If your hair has been looking a little flat and lifeless lately, it could be more than just winter hat head. The culprit behind your dull locks might just lie in your refrigerator.
Most of us are pretty superficial when it comes to hair — meaning we try to make our manes more presentable with superficial solutions, like conditioners and hair products. But really, when it comes to a great head of hair, the answer lies within. A poor diet is often the cause of all manner of hair calamities, from greasy scalps to brittle ends.
“Healthy hair is more than just the shampoo you're using,” says Carlene Thomas, registered dietician and author of Healthfully Ever After. “Healthy hair starts with a healthy diet. Eating sugary or nutritionally empty foods edges out the foods that can help you have that healthy hair: quality protein, B vitamins, and healthy fats.”
Some of the best foods you can eat for glossy, healthy hair, according to Thomas, are foods high in Omega 3 fatty acids, which the body needs for energy and cell production. “For glossy locks, don't skip the fat,” says Thomas. “Pick healthy fats like olive oil, fish, nuts, and avocado.”
Skipping meals is actually one of the worst things you can do for your hair. If you’re cutting calories in preparation for swimsuit season, don’t be surprised if you’re rewarded by a dry scalp and a thinning hairline. According to certified hair restoration surgeon Alan J. Bauman, hair loss is common this time of year in what he calls “February Follicle Fallout,” when New Year’s crash dieting leads to mass hair loss in many well-intentioned dieters.
But before you run out and stock up on super hair power foods, be sure to check our list of the foods that damage hair and seriously increase your risk of ponytail days.
Greasy meats like fatty bacon can actually lead to more oil production in the body, especially on the scalp, says Carla Rivera, hairstylist and co-founder of Hair La Vie. It’s best to blot your bacon or, better yet, skip it for leaner protein.
Too much sugar could be leading to more than just trouble with your waistline. According to registered dietician and recipe columnist Michelle Dudash, “Foods with a high glycemic load may be associated with increased sebum production, which can lead to oily skin, and, therefore, oily hair.” Since most candy has a super high glycemic index, your intake could be taking its toll on your hair.