Your journey to optimum health can sometimes be perplexing. You make changes for the better, only to be confused by something else coming up. Is this new issue part of the process, or is it something you should be genuinely concerned about? Is it an indication that you ARE on the right path, or do you need a course correction?
One of the issues that can come up during your detox and parasite cleansing is hair loss. It doesn’t happen for everyone. But if it does, it can leave you wondering if you are on the right track. Why is this happening? Is it normal? How long will this go on for?
Before we dive into these questions, let's begin by answering, what is a normal amount of hair loss?
The Hair Cycle
Just like we have cycles in seasons, your hair growth has cycles as well. There are three stages:
The Anagen phase, or growth stage. This is when your hair is growing most rapidly. You could compare this to the season spring. Everything is becoming lush and leaves are letting out. 80-90% of your hairs are at this stage most of the time.
The Catagen phase, or degrading stage. Your hair isn’t performing rapid cell division like before, it has stopped growing. You could compare this to summer. It’s almost like a holding phase. Leaves are green but not ready to fall yet. 1-2% of your hairs are at this stage most of the time.
The Telogen phase, or resting stage. A new hair is produced under the presently existing hair. Your existing hair strand is shed to make way for the new one. You could compare this stage to fall when trees lose their leaves. 10-20% of your hairs are in this “ready to be shed” stage most of the time. (1)
Besides these individual growth cycles, our hair truly does cycle with the seasons. Our levels of neurotransmitters vary with changes in light and temperature. Animals shed more in spring and fall, to get a different thickness of coat corresponding with the seasons. We can shed more hairs during the spring or fall months as well.
Fun Fact: By week 22 in the womb, you had hair! All of your hair follicles were developed by this time.
What Is Normal Hair Loss?
Hair loss in some amounts is part of everyday life and fluctuates person to person. It doesn’t matter your age. In fact, 3% of all visits to the pediatrician are because of childhood hair loss. (2)
It is perfectly normal for you to lose between 50 and 100 hairs per day. Going from 50 to 100 can seem serious, but there is a difference between excess shedding and actual hair loss.
What Are The Causes Of Hair Loss Or Increased Hair Shedding?
Your hair is very sensitive to what is going on in the rest of the body. It can be a sign that things are out of balance and need to be addressed. It can be the “alarm” that there is a fire so to speak. But it isn’t actually the fire.
The four main reasons for hair loss are:
- Thyroid issues (hyper and hypothyroid, and autoimmune issues can cause hair loss)
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Heavy metal toxicity
Parasites can cause all of these issues. Plus, all four of these problems play off each other and increase the effects of the others.
During your detox and parasite cleansing, the problems parasites are causing can rise to the surface. Your disrupting them and revealing what havoc they have really been having on your body. Hair loss can be part of your detox and parasite cleansing process. It’s frustrating, but it doesn’t mean you are on the wrong path. It means you are finally getting to the root of your health problems!
Think of it like remodeling a house. You can see that the flooring desperately needs replacing for example. As you rip up the flooring, you realize there was past water damage to the plywood underneath. The water damaged plywood didn’t occur because of you ripping out the old flooring. It only revealed it. It was already a problem. Now you have a chance to lay fresh, clean plywood before you install the new flooring.
Detox and parasite cleansing can be that way as well. The parasites have been releasing toxins, increasing inflammation and creating deficiencies (underlying water damage that you can’t see). They absorb heavy metals and stress the body. Hair loss can be like that damaged plywood needing to be ripped out. It was damaged and needed to go anyways, but was only revealed during the “renovation process.”
The good news is, once the sources of the hair loss are taken care of, the hair usually grows back.
Let’s examine these four hair loss reasons more deeply and how they are related to parasites.
1. The Thyroid And Hair Loss
There are several different ways your thyroid could be irritated and cause hair loss. All of the issues listed above can play into thyroid problems. But there are some additional players that are important for you to consider:
- Bacteria and other pathogens
- Gluten molecular mimicry
Parasites can be interfering with your thyroid without you knowing about it. It’s possible for you to not have telltale signs of a thyroid issue, but for the parasites to still cause thyroid inflammation. (3)
The parasites might not be directly in your thyroid. In fact, most of the time they aren’t. But their presence in your body can rile up your immune system creating antibodies. These antibodies usually calm down over time once the “threat” (parasites) has been removed. All the more reason to evict them!
Another factor affecting the thyroid is the many toxins parasites spew out into your body. They may be residing in the digestive tract, far from the thyroid, but their toxins irritate your whole body and can cause hair loss. (4)
Again, removing the toxins through detox and parasite cleansing will be like ripping out the damaged plywood. Then you can lay the fresh plywood for an excellent foundation for healing. You are cleaning out the underlying root of your health issues.
Bacteria and other pathogens
These types of invaders can also cause an immense amount of stress on your thyroid and provoke hair loss.
Epstein-Barr (EBV) can cause your thyroid to develop autoimmune antibodies. It can also mimic your white blood cells and affect how well they perform. They change how responsive your immune system is able to be. (5)
Lyme disease is a bacteria that causes huge stress on your body. Lyme can lead to hypothyroidism. This can also cause you to lose your hair. The good news is, once you treat the Lyme bacteria, hair loss is reversed. (6, 7)
Gluten molecular mimicry
Your body is constantly trying to protect you from threats. This includes the foods that you ingest. Some protein molecules in food can be incredibly similar to your own tissues in their shape. Your body can see that food as a threat and create antibodies. The gluten found in wheat is one of these foods.
