London: What did mother-of-three Mary Corrigan do when balding patches on her head devastated her? The 43-year-old housewife came up with a 'grow-your-hair-back diet' which did work -- within four months.
The former chef turned to her own resources after her trichologist told Corrigan that she would have to live with it as there was no cure.
And after lengthy research, she came up with the diet containing iron-rich fare such as cockles, venison and leafy green vegetables.
Within four months of adopting it, her hair had not only grown back, but was thicker and stronger, the Daily Mail reports.
Her trichologist is so impressed with the results that she passes on Corrigan's details to others.
"My hair loss began four years ago with two small patches of alopecia on the back of my head," said Corrigan, who has three daughters aged 12, 10 and seven.
"But within a few months I was horrified to notice the patches were spreading all over my head. I was distraught. My red, thick, curly, long hair really was my crowning glory."
Over the next two years, Corrigan's visits to the doctor did not help. Her condition was attributed to stress. She is from Bromley in Kent, Britain.
Then Corrigan discovered the importance of serum ferritin, a protein responsible for the storage of iron. Low levels of the substance in the body - below 40 mg - can apparently cause hair loss and Corrigan was found to have a 'startling' 19 mg.
"Many trichologists believe it should be as high as 80 for hair follicles to function optimally," she said.
Unable to find an iron-rich sugar-free diet specifically to correct hair loss, she devised her own. And within a month she felt velvety patches of hair growth on her head.
The average woman needs 15 mg of iron a day, she said.
Her sample menu is: fortified cereal plus orange juice for breakfast, a ham sandwich on whole-wheat bread plus salad for lunch, and a dinner of cockles and seafood paella or venison burger and a salad of watercress, lettuce, peppers, tomato and pumpkin seeds.
Story First Published: January 18, 2011 13:37 IST