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  • Writer's pictureBruce Salinger

Are These Foods To Blame For Your Hair Loss?

Both men and women usually lose a whopping 50 to 100 hairs every day. This is really only a problem if your body doesn’t make enough new hair to replace the old strands. Can certain foods be responsible for hair loss?

What Foods Should You Avoid for Thinning Hair?

It’s not a question of specific foods triggering hair loss. Instead, your overall nutrition habits can affect hair growth and hair shedding.

High-Carb Foods

There’s nothing wrong with indulging your sweet tooth every once in a while, but filling your diet with junk food, starches and sugar can potentially hurt your hair. These high-carb foods can cause hair follicle inflammation, clog pores, trigger irritation or infections, and limit nutrients for the scalp. Here are a few foods to cut back on:

  • White rice

  • White bread

  • Pasta

  • Candy

  • Syrup and sugar

  • Soda and other sugary drinks

  • Fruit juices

  • Cakes and cookies

Fish That Contains Mercury

Including two or three portions of fish in your diet is healthy, especially fish that contains omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, cod and tuna. Still, you need to be careful with the mercury content. Marlin, swordfish, orange roughy and king mackerel are best avoided. High mercury levels may be linked to hair loss problems.

Fad Diets

When you’re missing the necessary building blocks, hair follicles have a tough time replacing the lost hair. Minor problems can cause thinning, while extreme vitamin deficiencies can lead to rapid hair loss.

Fad diets are notorious for causing this type of vitamin problem. If a diet requires you to eliminate a certain food group, or drastically slash your calorie intake, there’s a good chance you’re missing out on important nutrients.

Too Much Vitamin A or Selenium

Even too much of a good thing, such as the mineral selenium, can be bad for your hair. Going overboard with vitamin A, usually from multivitamins, can cause hair loss and dangerous symptoms. Don’t take more than 25,000 IU a day. Brazil nuts have a lot of selenium, so be careful how many you eat.

What Else Causes Hair Loss?

It’s not always easy to nail down the specific cause of hair loss. Often, several factors contribute to the problem.


Hereditary factors are one of the main causes of excessive hair loss. These genes can cause thinning hair in women and receding hairlines in men.


Sometimes, hair loss is a side effect of certain medical treatments, drugs or immune system disorders. Chemotherapy is one example.

Hair Products

Some haircare products use harsh chemicals, such as tints and bleaching products. Not following package instructions or dyeing your hair too often can make hair strands brittle, irritate hair follicles and lead to a lot of lost hair.


Stress is another common reason for thinning hair. Giving birth, taking care of a sick family member, going through an operation or losing a lot of weight are all situations that can affect your hair.

The things you eat can hurt or help your hair follicles. Choose a balanced diet with plenty of protein, antioxidants, good fats, vitamins and minerals for healthy hair.



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