Eating Disorders & Your Hair

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Just wondering if any other curlies here have had hair issues as a result of an eating disorder, and how did it affect your hair?


Lillu xxx
3c spirals & corkscrews!
Transitioned Sep'07-Nov'08
BCed 21st Nov 2008!!

My hair likes:
Alba Botanical Leave-in is my irst HG :-)
Condish: AOHR
Co-wash: Original Source Tea Tree Mint
Post-BC hair HATES protein!
I have been in recovery from an eating disorder for almost five years and my hair has been back to normal for years. At the time of the disorder my hair was thin and believe me my hair has never been thin in my entire life. I used to comb out large clumps of hair(more than the average person...and more than the average curly) It was extremely dry and frizzy too. But usually a little while after you start eating normally for a consistant period of time your hair should be back to the way it was before....I do know a girl with straight hair who said that she had beautiful hair before her eating disorder and after she barely had any left, but she was EXTREMELY sick...hope that helps
3b/3c =) Finally loving my curls!
Hi there xtxscarletxtx!

I have had a similar experience, my hair turned dry and brittle (well even more than usual) and thinned considerably... but the weird thing was that it only thinned on one side of head! It was only on the right side, which is usually where my hair is the thickest and is the side that grows faster (I'm right-handed), so i really noticed the difference when i was going through anorexia and bulimia. I think i noticed a greater change during my bulimic phase, which was horrendous to say the least.

It is scary when u realise just how much what u do/dont put into your body can affect your hair.

Thanks for sharing your experience, I am glad to hear you are recovering and are well. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
3c spirals & corkscrews!
Transitioned Sep'07-Nov'08
BCed 21st Nov 2008!!

My hair likes:
Alba Botanical Leave-in is my irst HG :-)
Condish: AOHR
Co-wash: Original Source Tea Tree Mint
Post-BC hair HATES protein!
I experienced similar things too when I was anorexic, though my family intervened when it became noticable that something was wrong. My hair became extremely dry and started breaking off in the middle of the hair shaft. I also had a hard time holding food down when I tried to eat normally for the first two months. After that, my hair slowly returned to normal.
3b/c, medium-coarse, low porosity, high density
HG: Jessicurl Too Shea and Kinky Curly Curling Custard
Shampoo: nonsulfate shampoo and Suave Naturals sulfate shampoo when needed
Hi multicurly, thanks also for sharing. Did your hair return completely to normal? I havent noticed any lasting change to my hair, although I do wonder why it suddenly broke off last summer... i have no idea why that happened. I was at a low weight but not my lowest weight and was still having periods at the time, so i dont know what caused it. These days i do try to eat more protein these days. I think my hair liked it best when I was (obsessively) on Atkins!

How long ago were you ill? I hope you are well and happy now honey xxx
3c spirals & corkscrews!
Transitioned Sep'07-Nov'08
BCed 21st Nov 2008!!

My hair likes:
Alba Botanical Leave-in is my irst HG :-)
Condish: AOHR
Co-wash: Original Source Tea Tree Mint
Post-BC hair HATES protein!
I stopped myself before my half bulimia half anorexia got too bad - meaning I didn't go to the hospital, but my metabolism is totally screwy. My hair was a lot thinner last year, so I think that it did affect my hair, but not too badly.
made up of 98.822% silliness!!

I had a similar problem when i was really sick, my hair started to split in the middle and to this day it's still not the same length as all my other hair and that was like 4 years ago. But i can tell you that i'm healthy now after like 5 years of trying to get my metabolism back to normal. You just have to keep going with it. As for the hair part, when i started to eat normally my hair quickly became normal again...i'll try and get a pic to show the difference but i can tell you that my hair was in better shape than ever when i ate normally again
3b/3c =) Finally loving my curls!
Hi multicurly, thanks also for sharing. Did your hair return completely to normal? I havent noticed any lasting change to my hair, although I do wonder why it suddenly broke off last summer... i have no idea why that happened. I was at a low weight but not my lowest weight and was still having periods at the time, so i dont know what caused it. These days i do try to eat more protein these days. I think my hair liked it best when I was (obsessively) on Atkins!

How long ago were you ill? I hope you are well and happy now honey xxx
Originally Posted by Lillu
Thanks. My hair and I are fine. :-) It was about eight years ago. I now eat a balanced diet and try to do everything in moderation. I no longer keep track of what I eat, how much I exercise or how much I weigh. That made it easier for me to become normal again.

I agree that eating protein keeps hair healthy. I also noticed that if I keep my stress level down, my hair and skin look great.
3b/c, medium-coarse, low porosity, high density
HG: Jessicurl Too Shea and Kinky Curly Curling Custard
Shampoo: nonsulfate shampoo and Suave Naturals sulfate shampoo when needed
I had a similar problem when i was really sick, my hair started to split in the middle and to this day it's still not the same length as all my other hair and that was like 4 years ago.
Originally Posted by xtxscarletxtx
Do you mean the strands actually split in the middle of the shaft, like split ends do??! Did you have to cut it off, how did you deal with it?

multicurly, im so glad to hear you are well and healthy again honey xxx

Curlyeyes, you must be so strong to have overcome this type of illness on your own. Happy to hear your better now xxxxx
3c spirals & corkscrews!
Transitioned Sep'07-Nov'08
BCed 21st Nov 2008!!

