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Episode 273: Salon Owner Tackles Hair Loss with FDN w/Carrie Hicks, FDNP

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HAIR LOSS, SALON OWNER, CARRIE HICKS, FDNP, HAIR, NURISH.D, DETECTIVE EV, EVAN TRANSUE, FDN, FDNTRAINING, HEALTH DETECTIVE PODCAST, EDUCATION, HEALTH COACH, PRACTITIONER

Introduction

[00:00:00] Detective Ev: Hello folks. Welcome back to another episode of the Health Detective Podcast by Functional Diagnostic Nutrition. My name is Evan Transue, aka, Detective Ev. I will be your host for today’s show on hair loss.

This was a live podcast that we did. You can catch the live ones on YouTube and Facebook. Get hooked up with us there. I’ll have the links below for you to follow us on those channels.

We are talking to our friend, Carrie Hicks. She is an FDNP who is actually a hair salon owner/stylist for 30 years now. Man, this is an interesting podcast. This is one of those times where the topic is, at least from my perspective, so new and fresh. There’s not a lot of people focusing specifically on this. It is just nugget after nugget of information. I think you guys are going to really like this one. Without further ado, let’s get to today’s episode.

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Carrie Hicks is a hairstylist and salon owner that had to start looking for real answers to her client’s hair loss after the pandemic in 2020, when an alarming number of female clients lost more than half their hair. Already certified as a holistic nutritionist, not one to believe in quick fixes or band aids, and on her own self-healing journey, she set out on a journey to find the actual causes of hair loss and how to successfully treat it.

She took advanced hair loss education courses, attended the World Congress of Trichology, and studied everything she could get her hands on.

Hair Loss: Protecting Luscious Locks

She found that most people experiencing hair loss are given prescription medications that can affect one’s hormone health negatively. Nine times out of ten, no labs were run to assess or manage the effects of these meds. Shocker there, right? Other treatments can be invasive, painful, and very expensive, and while they can be effective, if the actual hidden stressors and underlying causes of the hair loss are not addressed, the results obtained with these treatments won’t last long.

Carrie, I’d like to officially welcome you to the podcast. Thanks for coming on.

[00:02:09] Carrie Hicks: Thank you so much for having me. I’m super excited to be here today.

[00:02:13] Detective Ev: This is an interesting one. Despite my hat, I swear I still got a full head of hair. I’m thankful for it. It’s not always perfectly styled.

But it’s actually odd because, getting into the age range I’m in, which is, I’m about to be 28, it’s not that it’s old, but I really do have people in my life, especially in the early thirties, they’re already starting to experience stuff like this. And man, this first bit of getting older sucks. That’s not a real concept to you as a 20-something year old, generally speaking.

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I’ve never even thought about, oh, my hair might fall out one day. So, I’m listening; I’m all ears. I’m more interested than I would care to admit because I want to protect these luscious locks that I have.

You said you’re familiar with the format of the show. Normally we ask what the person’s first health symptoms are.

Hair Loss: The Grieving Response

I’d actually like to do that because I know that you got into the hair stuff by seeing this with your clients, but you said in your bio, you were on your own self-healing journey. Do you mind, can we talk about that? What was going on there?

[00:03:08] Carrie Hicks: Sure. I’m older than you. My son is the same age as you. I’m 50, been around for a minute. But I’ve dealt with things such as PCOS, IBS, insulin resistance. Every time I’ve gone to the doctor looking for help, I was told, your BMI is fine so just take this pill.

When I would ask for other alternatives, they would look at me like I was crazy and say, just take the pill, that’s the easiest thing. I didn’t really like that. So, I went on my own journey and figured it out on my own. Diet and exercise are amazing. I worked on those things. Later down the road, about 2015, 2016, my mother became very ill. My sister and I spent two years tag teaming, taking care of her, and watched her slowly die of things that she did not need to die from at the age of 66.

You watch somebody you love just decline like that and go down, you’re like okay. We’re talking heart congestion, diabetes, things that she did not need to die from and just watching how she was treated in Western medicine. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate Western medicine and the doctors, it has its place. But with chronic illness, I have just found that it’s falling short, just to put it nicely.

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I have to say, about a month and a half after my mom passed, my body freaked out. I think everything just caught up.

Hair Loss: Health Coaching Clients

I started having allergic reactions to things I’d never had reactions to before. My skin, I broke out in these eczema patches everywhere. That just started me down the rabbit hole. I remember my husband saying to me, you’re going to have to go see the dermatologist. Literally, my response was, they’re just going to give me a cream or a med and not help me figure out why this is happening.

So, that started my path down this holistic rabbit hole – the pathway. The first book I really read was Stephen Cabral’s, The Rain Barrel Effect. I ended up doing one of his detoxes and started seeing results. So, I was just fascinated. And I just kept going with it but ended up getting a holistic nutritionist certification.

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I actually have spent most of my time behind the chair as a hairstylist, health coaching my clients. So, it’s just been this natural progression.

