Diet is tied to countless things in the body. Illness, fatigue, and immunity are all easily tied to the food your place into your body. A single indiscretion with your favorite tub of ice cream has the potential to cause digestive upset or a headache. Can a poor diet, then, lead to hair loss or thinning?
The Easy Answer
In a word, yes! Your diet can absolutely have an impact on the health and longevity of your hair. Just as a healthy diet can influence consistent, strong hair growth, an unhealthy one can lead to brittle hair, an itchy scalp, and eventually thinning of hair or loss of it altogether. The factors involved are not quite cut and dry, however; your diet will neither harm nor help your hair immediately.
A Longer Answer
A single meal or a series of indulgences are not enough to permanently or even long-term mar the appearance, texture, or health of your hair. Your diet can play a crucial role in the health of your hair—as well as your skin and nails—but should not be treated as a fast fix-all for your hair care woes. Instead, your diet should be seen as a solid, consistent support for your scalp’s goals.
Long-term, a diet low in vegetables and fruit can lead to nutritional deficiencies that can affect your hair’s growth and loss rates. When your body does not have all of its essential nutrients, the fringe areas begin to fade, so that your body can focus on the more vital aspects of survival. Unfortunately, hair falls under this category, and an extended period of eating poorly can lead to thinning, dull, and damaged hair.
Allergies and Hair Loss
Untreated food allergies can also come into play with hair loss. An undiagnosed celiac, for instance, might experience massive intestinal problems that lead to malnourishment, culminating in hair loss (among other symptoms). An undiagnosed lactose intolerance can affect the body similarly, creating inflammation in the body—scalp included—and damage your body’s ability to follow typical hair patterns.
The gravity of a food allergy may be greater than that of a diet lacking in nutrients, and could result in permanent damage to hair follicles. Chronic inflammation can affect all areas of the body, including the scalp. Prolonged inflammation has the potential to permanently damage your hair’s life cycle and create patches of balding or thinning hair.
Everyday Health. Accessed 10/9/17.
Joy Bauer. Accessed 10/9/17.