“Hi Allison! How are you? Have you gotten a chance to review your labs yet?...You don’t have any hormone issues…you’re pregnant!”
The phone call and the sound of my OB/GYN’s voice plays over and over again in my head. While this came as a surprise given my husband and I got married three months earlier, I felt incredibly blessed and lucky to have received this news. Despite the debilitating nausea, many doctor appointments, and endless blood tests that I never fully understood the results of, there was not one moment that I did not feel grateful to be pregnant. That’s all that mattered. A healthy baby is all that mattered.
One that also plays over and over again in my head - but louder. It was 10:52am in late November, and I was 18 weeks pregnant. As my body changed and grew, my heart and mind did too. I started to get to know my baby. I pictured a mini version of my husband and smiled so wide. I heard his heartbeat in my head. I dreamt of his giggles, his personality, his cries, and the joy he would bring to our lives. And just like that – with a single phone call, it was ripped out from under me.
They say a mother’s instinct is best. I had a feeling during my 18 weeks of pregnancy that something wasn’t right, but scan after scan, everything was “normal”. These feelings weren’t based on anything other than a gut instinct, but, all the while, they were there.
After losing him, I felt like a shell of myself for so long. I felt outside of my own body. I was experiencing postpartum depression and anxiety without giving birth to a baby. I found it hard to simply function. Daily tasks that I once did with ease seemed unfathomable, and the grief I faced seemed insurmountable. My hair was falling out in clumps. When I looked in the mirror, I didn’t even recognize myself. The pain from hearing tragic news about a baby you are growing inside of you never gets easier. You just learn to live with it.
I asked for help from my doctors, family, and friends and used my own theories on nutrition and lifestyle to help myself find my way back into my skin and body. I needed, and continue to do, things for all of me – mind, body, and soul. While something as simple as my hair growing again seemed superficial, I started to smile in the mirror and began to recognize myself again. I have Wellbel to thank for being a piece of the puzzle that allowed me to be one step closer to feeling like me again.
Everyone’s fertility journey is different. The first, second, or even the sixth chapter, can be written for you in a way you never wanted. But, I promise you, there is light. You will feel like yourself again. You will experience joy. You will laugh again. You will be able to look back on this period in your life and feel proud of the person and strength that came out the other side. I am proof that even dark experiences can have silver linings. Remember that riding the wave of grief is also important. Allow yourself to feel those feelings on the days you think nothing will ever get better.
One silver lining for me has been that I have become a better counselor. As a dietitian and certified life coach who specializes in women's health, I can better help my clients find hope during times of struggle. I can help nourish my clients’ mind, body, and soul. And there is no better feeling after a long day of work than knowing I did just that. To all the people out there trying to build their family: I am here for you. I am you.
Interested in working with Alli to feel your best? Reach out to her at [email protected] or HERE on her website. You can also reach out to her at [email protected] or HERE on the Rooted Wellness website.
I had great hair, not long but healthy. I grew up trying hard to grow it like Pocahontas. I tried everything - taking Biotin supplements, cutting my split ends every month, even following the lunar calendar to get a haircut. I was told when you cut your hair on the first day of a full moon it will grow quicker. When nothing worked, I started to spend absurd amounts of money on hair extensions, weaves, clip-ons, even the ones that you would glue on. I took my hair for granted, even if it wasn’t long like a princess, it still was thick, healthy and shiny.
I wasn’t educated about the inflammatory disease and did not think I would suffer symptoms other than digestive and bowel issues. Little did I know that my hair would lose its shine and fullness due to not having an intestine working properly to absorb food, pregnancy, hormones and tons of medication.
Fast forward eight years and three wonderful children later, my disease became so severe that they urgently operated and took out my whole colon, making it even harder to absorb vitamins and minerals. During those eight years, I was pumped up with medication, cortisone and biologic infusions, causing me to lose a lot of my hair.
Seeing that it was vegan and doctor backed, I knew I needed to try it. Within the first month I started seeing new growth. Within two months my hair was growing quickly and within four months my hair was the longest it’s been. Wellbel was easy on my stomach and it absorbed well. It really was a miracle.
I looked in the mirror and my hair was the exact same length as the extensions. I stared at the mirror for a while until I accepted the fact that my real hair was finally long and healthy. Wellbel brought back a part of me that was lost. I am thankful to the creators for making something that works and showcases real results and real people who have had such impactful progress with their supplements. All I have left to say is thank you!