[00:05:39] Detective Ev: Very cool. Also, very sad in a certain sense, right? That’s how all these stories go though. It’s so tough. I’ve said this a million times. I’m a broken record, but I really do find it interesting how unique the individual stories are, but cookie cutter in terms of similar.

It’s like we have this stuff go on. We realize we got to do something different. And I thank God, some people like yourself really take the positive out of it as much as we can extract and go try to help others with it.

I know it’s not the main point of the conversation today, but I have to say, I find it pretty remarkable that there was only a month and a half difference between something very sad and these symptoms coming out.

Hair Loss: Clearing Things Up

It’s a theme that I’ve noticed and become much more attuned to as I’ve done these interviews and just worked with more people over time. It’s not like that incident caused eczema per se. But was there already something loading up that stress was just the final thing that leads to that for you?

I saw that in my aunt. My grandfather – her dad – passed away and she’s very good at not really sharing things and talking about stuff. But you could see so clearly. He passes away, she gets the first diagnosis of her life, which is a cancer diagnosis. Literally, jump right to that. And especially with our cancer folks, I see this all the time. There’s always something bigger going on. But it doesn’t have to be cancer. It can be a lot of stuff.

So, you start getting into this, start researching, become a holistic nutritionist yourself. What was the progress with some of the things that you dealt with, because you were wise enough to know that it wasn’t just the passing here. It was also other things being built up. What was your progress like with dealing with these conditions?

[00:07:14] Carrie Hicks: It was interesting. And I would say that things started clearing up pretty quickly when I started eating very clean and really working on drainage pathways, detoxification, stress management, and then just not having that stress any longer. When she died, we’re talking, she was in hospice for 3 months. So, things were building. I think that stressor being over, but then now you’re dealing with grief.

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However, clean diet, water, walking, exercise, things started clearing up pretty quickly. And I’ve experienced that before with the PCOS and different things.

Hair Loss: A Protein Deficiency

Really, when it manifests in your skin and you literally get to see it, it’s very interesting. But things cleared up pretty quickly and I actually ended up following that detox. I just kept going with it and ended up eating a whole-food, plant-based diet for a year. Which I think was great as a healing modality for that time.

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But after that year, I started losing my hair because I wasn’t getting enough of the aminos and the protein that we know is so important. I think I did so well on that diet that long because, turns out, I’m a mixed oxidizer. So, I fall into that camp anyways. But I did start losing my hair from that diet as well. Then that sends you down a whole nother rabbit hole.

[00:08:37] Detective Ev: That one’s an interesting one. I don’t know if I say this enough on this podcast. Actually, the first time I saw my dad hunt, he was hunting in our backyard. He’s a normal guy. It’s not like he’s doing something bad. But I remember seeing that as a kid, it was traumatizing. I’m a hypocrite because I eat meat, but I could not do that unless it was the end of the world.

I wanted to do the vegan thing and I tried it. And same thing as you, it did work a little bit. I don’t think anyone would do it if it didn’t work a little bit. But then these longer-term things come on. I never broke bones in my life, but in a month’s time, I break my foot in basketball, and I snap a ligament in my arm on a bike. It was just either a bad coincidence or there’s something here.

Hair Loss: Covid Induced Hair Loss

Just because we’re on YouTube and Facebook right now, there might be people that never listened before that are listening. This is not against a vegan thing by any means. It’s just something that we’ve actually seen as health professionals.

My friend, Connie, God rest her soul. She had breast cancer, went down to Hippocrates Institute in Florida, did the vegan thing, no Western medicine, tumors gone. But she kept doing raw vegan for 10 years. Then she died at 61, which is 15 years before the life expectancy of the unhealthy Americans out there. So, it’s a long-term issue, it seems, but short term can be fantastic.

How fitting that the one symptom that you had was this loss of hair, when you’re in the space of, wait a second, this shouldn’t be happening. I’m assuming you started investigating that further. We actually already said in your bio you noticed this in clients. So, what were some of these discoveries that you started to find that led to people losing their hair?

[00:10:05] Carrie Hicks: So, I finished my holistic nutrition certification and was losing my hair about the same time as COVID hit. Working in a salon, I own a hair salon, still work behind the chair a little bit, we were shut down for 6 weeks in my town like where we work. So, for 6 weeks we couldn’t work.

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But we get back when things started going back to normal and clients started coming back in. About 6 months into it, everybody was just losing crazy amounts of hair. You think about the actual COVID, the inflammation, and you think about the stress of a pandemic and being shut down, it was shocking.

Hair Loss: Postpartum Hair Loss

Then I was experiencing my own hair loss. It was more from nutrition deficiency than anything, but it made us have to look for answers. As a stylist, people are asking us questions we didn’t have the answers to. You’re taught the basics of hair loss in beauty school. But I went to beauty school 33 years ago, so I had some catching up to do. We didn’t have answers, but we wanted to help our clients.

The hair loss that we normally see is postpartum hair loss. We do see some alopecia once in a while, like areata, and then good old genetic hair loss, which I’ve learned a whole lot more about in the last two years. But it just sent us looking for answers and I didn’t like any of the answers.

