We’ve all heard about the effects on added sugar on our waistline, liver health and gut, but did you know the sweet stuff could also be messing with your locks? Here are a few ways excess sugar consumption can wreak havoc on your hair.
Sugar is a scarily common ingredient in all manner of processed foods and drinks – from your loaf of bread to your strawberry yoghurt tubs. Many of us are more than familiar with the addictive nature of the sweet stuff, so if you’re looking for another reason to quit added sugar – keep reading. It turns out, consuming too much sugar can have negative effects on your hair health – here’s what it’s doing.
Consuming too much sugar can cause inflammation throughout your body, and this includes your scalp! We often think of the gut when we think of inflammation, but every part of our body is affected – this is because circulation and lymphatic flow can be affected around the scalp area, thereby affecting your hair health as you may experience an increase in dry skin, nutrient malabsorption in the hair, irritation and dandruff.
Increases risk of hair loss
Excess sugar consumption can wreak havoc on our insulin function, which has a knock-on effect on our other hormones and gut health – and as we mentioned above, inflammation sets in. We also know that high insulin levels that occur with sugar spikes can also lead to increased androgen production – this includes hormones like testosterone – which can contribute to hair loss.
Affects hair texture
A diet high in added sugar can also affect the texture of your hair – it’s not all about hair loss! The chronic inflammation that can come with a high-sugar diet can cause your hair to become dry and brittle, making it prone to breakage, split ends and roughness.
Reduces nutrient absorption in the hair
Excess sugar intake can also lead to a reduced absorption of essential vitamins and minerals that play a role in healthy hair. Regardless of the quality of shampoo you use, our hair relies on a good dose of nutrients that come from a balanced diet – without this, we can end up with weak, thin hair.
Damages hair follicles
Excess sugar can cause a process known as glycation, where sugar molecules bind to proteins in the body. This can affect anything from our internal organs to our skin – also known as sugar sag, many people experience changes in their skin health after a long-term high-sugar diet. But hair is an unexpected victim of glycation, with hair follicles often damaged, resulting in hair loss, thinning and frailty.
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