One of the biggest concerns on the hCG diet is the risk of hair loss. It’s important to note that the risk of hair loss is associated with any diet which is very restrictive in daily caloric intake, and that the risk of hair loss is not specific to the hCG diet. However, most people feel that the rewards of losing 1-2 lbs per day outweigh the rare side effect of hCG diet hair loss. There are also steps you can take to minimize or even prevent the loss of hair during the hCG diet.
VITAMIN & MINERAL SUPPLEMENTS
One of the simplest and most proactive steps you can take to prevent hair loss is to supplement your low calorie diet with vitamins and minerals. Taking a quality multivitamin daily will help to ensure you are meeting your mineral needs. Minimum daily requirements vary with age and sex which is why you’ll find various multivitamins which are specialized for women and for ages 50+. Check the label to make sure you’re getting a sufficient dose of the following vitamins and minerals. You can also boost your natural intake of these vitamins and minerals by increasing your intake of the foods listed, many of which are on the approved list of foods for P2 and P3 of the hCG Diet.
Recommended Daily Intake is 900 mcg per day for men and 700 mcg/day for women. Vitamin A (Retinol) can be found naturally in many foods. The leafy greens listed below are a great source of Vitamin A during P2 (the VLCD phase) of the hCG diet.
% (Percent) Daily Value
for adult male
per 100 grams of food
B7 (BIOTIN), B6 and B12
These three B vitamins promote growth from the follicle. While on the hCG diet, eggs are the best source, oral B-12, and/or a good multi-B vitamin. After the hCG diet you may want to add cheeses, salmon, nuts, and nut butters to your long-term diet plan.
- Biotin (B7)
- RDA: 30 mcg
- Dietary Sources: B vitamins are particularly concentrated in meat such as turkey and tuna, in liver and meat products. Good sources for B vitamins include kombucha, whole grains, potatoes, bananas, lentils, chili peppers, tempeh, beans, nutritional yeast, brewer’s yeast, and molasses.
- RDA: 1.3 mg
- Dietary Sources: Vitamin B-12 is found primarily in animal products such as shell fish, fin fish, meat, poultry and dairy.
- DA: 2.4 mcg
- Dietary Sources: B-12 is found mainly in animal foods, such as meat and poultry. Chicken contains 13.7mcg of B-12, and turkey contains 48.2mcg in 1 cup. Dairy foods contain reasonable amounts of B-12. Seafood such as clams, oysters, salmon, sardine, crab, trout and herring are also excellent sources of B-12. Wild rainbow trout contains 90 percent of the daily value, and clams contain 570 percent in a 3 oz. serving.
When you want to promote healing and new cell growth, vitamin C does the trick. While on the hCG diet, eating strawberries and oranges is on plan. After the hCG diet, or while you are in maintenance, add kiwis, raspberries, mangoes, and red bell peppers to your food repertoire. The Recommended Daily Intake of Vitamin C is 90 mg for men and 75 mg for women.
Dietary Sources of Vitamin C
Milligrams (mg) per serving
Percent (%) Daily Value
Red pepper, sweet, raw, ½ cup
Orange juice, ¾ cup
Orange, 1 medium
Grapefruit juice, ¾ cup
Kiwifruit, 1 medium
Green pepper, sweet, raw, ½ cup
Broccoli, cooked, ½ cup
Strawberries, fresh, sliced, ½ cup
Brussels sprouts, cooked, ½ cup
Grapefruit, ½ medium
Broccoli, raw, ½ cup
Tomato juice, ¾ cup
Cantaloupe, ½ cup
Cabbage, cooked, ½ cup
Cauliflower, raw, ½ cup
Potato, baked, 1 medium
Tomato, raw, 1 medium
Spinach, cooked, ½ cup
Green peas, frozen, cooked, ½ cup
Iron builds red blood cells and carries oxygen, aiding in hair growth.
The recommended dietary allowance, or RDA, depends on your age, sex and lifestyle. The RDA is 8 mg for men and 18 mg for women ages 19 to 50.
Iron can be found in a variety of dietary sources. Animal sources include seafood, meat, eggs and poultry. Oysters, clams, sardines and salmon are good sources of iron. Vegetarian protein sources of iron include lentils, chickpeas, lima beans, peas and soybeans. Fruit and nut sources include dried prunes, raisins, figs, apricots, almonds and Brazil nuts. Leafy greens and vegetables such as spinach, kale, collards, asparagus and dandelion greens are good vegetable sources of iron.
Zinc strengthens and aids the natural oils that coat the hair shaft. While on the hCG diet, lean meats are your best source of zinc, but after the hCG diet, try nuts, chickpeas, pumpkin seeds and yogurt.
The RDA for zinc is 11 mg per day for males ages 19 and older and 8 mg for females of the same age.
Hair Loss on The hCG Diet
Losing one’s hair can be freighting and a blow to your self-esteem. Two pressing question people ask is “Does the hCG diet cause hair loss?” and “What can I do to stop hCG diet hair loss while dieting.”
To clear up some confusion, using the hCG hormone does not cause hair loss. Hair loss can occur for several reasons; stress, iron deficiency anemia, lack of proper vitamin and minerals, medication, diet, and thyroid issues, are just a few reasons.
While on the hCG diet, you are on a 500 calorie diet which may lend itself to a short term reason for hair loss. However, doing the hCG diet for 26 days would not necessarily be the cause of hair loss. There could be preexisting underlying conditions for any sudden loss of hair triggered or exacerbated by the hCG diet, namely, stress, low levels of iron and or thyroid issues. These are generally the top three culprits for sudden hair loss.
Most people want to know what they can do to stop what seems like an abundance of hair loss while on the hCG diet. If you are not under an abnormal amount of stress and until you can go to a doctor and find out if you do have any thyroid issues or are truly iron deficient, you can increase your intake of Biotin and Iron.
Biotin is a B 7 vitamin that helps hair and nails grow when taken orally. DO NOT waste money on Biotin that is contained in skin or hair products, as it is not absorbed through the skin and has little effect. Taking 2-3 grams of Biotin daily should be sufficient curtail hair loss. There is no none toxicity level for Biotin.
Iron is a trace element found in proteins. Iron is responsible for carrying oxygen in the body. The lack of Iron or being deficient in Iron, the body will carry oxygen to what it considers vital to live. Unfortunately, your hair is not vital for life. One over the counter Iron pill should help and would be the maximum unless prescribed by a doctor. Too much Iron can lead to Iron toxicity.
These are quick fixes for hCG diet hair loss, but by no means the end all to be all. There are generally underlying issues to hair loss unrelated to the hCG diet. For both a conventional and holistic approach to hair loss, the Thyroid Guide to Hair Loss is an excellent book to pick up. Thyroid Guide to Hair Loss can also help you get proper thyroid diagnosis and treatment for hair loss or help you find the underlying cause of hair loss.