Healthy, strong and lustrous hair are desirable for both men and women. Beautiful hair is not just about using expensive hair-care products. Just like skin, healthy hair is also an indicator of a well-nourished body. The food choices you make can either damage or do wonders for your hair. We already know that stress and pollution wreak havoc on our tresses, however, what we don’t realise is that certain foods are also contributing to the problem of hair fall and hair thinning. While people generally attribute hair problems to stress and genetics, another surprising factor though is a person’s diet. It’s certainly fair to say that a poor diet can make hair condition worse, or can speed up hair loss. Let’s have a look at foods that you must avoid for the sake of your hair.
Yes, the sneaky menace is just as bad for your hair as it is for your overall health. Studies have shown that insulin resistance, which leads to diabetes and obesity, can also make you lose hair or even lead to balding in both men and women. And the number one factor behind insulin resistance is a diet high in sugar, starches and refined carbohydrates.
2. High-Glycemic Index Foods
High glycemic index foods are the ones that cause an insulin spike. Foods like refined flour, bread and sugar (yes, again!) are all high GI foods. These foods can create hormonal imbalances and cause a spike in insulin and androgens which bind to hair follicles and lead to hair fall.
Hair is mainly made of the protein, called keratin. Keratin is a protein which gives structure to your hair. Alcohol has a negative impact on protein synthesis and can lead to hair getting weaker and without any lustre. Also, heavy alcohol consumption can create nutritional imbalances and can cause follicle death.
4. Diet Soda
Diet sodas contain an artificial sweetener called aspartame, which researchers have found can damage the hair follicles. If you are experiencing hair loss lately then it’s best you avoid diet sodas completely.
5. Junk Food
Junk foods are often laden with saturated and monounsaturated fats which not just make you obese and give rise to cardiovascular diseases, but can also make you lose hair. A diet rich in SFA’s and MUFA’s can elevate levels of testosterone which potentially increases the levels of DHT hormone as well. DHT is an androgen which is related to alopecia. Also, oily foods can make your scalp greasy and may lead to clogging of pores and miniaturization of hair follicles.
6. Raw Eggs Whites
Eggs are great for hair but they should not be consumed raw. Raw egg whites can cause biotin deficiency, the vitamin that assists in the production of keratin. It is the avidin that is present in raw egg whites that combines with biotin and hinders its intestinal absorption.
High levels of mercury can lead to sudden hair loss. The most common source of mercury exposure is fish as the concentration of methyl-mercury in fish has increased over the past few decades due to climate change and overfishing. Sea-water fish like swordfish, mackerel, shark and some varieties of tuna are rich in mercury.