We know that too many sweets will rot your teeth, but could sugar be the reason for your thinning hair?
Could there be a connection between the amount of sugar one consumes and their hair loss? One medical professional seems to think so. European based dermatologist and medical director of Harklinikken Panos Vasiloudes is of the opinion that sugar could be the culprit for your thinning hair.
A rapid glucose spike in the blood causes an overreaction by several hormones, most notably insulin and steroids. The result is a roller coaster of sugar peaks and valleys; that is abnormal high and low levels of glucose, insulin, steroids, adrenaline, testosterone and numerous other hormones,” explains Dr. Vasiloudes. “The blood sugar spikes are detrimental to the physiologic hair cycle in two major ways. First is the direct damage that rapid blood sugar changes are causing to the hair. I call this ‘direct nutritional shock.’ Second and most important, is the indirect damage caused by the fluctuation of hormones like insulin, cortisone, adrenaline, testosterone and DHT. I call this ‘indirect endocrine shock.’ Both of these shocks can result in significant generalized hair thinning.”
The effects of this over-indulgence of sugar is slightly delayed, that is today’s cookie or candy bar won’t cause you to wake up bald. But if you have a sweet tooth, you could wake up one day as a bald or thinning individual and have sugar to blame. “Patients of mine may not even realize they have this problem until they notice their hair band going around their ponytail four or five times when it used to only fit around twice a few years ago.” Says Dr. Vasiloudes.
What’s the deal with sugar?
Why is sugar to blame? In a word: inflammation. Dr. Francesca Fusco, a New York based dermatologist, says “too much sugar leads to inflammation; no the visible swelling we think of, but on a cellular level.” When people of think of scalp care they often just think hair, however, scalp is skin and is susceptible to the negative effects that inflammation can have on the scalp and one’s hair. Dr. Fusco says that inflammation can occur as a “result from too much processed sugary foods.”
A healthy Lifestyle = great hair.
One of the keys to growing healthy, strong hair is to engaged in a healthy lifestyle. Through proper nutrition and a clean, healthy diet the effects of sugary diet can be reversed. “Everyone should recognize the power of eating real food and can use diet as a powerful weapon against thin hair,” says Dr. Vasiloudes. Getting into a good habit of eating right can increase your chances of having thick, healthy hair, among a plethora of other healthy and lifestyle benefits.
Crash dieting or going to the extreme in attempt to cut out all sugar isn’t necessary the answer. Studies have been conducted proving that (in most cases) the results from a crash diets are rarely sustained. Furthermore the entire ‘cold turkey’ approach can be incredibly difficult. It’s biting off more than one can chew (no pun intended), thus setting the individual up for failure and discouragement. Rather, take small steps that lead to new habits and then healthy living and eating just becomes apart of the daily return.
The problem with sugar is the empty calories. What does that mean? Virtually everything we eat and drink is measured in calories. ‘Empty calories’ implies that the food/drink/ingredient has no nutritional value, meaning your body gets nothing from it in the long run. In sugar’s case, all we get is the fleeting sweet sensation of the taste. But that’s it. We get no nutritional value from which our bodies can put to work for itself (protein, fiber, fats, carbs, etc.).
In addition to limiting sugary and processed foods, Dr. Fusco recommends that clients drink plenty of water, get plenty of sleep, and exercise. Exercise and hair preservation? Exercise helps the body process the sugars that we do end up consuming, so it helps in the long run.
Start today by making better decisions with your snacks and those small steps can lead to saving your hair for tomorrow.