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Can dieting cause hair loss?

In case you are dieting and have any side effects such as hair fall or even headache, nausea or vomiting, then report them to the doctor without any delay," said Dr Rinky Kapoor, consultant dermatologist, cosmetic dermatologist and dermato-surgeon, The Esthetic Clinics

dieting causing hair fallDepriving yourself of essential nutrients while dieting can cause hair fall. (Pic source: Getty)
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On their weight loss journeys, many people skip certain foods and include many others in their diets. While these modifications may yield results when it comes to losing extra kilos, do they also have an impact on your hair? Turns out, they do, something Mohita Mascarenhas, a nutritionist and YouTube influencer explained in an Instagram video. So, if you are also on a weight loss spree and have been experiencing unexplained hair fall, you are at the right place.

Why dieting causes hair loss

In her video, Mascarenhas explains the causes:

1 Most people try eating as little as possible to lose weight quickly.

2 People, often, also cut out rice, roti, potatoes, ghee, and fruits like a banana from their diet, without consulting a dietician.

3 Many people fall victim to intermittent fasting and fad diets like Keto, detox etc. These methods drastically restrict food and calorie intake. As a result, over a period of time, the body doesn’t get enough macro and micronutrients, thereby causing hair loss.

Dr Rinky Kapoor, consultant dermatologist, cosmetic dermatologist and dermato-surgeon, The Esthetic Clinics, agreed and told indianexpress.com, “Yes, your eating habits can induce hair loss. That is because there is a connection between diet and hair loss. If you are following a calorie restriction diet — one where you are restricting your calorie intake and hence, may not be getting enough essential nutrients like protein, fatty acids, and zinc — it can lead to deficiencies of these nutrients and cause hair loss, called telogen effluvium. Hence, many people complain of hair loss after initiating any type of restricted diet”.

Can you lose weight without suffering hair fall?

Mascarenhas shares three ways for the same:

1. Don’t try to lose weight quickly. Be in moderate deficit, not more than 500 calories.

2. Consume an adequate amount of protein. 1.5 to 2 kg of protein per kg body weight is ideal

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3. Make sure to include a variety of grains, legumes, dairy products, seasonal fruits, nuts, and seeds in your diet.

 


“It is imperative to opt for a well-balanced diet, one that includes anti-inflammatory and plant-based foods, to prevent hair fall. Make sure you get your daily dose of proteins, vitamins, and minerals. Also, make sure to stay away from following any crash diets. Consult an expert to choose the right foods. In case you are dieting and have any side effects such as hair fall or even headache, nausea or vomiting, then report them to the doctor without any delay,” Dr Kapoor added.

Food to prevent hair loss

Mascarenhas also shared an exhaustive list of food items that are good for your hair. They are:

  1. Protein sources like chicken, fatty fish, dairy, legumes, tofu, and eggs.
  2. Dark green leafy veggies
  3. Sweet potato, pumpkin, carrot, bell peppers, broccoli, beetroot, amla
  4. Citrus fruits, berries, guava, orange, bananas
  5. Nuts like coconut, almonds, walnut, cashew, peanuts, and Brazil nuts.
  6. Seeds like pumpkin, black sesame, flax, sesame, sunflower, and aliv/haleem seeds.
  7. Adding curry leaves, kalonji (nigella seeds), methi seeds in your meals is also very beneficial.

 

These foods make sure you get enough protein, omega 3’s, vitamins A, B especially biotin, b12, C, E and D and minerals like iron, zinc and selenium. Take an omega-3 supplement if you don’t eat fish.

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First published on: 23-01-2023 at 13:20 IST
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