My hair-loss journey started after doing a keratin treatment (the one without formaldehyde - or so they say).
Fun fact: even if your keratin treatment is formaldehyde-free, the other chemicals when heated can literally turn into formaldehyde!
I was in college, and frankly, I wanted an easy fix to my frizzy curls. But what no stylist told me was the drastic damage it would do to my hair. Keratin traumatizes your hair root, causing it to thin and eventually fall out. Imagine coating your hair in chemicals then applying very high heat to it.
I stopped the keratin, but wasn’t properly equipped in how to stop the shedding. Then I graduated undergrad, applied to a master’s, and got in! Woo-hoo!
I learned important facts about hair re-growth. The most basic being, EAT YOUR PROTEIN. If you don’t fuel your body with enough protein, it will divert amino acids to active areas like your immune system, muscles, and metabolic enzymes. Your skin and hair are basically non-essential to your body’s protective decisions. Meaning when you don’t eat protein your hair sheds, your skin repairs very slowly, and you age prematurely.
Second, stress is a major enemy for your hair. I was taking 8 classes, working in a research lab, trying to get enough sleep, see my family, get a job, eat healthy, workout, the list could go on for hours. My plate was full and I was stressed, despite trying to alleviate it.
I then started learning the key role of certain vitamins and minerals in hair re-growth. Vitamins and minerals are important for normal cell growth and function and can contribute to hair loss when you are deficient. Truth is, we are almost ALL deficient in some vitamins. Our soils are depleted of nutrients. Our current modern agricultural methods in the US have stripped our soil. Our vegetables have 24% less magnesium, 59% less zinc, and 27% less iron since 1940! These are vital for our overall health.
As I was exploring hair growth supplements, I was surprised by the extreme amounts of biotin being marketed. Biotin can cause problems if you take too much. It can trigger acne, rashes, and even kidney problems. I found other hair supplements that had shark as an ingredient, which turned me off quickly.
Wellbel’s ingredients made so much sense to me, especially with my science background. These days we are so overwhelmed by what products to buy, what foods to eat, what exercise to do, but we all just want something that works. Wellbel WORKS. It has forever changed my hair, skin, and nails.
My hair is shinier and healthier, my nails have never been longer, and my skin is clear and happy!
Thank you Wellbel for creating something with such integrity. You’ve given me my confidence back.
After looking through multiple accounts, following real people that took Wellbel and researching the ingredients, I felt that Wellbel really cares about the interaction of their ingredients and uses the right amount of each. There was not a crazy amount of biotin like in some other brands. I started taking it around November 5th and made sure my diet was simple, so that I could easily rule out if it was causing any stomach or mood issues (part of an elimination diet).
After years of working on creating a healthy gut and looking for things that complimented my food intake naturally, I didn’t want to add a product that would cause me to bloat again, even if it meant having great hair.
I can sometimes get consumed by the moment and forget to eat breakfast. I was happy to learn that even though it was three pills, it didn’t matter if I took them in the morning or later at night. I was so happy not to have any stomach issues, and even when I missed a day or two, everything was normal stomach wise.
Dealing with IBS can be tricky and any addition of supplements usually calls for a long documented food diary and looking for any signs of inflammation.
First, I stopped shedding as much and the baby hairs grew in without breakage. I have always had great baby hair, but they always stayed short, now they are so much longer! I’ve also had decent nails, but would always have to cut them short or else they would break. My nails now click-clack a bunch when they hit the keys and I haven’t had a chip on any nail in the last four weeks. I can’t wait to see where Wellbel takes me, as I can already see the end of my ponytail getting less wispy, and fuller.
By Michelle Iannacchino, Founder of The Everly Health
Registered Dietitian + Intuitive Healer
YES! Stress is actually one of the leading causes of hair loss, both on a physical and emotional level. Let’s break this down a little bit!
Stress takes an immense toll on our bodies and shows up quite differently for each of us. We can experience physical stress on the body when we’re going through something like the seasonal cold/flu, food poisoning, autoimmune diseases, breaking a bone, etc. Emotional stress is JUST as powerful and can actually manifest into physical stress on the body. Have you ever gone through a trauma similar to heartbreak, or losing a loved one, and felt so emotionally drained and stressed that it actually took your physical strength away? Stress coming from any direction is incredibly heavy, and during these periods, our bodies have to adjust in order to cope with these situations and guide us through to the other side.
