How Your Diet May Be Contributing To Hair Loss


We know there are several contributing factors to hair loss. Heredity, hormonal changes, and stress are just a few. We also know the link between the food we eat and our physical and mental health. However, we now know a high-fat diet could be another contributing factor in hair loss.  

Hair loss, for men or women, can be a sensitive topic. It’s often treated with topical medications, oral medications, or lifestyle adjustments. Sometimes with minimal thinning, you can use tricks or products to help fight hair loss. But, if you have a diet high in fat, it could be time to take a look at how your diet might be affecting your hair.

A 2021 study found that a high-fat diet actually accelerated hair loss in mice by targeting hair follicle stem cells. And the longer the mice ate a diet high in fat, the more hair follicles were targeted causing eventual hair loss.

A diet high in fat might consist of regularly eating red meat, fried foods, processed foods, and packaged desserts. Pastries, burgers, fried chicken, sausage, and ice cream all fall into that category. These are some foods that contain high quantities of saturated and/or trans fat. It’s a bummer, we know.

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But, you don’t have to completely rid yourself of all of these treats. It’s probably wise not to eat all of them every day, though. We do believe food is morally neutral. But we also know that diet can affect your health. Diabetes, high cholesterol, chronic inflammation, and heart disease (and hair loss) can all have a detrimental effect on your life, so what could you eat instead?

Eat This Instead

Healthy foods - seeds, nuts, beans, broccoli, cucumbers, apples, avocado, tomatoes
(New Africa/Shutterstock.com)

Diets high in “healthy” fats and other essential vitamins can help you retain hair follicles, thereby, preventing hair loss. Avocados (the poster child for “healthy fats”), grilled chicken, green leafy veggies, legumes, and nuts are all great sources of hair-protecting compounds.

Here’s a non-exhaustive list of foods that can help slow the process of hair thinning and loss.

  • Greek yogurt
  • Fish, like salmon or mackerel
  • Berries
  • Eggs
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Peanut Butter
  • Lentils
  • Carrots
  • Brazil nuts
  • Oranges
  • Chia seeds
  • Chickpeas
  • Oysters
  • Flax seeds
  • Sweet peppers

Of course, eating some foods from the other categories occasionally shouldn’t cause hair loss. It’s all about a balanced diet. But, we recognize many factors go into eating a balanced diet. Some people don’t have access to nutritious foods. Adding in what you can, when you can is beneficial. Propagating vegetables and starting a small container garden could be a way to get in some extra veggies.

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