Having healthy-looking hair helps elevate one’s physical appearance. However, many people struggle with hair loss which robs them of their crowning glory. Hair loss affects both men and women and can be caused by a number of things including diet.

There are foods that promote healthy hair while others that cause the hair to thin and fall off. Additionally, if you were already suffering from hair loss, a poor diet can worsen the condition. Therefore, it’s important to avoid certain foods that affect the quality of your hair.

Here are some foods that cause hair loss.

1.Dairy Products

In its natural state, milk is not harmful at all. However, processes milk contains additives that can affect your general health and the health of your hair. Dairy products raise insulin levels in the body which attacks the hair follicles leading to hair loss.  Additionally, dairy clogs up the pores which prevent healthy hair growth. If you can, avoid consuming dairy products regularly or use dairy substitutes such as oat milk and almond milk.

2. Raw Egg Whites

It seems ironic that eggs, one of the best foods to eat for healthy hair, can also cause hair loss. Egg whites are a nutritious source of proteins which is why many fitness enthusiasts take raw egg whites religiously. However, they can also be harmful when taken excessively. Raw egg whites cause a biotin deficiency thus reducing the production of keratin. This is an essential protein that makes up the hair, skin, and nails. According to MedlinePlus, they carry a substance that binds strongly with biotin and prevents it from being used by the body. Hence, people who consume raw eggs may notice their hair starting to thin and lose colour.

3. Carbonated Drinks

A cold glass of your favourite soft drink may taste good at the moment. However, in the long run, it has serious negative effects on your health. It is especially bad for your hair since high sugar intake from foods such as soda can cause hair loss. Apart from increasing insulin levels, sugar affects the production of testosterone which causes a number of hair issues. It’s important to control the amount of sugar you take. You should also reduce the consumption of highly sugary foods such as sodas to maintain your hair health.

4. Junk Food

Foods that contain saturated fats can clog up the arteries thus preventing proper blood flow to the scalp. This, in turn, leads to hair loss in the long run as it deprives the hair follicles of the necessary nutrients and oxygen they need to thrive. The hair ends up becoming weak and falling off leading to a loss in volume and vigor. Therefore, you should try to minimize your intake of such foods if you want healthy hair growth. You can also massage your scalp to boost blood circulation.

5. Alcohol

Excessive drinking has been linked to several health risks including hair loss. Alcohol affects estrogen and zinc levels in the body which compromises healthy hair growth. High estrogen levels and low zinc levels lead to hair loss. Since alcohol prevents the normal absorption of nutrients in the body, it may lead to zinc deficiency. It also causes hormonal imbalance thus spiking estrogen levels in the body. Another way that alcohol affects your hair is that it causes dehydration. This makes the hair lose moisture, becoming dry and brittle.

6. Foods Rich In Vitamin A

While vitamin deficiencies can cause hair loss, excessive vitamin intake can also be a huge hair loss culprit. Specifically, Vitamin A can lead to toxicity since the body stores any excess. In normal amounts, Vitamin A helps perform numerous bodily functions including hair growth. It protects the hair follicles against damage thanks to its anti-oxidant properties. However, when it’s in excess, it can lead to the development of alopecia which causes hair loss. It’s difficult to have a Vitamin A overdose on diet alone. However, taking supplements can lead to an overdose. Ensure you consult a doctor before taking any vitamin supplement.

7. Fish Containing Mercury

Fish, another hair-friendly food, can contribute to hair loss. Some fish contain higher levels of mercury and consuming them can affect zinc levels in the body. High mercury intake also leads to hormonal imbalance and weakened immunity thus affecting the inner workings of our body. You should, therefore, avoid fish containing high levels of mercury such as tuna and shark. Instead, stick to smaller fish such as tilapia and salmon which don’t contain too much mercury.

8. Carbohydrates

Typically, a normal carbohydrate intake is not bad for your hair. In fact, it’s advisable to eat carbohydrates in order to give the body enough energy to perform normal functions. However, a high carb diet can cause hormonal imbalance thus affecting your health and that of your hair. Foods rich in carbohydrates also contain a high glycemic index, which can break down sugars quickly and cause inflammation. For healthy hair, it’s important to maintain a healthy dietary balance.