Is Your Diet Contributing to Hair Loss?
True or false: Hair loss is caused by your genes and there’s nothing you can do about it. Back that pity-party train up a second, because it’s not true!
Before you give up and throw all the blame for that brush full of hair on factors you can’t control, it’s worth checking out other possible causes. A big reason for hair loss that many people overlook is diet. Did you know that the food choices you make can contribute to losing more hair than normal?
Not Enough Protein
Healthy hair follicles are constantly rejuvenating. They stay young to keep you looking young. For this “out with the old, in with the new” to work correctly, though, your hair needs a continual supply of protein.
What if you choose not to eat animal protein? You need to remember to include plant-based protein in your meals, such as lentils, nuts, seeds and tofu. Otherwise, your body won’t have the necessary building blocks for healthy hair strands.
High Fat, High Sugar — Goodbye Hair
A diet high in sugar, empty carbs and saturated fat can hurt a lot more than your waistline. It can set off a chain reaction that messes with your hormone levels and can even lead to diabetes. The spike in insulin interferes with hair growth and can make strands fall out.
What I recommend — this is a review site after all — is making the time to cook a few more homemade meals and limit drive-thru to once a week max. Do your kids like tacos? That’s great! Sauté your favorite protein with ground cumin, chop up cilantro, tomatoes, onions and avocados, and you’re good to go in about 20 minutes.
What other vitamins does healthy hair need? The checklist includes plenty of vitamin B7 (biotin), iron and zinc.
Normally, these are nutrients everyone should get just by eating a balanced diet. Unfortunately, when people have to commute to work every day, it’s tempting to live life from one fast-food restaurant to the next. This lifestyle can cause big problems with vitamin deficiencies; McDonald's and Taco Bell aren't exactly famous for their nutritional value.
Keep in mind that healthy and fresh doesn’t need to be complicated or time-consuming. I have tons of recipes that you can make for your family in 30 minutes or less. Try this: Open a can of chicken soup and add your own fresh veggies for a nutrient boost. Frozen veggies have roughly the same amount of nutrients as fresh, but they’re ready to go in seconds.
If junk food is bad for hair, then losing weight should be good, right? Well, if you follow the suggestions I’ve shared in the past — focusing on long-term healthy eating instead of crazy fad diets — then you’ll be just fine.
The problem is that some people rush to try the “miracle” diet they saw on TikTok, usually telling you to eat like 400 calories a day or something crazy like that. Some drastic diets cut out entire food groups.
Your hair is crying when that happens. It can’t deal with the sudden stress or loss of nutrients. Don’t do it.
Now, For the Good News…
All of these diet- and nutrition-related hair problems can be corrected! Your hair can look fabulous and full again. The key is to fix the problem causing it to fall out. Natural foods and a good night's sleep can do wonders for luxurious hair.