What you eat plays a big part when it comes to the health of your hair. Some foods can help your hair grow and can improve the health of your scalp and locks. Other foods or dietary choices can have a negative impact on your hair, making it more brittle, fine or even contributing to male pattern baldness. If you’re concerned about the health of your hair or have begun to notice that your strands break easily or are beginning to fall out more and more, check your diet.
You Skip Meals
Life can get hectic sometimes, and it might seem that the best way to keep ahead of the curve is to skip meals. But, not getting enough calories on a regular basis can be doing a number on the health of your hair. Your scalp and hair need sufficient nutrients to thrive. In fact, one of the ways to see if you have a condition such as anemia, when your body doesn’t have enough iron, is to look at your hair. If you’re not getting the iron your body needs, you’ll most likely have some hair loss.
Skipping meals isn’t the only way to deny your body the nutrients it needs. If your doctor has put you on a very low calorie diet to help you lose weight, you might notice some changes in the quality or volume of your hair, too. If that is the case, it can be helpful to speak with a nutritionist to find out how you can get the nutrients you need while working towards your weight loss goals.
You Eat a Lot of Big Fish
When people talk about the nutrients your hair needs, omega-3 fatty acids are often mentioned. Fish are a great source of omega 3’s, so you’ve probably started to add them to your diet more and more. But, there are a few caveats to the “eat more fish” recommendation. Some types of fish also contain high levels of mercury, and mercury can make your hair brittle and lead to hair loss.
Admittedly, you need to eat a lot of big fish and often before your hair starts to show the effects. But, that might be possible if you live in a coastal area or are otherwise able to eat sushi or fish on a regular basis. The fish that are the worst culprits when it comes to high levels of mercury are mackerel, swordfish, and fresh tuna. Options that contain the omega 3’s your hair needs without extra high doses of mercury include salmon, small fish like anchovies, and canned tuna.
You Eat a Lot of Veggies, But Not a Lot of Protein
In a way that’s similar to skipping meals, leaving certain nutrients out of your diet or not getting an adequate amount of those nutrients, particularly protein, can play a part in your hair loss. People who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet and who take the advice to eat more fruits and vegetables to heart might have the greatest amount of trouble.
While it’s true that vegetables and fruits give you the vitamins and minerals you need for healthy hair growth, they tend not to be very high in protein. That doesn’t mean you have to add meat to your diet to avoid losing your hair though. It’s just a matter of making sure you eat enough plant-based or non-meat based sources of protein.
If you want to avoid any animal products altogether, look to beans and tofu for a protein. You’ll also find protein in some types of vegetables, such as spinach. Broccoli contains the amino acid cystine, which helps your body produce keratin, the main protein in hair. Quinoa, a seed that’s often prepared like a grain, is also a great source of plant-based protein, as it contains all the amino acids your body needs.
You Love Sugar
The occasional slice of cake, bottle of soda or candy bar won’t make your hair fall out. But, continually eating foods that contain a lot of sugar, including foods such as white rice and white bread, can play a part in your hair loss. Years of eating a lot of sugar and simple carbohydrates can lead to insulin resistance and ultimately diabetes. High levels of insulin in the body can also lead to higher levels of androgens, the hormones responsible for male or female pattern baldness.
What you can do about hair loss related to your diet depends on the cause of the hair loss. If high insulin levels have contributed to male pattern baldness, a hair transplant can restore the lost hair on the top of the head. Otherwise, the best option is usually to fix up your diet and wait for the health of your hair to improve.
Figuring out what’s causing the hair loss is the first step. Working with a hair restoration specialist, such as Dr. Kyle Choe, in Virginia Beach, can help. Dr. Choe can zero in on the issue that’s causing your hair loss and offer you advice for taking the next steps. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Choe, call (757) 389-5850 today.