[00:11:28] Detective Ev: Sorry, I got to ask about the postpartum thing really quick. My uncle owns a salon, but we don’t talk about hair stuff really like this. So, I’m curious. That’s a known thing that people going through postpartum might actually deal with this hair loss? Is that something that people see?

[00:11:42] Carrie Hicks: Yes, absolutely. It’ll happen for about a good six months, but it does stop and it’s just your hormones.

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During pregnancy, your body is in this growth phase. It’s growing everything. And so, you don’t lose hair usually during your pregnancy, it’s growing. It’s thick, luscious, beautiful. Then after you have that baby, your hormones shift and all that hair that you didn’t lose, it starts coming out. It’s pretty traumatic but it’s temporary, it’s normal. We just coach everybody through it and try to make sure they’re doing whatever they can to make sure that their best, healthiest hair grows back.

Hair Loss: Genetically Sensitive to DHT

[00:12:15] Detective Ev: From a business perspective, this is such an intelligent niche to have. Salon owner/hairstylist for all these years, and then going to help with this side. I would be having my ears open today, guys, if you’re wondering how to do business and stuff. Take something that you’re already good at, that you might’ve already had as another career and serve those people.

So, in terms of the investigative work, now you’ve obviously progressed in your education, especially from the holistic health side. You became an FDN, you learned all these things. And I’m sure, it’s been three years now basically, you’ve probably worked with people specifically for this plenty of time. So, what are some of the common themes that you’re seeing? Because you noted in your bio, if someone’s just tuning in, it was like 9 out of 10 of these people, they’re never looking at labs. No one’s ever looking at what’s going on.

So, what are you finding on the labs for these people that have hair loss?

[00:13:01] Carrie Hicks: This really started out when everybody was experiencing hair loss. They started going to the dermatologist or the doctor. They would come back. I had done this extra hair loss education.

I’m not a trichologist, but trichology is that paramedical space between cosmetology and dermatology. They just focus on scalp, hair health, and hair loss. They’re amazing. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll go do that. But for me, it still wasn’t giving me the answers I wanted.

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They would say, it’s genetic. And I’d be like, okay, but now, why? And genetic, technically, in the hair loss world, is a sensitivity to DHT, dihydrotestosterone. But why now all of a sudden are they sensitive? Why now is this a problem?

Hair Loss: Drawn to FDN

I wanted to go further upstream, which is how I ended up choosing FDN over trichology. Because I had this extra education in hair loss, my clients were going to the doctor/dermatologist and coming back and telling me, oh, they said it was genetic and they want to put me on Finasteride – the drugs that mess with your hormones. Especially for females, you’re not supposed to do that.

So, I would ask them, how long did they spend with you? And it was usually 10 minutes. I’m like, are they running tests? No. I’m like, okay. Did they do a scalp analysis? Did they look at your scalp and see if there’s miniaturization, the things you do when you’re trying to diagnose genetic care loss. None of those things.

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These are people that I actually see every six or eight weeks for the last 10 years. So, I actually know what’s going on in their life and the stress; and no, it’s not genetic. I was just getting really frustrated that they were not given the true answers of what was going on, or even the time. And it was just, here’s another pill and here’s another pill. That is literally what tipped me over the edge and pushed me to FDN.

[00:14:59] Detective Ev: I’m really not surprised. This is Western medicine, baby. Nothing shocks me now.

But just to be clear, because I did not know this until today. So, people have what otherwise might be to the average person, normal hair loss; they go into the doctor, and they will give you medication with side effects because you’re losing your hair?

Carrie Hicks: Yes

Detective Ev: Okay, I get it.

Hair Loss: Creatine Side Effect?

[00:15:21] Carrie Hicks: Bad side effects that, for men, can be irreversible. Like you can stop taking it and it doesn’t go away.

[00:15:30] Detective Ev: You also mentioned the DHT thing. I have no idea if this next part is your area of expertise. Totally fine if not. It’s almost a selfish question.

But creatine supplementation, a lot of people complain about hair loss with it. It’s never been proven one way or the other. I just read this the other day because I was actually considering using it again cause the stuff’s fricking awesome. One out of four people don’t respond to it, but I respond to it. My brain works better. I get significantly stronger. I’m on all my lifts and I’m a pretty skinny person. The water I carry, I actually look better. It makes me look more filled out. So, I like it in every sense.

But then I’m like, all right, if I’m hyper responding to it, is it going to lead to this hair loss thing? And some people mentioned the DHT thing. Sorry to put you on the spot cause it’s mixing two industries. Do you know anything about the creatine hair loss thing? Have you heard that?

[00:16:15] Carrie Hicks: I have not heard anything about the creatine. But I don’t know, if things are affecting your hormones and they’re choosing that more androgenic pathway, it makes sense. I don’t know anything about creatine specifically.

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[00:16:29] Detective Ev: No worries. The anecdotes are just huge. It’s the most studied supplement of all time, which is true. It’s totally safe. You don’t have to worry about anything. But there’s thousands of people out there that complain about this side effect and not everyone has it, obviously.

