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Your diet may be sabotaging your hair health: Here’s how

Hair fall is a common condition that affects millions of people, but it could be your diet that could be the reason why the condition gets worse.
difference between hair fall and hair breakage
Your diet may be sabotaging your hair health. Image courtesy: Adobe stock
Dr Rinky Kapoor Published: 6 Feb 2023, 11:30 am IST
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Hair fall is a common problem that most of us blame on genetics, but that is not true. Yes, losing 50-100 strands a day may be normal but for anything more than that, you need to look into your lifestyle and find the root cause of the problems. Genetics, hormonal imbalance, thyroid, metabolism and other health issues can be the major underlying issues. But sometimes, it is your daily habits too that might be causing the hair fall. Sometimes, something as minor as an itch or an infection of the scalp could be causing hair fall. Here is what you need to do if you want to see less hair on the hairbrush.

Your diet can lead to hair fall

Your diet is responsible for a major part of your health. When the body has enough nutrients in it, the skin glows and the hair shine. There are four ways that the diet might be causing bad hair health.

diet and hair loss
Know how your diet can affect your hair loss. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
  • Crash dieting
  • Yo-yo dieting
  • Improper eating schedules
  • Lack of balance in diet

Junk food with high sugar and carbohydrate content has effects that are difficult to reverse. The same is with crash diets and yo-yo dieting, which deplete the essential vitamin and nutrient intake in the body resulting in hair loss. Your diet should contain lean meats, proteins, vegetables, fruits, seeds, dairy, and whole grains. Keep in mind that hair is made up of proteins, zinc, iron and magnesium and therefore make sure they are there in your food in the right proportions.

Other things that could contribute to hair fall

While diet is a major factor that triggers hair fall, other factors like the following can aggravate the condition and need fixing:

1. Give up on smoking

Cancer is bad news. But did you know that smoking constricts your blood vessels and that includes those under hair follicles which means that they don’t get the fresh supply of blood. Smoking is one of the accelerators of hair loss and hair thinning. This makes hair regrowth harder and slowly the scalp stops replacing new hair. Another downside of tobacco is that it causes ageing which appears as lines and wrinkles on skin and grey hair. Give your hair a helping hand by quitting smoking.

2. Manage stress better

There is good stress and then there is bad stress. We all respond differently to stress. Prolonged stress or chronic stress causes production of hormones such as cortisol and noradrenaline, which in turn pushes the hair follicles in their resting phase i.e., no new hair growth. Eventually the hair thin and fall out. The effects of stress take a few months to appear but they are reversible, all you need to do is to relax, exercise and take control of your stress.

Also Read: This is how stress could be wrecking your skin and hair

3. Protect your hair from pollution and exposure

Pollution takes a toll on the keratin formation. This protein is essential for hair structure. Keratin deficiency weakens hair integrity and causes weaker and damaged hair. Studies have also shown that pollution triggers male pattern baldness. Exposure to dust, fumes and smokes causes mites etc. to stick to scalp causing infection. Simple solution is to wear a hat or a scarf when you are out of the house and using a good hair conditioner.

4. Keep your weight under control

Obesity is big culprit to many health issues and hair fall is also one of them. Obesity messes with hormones and other systems which is never good for the hair. Obesity also puts a strain on the heart leading to high blood pressure which necessitates the need for medications. One of the known side effects of these medications is hair loss. Hence exercise regularly to keep the weight under check.

Also Read: 5 HIIT workouts to power-up your weight loss routine

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weight and hair loss
Keep your weight in check to avoid hair fall! Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

5. Protect your hair from sun exposure and salt and chemical water

Yes, there is sunscreen for hair too! The harmful sun rays affect the hair and can cause it to become brittle and have split ends. Swimming in open water or a swimming pool also damages the hair. The good idea is to get the hair wet at least 30 minutes before you go swimming.

6. Be mindful of the hair wash routine

Hot water is death for hair. Use tepid water and always lather the shampoo on your hands before applying on the scalp. There is no need to massage excessively or with force. Don’t over do rubbing the hair or shampooing too often. Wash your hair tenderly and let it air dry as much as possible.

7. Say no to drugs and steroids

Muscle-building juice strips your scalp. Excessive testosterone causes the hair follicles to become narrow. The hair will age faster and before you know pattern baldness will take over. Just say no to drugs and steroids in any form.

Talk to your trichologist or dermatologist about your hair concerns and use a suitable shampoo and conditioner to keep them in good health. Hair health just like the rest of your body is a consistent effort.

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About the Author

Consultant Dermatologist, Cosmetic Dermatologist & Dermato-Surgeon, The Esthetic Clinics ...Read More

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