Foods that Cause Hair Loss

BY Kiku Chaudhuri

The kind of food we eat directly manifests externally in many ways. The argument that you get glowing skin from within, actually stands true for hair as well. The health of our hair is largely dependent on our dietary habits and what we eat on a day-to-day basis.

Eating certain foods that cause hair loss is one of the most common reasons why hair shedding and thinning occurs. Contrary to popular belief, many items that you may think are healthy and nutritious actually end up being foods that cause hair loss.

The functioning of our hair follicles is linked to the presence or absence of certain nutrients in the body. Monitoring certain foods that cause hair loss is one of the few things in our control when it comes to hair shedding. 

Nutritional imbalances or excess of too much of one mineral/vitamin often show up first in the form of hair loss. This is because hair is not a vital organ of the body and therefore, the body does not prioritize its nutritional needs. It is important to understand this link between hair functioning and foods that cause hair loss so you can be aware of the right kind of food to consume if you are experiencing hair loss. 

Foods that cause hair loss

Processed Sugar: breakfast cereal, energy drinks, table sugar

Processed sugar has many adverse effects on the body and deteriorating hair quality along with hair loss is one of them. High sugar intake leads to an increase in blood glucose, which means the body has to produce more insulin. This further leads to an increase in androgens (male sex hormones) which can result in the shrinking of the hair follicles and eventually lead to hair loss. Moreover, protein is important for hair growth and sugar hinders the absorption of it. 

Foods with High Levels of Mercury: swordfish, mackerel, certain types of tuna

High levels of mercury in your diet, which usually come from certain types of fish, can be a major source of foods that cause hair loss. Replace these fish with light tuna, salmon, shrimp etc. as they contain lower levels of mercury. Also, try to eat them no more than 1-2 times per week to avoid consuming too much mercury.

High-Glycemic Foods: starchy food, bread, pasta

High-glycemic foods easily break down into sugar and hence, can be harmful even if you do not consume excess sugary foods. Increased sugar intake will lead to increased insulin and androgens in the body which adversely affect hair health and can be a major source of foods that cause hair loss. They also block your body’s natural defenses against stress, which further aggravates stress-inducing hair loss. 

Excess Dairy

While most argue that dairy is good for the healthy growth of hair, it is actually the opposite. Dairy items can be said to be foods that cause hair loss as dairy contains substantial levels of fat in it, which increases the testosterone levels in your body, thereby causing hair loss. It also exacerbates problems such as dandruff, psoriasis and more. which further causes hair loss. 

Greasy Food

It goes without saying that greasy food is unhealthy for your body, but it is especially bad for your hair health as it contributes to an oily scalp that causes hair loss. 

It is understandable that a lot of these foods are hard to avoid, but it is best to not consume them excessively on a daily basis. Along with this, it is best to take care of your hair by washing it regularly and using the right products to maintain its health and prevent hair loss.