Hair Loss: A Symptom of the Problem

The whole theory is that it does something with DHT. It’s like when you hear something new and then someone brings it up in conversation, like how often do I talk about this? Yeah, I think that’s interesting.

So, you have these people that go into the doctor, they have the hair loss, they want to look better, which I can totally understand that. But now the offer is a side-effect-filled medication. They are going to want an alternative I’m sure to something like that. So, how does the FDN system really play into this? If you just do FDN as normal, is that something that’s going to bring back the hair growth for these people, or is there a little something extra?

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[00:17:14] Carrie Hicks: Here’s what I’ve discovered and here’s what my challenge is – getting people to not only understand, but also accept that their hair loss is actually not the problem. It is a symptom of the problem. I have a hair loss questionnaire, and, on that questionnaire, I ask things. I ask about hair loss history with family members, but it’s a lot of gut questions, digestive questions, how bad is your stress? What medications are you on?

Almost all of them have gut dysbiosis, like pretty serious. I mostly work with women, so the horrible menopause symptoms, horrible periods, a lot of PCOS, a lot of thyroid, a lot of gut. And you can do these treatments like I mentioned in my bio. The treatments that are available for hair loss, some of them are very effective. But you’re not going to get the optimal results or even keep those results if you’re not able to go in and fix these issues that are causing them in the first place.

Hair Loss: The Hair Loss/Stress Cycle

FDN just makes perfect sense. And by being able to do the foundational labs that we do and look at inflammation, the adrenal function, how chronic stress is affecting somebody, that’s an amazing tool.

Then the hormone balancing. I am in the middle of studying the DUTCH right now. So, as a hair loss specialist, the DUTCH is going to be an amazing tool. I’m really excited being able to see those pathways. The GI MAP, seeing the gut dysbiosis, the H pylori, and the candida especially, these things that really contribute to even like the autoimmune things that we see. A lot of hair loss issues are autoimmune issues.

So, the alopecia areata or totalis where people lose their hair from the neck up, or through their whole body, or they even get the little bald spots, that’s all autoimmune stuff happening. Psoriasis on the scalp is autoimmune. When I can go and address everything from the inside and just find those stressors and help them sort them out, then not only do we get the hair growing back, but we don’t have to worry about that hair loss anymore.

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That’s the biggest thing I see with women. They start losing their hair and they’re stressing out about it. Then more hair loss, more stress. It’s just this horrible cycle. So, working on everything, the big picture that FDN trains, it just made so much sense to me. I’m excited.

I am adding, of course, a hair component, like a hair analysis, hair loss type, to my FDN program so that I can help people literally address their type of hair loss. But everything else is the same, like the FDN program.

Hair Loss: The Mental/Emotional Aspect

[00:20:09] Detective Ev: I can definitely see what you mean by almost this vicious cycle. I know this is not directly the same, but the only thing I can relate to with this is, I dealt with severe acne in the past. What’s tough is the more pimples you get, the more stressed out you are. And the more stressed out you are the worse your acne gets. It is vicious, it sucks.

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That’s probably true with a lot of these health issues. The aesthetic ones are particularly unfavorable because you go into the mirror and every time you can get this trigger response. But really any disease, right? You have autoimmune disease, which might’ve been caused by stress. You are having your life affected. So that’s stressing you out. Yeah, it’s wild how these very physical things or things that start physical then there’s a mental/emotional thing. Everyone ends up with both of these components in their disease states, I found, at least the people that come with severe chronic illness.

I’m really interested in the hormone thing specifically so I’ll specify this for people that are new. FDN is always the same system, right? We always run the same labs on everyone, ideally. We have flexibility, of course, and not everyone does it perfectly. But generally speaking we do FDN.

Now, with that said, I’ve noticed that certain things tend to come up more often for certain conditions. Yes, I might do FDN the same on every autoimmune client, but a very well known one is like Blasto comes up a lot of times, which is a parasite, for those that don’t know, for Hashimoto’s. You might see that a lot for Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.

Hair Loss: The Hormone Aspect

All that to say, you mentioned some gut stuff already. Are there any specific hormones that are too high or too low that might be overrepresented in these people with hair loss that you wouldn’t expect on just anyone’s stress and hormones profile? You’re seeing it more with the hair loss.

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[00:21:45] Carrie Hicks: Yeah. A lot of the women that deal with PCOS have the higher androgens. Too high of testosterone and that hormone choosing the more androgenic pathway – that 5-alpha reductase, that’s something that definitely points to hair loss in women. Also, too high of estrogen, too low of estrogen. Everything needs to be balanced.

I’m in that fun perimenopause state myself. All my friends and my clients, my age, we’re all like, what is happening? Our estrogen levels are dropping and we’re seeing hair loss. I think that’s because there’s that imbalance and that testosterone can become a little more dominant. So, it’s just a delicate balance, like all of it.

[00:22:34] Detective Ev: The androgen thing got me thinking. Especially during the beginning of the pandemic, I didn’t have my normal job, which is speaking. So, I was taking on a lot more clients. It just goes to show that the outside is not always a representation of the inside.

