7 Foods to Avoid If You’re Trying to Grow Longer Natural Hair
By Jacqueline Samaroo
It’s pretty safe to assume that any foods that are good for the rest of your body are good for your hair, too. In that case, you might be surprised by a couple of the entries on the list of foods to avoid for the sake of your natural hair.
Here are seven foods that can stand in your way on your journey to healthy, longer hair.
You already have plenty of good reasons to avoid excess or added sugar and now you can add hair loss to the list. Why? It’s simple, really: your hair is more than 90% protein and sugar interferes with protein absorption. It does this by increasing your androgen (male hormone) levels. One androgen, called DHT, affects natural hair growth and is a major player in male-pattern baldness.
Over-processed and refined starches are easily converted to sugar in the body. That brings us right back to the sugar problem we just spoke about. Avoid white rice, white flour, white bread, and most cereals. Go for whole-grain options, instead. They are much better at helping you to grow longer natural hair.
Some kinds of fish
Hair loss is among the health issues linked to mercury exposure. Fish, in particular, large fish, is the main way we are exposed to mercury. Swordfish, tuna, king mackerel, and shark are the major culprits and the FDA advises that we should avoid some of these altogether. Others should be limited to just one 4-ounce serving per week. You can check out the FDA’s recommendations here.
Junk food tends to be greasy food that’s chock full of unhealthy fats and oils. Among the many ways in which junk food is bad for your hair is that the grease from these foods can end up as grease on your scalp. All that excess grease clogs up your pores, affecting hair health and natural hair growth.
The problem with sodas is twofold. In the first instance, they tend to be quite sugary. Since you have read this far into the article, you already know how high sugar intake affects your hair. In the second instance, sodas are acidic and acidic foods can lead to hair that is both dry and brittle. It is next to impossible to grow longer natural hair if you have persistent breakage.
Alcohol isn’t food but if you consume it like it is one, your hair will suffer. Heavy alcohol consumption usually means less real (nutritious) foods are being eaten. This can cause a deficiency in several nutrients, one of which is zinc. Your hair needs zinc for keratin formation. Continued low levels of keratin can cause underdevelopment of hair follicles.
Excess vitamin A and selenium
Your body needs both vitamin A and selenium. Vitamin A is needed for healthy natural hair growth as well as for good eyesight and maintaining the immune system. Selenium is an important micronutrient that is vital for metabolism and thyroid function. Having either one in excess, however, has been proven to cause hair loss.
Growing longer natural hair doesn’t need a radical change in your diet. Each of us already has a good idea of what is good for our bodies and, by extension, good for our, hair. What’s important to remember is that moderation is the key. Enjoy healthy whole foods that are good for your hair in the bulk of your diet. Strive to limit foods that are bad for your hair, like the ones above, as much as you can.
Happy healthy hair journey!
Have you noticed how your natural hair reacts to different foods? Tell us about it!