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4 Diets Most Damaging To Your Hair

UPGUYS > Blog > Hair > 4 Diets Most Damaging to Your Hair
The person who wrote this article

Written by the UPGUYS Editorial Team
Published on June 25, 2023

Are you struggling with hair loss and brittle, damaged locks? It's time to take a closer look at your diet. As the saying goes, we are what we eat, and our hair is no exception. Many popular diets can wreak havoc on our hair health, leading to thinning, dullness, and breakage.

Read more: Tips to stop hair loss

In this article, we'll explore the four worst hair diets and how to avoid damaging your locks. We're also going to cover the following:

Understanding the Connection Between Diet and Hair Health

Hair is an important part of our appearance, and we all want our hair to look healthy and beautiful. However, many of us may not realize that our diet plays a crucial role in the health of our hair. In this article, we will explore the connection between diet and hair health and how certain nutrients can affect hair growth and strength.

To understand why certain diets are harmful to our hair, it's important to know how our hair grows and what nutrients it needs to thrive. Hair is composed of a protein called keratin, which is produced by hair follicles on the scalp. To grow healthy hair, we need a diet rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals.

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How nutrients affect hair growth and strength

Protein is crucial for building strong, healthy hair. It contains amino acids that are the building blocks of keratin, which makes up the structure of our strands. Without enough protein, our hair can become weak and prone to breakage.

Vitamins like Biotin, Iron, and Zinc are also essential for hair growth and strength. Biotin, also known as Vitamin H, is a B-complex vitamin that helps to promote healthy hair growth. Iron is essential for healthy circulation, which is necessary for delivering oxygen and nutrients to the hair follicles. Zinc helps to regulate hormones that can impact hair health and also helps to repair damaged hair.

The Role of Vitamins and Minerals in hair health

A balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals is essential for healthy hair. Vitamin A, for example, helps to keep the scalp healthy by regulating sebum production, which can prevent dandruff and promote hair growth. Vitamin C helps to produce collagen, which strengthens hair strands and promotes healthy growth. Vitamin E is a potent antioxidant that helps to prevent oxidative stress from damaging hair follicles.

In addition to vitamins, minerals like Iron and Zinc are also important for hair health. Iron helps to deliver oxygen to the hair follicles, which is necessary for healthy growth. Zinc helps to regulate hormones that can impact hair health and also helps to repair damaged hair.

In conclusion, a balanced diet rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals is essential for healthy hair. By incorporating foods like lean meats, eggs, nuts, leafy greens, and whole grains into our diets, we can help to promote strong, healthy hair and prevent hair loss.

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The Four Most Damaging Diets to Your Hair

1- The Low-Protein Diet

The first diet on our list is the low-protein diet. Many popular diets, such as the keto diet and the paleo diet, prioritize high-fat and low-carbohydrate intake, often at the expense of protein. While these diets may promote weight loss, they can be detrimental to hair health.

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Why Protein is Essential for Hair Health

As we mentioned earlier, protein is the foundation of healthy hair. Without enough protein in our diet, our hair can become weak and brittle. Protein provides the amino acids necessary for keratin formation, helping to keep our strands strong and resilient.

Risks of a Low-Protein Diet for Your Hair

When we don't consume enough protein, our body turns to other sources of amino acids, such as our hair. This means that our hair can become weakened and may start to break off. Protein deficiency can also lead to hair thinning and hair loss.

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It's important to note that a low-protein diet can also have other negative effects on our overall health. Protein is essential for building and repairing tissues, making enzymes and hormones, and maintaining healthy bones and muscles.

Some research has also suggested that a low-protein diet may increase the risk of certain health conditions, such as osteoporosis and kidney disease. While more research is needed to fully understand the long-term effects of a low-protein diet, it's clear that protein is an important nutrient that should not be overlooked.

If you're following a low-protein diet and are concerned about your hair health, there are plenty of ways to increase your protein intake without sacrificing your dietary preferences. Consider incorporating more plant-based protein sources, such as beans, lentils, and nuts, into your meals. You can also try adding protein powder to smoothies or other recipes to boost your protein intake.

Ultimately, finding a healthy balance of macronutrients is key for both our overall health and the health of our hair. While a low-protein diet may offer short-term weight loss benefits, it's important to consider the potential long-term consequences and make informed choices about our dietary habits.

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2- The Crash Diet

We've all heard of crash diets, where we drastically reduce our calorie intake to lose weight quickly. However, these diets are not only unsustainable, but they can be harmful to our hair health as well.

How rapid weight loss impacts hair health

When we lose weight rapidly, our body goes into survival mode. It prioritizes vital organs such as the heart and brain, taking nutrients away from less essential parts of the body, such as our hair. This can lead to weakened hair strands, hair loss, and a dull, lacklustre appearance.

The dangers of extreme calorie restriction

In addition to hair loss, extreme calorie restriction can also lead to nutritional deficiencies that impact hair health. For example, a lack of essential fatty acids can cause dryness and brittleness, while a lack of protein can weaken hair strands.

3- The low-fat diet

Many popular diets prioritize low-fat intake, often at the expense of healthy fats that our hair needs to thrive.

The importance of healthy fats for hair growth

Healthy fats, such as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, are essential for hair growth and strength. These fatty acids help to nourish the scalp and promote healthy hair follicles, leading to thicker, stronger strands.

Potential hair issues from avoiding fats

When we don't consume enough healthy fats, our hair can become dry, brittle, and prone to breakage. In severe cases, a lack of healthy fats can cause hair loss and scalp issues such as dandruff.

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4- The sugar-heavy diet

A diet high in sugar not only leads to weight gain and other health issues, but it can also wreak havoc on our hair health.

How sugar affects hair health

When we consume too much sugar, it can lead to inflammation in the body, including the scalp. This can disrupt hair growth and lead to hair loss. Sugar can also increase sebum production, leading to oily hair and scalp issues.

Tips for reducing sugar intake

To reduce sugar intake, opt for whole, unprocessed foods such as fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins. Avoid sugary drinks such as soda and juice, and opt for water instead. You can also satisfy your sweet tooth with healthier alternatives such as fresh fruit, dark chocolate, or natural sweeteners such as stevia.


In conclusion, our diet plays a significant role in our hair health. By avoiding these ten worst diets and incorporating nutrient-rich foods into our diet, we can promote healthy hair growth and prevent damage and loss. Remember to prioritize protein, healthy fats, and a balanced intake of vitamins and minerals to keep your locks looking their best!


UPGUYS has strict sourcing guidelines to ensure our content is accurate and current. We rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We strive to use primary sources and refrain from using tertiary references.

This article is written for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information provided in the articles cannot and should not replace advice from a healthcare professional. Talk to your healthcare provider about any physical or mental health concerns or the risks and benefits of any treatment or medication.