I won’t mention their names, but one of them has actually been on the podcast. I got two girls that were friends. Stunning women, like beautiful 10 out of 10 people. And they had me run their labs because they had a bunch of stuff going on. Their androgenic hormones were through the roof. They were messed up, man. But anyone that looked at them from the outside would think, oh, they’re the epitome of health just because they’re attractive and good looking.

Hair Loss: The Lifestyle Aspect

These people are ticking time bombs with what’s going on. They still had their hair but what’s another five years of that if they never met someone like myself or another FDN. Maybe that won’t be working out so well for them, unfortunately.

You did mention something already that I had to get to today. I’m sure it’s going through other people’s heads. You mentioned the perimenopause thing and hey, there’s real transitions in life that lead to hair loss. Also, we have Reed Davis, the founder of FDN. He’s been bald as long as I’ve known him. He does FDN to a T. That guy’s very healthy. He looks fantastic, otherwise.

So, if you could break this down, what percentage roughly do you think is just age versus real genetics – you’re just someone who’s actually going to lose their hair? I guess a better way to even word it, to not confuse the heck out of you, is, all the people that are losing hair right now, what percentage do you think is actually inevitable versus what percentage is lifestyle induced?

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[00:23:59] Carrie Hicks: I think it’s a smaller percentage than people think. And I think people get wrote off a lot – oh, it’s just genetic. But if you’re looking at genetic hair loss and you are saying DHT is causing that hair loss, then why now, all of a sudden, is DHT a problem? And a big contributor to DHT going up is insulin resistance. So, you look at the standard American diet, you look at it as a lifestyle. I think lifestyle has so much to do with it.

Hair Loss: The Epigenetics Aspect

For the last two years, I have worked with people with hair loss, and I’ve used an epigenetic hair follicle analysis test. It’s amazing. But I think genetics, actually, yes, there is genetic hair loss and maybe you got dealt the wrong hand.

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But I don’t think people realize how much epigenetics have to do with it and that you can slow it down.

The other thing is, maybe genetically you’re predisposed to lose your hair later in your 50s or 60s but because you’re insulin resistant and live under chronic stress and you’ve got all these viruses, it triggers it sooner. So, I think our health and the way we live, our lifestyles really do contribute way more than we think it does.

[00:25:15] Detective Ev: It’s so rare that I get like a brand-new topic for me because we’ve been in the space for so long. This is so much fun. You’re making me make these connections.

And this is why in science, correlation isn’t causation, right? Because all the studies show that creatine does not cause hair loss. And then you just said insulin resistance. So, I’m thinking, okay. If a weightlifter is taking creatine, 9 times out of 10, it’s because you’re bulking, you’re trying to gain weight. And another thing that you do when you’re bulking is eat 300, 400 grams of carbs per day and gain weight. Perhaps that doesn’t work so well for everyone. Now that’s correlation too, but the science is pretty clear that they disagree with the people’s anecdotes that this is happening to them.

Hair Loss: Epigenetic Hair Follicle Analysis Test

I know a lot of people, they’re dealing with insulin resistance and borderline diabetes, and they call it bulking for weightlifting. They don’t know any better; they’re trying their best. But you’re making some really cool connections to me that are super unique.

Now, you’re obviously helping people with this. What a cool thing. You mentioned this epigenetic test. I think there’s going to be people wondering about that, including myself, just keep myself in check while I’m ahead. What is that test that you use?

[00:26:12] Carrie Hicks: It’s amazing. So, we actually pull four or five hairs out of the back of your head. I put it in this scanner. It does a vibrational read and it sends it to a lab in Germany. Within 15 minutes, I get back a 30-page report showing me vitamins, minerals, amino acids, fatty acids, EMF load, radiation load, fungus, bacteria, virus. And it’s a 90-day overview of what’s gone on in your body for the last 90 days. It’s a great tool for optimization.

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Let’s say somebody’s a little concerned about their hair, nails, or their health and we run this. I do a consultation with them, spend about an hour and a half with people going through it. What’s so great about this report is that it gives you foods for each item that comes up, maybe in the deficiency or something that’s affecting your immune system or your gut microbiome, your digestive system. It’ll give you a list of foods where you can get those nutrients or foods that help the detoxification processes. It’s been a great tool. And like I said, it’s great for optimization.

Hair Loss: The Front Row Seat

But I still think I’m seeing enough people with bigger issues and more chronic illness, so I want to have the lab testing available to dig deeper and go further. But that has been a great tool for the last 2 years.

My hairstylists at my salon are being trained on it right now and they’ll be providing that service as well. I’m actually creating an online program for other hairstylists to help train them how to use that. Because I will say that as hairstylists, we have a front row seat to our clients’ health.

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I cannot tell you how many times in the last 30 years I have suggested, told the client like, hey, I think you need to go see your doctor, something’s up. Your hair texture’s off, your hair’s brittle, it’s breaking, or all of a sudden you have psoriasis all over your scalp. What’s going on? So, we have a front row seat, and we see these people every six or eight weeks. We get to see the things that most people probably wouldn’t notice.

