Back in 2010 Michael, my husband and Owner/Head Coach of MSP Fitness, came back from a Charles Poliquin conference in Boston and declared that the house needed to be paraben free along with a whole host of other things we needed to be doing for our health. He’s funny that way in that once he decides on a new direction; it’s all or nothing. I remembered us scrambling around to find a water filter for the shower. There were a number of other changes at the time as well, and I thought he was a little nuts but went with the flow, kinda ignoring it…that is until recently.
The reason for my recent interest in the topic is for selfish reason. You see, I had been experiencing significant hair loss for the last couple years. We are not talking the usual stuff that comes out when you brush your hair or shower. No, no, this was different. Based on all of my research I thought it might be thyroid related, stress, nutrition, or “D”, all of the above. So I went to see my M.D. for some possible answers. A thyroid test was done, and my numbers came back within ‘normal’ range. I sought out a naturopath and was put on a supplement protocol, along with watching what I was eating to nourish my body, which I dutifully followed for almost 9 months. But to my dismay, none of it seemed to slow down the hair loss. Now, up to this point, I was just experiencing the hair loss on my head. Then one day last summer, I started seeing my eyelashes and eyebrows fall out at an alarming rate as well. THAT started to really freak me out.
All the experts were telling me that everything was fine, but I knew clearly it was not. What now? Start taking Rogain? NO! What I did was start to examine what was in my environment. I made the correlation that the hair loss seemed most dramatic whenever I colored my hair, and the weeks that followed. Since I only started coloring my hair in recent years, this seemed like a smart place to start. Mind you, the stuff I was using to color my grays was not the usual ‘off-the-shelf’ drugstore stuff, because I knew there were some seriously harmful elements in those hair-coloring products. The product I was using was the pricier stuff, manufactured in the UK (stricter regulations), supposedly containing less toxic elements.
Now, I can’t say with 100% certainty that the years of hair coloring was the cause of my massive hair loss, as there could be many reasons for this. However, I can say in my N=1 highly scientific study, since I stopped using the hair coloring product I was using, and switched to an all natural product, along with taking charge of my environment to be far less toxic, free of synthetics and other less than ideal ingredients, my hair loss is not as excessive as it was before. My hair is fuller, and I no longer have gaps in my eyebrows and eyelashes, as the new growth comes back in and stays!
Needless to say, all of this has been an eye opener and a huge exploration and learning experience for me. It started out as looking for an answer to my hair loss dilemma, and that lead me down endless hours of reading and learning about our chemically laden world and products that I was using on a daily basis on my face, hair, body, and home. Ok Michael, so maybe that showerhead change and other stuff wasn’t so crazy after all as now the tables are reversed and I’ve happily made a complete 180-degree overhaul with the products that we are surrounding ourselves with…most of which I am making myself. (More on that in future posts)
At the end of the day, there are many who might argue that the path I’ve chosen is overly reactive. I am not here to judge. I am here to share my story and experience. For me if there is a clean effective substitute, I’m going to seek it out and use it…or likely make it. My new motto is, “If there’s any doubt, it’s out.”
In future posts, I’ll share with you what I’ve learned in my journey towards living a toxin free lifestyle. I’ll details out all the DIY (Do It Yourself) concoctions that I’ve made, what’s worked or didn’t, as well as the clean, green stuff I am comfortable purchasing and using and why.
Join the conversation over on our Facebook Page and share your story. I’d love to hear your personal experiences and what’s worked for you.
– Written by Van Nguyen