Having healthy hair is an important factor for both men and women. Not only genetics and environment, but your diet plays a significant role in your hair health. To maintain healthy hair and scalp, it is important to eat a balanced diet. Your hair is mainly made up of protein, so make sure you eat plenty of protein every day, as well as zinc and omega-rich foods.
Can Foods Cause Hair Loss?
The average person sheds about 100 hairs per day. With age, people lose more and more hair. However, atypical hair loss can be caused by many factors, including deficiencies and dietary issues. There is no scientific evidence, per se, that specific food can cause hair loss. Nonetheless, your diet may influence the health of your scalp and, by association, the growth of your hair.
Not getting sufficient protein, nutrients and minerals can affect your hair health, similarly, consuming an excessive amount of different vitamins can also lead to hair loss. Consuming foods that are detrimental to health can also have adverse effects on hair health. The best diet is a balanced one.
Foods That Cause Hair Loss
The food you consume is answerable for the nutrients your hair receives. So, that in itself indicates the significance of consuming healthier food. So what kind of foods can cause hair loss?
High Sugar And Refined Carbs
Simple carbohydrates and high sugar content can be found in cakes, candies, and desserts. It's also found in bread, white rice, and even pasta. Studies have proven that a diet that includes excessive sugar, starches, and refined carbohydrates can lead to insulin resistance that can make you lose hair or maybe result in complete balding. Insulin resistance also leads to diabetes and obesity. Eating sugars can also increase sebum (oil) production on the scalp, which can further lead to itchiness and a higher risk of developing dandruff.
High Glycemic Index (GI) Food
Foods that are prone to increase blood glucose levels rapidly are called high GI foods. Sugar and dairy items are highly glycemic, of which dairy contains a lot of fat in it. An excessive amount of fat can increase the testosterone levels in the body - which further leads to hormonal and oil-production issues. A diet with a lot of highly glycemic foods can lead to bad hair follicle health. Dairy also exacerbates eczema, dandruff, and other scalp issues, hence, leading to hair fall.
Greasy, Fried Food
Some experts have stated that greasy, fried foods can negatively affect your hair health because they cause the overactivity of oil glands. Hence, avoiding too much of fried foods and red meat can be important for hair health. The scalp releases an oily substance called sebum. This sebum moisturizes our scalp and helps the pores remain healthy. However, when you eat a lot of greasy food - the sebum glands become over-productive and hair hence becomes very greasy and may even look limp. This grease also blocks the hair follicles and stops hair growth. Simply put, fried foods can make the scalp greasy and sticky and will eventually, lead to clogging of pores and miniaturization of hair follicles.
Fish: Mercury and Selenium
While seafood is very nutritious, fishes are prone to have a lot of mercury. Mercury, in a small amount, is beneficial - however, mercury interacts with zinc. So, when we intake mercury, it leads to lower absorption of zinc - which is required for healthy hair. Hence, mercury can inadvertently lead to hair fall. Fish and poultry also has selenium - which is good in small amounts, but it's fairly common to overdo it by taking supplements which leads to selenium toxicity - leading to unhealthy hair follicles, and weaker hair strands.
Even though nuts are very rich in nutrients and extremely healthy - some individuals do not realize that they are allergic to some of the nuts, and the side effects often involve hair loss. If you are aware of your allergies and the number of nuts that need to be consumed - you are good to go. Hence, adding a healthy dose of nuts to your diet will help reduce thinning and promote hair growth, but disbalance can cause issues.
Carbonated drinks, sodas, or pops are not only high in sugar, but they also interact with the insulin in your body and increase your blood sugar, leading to lower blood circulation which may be followed by hair pores being blocked. Diet sodas also incorporate a synthetic sweetener called aspartame, which researchers have found can harm the hair follicles.
It is known that alcohol isn’t very healthy for us. But, it also isn’t good for our hair health. It dehydrates the hair strands, and dries them, which makes them brittle and easy to break. Hence, the hair either falls out or gets damaged. Researchers have also found that alcoholic drinks also can remove zinc from the body, which is a vital micronutrient for healthy hair.
Fad diets usually involve the reduction of food and it ends up being nutrient deficient. They lack vitamins like protein, zinc, and others which are extremely important for hair growth, deficiency of these vitamins can result in hair getting weaker and weaker. Researchers have found that people who restrict their diets to these crash programs often end up having hair loss- not just from the scalp but other parts of the body, too. Crash diets lead to a lack of energy, which further stops hair growth.
Hair loss, even if genetic, can be managed if not reversed. Making actual dietary changes and being more aware of what you consume and how you consume it goes a long way. Some small lifestyle modifications will also slow down hair loss. Care has to be taken, in terms of which ingredients to avoid and which to consume to have healthy, bouncy hair. You have to consider eating a nutrient-high diet, which plays one of the key roles in dealing with hair loss or hair thinning.
Q1 - What are the foods to avoid while facing hair loss?
Some food items that you should avoid are fried foods, foods high in sugar and glycemic index, foods that have high mercury such as fish, foods containing too much Vitamin A, and selenium.
Q2 - Are there foods that cause hair loss?
Although food items cannot make you lose hair, some of them can impact your hair and scalp health, which may eventually lead to hair loss. Hence, some foods can cause hair fall.
Q3 - Which foods and drinks cause hair loss?
Some of the foods that can cause hair loss are fried and greasy foods, sugar-rich foods, high glycemic-index foods, and too much dairy. Overconsumption of alcohol and carbonated beverages like soda can also cause hair loss.