially B, are important to the overall health of your hair and preventing hair loss and thinning.
- Some of the best food choices for healthy hair include salmon, which is loaded with omega-3 fatty acid, dark green vegetables for vitamins A and C, and Nuts, which are a terrific source of zinc, which can prevent hair shedding.
- Many women take calcium supplements to improve their health - but the same should also be true for hair supplements. Scientifically developed treatments like Viviscal Pro and Biotin (also known as ‘Vitamin H’ or B7) supports the growth of thicker, healthier hair.
For patients with clinically diagnosed hair loss or thinning, preventative medical treatments like finasteride (i.e., Propecia), minoxidil (i.e., Rogaine or prescription Formula 82M) and low level laser therapy should be considered. Serious cases may also require microsurgical hair transplantation using NeoGraft FUE. To learn more about hair loss facts and modern medical treatments, visit http://www.BaumanMedical.com.
About Dr. Alan J. Bauman
Alan J. Bauman, M.D., founder of Bauman Medical Group in Boca Raton, Florida, is a full-time board-certified and internationally renowned hair transplant surgeon whose pioneering work has been featured extensively in the national and international print and television media, such as Newsweek, The New York Times, Cosmo, Vogue, Allure, Men's Health, Today Show, The Early Show, Good Morning America, Extra, Access Hollywood and Dateline NBC.
Dr. Bauman is recognized within the medical profession as top U.S. medical expert on the treatment of hair loss in men and women. A board-certified hair restoration surgeon, Dr. Bauman was the first to demonstrate ‘live’ the FUE method of hair transplantation at the 2003 International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery Orlando Live Surgery Workshop, started with NeoGraft FUE in 2008 and was the first to demonstrate the NeoGraft FUE device at the ISHRS Orlando Live Surgery Workshop in 2010. His practice is divided equally between male and female patients, and Dr. Bauman provides state-of-the-art diagnostic procedures and a multi-therapy approach to the medically treatable condition of hair loss. Dr. Bauman is a member and often a featured speaker at the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine and the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery Annual Scientific Meetings. To learn more about Dr. Bauman, for the latest hair loss facts and treatments, or to schedule a consultation, visit http://www.BaumanMedical.com.