And we also have this crazy job where we know more, our clients tell us things that nobody else in their life knows. So, we have a front row seat to their life. We know everything that’s happening. I feel like we’re in this amazing place that we get to take this extra responsibility and really help our clients with their health.

I’m excited to be able to do that and train other hair stylists because we’re all so very attached to our clients. We want to have the answers to their questions, we want to be able to help them with their health. So, I’m really excited to create a program for that.

Hair Loss: Shocking Lab Results

There are still the issues, like I said, that you have to dig deeper. I’m excited that it will be my role, but my stylist will be doing the other test.

[00:29:02] Detective Ev: Nice.

With the course, more or less, that you’d be offering for other hairstylists, again, my uncle owns a salon. Literally by coincidence, I just saw this on Facebook before this. I don’t know what the heck they were talking about, but he actually said, hey, educating the staff today.

They had someone come in. I don’t know what else they’re learning right now, but clearly, he’s willing to invest in that type of stuff. So, when is this going to be available? Is there any rough date?

[00:29:25] Carrie Hicks: I’m hoping to kick it off at the beginning of the year, so 2024. It will include that device and training for the device and also a training course in hair loss for hairstylists, but from a more functional perspective, the different treatments that are available, but how we can help our clients holistically and then also address the toxins that are in our environment.

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Because, Evan, I will say, going through FDN and doing my own labs was shocking. Like you said, I feel like I take pretty good care of myself. My friends were all a little shocked because I had some stuff show up that was really concerning. Dustin was my mentor for my R&Rs, and it was an emotional experience. He’s like, why is your inflammation so high? We got to figure this out.

And he literally asked me, what do you do for a living? I’m a hairstylist. He said, how long have you been doing this? I’m like forever, Dustin.

Hair Loss: A Total Conversion

This hit me so hard. He said, I don’t want to scare you or freak you out, but the sickest people I work with in my practice are hairstylists. I had to think about that, because we’re in chemicals all day. That’s what he pointed out. Even shampoos and conditioners that people think are benign, we are absorbing that through our skin all day long. So, while your clients are getting their hair done once every six or eight weeks, we’re in those chemicals all day long, every day.

Then I had to think about all the hairstylists that I’ve known through my career: brain tumors, leukemia, horrible allergic reactions to the latex gloves, throat cancer. We’re ripping open bags of bleach that’s powder and inhaling this. Really, I consider myself very lucky. What I learned in FDN with my labs was that I’m on this teetering space of autoimmune and chronic illness because of my job.

That’s the other thing. My salon going forward, I have these younger stylists and I feel very responsible for them. I have two that are going to want to have babies and start families in a couple years. So, I’m like, that’s it. Everything is getting ripped off the shelves. We are going no plastic bottles, no endocrine disruptors.

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When you really learn what are in these products and what we’re dealing with every day, it’s very eye opening. So, I want that training available to other stylists as well – how to take care of their own health, how to help their clients. I want to be able to take care of my stylist and make sure that their job that they’re doing every day is not contributing to any negative health effects. That’s the path that we’ve been on.

Hair Loss: Toxic Products

[00:31:58] Detective Ev: This is so fricking cool. We actually just got a comment as I’m saying that saying, “this is awesome.” Indeed, it is.

I’m going to send her this, she’s willing to listen to our podcast. She’s listened to some in the past. I have a friend, she’s 70; I have friends of all ages. And I was just on the phone with her last night with my fiancé because we both know her. She’s a hairstylist with cancer that does a lot of health stuff and is very confused as to how she has cancer.

Carrie Hicks: I got chills, I’m so sorry.

Detective Ev: I just never even thought about it. It’s duh, she’s working in chemicals all day. That leads to a pretty obvious question then that I was going to get to before, but this segwayed perfectly.

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What do you recommend then for people, especially women who really care about this a lot more, generally speaking? What do you do for good products and how do you keep this safe? Because I know even when I go to my uncle’s and get my haircut, I can’t deny. I don’t use it all the time, but he makes my hair look 10 times. I don’t need a hat that day, I’ll put it that way. He puts this special gel in. The shampoo and conditioner, you can just tell works better than the stuff that I use. It just makes my hair perfect, it’s weird. But you know that there’s consequences to that.

So, are there any brands you recommend or things that people can do?

Hair Loss: Research Mode

[00:33:08] Carrie Hicks: We’re in a big research mode. So, the last five years we’ve used a brand called Kevin Murphy and it’s a great brand. It’s sulfate free, paraben free. They don’t use artificial fragrance. They use essential oils, but it still doesn’t come up clean. I’m going for EWG clean. If it doesn’t come up on EWG I don’t want it in my salon.

And then the other problem is the packaging. So, in the plastic bottles the plastics are total endocrine disruptors. I hear conversations all day long in the salon. We have so many young women, I’m talking in their early 20s that are dealing with PCOS, endometriosis, painful periods, hair loss, acne, all the crazy things, thyroid issues. It’s just heartbreaking.

