Do you want to have lustrous, strong hair? You’re probably already concerned and investing in expensive hair care products to maintain your gorgeous hair. But do you know that diet has an important role in your hair health?
While food provides the essential nutrition for proper functioning of the body, some foods can be detrimental to your hair health. Knowing what foods cause hair loss can help you plan your meals better and provide proper nutrition to your hair. Want to learn more about it? Keep reading.
8 Foods That Cause Hair Loss
1. Sugar & Refined Carbs
Including too much sugary food in your diet impacts both your weight and hair health. A study conducted on the Nutrition of women with hair loss problems during the period of menopause suggests that diets rich in simple carbohydrates may contribute to hair loss. The researchers found that food loaded with simple sugar increases sebum production.
Sebum is an oily substance secreted from the oil glands attached to hair follicles. While sebum secretion helps retain moisture of the hair, excess sebum secretion can lead to hair fall.
Additionally, sugary foods may lead to poor blood circulation. Hair follicles receive nutrition through blood. Poor blood circulation deprives hair follicles of the nutrition they need to make hair strong. There are other associated problems too. High sugar content can cause pancreas to secrete more insulin, which negatively impacts the scalp's blood vessels, leading to hair fall.
Sugar may also shoot up the testosterone in the blood, causing further hair fall.
Foods To Avoid
Sugary foods to avoid for preventing hair loss include candy, cakes and cookies.
Alternative Foods To Include
You don't have to deprive your sweet tooth to maintain your hair health. Here are some alternatives that are satiating yet friendly to your hair.
- A natural sweetener like jaggery and honey
- Whole grains
- Fresh fruits and vegetables
Fish is an excellent source of protein. The Omega-3 content of fish promotes good hair too. But there are certain fish which contain high levels of mercury. Consuming such fish is bad for your hair health and can lead to hair fall. A report showed that two women experienced a high level of hair fall on eating fish with high mercury levels. The hair fall reduced significantly after they reduced eating mercury-rich fish.
Research says that mercury reacts with other mineral traces in the body, especially with zinc. When you consume fish with too much mercury content, your body faces a zinc deficiency. Since zinc is essential in hair growth, a lack will lead to hair fall and related hair problems.
Fish To Avoid
Large sea fishes are richer in mercury content compared to small-sized fishes. Fish that are rich in mercury include,
- Sea Bass
- King mackerel
Alternative Fish To Eat
These include sardines, salmon and cod.
Alcohol has no nutritional value, nor does it have any positive impact on hair. Alcohol is a dehydrating agent, and regular consumption makes your hair extremely dry. Dry hair is brittle and falls off easily.
Next time you’re at a party, say no to alcoholic beverages. You can, however, opt for any of these healthy alternatives, and your hair will thank you.
- Fresh fruit juice
- Vegetable juice
- Green tea
- Coconut water
4 . Junk Food
While junk food is often labelled as “yummy and tasty,” did you know that it does no good to your hair? The hair follicles are attached to small sebum glands that secrete oil. This oil is essential to retain the natural moisture of the hair. When you overeat greasy junk food, the sebum glands become greasy, too, and cover the hair with an extra layer of grease. This makes it difficult for the hair to grow naturally.
A research  concluded that junk food has a negative impact on hair health because it over activates the sebum glands.
Foods To Avoid
Fries, burgers and pizza are a few junk food items that you must avoid.
- Fresh fruits
- Fresh vegetables
- Fresh juices
5. Raw Egg Whites
Eggs are loaded with protein and biotin. Both these components are essential for good hair health. Biotin is the main component for the hair protein keratin, which is the building block of hair. A deficiency of biotin can lead to hair fall. However, when egg whites are consumed raw, your body may experience a deficiency in biotin. Apart from biotin, raw egg whites also contain a substance called avidin that reduces the intestinal absorption of biotin.
Include cooked eggs in your diet instead. When cooked, avidin is separated from biotin, making it easy for intestinal absorption. You can receive approx ten micrograms of biotin  from one cooked egg.
6. Diet Foods
Crash dieting or choosing a low protein diet without consulting a nutritionist or a dietician can cause adverse effects to your body as well as your hair. While many choose crash dieting for fast weight loss, this process may eliminate essential nutrients. You may end up not consuming sufficient nutrients like zinc, protein, calcium, or fatty acids, which can lead to hair fall.
For example, calcium is an essential component that strengthens your hair and bones. Eliminating dairy products like milk and cheese from the diet can lead to calcium deficiency. Similarly, iron and zinc play an important role in keratin production, the main component of hair. Eliminating these nutrients from the diet can lead to increased hair fall.
Also, as protein helps build your hair, a low protein diet means you are at a greater risk of hair fall.
Always eat a balanced diet that consists of all groups of food. Take the help of an expert before making any dietary changes. Include food like lean meat, spinach, tofu, lentils etc, as they are all great protein sources.
7. Diet Soda & Carbonated Drinks
Diet sodas contain an artificial sweetener known as aspartame. Consuming too much of diet soda can lead to hair fall. Additionally, carbonated drinks interact with insulin in the body to become less responsive to sugar. Thus blood circulation becomes poor, and hair follicles are deprived of the nutrients needed to make hair stronger. As a result, you experience excessive hair fall.
- Sparkling water infused with a slice of lemon or your favorite fruit
- Coconut water
- Herbal tea
- Freshly squeezed fruit juices
8. Dairy Products
Dairy products are always considered as a nutritious food for preserving hair health. But do you know that dairy has some amount of fat in it, which increases the testosterone level in your body? When you experience a high testosterone level in the body, it can lead to hair fall.
Dairy products also tend to increase your hair fall problem if you are already prone to eczema, psoriasis, or dandruff. Consume dairy products in moderation and consult an expert if you still experience hair loss problems. US Department of Agriculture, My Plate suggests adults should consume 3 servings of dairy products per day. These may include:
- Hard cheese
- Cottage cheese
Food has a vital role to play in keeping your hair healthy. While we may follow a hair care regime and use different hair care products, a proper diet strengthens your hair from within.
However, certain foods may hurt your hair health, especially when not consumed in moderation. Knowing the foods that prevent hair loss will help you plan your meal better and make your hair healthy. Do remember to know more about your hair type to make informed choices. Also, consult an expert if you face serious hair fall problems.
Meta description: Did you know many foods cause hair loss? These include some fish varieties, sugars and dairy products. Read on to know which foods to avoid to prevent hair loss.
1. Nutrition of women with hair loss problem during the period of menopause
2. Reversible alopecia associated with high blood mercury levels and early menopause: a report of two cases
3. Controversy: Is There a Role for Adjuvants in the Management of Male Pattern Hair Loss?
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