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Let’s be clear; it’s highly unlikely that your diet is responsible for your hair loss. The evidence for that is all around you. There are, unfortunately, many millions of people at home and abroad who don’t have a proper, balanced diet, but they don’t all experience hair loss as a result. That’s why the word ‘contributing’ features in the title of this article and not ‘causing’. Hair loss is caused by a combination of genetics, hormonal imbalances, illness, stress and even your haircare practices. But how and what you eat can accelerate or slow down how these factors affect your hair.

Got your attention? Read on to find out more!

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If your diet is not the sole or primary cause of your hair loss, then something else is. The first thing to do, therefore, is to identify the problem. It’s a good idea to speak with a healthcare professional or hair specialist to determine the underlying cause and develop a plan for its treatment or management.

Once you’ve done that, you can focus on the things that could be contributing to the problem. Food is one of those. Understand that it isn’t simply what you eat that matters, but how you eat it. That’s got nothing to do with how you chew your food or hold a knife and fork! It refers instead to your pattern or schedule of eating.

Crash Diets

Crash dieting can contribute to hair loss woes. Done to lose weight rapidly, crash dieting involves severely restricting calorie intake over days or weeks. If this cycle is repeated, the body may not get enough of the nutrients that are essential for healthy hair growth. In the longer term, the lack of these nutrients can weaken the hair shaft and lead to hair loss.

Crash dieting also puts the body under significant stress which can trigger a condition called telogen effluvium. This occurs when a significant number of hair follicles enter the resting (telogen) phase of the hair growth cycle at the same time, causing more hair to fall out than normal. This condition is usually temporary, and the hair typically regrows once the underlying cause is addressed, but it can be distressing.

Yo-Yo Eating

Yo-yo eating, also known as weight cycling, is a pattern that involves repeatedly losing and regaining weight. Just like crash dieting, it can contribute to hair loss by putting the body under significant stress and causing nutritional deficiencies.

Maintaining an irregular eating schedule is a milder form of yo-yo eating. This kind of eating isn’t done to lose weight, but rather as a way of fitting meals into a hectic or disorganised lifestyle. The net effect is the same, however, as skipping meals can disrupt the body’s natural rhythms and lead to nutritional deficiencies. This means that the body doesn’t get the supply of nutrients it needs to support healthy hair growth.

Failing to set time aside for regular meals also gives rise to a greater risk of eating too many so-called fast foods. Takeaway meals or microwaved dinners can lead to an imbalanced diet that is high in sugar, fat and processed foods. It is also likely to be correspondingly low in fruits, vegetables and other nutrient-dense foods, thus leading to nutritional deficiencies and associated hair loss.

What Nutrients Does My Hair Need?

Many of the key nutrients that are important for healthy hair are also vital for your overall good health. Protein heads the list. Remember, your hair is made up of a protein called keratin, so a lack of protein in your diet can contribute to hair loss. Iron is also an important nutrient because it helps to carry oxygen to the hair follicles. A lack of iron in your diet can contribute to hair thinning and hair loss. Vitamins B and D, zinc, magnesium and omega-3 fatty acids are all high up on the list, too.

The above nutrients are found in foods like lean meats, vegetables, dairy products, fruit, nuts, seeds and whole grains. You don’t need to be obsessional about it, but if you incorporate these foods into your diet and follow a sensible schedule for your meals, you will reduce the chances of your diet contributing to your hair loss.

Final Thoughts

If you are experiencing hair loss, you need to speak with a healthcare professional or hair specialist to determine the underlying cause and develop a plan for treatment or management. Dietary changes to ensure that you are getting adequate nutrition to support healthy hair growth can be one aspect of that plan.

Vinci Hair Clinic can help you determine what is behind your hair loss or thinning. We are one of the world’s leading hair restoration organisations with a long-established reputation for providing top-quality service. We offer a free consultation to all our new clients, one that can take place in person or by phone, using photographs. Get in touch and book your appointment today!