What we put into our body can have a significant effect on the way our hair grows and remains healthy. When we put nutrient packed foods into our body, not only do our insides jump with joy, but our hair follicles praise us by staying strong and shiny. But just as our hair is impacted largely by healthy food, it is equally impacted by unhealthy food. Many people don’t understand the consequences that some foods have on our hair, causing it to thin, or fall out. For those already suffering from genetic disorders such as androgenetic alopecia, these foods can cause way more harm than good.
Below is a list of 4 foods to stay away from when considering your hair health. Some of these are probably obvious, but the rest you might not be aware of. It could be something as simple as cutting one of these 4 foods out of your diet to improve the overall health of your hair. Not to mention, most of these items are not healthy for the human body either. Cutting these out of your diet will be a step in the right direction. Trust me, your hair will be thanking you!
Diet Soda (Aspartame and Hair Loss)
Diet soda was once boasted as a great alternative for those that want to drink soda without all the sugars. But the truth is, diet soda is just as bad for you as regular soda, and even worse for your hair. What makes diet soda bad for your hair, are all the artificial sweeteners. Specifically aspartame, which is linked hair loss. According to the FDA, aspartame can cause hair loss as well as thinning hair. It can also cause arthritis, bloating, depression, and impotency.
You might be asking yourself, “What is aspartame?”. Well, aspartame is an artificial sweetener that is used in diet sodas and several packaged foods. It is said to be approximately 200 times sweeter than regular sugar. Aspartame has two main ingredients, both of which are naturally occurring amino acids. These ingredients are aspartic acid and phenylalanine.
Diet soda, aspartame and hair loss are all intertwined. Your best bet is to avoid it at all costs. If this is difficult for you to achieve, limit the amount of diet soda you drink during the week. By staying away from artificial sweeteners, your hair will have the best opportunity to thrive.
Starchy Whites and Sugars
Starchy whites and sugars need to be avoided just as much as artificial sweeteners. I know, bummer! But if you want your hair to stay strong and healthy, these items should be avoided. Protein is extremely important for your hair, but sugar hinders the absorption of it. So although those sugary treats we know and love are delicious, your hair doesn’t agree with them. Same with starchy whites. Foods like white bread, cakes, pastries, or other over-processed starches are converted into sugar.
Sugar promotes inflammation, which floods the blood, causing a spike in insulin and androgens. It then binds to our hair follicles causing hair to thin and fall out. It’s not a fun time. Consider consuming foods that are whole wheat whenever possible.
Obviously, fast food isn’t a healthy option for your overall health. The same is true with your hair. Although that grease makes for one delicious meal, it’s not so delicious to your body, specifically your skin and pores. Greasy food means greasy skin, and this includes your scalp. This is because the excess oil in these foods is stimulating the oil glands in the body. Essentially, these glands are overflowing with the oil from your french fries you just finished eating.
As your pores become clogged, this can lead to hair follicle miniaturization, restricted blood flow, and clogging of the sweat pores. When the pores on your scalp get clogged, harmful hormones like DHT, a hormone known to cause hair loss, can get trapped, which ultimately leads to thinning and hair loss. Everyone loves a fast food meal every now and then, but try to stay away from these foods as much as you can.
Alcohol might allow for a good night, but it can effect the health of your hair immensely. Alcohol interferes with the absorption of essential vitamins and nutrients, while also dehydrating you in the process. This is what leads to those massive hangovers the next day. Specifically, alcohol slows the levels of zinc in your body, which is a necessary mineral needed for healthy hair and growth.
As previously mentioned, alcohol dehydrates your body. The dehydration can cause your hair to become brittle. This is because there will be a lower production of the natural oils needed to keep your hair strong and healthy. If these natural oils are absent within your hair strands, you could be left with breaking, splitting hair. So in other words, cut back on your nights spent out on the town with friends.
As you have learned, aspartame and hair loss go hand in hand. Don’t let the urge of your daily diet coke suck you in! You are also now aware that you should avoid high sugary foods as well as foods high in fat. Alcohol is another item to cross off of your list. Your hair will thank you for taking precautious measures when it comes to your food intake.
Eliminating all of these items out of your weekly routine can be difficult, especially if you consume them on the regular. But, if you start with small daily goals, it is more than possible! For example, limit yourself to one diet coke every other day. Try eating out only once per week instead of two. Instead of white bread for your sandwiches, make it on wheat. Last but not least, instead of going out to the bar on Friday and Saturday, choose one or the other. Once you have accomplished these goals, you can set new ones. Before you know it, these four foods will be long gone out of your diet.
Take these four foods into consideration during your next meal. It could save the life of your hair, and who doesn’t want strong, shiny, healthy hair? Next up: check out this article for what to eat for thicker, luscious hair!
Aspartame and Hair Loss FAQs
Can aspartame cause hair loss?
According to the FDA, aspartame can cause hair loss. This artificial sweetener is used in diet sodas and some packaged foods.
Can soft drinks cause hair loss?
Diet soda has been linked to hair loss according to the Food and Drug Administration.
What are the side effects of aspartame?
Aspartame can cause hair loss along with arthritis, bloating, depression, and impotency.
Is thinning hair reversible?
Thinning hair can be reversible if you take the necessary steps to improvement. First work on your daily diet and cut out any unnecessary artificial sweeteners and sugars. Focus on foods packed with proteins, vitamins, and minerals.