It’s no secret that the food we eat has a significant effect on our overall health and wellbeing. What you eat can affect everything from your heart health to sleeping patterns to energy levels. But, did you know that your diet can also affect you in unexpected ways? According to one medical expert, your food choices can increase your risk for thinning hair and hair loss.

Common Causes Of Hair Loss

Hair loss can happen to anyone, and there are a number of different causes. According to the Mayo Clinic, hair loss can affect just the scalp or the entire body. And, it can also be temporary or permanent.

The most common causes of hair loss are heredity, hormonal changes, and medical conditions. But, truth be told, it’s also a normal part of the aging process.

Lifestyle choices are also a factor. But no matter the root cause of the hair loss or hair thinning, certain foods in your diet can have a disastrous effect on your hair health, according to Dr. Earim Chaudry. Dr. Chaudry explained to Express that just like your body, your hair “depends on the intake of nutrients to maintain its health.”

Diet And Hair Health

An unbalanced diet can cause vitamin deficiencies, which has the potential to starve your hair of the vital nutrients it needs, including protein, vitamin C, and iron. But a lack of vital nutrients isn’t the only thing that can reduce hair health.

Dr. Chaudry claimed that eating too many foods with a high amount of specific ingredients can also cause serious damage. But exactly which foods should you be avoiding to protect your locks and stave off hair thinning and hair loss?

Junk Food Blocks Your Defense Against Stress

Various junk food including french fries, donuts, and candy.
(beats1/Shutterstock.com)

It should come as no surprise that the first food category that Dr. Chaudry mentioned when it comes to increasing your risk of hair loss and thinning is junk food.

“Unsurprisingly, many junk foods can be detrimental to hair health and can potentially lead to hair loss,” Dr. Chaudry explained. “An example of these are refined carbohydrates, which include breads, pastas, pizza, and cakes.”

He said these types of foods “block your defenses against stress.” So, if you are already dealing with hair loss due to stress, it’s probably time to limit your junk food consumption.

There is some research to back up Dr. Chaundry’s claims, especially with the connection between sugar and hair loss. Studies have shown that insulin resistance—which can lead to obesity and diabetes—could be linked to hair loss and balding in both men and women.

High glycaemic index foods have also been shown to create hormonal balances and cause spikes in insulation, which can also lead to hair loss.

Skip The Fizzy Drinks

Soft drinks
(successo images/Shutterstock.com)

Speaking of sugar, Dr. Chaudry also pointed out that sugary, carbonated beverages can also do some serious damage to your hair health.

“When it comes to drinks, carbonated beverages are doing no favors for your hair,” Dr. Chaudry noted. “This is because they increase the sugar in your bloodstream, and this negatively impacts your blood circulation and lowers the nutrient supply to your hair follicles.”

Just Say ‘No’ To Late Night Takeout

Leftovers of pizza in a takeaway box. An empty pizza box with one scrap of a piece remaining in the greased up cardboard container.
(Elgub/Shutterstock.com)

Dr. Chaudry also warned against ordering greasy, late-night takeout. He said that consuming greasy foods can damage your hair and your overall health. The medical director explained that an oily substance called “sebum” provides natural moisture to hair. So, there’s no need to load up on more grease.

“When you consume greasy food, the danger is that you’re loading your body with more grease. With the grease covering your hair follicles, this restricts the growth of your hair, which in turn leads to hair fall out,” Dr. Chaudry claimed.

Too Much Alcohol Can Be An Issue

Pouring red wine into the glass against wooden background
(Ievgenii Meyer/Shutterstock.com)

The last thing that Dr. Chaudry mentioned was drinking alcohol. He made it clear that there is “no direct link between alcohol and hair loss.” However, he said drinking too much alcohol can hurt your hair health.

“Alcohol is another drink that can dehydrate your hair and lower the zinc levels in your body. This is an important mineral that regulates hair health,” Dr. Chaudry explained.

Over time, heavy consumption of alcohol can cause nutritional deficiencies or hormonal issues. It can also lead to the malabsorption of zinc, copper, or protein. All of which can lead to thinning hair and hair loss.

The Takeaway

Your daily diet has a major impact on your overall health and wellbeing–and it can also increase your risk for thinning hair and hair loss. Just like your body, your hair needs vital nutrients to stay healthy.

Dr. Chaudry advised avoiding junk food and greasy food to lower your risk of hair loss. He also said to skip the sugary beverages and limit your daily alcohol intake. Following his advice will not only contribute to a healthier diet and lifestyle, but it could also help you avoid hair thinning or hair loss.

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