For women specifically, when we experience acute or chronic stress, hair loss & thinning can be a very common side effect. One of the reasons for this is because of our adrenal glands (the small glands located on top of both kidneys) having to work on overdrive in order to regulate the amount of stress our body is experiencing. When our bodies experience this large volume of stress, our adrenals release adrenaline much more frequently than it typically should. This makes our adrenals tired! They are working SO hard for us, but at some point, they become exhausted. This is usually when women start to notice hair loss in large clumps, or that they are losing hair much more frequently throughout the day.
One thing to note is that hair loss can start months after an extremely emotional event. For example, if you give birth to a beautiful baby and notice that a few months later you begin to lose hair, this is relatively common! Childbirth is an incredibly emotional event, physically & emotionally, and our bodies put forth so much energy to support us during this time.
Hair loss is typically a symptom for something deeper happening in the body! As someone who has experienced alopecia and general hair loss in the past, I know how devastating it can be to go through this. Your body is not attacking you and your body is not failing you. Your body is doing everything it can to support and protect you. Trust and believe that this is just a phase and something your body can absolutely recover from!
During periods of stress & hair loss, how can you work to support your body? I’m sharing 5 tips below that can make a significant impact!
By Dr. Danielle Desroche
Iron is an important mineral needed for growth and development, as well as the transport of oxygen throughout the body. Iron deficiency anemia affects one out of five women under the age of 50. To learn if low iron could be the root cause of your hair troubles, click here.
Iron is found naturally in both animal and plant-based foods. Heme iron is the form found in animal products and is most easily absorbed while non-heme iron is the form found in plants.
Roughly 15-35% of heme iron is absorbed compared to 2-20% of non-heme iron. (1) Because non-heme iron is more difficult to absorb, those who follow a plant-based diet are at an increased risk of iron deficiency. Eating a variety of whole foods can help increase your dietary intake of iron.
Vitamin C has been found to bind to non-heme iron and store it in a form that is more easily absorbed. Foods rich in vitamin C include peppers, citrus, tomatoes, broccoli, peas, strawberries, and kale. Pairing these foods with iron-rich foods can help increase iron levels. A great example of this pairing would be peppers with beans.
Because iron is a difficult mineral to absorb, supplementation may be necessary to achieve adequate levels. It is possible to take too much iron and reach toxic levels. Be sure to consult your doctor first so they can help guide you in knowing which dosage and form of iron is best for you.
Tannins and oxalates are natural compounds found in tea and coffee known to bind non-heme iron and prevent absorption. Rather than eliminating these beverages entirely, consume them two hours away from iron-rich foods or supplements.
When using cast iron, iron is released from the pan and absorbed by the foods being cooked, particularly acidic foods like tomatoes. One study found that cooking with cast iron increased the iron content of food by 16% (2).
If you are concerned about your iron levels don’t hesitate to have a conversation with your doctor and ask for the support you need.
ABOUT DR. DANIELLE DESROCHE
Dr. Danielle Desroche is a licensed naturopathic doctor specializing in PCOS, fertility, and thyroid health. Using natural therapies, she aims to address the root cause of symptoms while restoring balance in the body so it can function optimally. She owns a virtual telemedicine practice, which allows her to connect with and support women from across the country. She is passionate about educating and empowering her patients to understand their bodies and take control of their health. To learn more, visit www.drdanielledesroche.com or find her on Instagram and TikTok @drdanielle.nd.
By Michella Chester
I always had long, full hair, and my mom would hardly ever let me cut it as a little girl. Aside from begging to at times chop it off when I was little, I didn’t really think twice about my hair and didn’t associate it as a large part of my appearance, confidence or self worth. By high school I had hair all the way down my back. I would wear braids and pony tails, and it was then that I started to really “like” my hair.
About that time is when your style starts changing, your wardrobe, and with that, I thought I wanted to try to dye my hair. Up until I was probably 10 years old, I had bleach blonde hair. My whole family has dark hair and olive skin, and I was always the little blonde one walking around that everyone wondered why I was different. I honestly loved that though, and started to identify with it. Even when my hair slowly started to change and get darker and darker, my sisters and mom still would think of me as the blonde one, or describe me as blonde, even though I was far from it by that point. By the time all my natural highlights were gone, I wanted to be blonde again. And so the bleaching began. I entered college and it only made me want to be blonder. I didn’t notice the damage I was doing at the time, but it slowly started breaking higher and higher up my hair, and I could notice the thinning.
