Veganism and baldness

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DarlBundren
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Veganism and baldness

Post by DarlBundren » Tue Nov 17, 2015 3:06 pm

Hi everybody,

DarlBundren here. I'd like to ask the community a silly question. Have you ever noticed a correlation between veganism/vegetarianism and baldness? Unfortunately, my hair started thinning before I cut out meat. According to my doctor (who is, I must say, a very good doctor), vegetarianism could worsen alopecia. I think that this may be the case because a vegetarian could be deficient in iron, calcium and b12. I wouldn't go back eating meat because of that, of course, but I wondered If you thought that there were many bald vegans/vegetarians. This thing has always bugged me a bit, like the possible negative correlation between veganism and men's sexuality (that would make another good question).
Thanks

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Lightningman_42
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Post by Lightningman_42 » Tue Nov 17, 2015 4:35 pm

Unfortunately I don't know enough vegans to provide personal anecdotes about a correlation between vegetarianism/veganism and baldness. As far as I know baldness is hereditary, unless you get chemotherapy, have some rare hair-loss disorder, or have consumed heavy metals. I personally am not bald but I'm only 22 so I don't know what to make of this. :?

Please be skeptical about what "doctors" say about vegetarian and vegan diets. I'm referring to any and all doctors who are not licensed dietitians, because most nondietitian-doctors don't have much formal education about nutrition. Some of these uneducated doctors are even under the delusion that they are experts on nutrition. :roll:
"The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil but because of those who look on and do nothing."
-Albert Einstein

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DarlBundren
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Post by DarlBundren » Tue Nov 17, 2015 4:56 pm

Yeah, I know. Actually, he just said ' if you are not doing it for ethical reasons, then you should stop. I've seen many patients get worse'. So it's more like an empirical statement than a judgement on nutricion. Unfortunately, we don't know enough about baldness. It's hard to say if those people were simply eating bad or if it has to do with their being vegan. There are, however, some bald people among ' the famous vegans'. I'm thinking about woody hallerson or michael greger for example. There are plenty of them with full heads of hair too of course.

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miniboes
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Post by miniboes » Tue Nov 17, 2015 5:13 pm

Well, I'd start by making sure you're getting your iron, calcium and b12.
Do you take a b12 supplement? Do you eat sufficient beans and vegetables?
You could either keep a food diary (cronometer.com) or do a blood test to make sure you're getting enough of these nutrients.
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DarlBundren
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Post by DarlBundren » Tue Nov 17, 2015 5:33 pm

I wasn't really talking about me. I mean, I've already been diagnosed with alopecia.
My being vegetarian could make things worse, that's a possibility, and I'd like to get tested in the future. However, as I said, I'm sure that the disease wasn't triggered by my diet.
I've started this thread mainly to ask if you happen to know many vegans that suffer from baldness.

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brimstoneSalad
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Post by brimstoneSalad » Wed Nov 18, 2015 1:25 am

DarlBundren wrote:Yeah, I know. Actually, he just said ' if you are not doing it for ethical reasons, then you should stop. I've seen many patients get worse'.
Baldness gets worse for pretty much everybody, that's what it does, it's a progressive condition. The doctor is probably seeing what he wants.

If being vegan reduces androgen levels, it would help prevent balding. It also improves circulation in general, which should counteract the causes of hair loss.
One issue could be low lysine, but just make sure you eat enough beans (and protein in general) and that shouldn't be a problem.

I wouldn't expect to see any correlations in well nourished vegans and hair loss. I would expect the opposite. But not all vegans are well nourished and that could be an issue.

I wouldn't worry about it too much; stem cell therapy for hair loss (cloning resistant hair follicles, or activating existing stem cells with transplanted cloned cells) isn't very far off.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hair_cloning

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Jebus
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Post by Jebus » Wed Nov 18, 2015 2:13 am

Anecdotally, I first noticed hair loss in my early 30s shortly before becoming vegetarian. I feared I would be nearly bald by my mid 40s. However I still have nearly a full set of hair at 46.
How to become vegan in 4.5 hours:
1.Watch Forks over Knives (Health)
2.Watch Cowspiracy (Environment)
3. Watch Earthlings (Ethics)
Congratulations, unless you are a complete idiot you are now a vegan.

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DarlBundren
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Post by DarlBundren » Wed Nov 18, 2015 9:39 am

Thanks Brimstonesalad. I know that baldness is a progressive condition, but it still might be possible to see if, after you start avoiding meat, things get worse or not.
Glad to hear that Jebus, are you taking any medications?
By the way, thank you all for your opinions. I know it's not a black and white issue, so to say. I don't know any male vegan, and I wondered if among the ones you know there were many moby-like guys.

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Jebus
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Post by Jebus » Thu Nov 19, 2015 4:11 am

DarlBundren wrote:Glad to hear that Jebus, are you taking any medications?
Nope
DarlBundren wrote:I wondered if among the ones you know there were many moby-like guys.
It's unfortunate that one of the best known vegans looks so unhealthy. Put him in the gym a few months and glue a wig to his head and maybe he could become an effective ambassador for veganism.
How to become vegan in 4.5 hours:
1.Watch Forks over Knives (Health)
2.Watch Cowspiracy (Environment)
3. Watch Earthlings (Ethics)
Congratulations, unless you are a complete idiot you are now a vegan.

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Mateo3112
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Post by Mateo3112 » Fri Nov 27, 2015 11:45 am

DarlBundren wrote:I don't know any male vegan, and I wondered if among the ones you know there were many moby-like guys.
Male vegeterian here, i'll share an anecdote:
You see, when i was a meat eater, my hair would always fall apart when washed, or even by merely touching it. I was eating very poorly, 3,5/4 of what i ate was meat... Actually, 3,7/4 of what i ate was meat, frankly i don't know how i've survived this far, i must have some really good metabolism :mrgreen:
Anyway, i suspect you know where i'm going with this, when i converted to vegetarianism, my hair grew stronger, now i even try to pull it off with considerable strenght and it doesn't fall apart. So i'd say there IS, in fact, a correlation between hair loss and vegetarianism/veganism, but not a negative one.
Also, my aunt is also a vegeterian and she has long and strong hair, but she's a woman, so it may not be entirely because of her diet.
But take this anecdotes as just that: An anecdote, don't rush a conclusion, personal anecdotes are not evidence. And the correlation between hair loss and diet may be more or less random.
I hope this helps.
"Tell people that there's an invisible man in the sky who created the universe, and the vast majority will believe you. Tell them the paint is wet, and they have to touch it to be sure" -George Carlin

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