Hair loss impacts both men and women and can occur for a number of reasons – from hereditary factors to lifestyle choices. However, regardless of the root cause of your hair loss or thinning, including certain foods in your diet could have a detrimental impact on your hair’s health.
Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, Dr Earim Chaudry, medical director of the men’s health platform Manual, outlined some of the foods that could cause problems for your hair.
Dr Chaudry said: “Like your body, your hair depends on the intake of nutrients to maintain its health.”
Vitamin deficiencies as the result of an unbalanced diet can starve your hair of vital nutrients, including protein, vitamin C and iron.
However, it isn’t just a lack of vital nutrients that can reduce hair health.
Eating too many foods that are high in certain ingredients can also play havoc on your hair.
Which food and drinks could be increasing your risk of hair loss or thinning?
Dr Chaudry said: “Unsurprisingly, many junk foods can be detrimental to hair health and can potentially lead to hair loss.
“An example of these are refined carbohydrates, which include breads, pastas, pizza and cakes.
“These foods block your defences against stress, and if you’re already facing hair loss due to stress, it may be time to limit consumption.”
Sugar, for example, could be linked to hair loss.
Studies have shown that insulin resistance, which can result in diabetes and obesity, may also be linked to hair loss or balding in both men and women.
High glycaemic index foods, which can cause spikes in insulation, can create hormonal balances which, once again, may lead to hair fall.
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Although you might enjoy ordering in a takeaway on the weekend, you might want to think twice about how often you engage in this treat.
Many takeaway food options are renowned for being very greasy.
Dr Chaudry warned: “Greasy foods are also one to avoid as well.”
This is down to an oily substance called “sebum” which the medical director explains “provides natural moisture to your hair”.
He said: “Therefore 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.”
A few glasses of wine, within the recommended limit, may not be the end of the world.
However, paying attention to how many drinks you are having each week could be the key to keeping your hair follicles at their best.
Dr Chaudry explained that although there is “no direct link between alcohol and hair loss”, drinking too much can be a problem.
He said: “Alcohol is another drink that can dehydrate your hair and lowers the zinc levels in your body. This is an important mineral that regulates hair health.”
Heavy drinking can, over time, lead to nutritional deficiencies or hormonal issues which, in turn, can thin out your locks.
Drinking too much alcohol can contribute to deficiencies or malabsorption of zinc, copper or protein.
There are a number of studies to show that not getting enough of these nutrients can lead to hair shedding over time.
According to the NHS, both men and women are advised not to drink more than 14 units of alcohol per week.