I think because we can’t see them, we don’t take this toxin thing as serious as we need to. Same thing with EMFs. That was another thing that Dustin pointed out to me. He’s like, if you’re not in chemicals, you’re holding a hairdryer. I’m like, or I’m on the cell phone. So, we’re in the process of researching different product lines and only going for products that rate clean with EWG and are also in glass containers.

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Even what we sell on the shelves, people will bring them back in for refills. We won’t do the plastic thing. So, we’re in that process right now. That’s the big goal for ’24 is to launch that course for hairstylists, rebrand, and redo my salon in that way so we can go forward feeling good about what we’re doing for ourselves also for our clients.

Hair Loss: A Passion to Educate

[00:34:40] Detective Ev: You are really onto something here in multiple ways because I’m always thinking business. I can’t help it. I’m like, holy cow. How could you go wrong? You could invent a whole new shampoo line; you could just teach the stylist; you could do a special type of salon for sensitive people.

Because let’s be honest. Yes, women are more likely to use these types of products, but they’re also the people that are typically more aware of their health. And I think that just speaks for itself with the amount of graduates we have from FDN and the fact that 80 percent are women or something.

So, I could really see this being something where maybe you teach people how to have this specific type of salon. It’s labeled in such a way that this is for sensitive people. You can still enjoy that experience that seems to be very special to people like my fiancé and my mom. They love getting their hair done, right? Then you don’t have to freak out and worry about it every time that you do it.

[00:35:28] Carrie Hicks: Exactly. Cause well, women don’t usually worry about it until they’re pregnant. And then we’ll do anything for our babies.

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I don’t see myself ever making my own brand of product line, but I do see myself educating people in this. My niche currently is hair loss, but I would really love to help hairstylists just change things in the salon, how they do things in the salon, also monitor their own health. Because, just like your friend with cancer, I know so many hairstylists that have been sick.

Hair Loss: Product Sensitivity

While I have some concerning things, I, at least, am on this precipice where I can do some things and change that. So, I feel very lucky. And let’s keep everybody healthy. It’s been a great career. Our clients come in, everybody’s happy to see us. It’s fun. We visit with our friends all day. It’s great. There’s that little hidden ugly part that we just need to be aware of.

[00:36:27] Detective Ev: Great feedback here. Someone was saying, “I’d love to have a one-stop shop for healthy hair products, wish there were more salons like this.” Awesome.

One question that I have, it does regard hair and I think you’re the perfect person to ask this to. It’s not necessarily the hair loss thing. One thing I’m always concerned about is I sometimes hear arguments for this, arguments against this. The whole idea that one, there’s gluten in a lot of hair products, which I do believe, that’s not what I’m challenging. But the idea that if I put this on my scalp and I have a gluten sensitivity, it can be absorbed in and actually trigger that sensitivity.

You’re shaking your head yes. It sounds like that can happen.

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[00:36:58] Carrie Hicks: Yes, it does happen. But those are things you never think about. We have people that are allergic to coconut, and they use coconut oil in a lot of products. So, it’s really interesting. You really do have to be your own advocate, for your health, for your hair, all of the things. But you do have to be aware of what’s going into your products.

Hair Loss: Taking Precautions

[00:37:18] Detective Ev: I feel like none of these shampoos, even the ones that are healthier and don’t have wheat in it, because I’m looking at the back of it reading the ingredients. I look them up and stuff, they still don’t even label themselves like that because the consumer’s not at that place.

I would like to consider myself fairly advanced compared to the average person in functional medicine and I couldn’t even have just answered that for you. So, the average consumer has no idea that one, it’s even a problem, and two, that if it has gluten, it’s going to go through their scalp and get absorbed. There are many issues here.

So, would you, if you had a gluten sensitivity and had to travel a lot, would you ever even bother with the hotel shampoos and conditioner?

[00:37:53] Carrie Hicks: No, I never touched the hotel shampoo.

[00:37:56] Detective Ev: Probably a variety of reasons, right?

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[00:37:58] Carrie Hicks: Variety of reasons. But yeah, you don’t want to do that. Especially if you have a true sensitivity to something, you really do need to be careful.

[00:38:08] Detective Ev: Okay, I’ll be a little more careful with traveling and stuff.

I try to balance it, and this is something probably many FDNs or people that have just struggled with health can relate to. There’s a time and place we go so neurotic with stuff and that’s serving us in a season of our life. We’re so sick that we needed to go neurotic with it, be super disciplined.

And then I realized that neuroticism that I was applying, I took it too far. Now that was actually causing issues in my life. So, I’ve tried to let up.

Hair Loss: Addressing DHT

I don’t want to be ignorant either. So, I do know I have a severe gluten sensitivity that doesn’t serve me. Before, I was the guy that wouldn’t use the stuff at the hotels. And I just let off. I’m like, dude, who cares? Stop. That’s not a big deal.

Gluten is not something I mess with. Like I wouldn’t eat food that has gluten in it. So, why am I screwing myself over? I might as well just go and enjoy the dang pizza then if I’m going to use the shampoo at the hotel. So, I appreciate that.