Unfortunately, because of how similar these molecules are, your body can make mistakes. A cross-reaction can happen, where your body mistakes gluten molecules for your thyroid tissue. This can cause your body to create autoimmune type antibodies and disrupt your thyroid function, which can result in hair loss. The best way to overcome this is by removing the offending food from your diet. (8) That will ease the stress on your thyroid and help prevent the “molecular confusion.”
All these factors can severely strain your thyroid and cause hair loss. Detoxing and engaging in a parasite cleanse can help you ease the pressure off the thyroid. Your body will be able to function better, so your hair has a chance to grow back.
2. Nutritional Deficiencies
Parasites are like nutritional pirates, stealing what doesn’t belong to them. Not only do they rob you of nutrients, but they also change and reduce the amount of enzymes in your digestive tract. After all, they don’t want to be digested! They change their environment to suit them, which hurts you.
But they are not only stealing from you. They are preventing you from properly digesting and absorbing what’s left over. (9)
This can leave you woefully deficient in the building blocks needed for luxurious locks. Your nutritional status greatly affects the condition of your hair!
Just like real pirates would protect themselves, the parasites, pathogens, and bacteria you are trying to get rid of do the same. They build themselves armor called biofilm. They make it out what you eat!
Biofilms are made out of:
- DNA and RNA
Hair is 95% protein. If parasites and bacteria are plundering your protein to make their armor, your hair health is bound to suffer.
Macronutrients are not the only treasure parasites pursue. They are out to get your micronutrients as well. Although you need many nutrients for strong, healthy hair, there are a few key ones parasites like to pillage from you:
Zinc is especially needed for fantastic hair. It slows the progression of your hair getting to the shedding stage. It allows you to keep each hair longer and also speeds up your hair follicles recovery after a hair falls out. (11)
Zinc is closely related to how well your thyroid functions. See how these seemingly separate issues play off each other? They are all connected. The good news is, detox and parasite cleansing rids you of these nutrient raiders. (12)
Copper is another micronutrient you require for healthy hair. Copper increases genetic growth factors and also helps lengthen the time you keep each hair. Once again, your copper levels affect your thyroid hormones. Parasites stealing your copper can circle back and affect you twice over. (13, 14)
Parasites love iron in particular. There is constant fighting between your cells and parasites for iron. (15)
You need iron for red blood cells, but you need it for hair growth too. You also need it for -- you guessed it -- thyroid function!
But before you go out to replenish your ransacked micronutrients, there is a difference between organic and inorganic minerals. As much as these nutrients are critical to your health and hair, they are not created equal.
3. Heavy Metals And Hair Loss
Zinc, copper, and iron are all needed for you to have healthy hair and thyroid function. There is a problem though:
Not all minerals and heavy metals we need are bioavailable.
In fact, the inorganic form can create hair loss, not hair growth. The toxic forms shorten the hair cycle instead of lengthening it. We need organic forms from plants that our body can utilize. We also need to detox from the inorganic forms that are creating toxicity.
There are also the non-essential heavy metals that wreak havoc with hair growth. Some specific heavy metals meddling with your hair are:
- Copper (the inorganic toxic kind)
These heavy metals actually interfere with the proteins in your hair formation. They prevent them from bonding with each other properly. Not only do heavy metals contribute to hair loss, but the hair you do form will be weak and easily broken. (16)
Heavy metals create ROS or reactive oxygen species. They damage your DNA and mitochondria and interfere with the pigment of your hair. So not only can heavy metals mess with the mass of your mane. They can alter the color to gray! All the more reason for you to detox from toxic heavy metals. (17)
It’s important to remember to detox from heavy metals in the right order.
Parasites are a sponge for heavy metals. Detoxing your tissues from heavy metals won’t be the best strategy in the long run. The parasites will spew toxic heavy metals right back out, poisoning you again. Take care of the upstream source first. Parasite cleanse first, and then detox from the heavy metals still lingering. This will truly rid you of the heavy metals interfering with your hair growth.
When it comes to hair loss, all paths seem to circle back to the thyroid. Heavy metals interfere with your hormones and thyroid function. They like to accumulate in your thyroid as well. This is especially true of cadmium. (18)
Using binders can help pull out these bad heavy metals that are affecting your thyroid, which in turn affects your hair growth.
Heavy metals and parasites stress your body. But other kinds of stress can contribute to your hair loss too.
4. Stress and Hair Loss
Physical and chemical stressors can influence your hair cycle. Parasites, heavy metals, nutrient deficiencies, and toxins all play a part in hair health. But what about emotions and trauma?
When you are under chronic stress, your levels of cortisol can rocket sky high. A short burst of stress is not a big deal. That is what cortisol is designed for. To spike temporarily to help us cope with a “threat.”
But our modern lives aren’t one little burst of stress with lots of peace in between. Chronic stress has your adrenals pumping out cortisol constantly. Combine that with the physical and chemical stressors you may be dealing with, and your hair can start to really suffer.
High cortisol reduces your ability to produce hair and speeds up shedding by 40%! (19)
One last time, we have to tread the path back to the thyroid. High cortisol suppresses your thyroid hormones.
Reducing your stress levels will remove one burden from the hair loss equation.
Hair Loss Or Health Gains?
Sudden hair loss during your journey to health will most likely be temporary. Once you rid your body of the sources stressing your thyroid, your hair will have the opportunity to grow back.
A parasite cleanse will support your body in the removal of heavy metals and toxins. It will also evict the nutritional pirates so you can absorb the nutrition you need for healthy hair.
Remember, hair loss is the alarm that something is wrong. It’s not the fire. Losing hair due to high stress means it’s time for you to practice self-care. It’s time to detox not only your body but detox your life from too much activity and not enough rest.
Hair loss might be a bump on your path to wellness. But the health you will gain from uncovering and removing the hidden sources will be worth it.