Thank u Sheree
First, my history: I had such thick hair as a child that hairdressers would always comment, "Can u give me some?" But by the time I was 15/16, my hair, despite being puffy, felt limp and less glossy and strong. It was when I was 18/19 that I noticed scary hair loss (esp on mornings when I had gastrointestinal problems) and a widening parting.
I tried to ignore it and rationalize that it was my hairdo, lighting, etc but that shiny spot on my head was appearing in more and more photos.
My dandruff was a persistent sticky messy problem. I 'snowed' dandruff.
I also had an oily scalp that demanded daily washing (even in this tropical climate, many friends with healthy hair didn't have to wash daily). Worse was the crazy itching, which led to shedding of hard little balls. It felt like microbeads from some facial wash, except, of course, it came from my scalp and was often connected to a strand of thin, fine hair.
Then, by my late twenties, I started having baby after baby, so that stalled the hair loss for 9 months each time, but the shedding after childbirth (which starts at about 4 mths) got progressively worse.
After my 3rd baby I literally had bald spots and so I shaved my head. I told myself there was no point staring at my scalp all day and wondering if hair was growing back.
In addition to all this, I had suffered from compulsive eating disorder since I was 16/17. It got better around age 26 when I learnt that controlling GI helped, but I only truly got out of this disorder when I was about 30.
Also, my mom is balding real bad and wears a hairpiece. It started in her late 20s as far as she recalls.
Sheree was a GODSEND in helping me see the link between diet, my gluten sensitivity, binge eating and hair. But the details took me years to figure out. First, I realized I was way too reliant on meat and nuts to curb my binge eating. I switched to tonnes of veg, which reduced the instances mentioned earlier of terrible stomach aches linked to dramatic hair loss on the same day.
Next, I realized I was gluten sensitive after my cutting out gluten had further reduced my bloating and Irritable Bowel Syndrome symptoms by almost 100%. Since I used to get diarrhea at least once a week, I figured I was surely lacking nutrients.
Long story short, this is how the steps unfolded for me.
Oily Scalp and dandruff: Went away relatively quickly as I cut out all sugar and ate tonnes of veg and fruit (but not overdoing the sweet ones), drinking lots of water to keep myself feeling hydrated and fresh. I avoided fried and processed foods cos I realized they made me feel bad. I cut down on white rice but not totally cos I'm Chinese! Also, I still eat healthy carbs such as sweet potatoes and yams. Love them! My scalp felt great and I could finally go a night without washing and not feel greasy and icky.
Hair loss: This took longer to go away. When my second child was nearly 2YO - so to let u know, it's not postpartum anymore - I was dropping around 200 hairs a day. (And I think I can count pretty well) but I was following all the diet rules and my scalp already felt better! I deduced the missing link was my low iron/ hemoglobin count. I was always told I was on the normal range (pregnant moms get lots of blood tests) but doctors would go "hm, it is on the lower side of normal. Wonder why."
Finally I saw a GP for another blood test and got his go-ahead to take iron tablets daily. I couldn't avoid the natural post party hair loss for my third child, but thank God, this time, it slowly eased before she turned 1YO. I noticed my hair loss soon went down to 60-100 hairs a day (and I tend to OVER estimate, just in case). I have shorter hair, but I still brush and comb it vigorously and count my losses, and I don't know how to explain that sense of relief when u no longer have to force yourself to stop counting after 100 hairs. From hair falling with each comb, no matter what time of the day in the past, I could now comb and comb and just have nothing falling out sometimes! It's such a joyful relief. Sometimes I only count 30 to 40 strands falling.
That said, I still keep to this wholesome diet plan taught by Sheree. I also sometimes have a strange sense of achiness on my head/ scalp, around the area where I still have the thinnest hair. Perhaps it's inflammation of some sort?? I get it less when I eat really healthily and sleep well. I notice that sleeping late consecutively can also increase hair loss. Like I said, it's rather look the alkaline lifestyle, which I personally think correlates extremely well with the Chinese thought of avoiding 'heaty' food and lifestyle and going for 'cooling' foods etc.
Though my hair loss has dramatically been reduced, I guess it may be a little late for me to have a full thick head of hair again. After all, at 34, I'm near the age normal women start to experience thinning. Regardless, I'm thankful to now look close to NORMAL! Haha. I think I just look like my hair is thin at the top back, rather than "balding". I am no longer afraid of taking photos or being under a spotlight in restaurants with my husband! I no longer cry in front of the mirror. Thank God.
And thank God for you, Sheree. Your website really put me firmly on the journey in the right direction.
PS: My kids and I LOVE the sugar free desserts from your recipe pages.
Michelle from Singapore.