Foods that Cause Hair Loss: Which Foods to Avoid

foods that cause hairloss

It is a natural process for hair to stop growing. But, when you notice more hair coming out than normal or your scalp feeling sore and tender, it might be time to take a look at what’s going on in your diet. A healthy diet will help combat hair loss by providing the nutrients necessary to keep the follicles strong and nourished. In this post, we’ll list some of the foods that can cause hair loss.


Fish High in Mercury


Some fish like tuna, mackerel and swordfish are higher in mercury than other fish. The main issue with eating these types of fish is that it can lead to the development of a form of hair loss called “alopecia,” which leaves you bald or causes your hair to thin out. Mercury feeds on selenium which is an important nutrient for healthy hair growth, so if you do eat one of these types of varieties then try to add foods high in selenium such as Brazil nuts into your diet.



Drinking too much coffee will cause darkening around the edges and at the top front area where we have our hair roots. Caffeine inhibits blood flow in this location, making those areas weaker and more likely to break off when the hair is pulled.


mint chewing gum

It might be tempting when you’re eating a peppermint patty to lick your fingers afterwards, but that can actually cause excessive dryness and breakage of the roots at the top front area where our hair grows from. The same goes for chewing gum or drinking too much mint tea which will both have this effect on ingrown hairs around your scalp.



Alcohol can cause hair loss because it can lead to a vitamin deficiency in your body. This deficiency is called “alcoholic ketoacidosis” and can cause dryness around the scalp, hair loss, and more breakage of roots at the top front area where our hair grows from.


soda drinks

Sugar is bad for your hair in many ways. Too much sugar can lead to an overproduction of sebum oils on your scalp which will make it difficult for the shampoo to go through and cleanse all the oil off. This leads to a buildup around your roots, causing more breakage when you brush or comb your hair. Plus, too much sugar is also bad because it can cause inflammation in the body which could result in chronic shedding (more than normal).

Foods high in Glycemic Load


Glycemic load is a measurement of how much sugar and carbohydrates are in the food. Foods with more than 20 on the glycemic index can spike your blood sugars which will lead to hair fall because it increases inflammation, weakens your immune system, leads to oxidative stress from free radicals that destroy cells, damages DNA by causing cross-linking between molecules leading to programmed cell death (apoptosis), as well as lowers levels of serotonin production which you need for healthy growth.

Some of the foods that have high Glycemic load are:

  • Corn flakes: 65
  • Pizza: 62
  • White bread: 61
  • Granola bar: 55-65
  • Bagel, brown sugar/currants 59. Brown rice (cooked): 56
  • Baked beans (chickpeas): 54 -57.
  • Cooked oatmeal with raisins: 53.
  • Banana: 52.

Too Much Protein


Protein might sound like a good idea when it comes to promoting hair growth because we know that our bodies need amino acids to grow new tissue but too much can be bad for your hair because proteins cause increased shedding on the same scale.

This is because the hair follicle has a reduced blood supply to it and so when you have too much protein, this can lead to more inflammation around the follicles which then leads to more shedding.

There are exceptions such as fish that contains omega-three fatty acids but in general, make sure your diet includes less than 0.75 grams of protein per kilo body weight.



Eating too much cake can lead to hair loss because high sugar levels can cause your blood vessels to constrict and so less oxygen gets delivered to the follicles.

This means that there is a chance for the cells in the root of your hairs, which are responsible for making proteins needed for growth, would be starved which leads to their eventual death.



High levels of sugar from doughnuts can strip essential nutrients needed by our bodies like zinc and iron which might affect how quickly new hairs grow due to malnutrition if they are not consumed through other sources. This means there’s less



The grease in bacon can lead to oil buildup on your scalp which can lead to clogged pores and hair loss.

Coconut Oil

coconut oil

Coconut oil is an amazing source of healthy fats but too much fat in the diet could prevent protein from reaching your follicles.

Pasta, Bread or Cereals that Contain Gluten

pasta bread

Gluten-containing foods are high in carbs which means if you eat them at night they’re likely to be broken down into sugar by morning – and we all know how that causes breakouts. It also leads to inflammation in your body’s organs including those responsible for hormone production. This means less testosterone will reach the cells needed for growth so it might lead to thinning out of hair.

It is important to keep in mind that while these foods may be contributing factors, they are not the only cause of your hair loss. The best thing you can do is talk with a dermatologist or physician about what could be causing this problem and how it might be resolved. In the meantime, we recommend checking out our list of top hair growth products.