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Hair Loss/hair loss and exercise


I am a 48 y.o. female in very good health. I stopped five- to six-time-per-week martial arts about nine months ago. My hair began to fall out rather drastically about a month or two ago. It is now appreciably thinner. My periods have just about stopped. I had hot flashes for a few weeks, but these have remitted. My mother had very thick hair until she died, but my father had thin hair. My diet is good; maybe a little heavy on sugar, but otherwise I'm a vegetarian and eat lots of organic foods. The only other factor I can think about is that I began to use tragacanth on my hair about six months ago, but my research leads me to believe that it is generally benign. My question is, could it be possible that my hair loss - which was not gradual; it was drastic and sudden, and in just a few weeks I lost what feels like 50% of it - is due to the drop in exercise. I went from very vigorous, excellent exercise, to nothing. Thank you, Mary

Hi Mary ... Please excuse my late reply.

Congratulations on your vegetarian, organic diet with an active lifestyle.  You are to be commended for that.  Those are not simple changes to make.

Drastic hair fall out is almost always a sign of telogen effluvium, whereby some sort of physical or emotional "trauma" forces your hair into a shedding phase prematurely.  The good news is, Telogen Effluvium is almost never a chronic condition and typically will correct itself on it's own.

It's not impossible that your body is reacting to drastically less physical exercise, especially at a time when your hormones are changing or if you're at the onset of menopause.  There is much written about hair loss and menopause; there is a connection.

The hormonal changes that take place at the onset of menopause bring about a number of unpleasant side effects, including thinning hair. The stress of menopause can also contribute to hair loss. Fortunately, however, the hair loss that is associated with menopause is almost always temporary. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) says that hair loss generally returns six months to two years after menopause.

It's definitely time to try to eliminate processed sugars from your diet, but more importantly, eliminate dairy altogether.  Make extra sure if you use soy cheese alternatives that they do NOT contain the "milk protein" casein.

Also, get back to some daily activity, of course.  I don't need to tell you that.  But I'm curious why your exercise went to "nothing"?

You should go to your physician and get checked.  Check your iron levels and blood and don't worry.  Sometimes the stress of losing hair can cause more hair loss.  If you're a healthy woman entering menopause, your hair will naturally thin.  It's one of the unpleasant aspects of aging, but odds are great that it will begin filling in again.

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Michael Garcia


I can offer keen insight and expert, unbiased advice regarding hair loss treatments and solutions for men, women and children who are suffering from virtually any hair loss condition.


I have worked as a consultant in the hair loss industry for over 14 years. I am editor and spokesman for, the largest and most high profile hair loss-related website on the Internet today.

I am a member of the American Hair Loss Council.

My writing has appeared in the National Hair Journal,, LA Weekly as well as the Los Angeles Times.

I hold a BA in English and Philosophy with an MA in Comparative Literature.

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