In my last post, “Hair and Health: the Origins and Emotions,” I talked about the side effect of covid – and high fevers or high stress in general – not too many people are talking about: accelerated hair loss. This article is part two of that topic.
High fevers and high stress increase inflammation in the body which can lead to a plethora of problems in the human body. Your body is trying to fight whatever is causing the inflammation, like a virus, which can lead to deficiencies and breakdowns in the body.
Vitamin D: the Sunshine Vitamin
Vitamin D is one of the most common vitamins of which people are deficient. Why is this a big deal? One of the roles of vitamins is to help your body operate properly at the cellular level. When it comes to my concern – hair loss thanks to 8 days of high fever – Vitamin D allows the body to use Keratin properly which in turn helps with hair follicle growth and healthy skin. I’ve had bloodwork done and know I tend to run low on Vitamin D, and have been prescribed Vitamin D supplements in the past to get my levels healthier, so I was not worried about taking a round of supplements, especially considering the amount of inflammation in my body while I was sick. However, you can possibly overdose on Vitamin D, so you should talk with your primary care physician before taking this vitamin as a supplement.
Keratin: Structural Protein
Calling Keratin simply a structural protein is doing a great disservice, but the full breakdown of keratin is a lot more technical, similar to how Vitamin D serves many functions, than what I need to go into for the purpose of this article. Alpha-keratins are the proteins which make up mammal hair (and nails and epithelial cells).
So when you’re low on Vitamin D, your body struggles to utilize keratin which is the protein providing structure for hair.
Kale and Spinach
Even without hair loss, I like to eat kale and spinach as much as possible. Not only do I not mind the taste of them and appreciate the color they add to the dish, but I started adding them to more dishes to help with general heart health and control inflammation affecting my thyroid and liver several years ago. Both not only act as anti-inflammatories, they are also antioxidants and sources of iron, calcium, and folate.
One of the hot words in the health and fitness world these days is collagen, another protein. This protein is also multi-faceted, but, regarding hair, it neutralizes free radicals (chemistry thing) which can damage hair (and also contributes to cancer) and breaks down into amino acids which rebuild into other proteins such as keratin. Different types of collagen serve different purposes – some build, some seal in moisture, some help with skin health.
Honestly, I could try to explain it, but the article sent to me by a friend who told me about rice water explains the whole thing so well that I’m not going to try to summarize it.
I will say, my friend had been losing her hair due to a different health issue, and rice water was the biggest game changer for her – stopping the hair from falling out and helping it to grow back healthy. I tried just regular rice water from soaking for a few hours as well as fermented rice water from a few days of days of soaking. Didn’t really notice a difference other than the smell of the fermented rice water was not pleasant. It didn’t seem to linger, though.
The last thing: my mama bought me that fancy shampoo, Monat, and conditioner and a couple other of their products. I’ve only used them twice, but I noticed with the shampoo and conditioner that the lovely dandruff seems to be getting better.
Where my hair is now:
- I’m still confused on why the longest layer is what survived, but I’ll take it.
- None of the white hairs fell out…and of course more are growing back
- But! White hairs growing back means my hair is growing back! Around the crown of my head, There are little 3″ hairs slowly but surely growing back to where the temples look like normal if I pull my hair back in combs