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Can Too Much Sugar Lead to Hair Loss?

Losing your hair can be a distressing experience for young and old alike. It’s important to understand, however, that some degree of hair loss is normal. We all lose around a hundred strands of hair on a daily basis as part of a healthy hair growth cycle, but problems begin when this amount is increased.

Factors influencing hair loss and hair growth can be genetic, but there are many environmental ones too, and most of these are treatable. A GP can help determine the reasons behind your hair loss. These may include stress, menopause or something in your diet that you thought was harmless but which is, in fact, contributing to your hair shedding.

In this article, we’re covering foods that contain an abundance of sugar and examining their impact on hair loss.

Sugar-Rich Foods and Hair Loss

Studies from the National Library of Medicine reveal that carbohydrates can have an impact on the condition of your hair. The study states that “consumption of highly processed foods, rich in simple sugars, is one of the indirect factors causing excessive hair loss. Diet rich in simple sugars stimulates sebum secretion by sebaceous glands.”

The increased amounts of sugar in your bloodstream slows blood circulation, resulting in slower transportation of nourishing elements to the scalp and hair follicles. Excessive amounts of sugar in one’s bloodstream may also cause inflammation of the scalp. This inflammation makes the scalp colder than usual and leads to shedding follicles.

There are plenty of reasons why sugar is incompatible with healthy hair. For a start, sugar contains none of the proteins or vitamins so essential for the nourishment of your strands. If your diet consists of more sugar than proteins and vitamins, your hair will pay the price.

Foods rich in sugar can also alter the levels of hormones that are important for hair growth in both men and women. For example, consuming carbohydrates and other sugar-rich foods increases the amount of testosterone. This leads to the production of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) which is linked directly with hair loss in men.

The consumption of too much sugar can result in both men and women developing a resistance to insulin, which is responsible for controlling sugar consumption inside the body. Research suggests that women with high insulin resistance levels have a greater chance of developing androgenic alopecia hair loss (besides diabetes).

Advice for Regulating Your Sugar Intake

Health experts say: “Added sugars, such as table sugar, honey and syrups, shouldn’t make up more than five per cent of the energy you get from food and drink each day. That’s about 30g a day for anyone aged eleven and older.”

The American Heart Association (AHA) advises that women should reduce their sugar intake to 25g per day (around six teaspoons) and men to somewhere around 36g per day (nine teaspoons). Check the labels of the food you’re buying. You’ll be surprised at the amount of added sugar found in products you purchase every day.

Main Treatments For Hair Loss

More than 40 per cent of women aged 70 or over could be experiencing alopecia or female-pattern baldness. More than 70 per cent of men also experience hair loss in their lifetime, with malnourishment being one of the main causes. But what are the main treatments for hair loss?

Minoxidil and finasteride are found amongst the ingredients in many hair loss treatment products and are mainly used to combat male-pattern baldness. Minoxidil is used to treat hair loss in women in a limited number of cases, but finasteride is used more widely, especially during the pregnancy phase. Medication may lead to childbirth complications, so it should only be used with medical direction.

Creams, immunotherapy and steroid injections can also be used to treat hair loss without causing scarring to the skin. For more serious hair loss conditions and longer-lasting results, hair transplantations have proved successful. Patches or strands of hair are taken from healthy areas and implanted into the bald areas, providing natural, dense hair in a matter of months.

Micro Scalp Pigmentation (MSP) is another way of recreating the effect of dense hair by using pigments that match the colour of your hair to fill the balding areas.

Final Thoughts

Hair loss can be an unexpected occurrence. Our hectic lifestyles are overloaded with stressful events, and we have less time to dedicate to eating well and caring for our hair. Limiting the amount of sugar in our diet will reduce the chances of hair loss due to malnutrition.

If you’re concerned about hair loss, speaking to an informed hair specialist can put your mind at rest. Vinci Hair Clinic is offering a free consultation to all our new clients. Get in touch and book your appointment today!