Useful Stuff to Know » article » Sudden Hair Loss and Burning Itching Scalp » Feb 19, 05:04 PM

Sudden Hair Loss and Burning Itching Scalp

Not all hair loss is due to getting older or because it runs in the family. Sometimes people in their twenties and thirties experience sudden episodes of hair loss, and it can be quite worrying.

First, rule out that it isn’t any of the following:

  • recently having had a baby
  • recently having undergone extreme stress or trauma
  • chemotherapy
  • genetic reasons

Second, look into the following possibilities:

  • Iron and protein deficiency: For vegetarians/vegans and those on poor diets this can definitely be a factor. Iron in plant products is poorly absorbed unless taken with vitamin C. Chicken, fish, and eggs are low in iron. Red meat and/or liver are the most potent sources of it. For protein, if you’re getting less than 25 grams per day sedentary and 50 grams per day active, you’re at risk of protein deficiency.
  • Zinc deficiency, or a copper/zinc imbalance: Zinc deficiency will cause hair loss, guaranteed. It’s also hard to get in the diet unless you eat beef and liver regularly. Aim for 20mg per day. Again, vegans and vegetarians will have a hard time with this from diet alone. You’d need to eat 2.5 lbs of tofu just to get your 20mg of zinc, which is ridiculous. So look into supplements, and know that zinc is best absorbed when taken with Vitamin D3, K2, and magnesium.
  • Sodium overload: Another big contributor to sudden hair loss. Hair follicles depend on “potassium ion channels” to stay alive and healthy, and sodium is a competitor to potassium in the body. So too much sodium can disrupt these potassium channels and kill off hair follicles. Some articles on the net say it’s a myth that too much salt causes hair loss, but they don’t know what they’re talking about. Typically it’s fast food, junk food, cheese, bacon, ranch, bread, soups, and chilis that are loaded with sodium. Eat a diet of nothing but that and watch your hair fall out.
  • Scalp yeast and auto-immune reactions: Itchiness of the scalp and associated hair loss can also be due to dryness (from lack of essential fatty acids) and over-proliferation of natural scalp yeasts. When the immune system fights these yeasts, it may end up attacking the hair follicles by mistake. The cause of these problems is too much sugar, dairy, and wheat. Sugar feeds yeast, dairy can trigger auto-immune reactions, and wheat gluten can aggravate the immune system. So cut back especially on the sugar and dairy. If you eat lots of dairy and your scalp itches within a few hours, now you know why.

In summary, reduce salt, sugar, and dairy for at least 2 weeks, take a 25mg zinc supplement each day, and eat beef or beef/chicken liver a couple time each week for the iron, protein, and other nutrients. Then see if hair stops falling out. The best way to check for hair loss is to get up after waking, go to the sink, and quickly rub your hair to see how many hairs fall into the sink.