At that point, I decided to take a break from dying it, and let it grow for 1.5 years. I got some of my length back, but it was still frail and brittle, and my ends were so stringy. Upon my senior year, I was growing bored of my hair again, something that had now become a very big part of my appearance and confidence. I figured I could put a little bit of blonde back in, since it was already pretty damaged. The thinning and breaking at this point was no longer subtle, it was drastic. I felt like I lost almost half of my hair worth of fullness in a few months time, and I was filled with regret for bleaching it again.
I put drops on my head. I would eat particular foods, I bought a filter for my shower. I bought expensive shampoos and treatments that were for damaged, over-processed hair, and nothing worked.
Graduation approached and soon after I was starting a dream job as digital host and sports reporter. This meant I would be on-camera almost every single day… have to heat style my hair every day, and I had damaged hair up to my shoulders with not enough hair to do many styles. If I wore it straight, it was too obvious how damaged it was, and looked quite different than all of the beautiful, full hair you typically see on TV that reporters have. Slicked back buns it was! I went to the hairstylist to get some of the blonde out of it in effort to make it healthier and touch up the front pieces that were lightened, and when she took the towel off my head it had pulled orange. We ended up having to process it five more times, further damaging my hair. At this point, you can only imagine how much hair I had left.
I again tried everything I could, and nothing worked. The hair pills I tried would make be breakout, they gave me severe stomach problems, and I had to stop them immediately. I was so disappointed by all of the options out there that were so highly marketed but only had bad side effects on my body and I was so deeply saddened and disappointed as I felt there was no hope to get my hair back to how it once was. I followed Danielle Bernstein on Instagram and saw she had been through a similar situation with bleaching her hair, and now had beautiful long brunette hair using Wellbel. She preached about how it would not upset your stomach or break you out, so I figured why not try one more thing.
I cut all of my dead ends and had short hair above my shoulders. Basically a blank slate, and then with Wellbel, my hair slowly but surely started to grow back. My ends got thicker, new hairs grew in to bring my fullness back, and now I couldn’t be happier with my hair. I am back to my healthy and full brunette hair, I am able to style it however I want for work without feeling the need to hide it, and it has boosted my confidence beyond belief. I don’t know that I will ever stop taking Wellbel now that I have found a product like this. The ingredients are natural and healthy, and I have no worry about what I am putting into my body.
I went from never thinking about my hair… to obsessing over it and associating it with my self worth and confidence. As much as maybe it shouldn’t be, you don’t realize how much your hair affects how you feel about yourself.
And luckily for my family and friends, they no longer have to hear me talking about my hair to no end anymore….. I couldn’t recommend this product more.
Iron deficiency anemia is a condition that occurs when a person does not have enough iron, or when they are unable to use iron efficiently. It is estimated that one out of five women under the age of 50 are impacted by this! A common symptom of iron deficiency is hair loss in both men and women. Keep reading to learn if you are at risk and how to get tested.
Iron is a mineral that is needed to make hemoglobin, a compound that carries oxygen throughout the body. When iron levels are low, our hair follicles do not receive the oxygen and nutrients needed to grow normally, leading to accelerated hair loss.
Menstruating women, particularly those who experience heavy or long periods are at a higher risk due to increased blood loss each month.
Vegetarians and vegans are more likely to be deficient because the form of iron found in plant foods is more difficult to absorb than the form of iron found in animal products.
People with intestinal disorders, including celiac disease, may not be able to absorb vitamins and minerals efficiently, leading to iron deficiency.
Pregnant women have higher iron needs due to the demand of the growing fetus and increase in blood volume.
If you think you may be low in iron, ask your primary care doctor or gynecologist to check your levels. All it takes is a simple blood test, which is often covered by your health insurance. Along with iron, your doctor may test your ferritin level. Ferritin is our body’s storage form of iron and when low, may be the first indicator of iron deficiency.
Curious how you can increase your iron levels and prevent hair loss? Stay tuned for part two!
ABOUT DR. DANIELLE DESROCHE
Dr. Danielle Desroche is a licensed naturopathic doctor specializing in PCOS, fertility, and thyroid health. Using natural therapies, she aims to address the root cause of symptoms while restoring balance in the body so it can function optimally. She owns a virtual telemedicine practice, which allows her to connect with and support women from across the country. She is passionate about educating and empowering her patients to understand their bodies and take control of their health. To learn more, visit www.drdanielledesroche.com or find her on Instagram @drdanielle.nd.