My last random question. You had mentioned at one point, maybe a genetic predisposition to being sensitive to DHT or something along those lines. Is that something that can be tested for, or would that just be something that you can tell if you know your stuff, but I can’t test for it necessarily?

[00:39:15] Carrie Hicks: I don’t know if there’s a way to test for it, honestly. What they teach in hair loss classes is that genetic hair loss is a sensitivity to DHT. So, if you are producing a lot of DHT, it’s also in your sebaceous gland. It’s building up in the sebum, and it’s sitting on your scalp. You can address it topically with different things. I know they use a lot of Minoxidil for that. But I use nondrug type products that are more holistic.

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You want to address that DHT as much as you can, but I don’t know if there’s a test. I would say work on your blood sugar control and your insulin. That’s why I’ve gone the FDN route, so that I can help people as far upstream as possible and get that under control.

Hair Loss: Client Success Story

[00:40:06] Detective Ev: I’m still on my creatine thing. Listen, it was like two, three years ago that I could even just grow a beard and I grew the hair out. I don’t want to lose it as soon as I’m ahead. It’s amazing the correlation between being single for five years, growing a beard, and then not a 10 out of 10, but just enough to get in the game again. So, the beard, the facial hair, I’m like don’t supplement this away, Ev. Do the test first or something if it exists.

With all that said, Carrie, it’s been three years since you started noticing this. You became an FDN. I’m sure you’ve worked with at least some clients now where you’ve helped them through this. I always love client testimonials. Are there any amazing stories that come to the top of your head?

I was going to say no pun intended. That was so lame, I retracted it. Terrible.

But are there any client testimonials of people that were really struggling with this and because of the information and insight you were able to give them they have a nice full healthy head of hair again.

[00:41:02] Carrie Hicks: I’m a new FDN. I just graduated last month. So, I’m new to applying this bit with the holistic nutrition certification and that follicle test that I’ve been doing.

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I do have a couple people I’ve helped. And I have one woman who had scarring alopecia. That’s, you lose your hair, your hairline kind of keeps receding. Once your hair follicles scar over, you’re not going to grow hair in those areas. But we were able to get her into a remission. Because there’s also a lot of inflammation and scabbing, we were able to get that under control.

Where To Find Carrie Hicks

A lot of women, what they’ll notice is their part starts looking wider for female genetic hair loss. And so, we got that to fill in. We got her hair nice and full and with body again. It’s not limp, it’s got moisture. And we did that with, micro needling. We did that with some diet changes and the right products. I like to address it as much as I can from the outside for people, but you’ve got to go upstream and address it from the inside.

[00:42:12] Detective Ev: Dang, we might need a part two of this eventually. I can’t believe it’s been 50 minutes. This is one of those topics that provoke so many random questions that I know are good ones because other people are thinking it. But it’s got to stop at some point.

With that said, Carrie, first, where can people find you if they’d like to work with you or learn about stuff or maybe just stay in contact so that they can find this course when it’s out?

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[00:42:31] Carrie Hicks: I spend most of my time on Instagram and my handle on Instagram is @nurish.d. And that is N U R I S H period D. Nourish.d Hair Loss + Wellness is what I’m doing my FDN through and helping people with hair loss. And then I’ve got Crimson and Clover Hair Studio. And that’s Crimson and Clover Hair Studio on Instagram as well. So, that’s where we’ll be doing a lot of the stuff for the hairstylists is on the Crimson and Clover.

[00:43:00] Detective Ev: Perfect. Then with that said, if you listened all the way through, I know not everyone does, but you might understand the signature question I’m about to ask.

Conclusion – Signature Podcast Question

By the way, the fact that you only graduated FDN a month ago and you’re talking like this, holy crap. I’m going to follow you; can’t wait to see what you end up doing with all this stuff. This is really exciting. But with that said, you’re obviously a well-versed health practitioner. It’s not just hair.

Now, If I could give you a magic wand, and Carrie could get every single person in this world to do one thing just for their health, or maybe stop doing one thing for their health, what is the one thing that you’d force them all to do?

[00:43:34] Carrie Hicks: I’m going to say work on your detox pathways, your drainage pathways. When you learn about chronic illness and cellular function, it is so important. You’ve got to have that working correctly to get anywhere else with your health.

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I thought about this question because I knew you were going to ask it. Originally, I thought I was going to say, eat real food, just eat real food. But the more you learn, the more I’m like, I think we need to take this drainage pathway and detoxification thing pretty serious in today’s world.

[00:44:06] Detective Ev: Cool. Carrie, thank you so much for coming on. Very interesting topic. And again, I’m just excited to see what you do. We appreciate you being here today.

[00:44:13] Carrie Hicks: Thank you so much for having me. This has been a lot of fun.

You can always visit us at functionaldiagnosticnutrition.com, on YouTube @FDNtraining, on Instagram @fdntraining, or on Facebook @FunctionalDiagnosticNutrition.

For more informational and functional health-oriented podcasts like this one, go to functionaldiagnosticnutrition.com/health-detective-podcast/.

To learn more about us, go to functionaldiagnosticnutrition.com/about-fdn-functional-testing/.

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