The appearance and quality of your hair are the results of several lifestyle factors, but research suggests that your diet has the biggest effect on them. In fact, dermatologists say that certain foods can break down the vital proteins in your strands and cause loss of shine, breakage, and excessive hair fall.
Dermatologist Jessica Wu, M.D., author of Feed Your Face, lists foods that are high in sugar as the worst for healthy hair and skin because of their effect on blood sugar.
"Eating sweets causes blood sugar to spike," she tells Huffington Post. "As the body pumps out insulin in response to the rise in blood sugar, it also raises levels of androgen, a male hormone that can make the hair follicle shrink in both women and men."
Experts recommend following a nutrient-rich diet that's filled with healthy vitamins and minerals to promote healthier hair.
“Nutrient-rich whole foods like fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats are good for your whole body, and that includes your skin,” Rajani Katta, MD, FAAD, a clinical professor of dermatology at McGovern Medical School at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, says.
If you're looking to make some fast changes to your diet for the sake of your strands, Francesca J. Fusco, M.D., assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, notes that adding some more protein to your plate will definitely help.
"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."