Hi guys, today’s post is a sad one for me. ‘The Hair Growth Diet’. Now, that might confuse anyone who has ever seen a photo of me. My hair is very long, bum level long, and it’s quite thick. I’ve always been blessed with good hair. But this post isn’t dedicated to the hair on my head, this is a tribute to my sadly departed lashes.
My Lash Loss Story
My eyelashes have been through it lately. A series of very unfortunate events have left my lashes thin and with a bald patch. So, here’s what happened, from the beginning. It’s worth noting at this point that my natural lashes are long and I’d say a normal density. They’re not super thick and luscious but they aren’t sparse either.
Some of you may recall that back in October I lost a lot of lashes when I had an incredibly bad experience with the Wipeout makeup removal cloths. Two weeks later, I had that outbreak. Now, that was skin related, not hair, but the pills I took for that made my skin very itchy and dry. That included my eyes, having dry itchy eyes makes you more inclined to rub them, rubbing them when your skin is already dry makes them more likely to fall out. So, I was losing more lashes than usual while I was taking those and for a couple of weeks afterward when the pills were still in my system.
The final straw
They say things come in threes. After the first two events, my lashes were looking a little worse for wear, but they were okay. It was disappointing to see them looking thinner than usual, but they weren’t really sparse and looking terrible.
Those of you who follow me on Twitter may have seen my mini meltdown a few weeks ago. I was helping my mum cut back a trellis in the garden, a large branch swung back and hit me directly in the eyeball. After a minute of seeing nothing but white, and a couple of hours of spotty vision, I saw it. There it was, directly above my pupil on my right eye. I now have a bald patch in the middle of my eyelashes. There were tears, anger, frustration. Then came the research, I was determined to get them looking healthy as soon as possible.
How to make hair grow faster
Firstly, there’s no magical cure. Eyelashes grow much like the hair on your head, they go through phases. The loss stage, the dormant stage where they’re not growing or falling, and the growth phases. Obviously, they will grow back. But my research tells me that the natural growth period is 3-6 months to get them back to ‘normal’. If you’ve lost a few, that doesn’t sound like forever. But that’s a very long time when you’ve got a bald patch.
Nutrients required for hair growth
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
- B Vitamins
What I’m doing for mine
When I said I was ready to try anything, I meant anything. I haven’t worn any eye makeup in the last three weeks because I don’t want to rub my lashes at all and risk losing more. I can’t really wear mascara anyway because that makes the gap more obvious.
And I’ve been on the ultimate lash diet. Now, if you already have normal to high levels of all of the above mentioned vitamins and minerals, changing your diet is unlikely to make anything happen any faster. I don’t have any known deficiencies of any of these things, but I’m eating extra just in case.
Sources of hair growth vitamins and minerals
Protein is an obvious one. Hair is almost entirely made up of protein. Lentils, beans, nuts, seeds. Getting enough protein shouldn’t be hard.
Iron – vegan sources of iron include lentils, beans such as black beans and dark green leafy vegetables. To bulk up my iron and protein levels as much as possible, I’ve gone to the extreme of having lentil pasta for breakfast a few times a week*. I really want my lashes back, don’t judge me.
Vitamin A is an easy one too. It’s basically found in all orange vegetables. Things like butternut squash, sweet potato and carrots have high levels of vitamin A. As those are winter vegetables anyway, it’s really easy to add in extra things like that to your diet.
Vitamin C. I’m on a vegan diet with large amounts of fresh produce. Vitamin C has never been and never will be a concern. Thank u, next.
One thing I will say though is that iron is better absorbed in the body when consumed with vitamin C so try to balance your plates accordingly.
Vitamin E – Nuts, seeds, fortified milks and dairy alternatives usually contain good levels of vitamin E.
B vitamins – there’s a lot of them and they’re found in a huge range of things. Biotin is well known for hair growth and is a part of the B vitamin family. Other B vitamins help circulate the blood. You need good circulation to your head for hair to grow. B vitamins are found in a range of whole grains and vegetables.
Zinc – Zinc is a tricky one. It plays a major role in hair growth and tissue repair. Zinc also helps keep oil glands lubricated, a healthy scalp/ eye means hair is more likely to grow. But, too much zinc can also cause hair loss according to some studies so supplementing can do more harm than good. Pumpkin and chia seeds are both sources of zinc.
Back to the whole ‘I’m willing to try anything’, thing. I bought hair supplements. Which, by the way, is a lot harder than it sounds because most of them have fish oils in.
I got these ones from Holland & Barrett. Unfortunately, I’ve only been taking them for about two weeks now so I can’t really give you any updates as to whether they’re doing anything for me. They contain pretty much everything I mentioned in the list above, and a few extra minerals too. I’m hopeful.
I think it’s important to have goals but not set the bar too high. The trellis incident happened November 24th and although I’d love to have lashes for Christmas, I know that’s not realistic. Might have to buy some individuals for Christmas day…
With the 3-6 months in mind, I have a holiday booked for March, so that’s my current goal for having them back. Ideally, I’d like them to be back before then and for March to be my ‘back looking as they were’ goal. But we’ll see. I’ll continue with my lash diet and hope for the best. Of course there’ll be an update post when they grow back. That goes without saying.
Do any of you guys have any suggestions for good lash growth or hair health? As you can tell, I’m really trying. Would anyone be interested in a ‘what I eat in a day: hair growth edition’ kind of post to document this further? I’ll keep you updated as they (hopefully) grow!
Until next time,