How your crash diet in January causes hair loss in the Spring.

How your crash diet in January causes hair loss in the Spring.

It might not feel like it in the UK yet, but Spring is very much on the way. With more daylight, longer days and the thought of going out and socialising you might be noticing your hair condition more. However, as much as you would like to have a 'quick fix' to noticeable hair loss and hair damage, it is the conditions from January around your diet, stress levels and hormones that will have had the biggest impact as we head into April. If you have noticed more shedding than normal, then it might be worth thinking back to changes that you made to your lifestyle in January - and if they were positive (healthy diet, good sleep, low stress).

If your hair condition is looking particularly poor heading into April, then it is worth considering reversing some of the changes you made with New Years resolutions - especially if they involve a dramatic reduction in calorie consumption, a sudden change in nutrients from your diet, not getting enough rest, or stress placed on your body through exercise or a new regimen.

One of the particular issues caused by an enthusiastic start to the year is from Crash diets, often characterized by severe calorie restriction, which can lead to a myriad of health issues, one of which is hair loss. This phenomenon typically appears around three months after the initiation of the diet due to the lifecycle of hair growth and the body's response to nutritional stress.

Why does hair loss occur after crash dieting?

Hair loss after crash dieting is primarily due to a lack of essential nutrients that are necessary for healthy hair growth. When the body is deprived of adequate nutrition, it prioritizes vital functions at the expense of hair growth.

What nutrients are important for preventing hair loss?

A balanced diet rich in proteins, iron, vitamins A, C, D, E, and zinc is crucial for maintaining healthy hair.

Can hair loss from dieting be reversed?

Yes, once a balanced diet is resumed and the body receives proper nutrition, hair growth can return to normal.


Why does hair loss occur months after dieting?

Hair growth operates in cycles, and a shock to the system, like a crash diet, can push more hairs into the "telogen" phase. It takes about three months for these hairs to shed.

Hair loss can occur several months after dieting due to the body's response to the changes in nutrition. When you diet, especially if the diet is rapid and significant, your body may perceive this as a form of stress. The hair growth cycle consists of three phases: anagen (growth phase), catagen (transitional phase), and telogen (resting phase). A sudden change in diet can push more hairs into the telogen phase, a condition known as telogen effluvium, which results in increased hair shedding.

Nutritional deficiencies, such as a lack of protein, vitamins, and minerals due to a restrictive diet, can also contribute to hair loss. Hair follicles require a variety of nutrients to maintain their normal function and growth. Inadequate intake of nutrients like iron, vitamin D, zinc, and fatty acids can disrupt the hair growth cycle.

Furthermore, if the diet is not balanced and lacks sufficient diversity, it might not provide all the essential amino acids required for keratin production, which is a key structural component of hair.

It's important to approach dieting with a focus on balanced nutrition and gradual weight loss to minimize stress on the body and reduce the risk of hair loss. Consulting with healthcare professionals like dietitians or nutritionists can help ensure that your dietary plan supports your overall health, including hair health.

How can I prevent hair loss when I lose weight?

To prevent hair loss while shedding pounds, it's essential to maintain a well-balanced diet rich in essential nutrients. Gradual weight control can be safer than a sudden change to diet. Calorie counting can sometimes lead to a decline in the overall balance of your diet.

Key Nutrients for Hair Health

  • Protein: Hair is primarily made of protein, so ensuring adequate protein intake is crucial.
  • Iron: Iron deficiency is a common cause of hair loss, which can be prevented by consuming iron-rich foods.
  • Vitamins: Particularly B-vitamins and vitamin D are vital for hair growth.
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids: These healthy fats promote hair growth and can be found in fish, nuts, and seeds.

Strategies for Preventing Hair Loss

  1. Gradual Weight Loss: Aim for a slow and steady weight loss plan to minimize the shock to your system.
  2. Balanced Diet: Focus on a variety of foods to ensure you're getting all necessary nutrients.
  3. Supplements: Consider taking supplements if you're unable to meet your nutritional needs through diet alone.
  4. Stay Hydrated: Adequate water intake is essential for maintaining healthy hair.
  5. Consult a Professional: Speak with a dietitian or a doctor to tailor your diet to your specific needs.

Nanogen is here to help

Dealing with thinning can be difficult, but using high quality shampoo's and conditioners can make a big difference. Nanogen's Hair Growth Factor Serum can help get your scalp and roots performing at their best and our famous Hair Fibres are the simplest option to instantly cover up any temporary or genetic hair loss.


While our aim is to provide you with up to date and relevant information, drugs affect each person differently. As such we can not guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects and this information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss treatment options and possible side effects with a healthcare professional who knows your specific medical history.