5 bad eating habits that can cause hair loss, according to a dietitian

5 bad eating habits that can cause hair loss, according to a dietitian

A number of factors can contribute to hair loss, some of which are genetic and some of which are lifestyle related. Although we can’t do anything about our inherited traits, our day-to-day lifestyle choices, including our eating habits and vitamin intake, can all be changed in ways that reduce the potential risk of hair loss.

Historically, research has shown a correlation between diet, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, and hair loss, noting that when these entities are able to effectively drive standard cell development and functionality, the more possibilities there are. to potentially treat hair loss. That said, there is still much to learn about the exact role diet can play in hair loss and thinning, and even the best diet may not be able to replace genetics in all cases. However, poor dietary habits can thwart any efforts to improve thinning hair or restore luscious locks to their former glory.

It is important to follow a well-balanced diet to promote the health of your hair. To help you avoid the bad and focus on the good, here are five bad eating habits that can lead to hair loss. And for more information on specific foods to avoid for hair loss, be sure to also read The Worst Food to Eat for Hair Loss, Says Dietitian.

calorie restriction

sad woman eating lettuce, food restriction concept

If you regularly consume fewer calories, hair loss may be one of the side effects. Calories fuel your body from daily movement and exercise to the energy needed to grow hair follicles. We all have a base number of calories that we need each day to meet our minimum needs. If your intake falls much below that, you could be jeopardizing a wide variety of bodily systems. In fact, crash diets and other forms of restrictive eating have been proven to cause side effects such as hair loss. Although the relationship between energy consumption and hair loss is not fully understood, the lack of nutrient intake associated with a low calorie diet may be to blame.

Inadequate dietary protein

When calorie consumption is too low to support basic functions and energy needs, protein intake is likely to be too low as well. Protein can aid in the repair, growth, and maintenance of body tissues, including hair. This macronutrient also plays a role in fluid and pH balance in the body. Keratin is the main form of protein that structures hair, and the protein you eat in your diet is used to produce this keratin. When dietary protein intake is too low to support hair growth, hair quality may be reduced and hair loss is more likely to occur.

Zinc deficiency

Zinc is a mineral that helps more than 100 enzymes perform their functions. It plays a role in supporting the immune system, making DNA, repairing tissues and building proteins. With such functions, zinc deficiency can manifest in many ways in the body. Alopecia, or hair loss, is a known side effect of zinc deficiency, likely due to zinc’s role in building proteins. Fortunately, in some studies, zinc supplementation following deficiency hair loss appears to promote hair regrowth.

Iron deficiency

Another mineral with many functions in the body is iron. The best-known role is to help maintain blood health and help red blood cells (RBCs) carry oxygen throughout the body. When an iron deficiency becomes severe enough, it can impact the ability of red blood cells to carry oxygen properly, and tissues, including hair, can be impaired. A 2013 study looked at the relationship between iron deficiency and hair loss, and the results suggest that iron may play a bigger role in hair loss in women than in men. Although the men in this study also suffered from hair loss, less than 23% of them also had low iron levels. This study notes that a blood iron screening may be helpful for people with hair loss.


vitamins and supplements

Although insufficient intake of calories and dietary nutrients can lead to hair loss, excessive supplementation can also lead to hair loss. Consuming too much selenium, vitamin A, and vitamin E has been linked to hair loss, as well as other toxicity-related complications. A study that notes this side effect resulting from oversupplementation also points out that excessive intake of dietary supplements is not recommended in the absence of a deficiency. With this information, it is best to speak with your doctor and have your blood tested before starting supplements in hopes of reducing hair loss.

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