My hair likes:
Alba Botanical Leave-in is my irst HG :-)
Condish: AOHR
Co-wash: Original Source Tea Tree Mint
Post-BC hair HATES protein!
it was really strange how it happened but one day i noticed my hair was a lot thinner and i was wondering why it wasn't as big as usual and i was feeling underneath my hair and noticed that i had a row of hair that was 1/4 the length of my other hair. i was extremely confused and didn't know what was going on but i blamed it on bad nutrition because my hair had been falling out in clumps..i mean i can't positively say that it was splitting becuase of Ed but thats the way it seemed...and my hair was not splitting as in split ends but as if it were cut...it doesn't really make too much sense but this was about 4 years ago and to this day it is still shorter but it's getting there. and the hair thats shorter is a completely different texture than the rest of my hair, but i really can't explain what happened
3b/3c =) Finally loving my curls!
sry i guess i didn't explain it too well the first time.
3b/3c =) Finally loving my curls!
Oh i see now wot you mean xtxscarletxtx! That would scare me to death... and you say its still not the same length as the rest of your hair even now?

I have a thin patch at the back of my head at the moment... I'm not sure if its ED-related as I am underweight but nowhere near as low as I was before, and am eating healthily... I am being optimistic and thinking its a surprise patch of super-moisturised hair that isnt as poofy as the rest hehehhe! Its right underneath right at the back and I havent looked at it yet just in case I'm actually going bald!
3c spirals & corkscrews!
Transitioned Sep'07-Nov'08
BCed 21st Nov 2008!!

My hair likes:
Alba Botanical Leave-in is my irst HG :-)
Condish: AOHR
Co-wash: Original Source Tea Tree Mint
Post-BC hair HATES protein!
Lillu, even if it is ed related i'm sure your hair will return to normal over time...even if it's a bald spot. I never had a bald spot but i did have what your describing and my hair is now it's poofballself again lol. Stay strong. <3
3b/3c =) Finally loving my curls!
Lillu, even if it is ed related i'm sure your hair will return to normal over time...even if it's a bald spot. I never had a bald spot but i did have what your describing and my hair is now it's poofballself again lol. Stay strong. <3
Originally Posted by xtxscarletxtx

Thanks xtxscarletxtx, I have checked and it isnt bald thank god but it just really thin... I'll up my vitamins and protein and hopefully that will help!! xxxxx
3c spirals & corkscrews!
Transitioned Sep'07-Nov'08
BCed 21st Nov 2008!!

My hair likes:
Alba Botanical Leave-in is my irst HG :-)
Condish: AOHR
Co-wash: Original Source Tea Tree Mint
Post-BC hair HATES protein!
I definitely noticed a thinning, snapping, and drying out of my hair D:. I try to counter this by taking lots of biotin and other vitamins.
Hi InMediasRes!!

I would say yes, getting enough vitamins is essential for ED people, so not only taking supplements but finding lots of healthy foods that are nutrient rich will help a lot too. For example I used to be vegan but made sure I had lots of fortified soya milk, so I got enough protein and vitamins, and also ate (in small amounts) different nuts and seeds, which are really good for skin and hair.

I also think that eating the right amount of fats (ewww!) has helped my hair tremendously, i dont mean fatty foods but foods with healthy fats in like avocados and oily fish. I practically live off salmon at times as its full of essential fats and has tons of protein, and if u get skinned fillets it doesnt have lots of calories! I think this has helped my hair a lot, plus I notice that my skin isnt as dry either when I have lots of salmon. I really need to get back on that... my hair is suffering a little bit these days

I have had omega supplements too, had to force myself and pretend they werent little capsules of fat... but yes I would def recommend them if you would find it easier.

Upping intake of vitamins, protein and essential fats is the way to go I reckon!

HTH, and take good care of yourself xxxxxxx
3c spirals & corkscrews!
Transitioned Sep'07-Nov'08
BCed 21st Nov 2008!!

My hair likes:
Alba Botanical Leave-in is my irst HG :-)
Condish: AOHR
Co-wash: Original Source Tea Tree Mint
Post-BC hair HATES protein!

Last edited by Lillu; 10-01-2008 at 07:33 AM.
Nuts, fish, fruit? wooow, I could never do that. To be honest, I live on coffee ketchup chips, sugar and vitamins. Yes this makes me indefinitely ill.

