Can Poor Diet Cause Hair Loss?

Can Poor Diet Cause Hair Loss?

Can Poor Diet Cause Hair Loss

An individual’s appearance does not merely speak about him or her, but such appearance often bolsters the inherent confidence within the individual. Hair seems to be one important aspect of one’s appearance. While fairy tales and ideal drawings always place dark black, soft & shiny hair on all the images, in the real world most of us are suffering from problems of hair such as Hair thinning, hair fall, and hair loss, often leading to a situation fearing baldness. So what cause such hair problem? It can be stress, use of multiple hair products, prolonged medications or can it be some other reason? Can poor diet cause hair loss?

Can Poor Diet Cause Hair Loss?

Hair is an integral part of the body. Hence, the metabolism of the body would have a great impact on every aspect of the body. Metabolism of the body is dependant on the kind of food we take, amount of fluids we consume, kind of activities we are involved in, and all such essential aspects of our body. Our body requires a balance of everything in order to function effectively and efficiently. Thus, while it requires adequate energy and nutrition from the food that we eat, it also requires adequate physical activity in order to digest the food and maintain the effectiveness of the body and its various body parts.

Food is an important aspect of our existence. While the main purpose of consuming food is to gain energy (Consumption of food leads to generation of calorie and such calories generate energy when it gets burnt due to activity. Such energy thus propels the body to function and work efficiently), food also supplies the essential nutrients for the well being of the human body, and every minute aspect of the appearance of our body, including hair.

However, the pattern of food can also create a bad impact on our body such as there are specific foods which cause hair loss and in fact, can result in increasing such symptoms occasionally. Foods such as fast food and crash diets though have become accepted normally in our regular schedules (given the busy schedules we follow) merely provide the essential nutrient (that too not balanced nutrients) to the vital body parts and neglect the unessential aspects of the body such as hair and nails. Therefore, any misbalance in our diet is first indicated by our hair and nails.

For healthy hair, we need to consume appropriate amounts of protein, zinc, vitamin B, and iron. Such nutrients can only be obtained from the food that we eat since an overdose of supplements are usually associated with various side effects like hair loss. However, it is important to note that even after consuming a balanced diet; it might happen that our hair might not get the vital nutrients since such nutrition would first be absorbed by the essential body organs.

Apart from this, there are certain things we do and certain food that we consume which inhibit the ability of the body to absorb appropriate nutrients from a balanced diet such as smoking.

Though the growth of hair is a slow process and which may take time of a few years, the good thing is that post that phase of growth there is a standing period of few months after which the hair would decay and fall automatically. However, improper care and nutrition can fasten the standing period without proper growth of hair. It is important to understand that there are situations where some hair lost might not grow back right away. However, the positive thing is that hair loss associated with bad and imbalanced diet or deficiencies can be corrected and returned after fixing the underlying cause. Thus, hair loss due to the poor diet can be re-grown once such balance in diet can be brought back soon. The same is also true for hair loss associated with stress, pregnancy, or illness.

Diet to Prevent Hair Loss

In case we want to stop the hair loss and prevent balding, we should include the following our diet.

Prevent Hair Loss with Spinach

  • Sunflower Seeds

    These are known to be rich in the essential nutrient known as Vitamin B5 or pantothenic acids. This enhances blood flow in the scalp and thus enhances hair growth.
Prevent Hair Loss with Sunflower Seeds

  • Salmon

    Salmon has high omega 3 fatty acid content. This nutrient has anti-inflammatory properties and thus can help in reducing hair shedding due to inflammation.
Prevent Hair Loss with Salmon

  • Beets

    Beetroots are high in nitrates which help in improving blood circulation in the body and thus bring the higher content of oxygen into the hair follicles.
Prevent Hair Loss with Beets

  • Oatmeal

    Oats contain beta glucans which are a kind of soluble fiber. Due to high fiber concentration, oats help in improving the sensitivity towards insulin in the body thus preventing balding and hair loss associated with insulin resistance.
Prevent Hair Loss with Oats

  • Chicken

    Polyunsaturated Fatty acids such as Omega 6 Fatty acids, also known as Arachidonic acid (AA), are essential for stimulating the growth of hair and making it healthy and thick. Chicken has a high presence of this essential component. Thus, for people who complain about hair loss after they stopped eating meat, our hair does need that favourite chicken recipe again, just for the sake of our hair!
Prevent Hair Loss with Chicken

Some other essential nutrient rich food having immense benefits for our hair include Eggs, Almonds, Lentils, Red Bell Pepper, Avocadoes, Barley, and Nuts and Seeds. With such information in hand, we are sure we know the answer to can poor diet cause hair loss? And we would surely take the requisite steps to avoid the same.

Reviewed By:

Dr. Kaushal M. Bhavsar (MBBS, MD)

Assistant Professor in Pulmonary Medicine, GMERS Medical College, Ahmedabad