8 unhealthy food habits that lead to hair loss

  • By: srtmorar
  • Date: January 24, 2024
  • Time to read: 3 min.


A lot of your hair health heavily relies on what you eat. Give up these unhealthy food habits that may lead to hair loss.

As the adage goes, “You are what you eat”. This applies to our hair health too. When you consume food, you do not just feed your stomach or satiate taste buds, but also your hair and skin. As surprising as it may sound, if you have unhealthy eating habits, they will reflect in how your hair looks and feels. Hair loss or hair thinning is a common issue these days as a result of tedious lifestyles, excessive stress and unhealthy eating habits. If hair loss is a constant concern for you, start making healthier food choices and put nutritious ingredients on your plate.

Unhealthy food habits that can cause hair loss

As food provides essential nutrition for the proper functioning of the body, it does so for hair as well. Here is a list of food habits that may lead to hair loss, says cosmetologist and trichologist Dr Priti Mahire.

1. Having excess vitamin A

Having an excess of everything is bad, and essential vitamins are no exception. Vitamin A is essential for hair and eye health but excess of this can contribute to hair loss.

food habits that may lead to hair loss
Unhealthy foods have little or no nutritional value, and can lead to hair loss. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

2. Eating too much fried or greasy foods

There is a link between fats found in fried foods and an increase in dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and testosterone levels, a hormone which leads to male and female pattern baldness. Deep fried or greasy foods do not have healthy fats which in turn contribute to hair loss. Also when you consume food cooked in high temperature, it increases the oxidative stress of the body, leading to inflammation which eventually leads to hair fall.

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3. Having foods with high mercury levels

Some fish variety such as mackerel, sushi, swordfish and certain tuna are high in mercury. High levels of mercury are associated with hair fall. So, watch what you eat!

4. Low protein diet

Proteins contain amino acids necessary for hair growth. Hair follicles need a constant supply of proteins to grow and function properly. Deficiency of protein leads to hair thinning, hair loss and brittle hair.

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5. Consuming foods high in glycemic index

High glycemic foods break down into sugar too easily. This increased sugar increases the insulin and androgens in the body, adversely affecting hair health, says the expert.

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Also read: 7 bad food habits you need to break right about now

6. Eating foods rich in processed sugar

Consuming high levels of processed sugar leads to an increase in insulin, which shrinks the hair follicles leading to early hair loss. It is best to avoid bakery items and packaged foods as far as possible.

food habits that may lead to hair loss
Say no to these unhealthy food habits to boost hair growth! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

7. Low intake of zinc and iron

Zinc and iron help in the formation of keratin, which is essential for hair health and growth. Low intake of these nutrients has adverse effects on hair. Zinc is an essential trace mineral that our body can’t produce on its own, and we must consume it in the right quantity through our eating habits. Know zinc-rich foods for hair growth. A diet deficit in iron can lead to anaemia, which hinders the supply of nutrients to hair follicles and can interrupt the hair growth cycle.

8. Calcium deficiency

Calcium also plays an important role in maintaining healthy and lustrous hair. Deficiency of calcium leads to hair loss and hair thinning.

Healthy foods for hair growth

Experts recommend that for healthy and lustrous hair, you must include foods such as paneer, yoghurt, beans, seeds, nuts, eggs, walnuts, green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, whole grains, peanuts and lentils.


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