Thinning hair can be the result of various genetic and lifestyle components, but experts say that your diet really plays the biggest role in your hair’s overall health. That’s because the foods and drinks we consume are responsible for delivering hair-healthy vitamins and minerals to the strands.
In some cases, Dr. Carolyn Jacob says that a person’s diet can be causing hair fall because it contains foods that negatively impact hair growth because they’re too high in fat and sugar or not providing the proper vitamins. “It’s important to make sure you don’t have a lack of something in your diet that could be leading to hair loss,” Dr. Jacob tells Eat This, Not That!, noting that most people experience thinning strands as a result of deficiencies in iron and/or vitamin D or following a diet that is low in protein.
Keep scrolling to find out which foods dermatologists say are affecting your hair’s health and contributing to thinning hair:
Fast food isn't good for your gut, so why would it be good for your hair? The grease in these deep-fried foods can clog the pores in your scalp, causing your hair to fall out.
Too Much Fish
Eating foods that are high in mercury could also be making your hair thin, and fish like swordfish are loaded with it! "The overarching rule (but there are exceptions) is that the bigger the fish is in nature, the higher levels of mercury it has in it. Steer clear of fish like swordfish, mackerel, and even some tuna," according to the experts at Eat This, Not That!
Rich desserts like chocolate cake and ice cream are also seriously harming your hair. Sugar disrupts protein absorption, which is necessary for your locks to grow. If your diet consists of foods that are loaded with sugar, you're hindering the hair's protein absorption.
Starchy White Breads
Anything made up of refined carbs like white bread, white pasta, and other over-processed foods are bad for your hair because they are converted into sugar, which causes your hair to thin due to their lack of nutrients and protein. Research has also shown that a high-glycemic diet can increase androgen levels, while foods low on the glycemic scale can reduce them.
So, what should you be eating instead? Francesca J. Fusco, MD, assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, says that eating a protein-rich diet helps promote stronger, thicker hair.
“Protein is critical to healthy hair,” she tells Health.com. “Lean meat, fish, poultry, and beans are all great sources. Iron is also important; low iron can lead to anemia, which can lead to increased hair shedding. The great news is that with proper diet and supplementation, this type of hair loss is reversible.”
Best Foods to Prevent Hair Loss: