You Are What You Eat
You are what you eat – we’re sure you’ve heard of that before, right? While it’s true that your diet plays an important role in the health of your hair, it’s not that simple to determine what’s safe to eat and what isn’t. You see contrary to popular belief, there are many foods that are seemingly healthy that actually aren’t, at least where your hair is concerned. Here are some foods that you should be under your watchlist.
Some of you may have heard that milk proteins are excellent to preserve hair health. Many professionals agree on this and we do too BUT, it must be noted that dairy contains a certain amount of fat in it. What this means is that the fat will increase the testosterone levels in your body and that in turn will cause hair fall.
This is why men who pump their body with testosterones end up going bald (The Rock wasn’t trying to make a fashion statement you know). Now, if you’re a woman you’re not going to become hairy and sound like Morgan Freeman from this small amount of fat, however over time, it can lead to hair fall for you too. Also, if you’re prone to dandruff, eczema or psoriasis then dairy products can exacerbate the problem and turn your scalp into a desert with the odd cacti here and there.
Sugar, what can we say about? It’s a love hate relationship, isn’t it? You know it’s bad for you but you just can’t seem to live without it and so here we are, talking about how sugar is going to cause your hair to slip and fall off your head.
Sugar causes poor blood circulation and that makes it difficult for your blood, with all of the nutrients in it, to reach all the way up to your hair follicles. This in turn will lead to.. you guessed it, hair loss. Excessive sugar intake on the other hand can cause what’s known as ‘scalp inflammation’. What this means is you will have a very cold scalp as a result of very poor blood circulation that is going to be very mean to your hair.
Oh and one more thing, sugar tends to raise the testosterones in your blood and guess what that does?
Ah, how difficult it is for us to just keep our hands away from the fridge that is stacked with oh-so delicious cakes, pastries and that leftover pizza from last night. We know you’re begging us not to say it but say we must – your hair’s going to fall and it’s going to fall because those foods and other such refined carbs block your defence system against stress.
If you’re already facing stress-induced hair fall, shit’s gonna hit the fan real quick. Oh and there’s also the fact that those refined carbs turn into sugar once you consume them. FML right?
Now this is a strange one, isn’t it? Aren’t nuts high in protein and healthy fats, basically the stuff that our hair needs? This is true, however here’s where it gets a little nutty – some people are extremely allergic to nuts and experience a reaction as soon as they consume it while others are only mildly allergic to them. What this means is that they have a somewhat delayed reaction that manifests itself in the form a receding hairline. Yup, it’s definitely a good idea to get yourself tested for any such allergies. Delayed reactions are kinda scary.
Most nuts also contain selenium, which while required in trace amounts, can cause hair fall if consumed in large quantities. Here’s one that’s very high in selenium that you should be careful of – Brazil nuts.
The swordfish, a literal double edge sword that’s high in protein just like every other fish but also the richest in mercury. You see mercury doesn’t play nice when it interacts with the other mineral traces in your body and it’s especially hostile towards poor old zinc. When there’s too much mercury in your body, you experience zinc deficiency and what happens when you’re low on zinc? Hair thinning and hair fall. Watch out for Mackerel and Tuna too as they’re up there with swordfish in mercury content.
Regardless of whether you’re a man, woman, child or transgender, there’s just no avoiding this staple food that’s very much a part of our way of life. The flavour and texture that grease adds to our foods make it so irresistible that we keep lying to ourselves by saying just a little more won’t hurt.
Why is that a lie you ask? Well, here’s what grease does to your body – your scalp releases an oily substance called sebum that provides moisture to the skin on your scalp as well as your hair. However, when your body is high on grease, sebum tends to get greasy too and when sebum gets greasy, your hair will start looking like you came out of a mud bath, well maybe not that bad but you get the point.
What’s more, when the grease starts covering your hair follicles, it becomes difficult for your hair to grow and when that happens, you’ll be losing hair faster than you’re able to grow them. Now that is scary but fear not – regularly cleansing your hair with shampoo will mitigate the problem. Read that we said mitigate and not solve the problem so do watch your grease intake.
Oh this is a tough one – readily available wherever we are, sometimes we don’t even have a choice but to gulp one down, all thanks to Coke and their buddies for making carbonated drinks a thing. What seems like a harmless drink in their ads isn’t as harmless as they’re trying to portray.
Carbonated drinks interact with the insulin in your blood in such a way that it makes it less responsive to sugar. This leads to an increase in sugar in your bloodstream which then hampers your blood circulation and lowers the nutrients supplied to your hair follicles. When your hair doesn’t get its nutrients, it gets weaker and falls of your head. Moral of the story – stay away from carbonated drinks!
It sure does seem like we’re targeting everything under the umbrella of staple foods, aren’t we? Arguably the mother of all drinks, there’s nothing quite like alcohol when you’re trying to light up a party but unfortunately, it’s just not hair friendly. Alcohol dehydrates your hair and once your hair doesn’t have the moisture it requires, it becomes brittle. Next thing you know, your hair’s cracking and falling like the withered leaves on a tree.
To make matters worse, alcohol also diminishes the zinc levels in your body and as we’ve mentioned before, zinc is your hair’s best friend. In short, keep the drinking to a minimum.
And that’s it #SENAbabe & #SENAdude. We hope that you’ve learnt a thing or two from this article. Now don’t be alarmed by the list – it’s okay for you to consume any of them for as long as it’s done in moderation. Just don’t get carried away, especially when you’re in a social gathering. With that we bid you adieu.