Sugar is sweet and can be found in many of our favorite treats. Yet we know it isn’t the sweetest thing for our overall health. If you’ve been experiencing hair loss, there may be a chance that excess sugar is to blame. Research is increasing around the correlation between too much sugar and alopecia. Sugar is already closely associated with diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. But how are sugar and hair loss related?
Sugar is not only found in sweet treats but also in many processed foods in the form of high fructose corn syrup. You can also find sugar in refined grains. When we eat sugar, our body converts it into glucose. Insulin comes into play to manage the glucose and get it where it needs to go throughout the body. As you consume more and more sugar, your body is more likely to resist insulin. Therefore, sending your body into overdrive to produce more insulin to remove the excess sugar. Sounds taxing, right? Well, if you have high blood sugar levels, you can see a little inflammation of your scalp and varying degrees of hormone levels.
Now, back to hair loss. It is a significant blow to the self-esteem of many men and women today. However, research shows a link between high insulin resistance and potential hair loss problems.
Ways Excess Sugar and Hair Loss are Related
When your hormones are out of whack, they’re more likely to contribute to excess shedding. As you shed hair, your scalp may begin to thin. This is because the natural regrowth cycle of your hair has been disrupted, and it may take a little longer for hair to grow.
As we age, we’re already prone to hair loss due to genetics, medications, and various other factors. But one thing we may forget is that our metabolism also decreases as we age. Therefore, if we’re not eating a well-balanced diet and exercising moderately, it doesn’t take much to cause a spike in blood sugar. Remember, hair is mainly protein. Sugar is considered a carbohydrate. Hair doesn’t regrow as quickly when the balance between protein and carbohydrates tips toward carbohydrates.
Too much sugar can lead to glycation, which can cause the proteins in your hair to break down. This can speed up the aging clock on your hair follicles, even making them disintegrate.
It is worth mentioning that chronic stress can also take its toll on your hair. And if you’re an emotional eater, you may be reaching for sugary comfort foods to manage your stress. This is like a double-edged sword. On one end, your body is trying to manage your flight or fight response and the spike in cortisol due to stress. On the other end, you are consuming excess sugar your body needs to process effectively.
This is especially true for hair loss in women. Elevated blood sugar levels inhibit blood circulation, which is essential for the hair growth cycle. When blood isn’t getting to where it needs to go, hair growth is stunted, and weakened strands are produced. Weak strands break and shed easily, contributing to hair loss. High blood sugar wreaks havoc on your precious hair follicles.
Treatment for Hair Loss
Don’t pull your hair out, literally. There are many options for hair loss treatment available, including things you can do on your own.
Let’s take a look at your diet first. As frustrating as it can be to hear the words “eat better and exercise more,” the combination of these two actions might be the only treatment you end up needing. You will want to replace refined sugars and processed foods with fresh, whole foods and lean proteins. Your hair loves protein, which you can get from almonds, chia seeds, poultry, and fatty fish. Your hair also needs Vitamin E, Vitamin D, and trace minerals such as iron, magnesium, and selenium.
When it comes to the Vitamin B complex, biotin is a significant nutrient that supports hair growth. To incorporate more biotin into your diet, eat whole eggs, avocado, sweet potatoes, salmon, and nuts.
Another hair loss treatment you can try is exercise and stress management. While these two things are easier said than done, exercise can promote circulation and combat obesity as well as insulin resistance, thus making sugar a little less dangerous. Don’t forget to hydrate with water too! Additionally, exercise releases feel-good hormones, which are great for stress reduction.
Also, avoid crash diets and juice cleanses. These can shock your system, just like excess sugar. You want to make changes that you can maintain instead of trying a quick fix. Sustained hair growth requires sustained treatment.
Beyond the Home
If lifestyle modifications aren’t enough, there are additional ways to approach hair loss treatment. Perhaps the most common is Rogaine, a medication designed to support hair regrowth in both men and women.
If you’re looking for a non-evasive procedure that can restore hair growth with no chemicals, look no further than platelet-rich plasma (PRP). PRP is a concentrated source of growth factors found in your body. A practitioner takes a sample of your own blood and uses a centrifuge to separate the growth factors from the rest of your blood. Then, your practitioner will inject your PRP into areas of baldness on your scalp. PRP regenerates the dermal papilla cells in the scalp tissue and boosts the growth of blood vessels in your skin. This triggers a natural regrowth of hair.
The first thing you will notice after treatment is a reduction in shedding. As the treatment works and your natural hair growth cycle occurs, you will gradually experience fuller hair and less noticeable baldness patterns on the scalp and crown of the head.
Since you’re only using your own blood, the risk of side effects is minimal. The procedure is safe, effective, non-evasive, and natural.
Figuring Out What is Best for You
If you’ve noticed increased shedding, baldness at the crown of your head or temples, or splotches of bare skin on your scalp, you may want to talk to a professional to determine the best course of treatment. At First Impressions Rejuvenation Clinic, all practitioners are seasoned professionals who will take the time to discuss your haircare goals, concerns, needs, and treatment options. Consider booking a consultation today, you won’t regret it.
Hair loss is a natural part of life; however, excess sugar can be partly to blame. Work to create a healthy diet with whole foods and vibrant fruits and vegetables. By limiting excess sugar, you’ll be doing your body a favor from the crown of your head to the tips of your toes. You look your best when you feel your best!
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