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Fasting – Hair Loss

Hair Loss during fasting can occur.  From my observation (Tom Coghill) of guiding people through fasts on, hair loss is very, very rare during juice fasting.  It is also rare during short water fasts under 14 days.  Hair loss usually occurs with people on long water fasts. There is not much information available on hair loss during fasting.

Joel Fuhrman, M.D. states
Hair loss after fasting is not uncommon, it even has a medical name called Telogen Effluvium. Telogen Effluvium results from the conversion of a large number on anagen (active) hairs to telogen (resting) hairs, with subsequent shedding. It is usually observed 1 to 4 months after a precipitating event but may occur up to 8 months later. Typically less than 50% of hair is lost and be noticed only by the person suffering with it. Many drugs can cause this, but it also can be precipitated by rapid weight loss, fasting, surgery, childbirth, illness, infection and psychological stress. No treatment is necessary for this self-limiting disorder, although the duration varies form 6 to 12 months. Hair regrowth is always complete.

It is clear that hair loss is caused by some metabolic disruption.  I believe that during a long water fast, these events are possible

  • Insufficient nutrient reserves by water fasting after a poor diet.
  • Hormonal imbalance caused by the impact of increased blood toxins and insufficient nutrient reserves disrupting hormone creation.
  • Hair follicle metabolism disruption caused by increased blood toxins and insufficient nutrient reserves.

Solution for Hair Loss During Fasting

Never do a long water fast as your first fast.  Choose juice fasting for your first fast and water fast after 3 to 5 days to build nutrient reserves. During this period take Vitamin E 1,600 IU daily, 4 tablespoons of hemp and flax oils,  B complex. If you are water fasting and notice any excess hair loss, switch to a juice program for 3 days, then water fast for 3 to 5 days, then repeat.  This is called alternating juice and water fasting.  It has powerful therapeutic results and is very safe.  If you are committed to water fasting for spiritual reasons have and small amount of lemon juice with the water to add electrolytes.

Posted on by Tom Coghill

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2 Responses to Fasting – Hair Loss

  1. tupelojo says:

    Hi Tom.
    I read some of your posts regarding hair loss during fasting and just wanted to comment here for others. I have never done a water fast, but I have done several juice fasts. I am underweight and have celiac disease, and enjoy the fasting for the cleansing benefits but not the weight loss and generally don’t fast for more than 14 days for this reason. I just don’t have the fat reserves to go much longer. However, during this last fast, I did notice that my armpit hair stopped growing completely. I didn’t shave under my arms for four days, and still… nothing. It was very alarming to me, so I broke the fast early wondering if I was doing some damage to my body at that point (I was on day eight of the fast). I was also noticeably more weak than I have been before on other fasts. So, I broke the fast gently with some coconut broth and a fresh orange and immediately felt my energy come back although it might just have been peace of mind. In any case, it does make me wonder, for people that do not have much in the way of fat reserves, is it healthy to fast (even on juice) for more than 7 days? Thanks. ~~ Jo

    • Tom Coghill says:
      Tom Coghill

      I doubt that 7 days on water could damage to hair grow that is permanent. Never here of it. So far any hair loss has been temporary. The lest fat you have the the more strain on your body for water fasting. Higher calorie needs make water fasting for fast metabolism, myself included.