Diet and hair loss are frequently linked. While bad foods are rarely a direct cause of hair loss, a lack of vitamins and minerals can exacerbate existing conditions, so it’s little surprise that magazines are frequently rounding up the best and worst foods for hair loss.
But American website EatThis.com has gone one better than most – their writer dug deep and compiled a list of no less than 30 foods that play a part in hair health. “Your hair is hungry – for the right foods!” they write, before kicking off their list of grocery items that are good for your tresses, followed by those that can spell disaster for your hair.
Here are some of the less well-known items they have picked up on:
The idea behind the success of this is that almond butter is crammed with vitamin E – as well as other nutrients that can help keep hair healthy. EatThis point out that a trial on men over an eight-month period some saw their hair grow by as much as 42 per cent after dosing up on vitamin E every day.
Prescribed by Ayurvedic doctors “for glowing skin and hair”, according to the article, these are also known as Indian gooseberries.
This Autumnal and Christmassy spice is said to improve circulation, thus transporting nutrients and oxygen to the scalp and feeding hair follicles.
It’s not just sweet potatoes that are good for your hair but all orange vegetables, say the EatThis team. They state that beta carotene protects against dull hair and helps the scalp to create sebum, and that orange veg is the best place to load up on it.
Fish is frequently recommended for hair health, but the article hones in on halibut in particular because it has plenty of magnesium, “an important mineral for keeping the shine off your dome.”
It’s all about vitamin B9 when it comes to chickpeas, which many of us most commonly eat mashed up in hummus. “A cup of chickpeas packs 1,114 micrograms of B9, nearly three times the RDA” states EatThis.
A small spoonful of marmite contains 25 per cent of your RDA of folic acid – which is also known as vitamin B9. Vitamin B9 helps facilitate red blood cell production, and for that reason is one of the ingredients in Hair Vitalics, Belgravia’s proprietary brand of dietary supplements designed to promote hair health.
Not all fish is created equal, and the EatThis team states that when it comes to hair health swordfish should be avoided as it could contain mercury.
Sugar, alcohol and fast food
The usual suspects. Combined, these can conspire to create clogged up pores, lower levels of zinc (which is vital to healthy hair growth), dehydrate the hair, and lower protein levels. Starchy white flour is to be avoided, too, state the EatThis team, because it can “cause hair to thin.” Sugar has also been found to cause thinning hair in studies.
“This article will be an eye-opening read for many people who aren’t currently concerned about hair health,” says Leonora Doclis, senior hair loss specialist at Belgravia, “and it’s encouraging to see the topic covered on a very mainstream website. People really don’t realise that hair health is so closely linked to diet, and while it would be untrue to say that a bad diet will make you go bald, it’s certainly fair to say that a poor diet can make certain hair loss conditions worse, or can speed up hair loss.”
The condition most frequently brought on by dietary imbalances is Telogen Effluvium. This causes temporary shedding from all over the scalp, lasting up to six months, and can often be improved with a bespoke telogen effluvium treatment course, which uses clinically-proven components to try and halt shedding and encourage new growth.
Whilst temporary hair loss may not sound like much to worry about – and it often isn’t – what can be more of a concern is when this condition, and dietary issues are seen in people with either an existing case of Male Pattern Baldness or Female Pattern Hair Loss, or an inherited predisposition towards these types of permanent genetic hair loss. TE or having a poor diet can accelerate or even bring on thinning hair in both instances and can even present alongside male or female pattern alopecia, meaning you lose hair from all over your scalp which can make it appear as if you are losing your hair quite rapidly.
This is why it is important to at least seek professional hair loss advice as soon as you notice you are shedding more than normal. Not only can a specialist diagnose the cause but, in addition to providing individually tailored hair loss treatment recommendations, they can also provide information on the types of lifestyle changes – including dietary ones – that may further benefit their hair.
The Belgravia Centre
The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.