Poor diet and hair loss

General Hair Loss

It has long since been known that to be healthy a good balanced diet and exercise can help prevent hair loss. The hair needs to have a healthy body in order for the essential proteins and nutrients reach the cells in the scalp. Hair loss can be made worse with an unbalanced diet consisting of rich food and alcohol.

Causes of hair loss are wide and varied and not always obvious. There are the genetic causes that form a pattern and can be diagnosed easily. Other causes are not so easy and once unnatural hair loss is noticed, such as excess hair on brush after brushing, professional advice should be sought. Medication, stress, drugs, hormones, hair styles and diet can all have an effect on hair growth and loss.

Each individual requires different levels of vitamins, minerals and proteins so there is not one set diet that will suit all. Some have food allergies that will do more harm than good so knowing what the best diet is for an individual can be found by consulting a dietician.

Too much sugar in the system can cause the breakdown of proteins which are essential to keep the body’s system working properly. Sugar can not only be found in its natural form but is in many of the foods produced. Care should be taken with the amount taken although it is not proven that sugar causes hair loss, if the health in general is suffering then hair will definitely suffer. An alternative to sugar is aspartame, an artificial sweetener. This should be avoided as there has been some research into a link between hair loss and the sweetener and it is thought to cause thinning. Other side effects can include, bloating, depression, arthritis and sex problems.

Refined carbohydrates are low in fibre and high in sugar (biscuits and cakes) and need nutrients to help them digest. This takes some of the nutrients away from other organs and the hair can suffer as a consequence. Eating high fibre and complex carbohydrates will help to stop this and can be found in wholemeal flour and bananas.

Fried foods that are high in fat and hydrogenated oils can increase the testosterone levels which contain DHT which is known to cause hair loss. There is also a suggestion that the hydrogenated oils suppress the fatty acids that are required for healthy hair. Foods high in fat can also be the cause of being overweight and the starting point of diabetes or coronary disease. Being ill puts stress on the body and this in turn will prevent the essential nutrients reaching the hair follicles.

A poor diet is a definite cause of hair loss. The longer the body has to cope with low nutrients and minerals the more it will have to share them around the body’s organs. It will start with the most important organs to ensure blood still circulates and unfortunately hair will be last on the list as the body can survive without it.

Zinc is a mineral that is needed for good hair growth but too much alcohol can rid the body of zinc. Like most things, taken in moderation most foods and drink are acceptable but when taken in excess it can be harmful. Again it is all about a healthy balanced diet along with exercise. There has been much press regarding the overuse of salt in food and products now have to state how much salt it contains. Too much salt is known to damage the blood and can create high blood pressure. Once again, when the body is having to compensate the hair suffers.

There is a lot of interest these days in natural and organic foods. However, not all of these are without their ‘faults’. The colouring caramel, for instance, is sometimes processed with sulphites, ammonia or caustic chemicals and these can be a cause of hair loss. Allergic reactions to some food colourings which are thought to be natural products can be detrimental to health and lead to hair loss.

Once hair loss starts, it can start a chain reaction. It can cause embarrassment to an individual who becomes self-conscience and stressful. This in turn will put the body under more pressure and cause more hair loss.

The moral of this story is obvious. Healthy lifestyle, healthy mind, healthy hair.

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