Vitamins are a savior, although I hear it's not good to actually live on them. When it comes down to it, I think this is especially difficult for us and our hair is just one of the things we sacrifice with our disorder, along with our relationships, school, body, skin.. the list just goes on and on.

What I would suggest then is that we need to be as stress free as possible.

Hrm, I'm actually at school right now, I will continue this rant when I get home.. which isn't.. untill 9pm. Then I need to write an essay.

Remember gals, the best thing we can do for our hair is love it.
Nuts, fish, fruit? wooow, I could never do that. To be honest, I live on coffee ketchup chips, sugar and vitamins. Yes this makes me indefinitely ill.
Originally Posted by InMediasRes
I have had a similar mindset in the past and still do at times! It seems impossible sometimes and you cant even imagine being able to eat certain things. But the way I managed to eat healthier is by realising that I dont have to necesarily eat more, not if i dont want to.For example, the soya milk was easy cos i simply got the type that is only 26 calories instead of 126, it has the same amount of nutrients in. The nuts are insanely full of calories, but they are nutrient dense in much the same way, so therefore just a few nuts a day will give you tons of vitamins and minerals and some of the essential fats. I remember I used to make myself eat 2 small Brazil nuts a day, which i counted as 100 cals... you really dont need to eat a bag of nuts to get the benefits, just a few will do.

The fish thing was a case of finding frozen fillets with individual calorie counts on... i only buy the ones that are 150 cals per fillet, and have one with salad for my evening meal... simple but effective. Have you tried to include green salads into your eating? Cos leafy green things like spinach (i only eat it raw, like its lettuce) not only have vitamins but also lots of minerals in them too, including iron and calcium! All for like 20 cals! All these little things can contribute to improving our skin and hair, and general health... but doesnt have to compromise our food and/or weight issues.

Please please take care of yourself... and try to ensure the calories you do get are healthy calories.

Vitamins are a savior, although I hear it's not good to actually live on them. When it comes down to it, I think this is especially difficult for us and our hair is just one of the things we sacrifice with our disorder, along with our relationships, school, body, skin.. the list just goes on and on.
Originally Posted by InMediasRes

I agree with you totally. I have at one point or another sacrificed all the best things in my life because of the eating disorder... loving supportive boyfriend, friends, my studies, my home, lots of things. The thing is i am still doing it... i will never learn.

Please be careful honey and take care of yourself xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
3c spirals & corkscrews!
Transitioned Sep'07-Nov'08
BCed 21st Nov 2008!!

My hair likes:
Alba Botanical Leave-in is my irst HG :-)
Condish: AOHR
Co-wash: Original Source Tea Tree Mint
Post-BC hair HATES protein!
I actually only eat dinner, and a little bit. I always make excuses like I ate at school and am not hungry.

To be honest, no one knows about my disorder, I am very ashamed... but I seem awkward most days. I fidget, I look as though I am not paying attention, I'll fall asleep, not be able to talk properly, trip over myself... and people assume it's drugs. My best friend calls me a steatopygous which is a term used to describe a figure with a fat ass, when I tell him to stop, he won't and will make cracks about my weight thinking it's funny because I'm "not fat".

Soy milk is wonderful! I can't handle dairy.

I'm scared for next week, my memory is shot and I'm always tired. I need to get through a Latin exam, Greek art exam and a Greek test...

I'm ranting again, it's a bad day.

I wish I had supportive parents and friends. When I had told my mother years ago that I am depressed, she told me to get the **** over it.
I actually only eat dinner, and a little bit. I always make excuses like I ate at school and am not hungry.

To be honest, no one knows about my disorder, I am very ashamed... but I seem awkward most days. I fidget, I look as though I am not paying attention, I'll fall asleep, not be able to talk properly, trip over myself... and people assume it's drugs. My best friend calls me a steatopygous which is a term used to describe a figure with a fat ass, when I tell him to stop, he won't and will make cracks about my weight thinking it's funny because I'm "not fat".

Soy milk is wonderful! I can't handle dairy.

I'm scared for next week, my memory is shot and I'm always tired. I need to get through a Latin exam, Greek art exam and a Greek test...

I'm ranting again, it's a bad day.

I wish I had supportive parents and friends. When I had told my mother years ago that I am depressed, she told me to get the **** over it.
Originally Posted by InMediasRes
I can totally relate...or i could have totally related a few years ago. But that is terrible that you don't have anyone supportive of you!!! My parents were all for getting me help when i reached a all time low, but most of the time they weren't into doing what the doctors said would help me. They just wanted me to "snap out of it" But im happy to say after being hospitalized three times and attended day treatment 5 times, four years later i'm doing awesome and every year I have less and less bad days. But you should seek help because it only gets worse! You don't want this for yourself, it takes everything away...some things you'll never get back. Please help yourself if no one else will. Don't be ashamed. You need help and thats it, it's okay to ask for help!!!! Take care..if you ever want to talk to anyone you can talk to me...I've been there
3b/3c =) Finally loving my curls!

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