Foods That May Cause Hair Loss

Hair loss can be caused by a variety of ailments or factors. A professional should be involved when deciding why a person may be losing hair. However, a key problem in hair loss is nutrition. Foods and hair disorders go hand in hand, and there are certain foods you should avoid to prevent hair loss.

A close-up of brazil nuts in their shell.
Credit: sarahdoow/iStock/Getty Images


Selenium is a micro-mineral that the body requires in small doses for its antioxidant properties. According to the National Institutes of Health, adults should have approximately 55 micrograms of selenium a day. On occasion, you can develop selenosis, which is too much selenium in the blood. Although rare in the United States,selenosis has been linked to hair loss. Some foods that contain selenium are tuna, beef, turkey, white rice, and bread. However, the highest selenium containing food is Brazil nuts, which contain up to 544 micrograms in a single ounce. You may want to avoid large amounts of these nuts to avoid any possible hair loss.

High Glycemic-Index

MBP Research points out that foods containing a high glycemic-index have the potential to create hair loss. These foods create a surplus of insulin in the body, which has a negative effect on hair. Foods in this high glycemic-index category include bottled or canned fruit juices, margarine, white rice, and white bread.

Excessive Alcohol

Alcohol used in moderation may not cause hair loss, but the University of Maryland Medical Center suggests that alcohol and other stimulants such as coffee and tobacco be avoided to reduce symptoms of hair disorders. However, there are no specific studies that have proved the link between alcohol and hair loss.


Diet and hair loss are associated with one another, and although it is true you can avoid some foods to battle this dilemma, it is just as important to add certain nutrition to your diet to avoid hair loss. A lack of zinc, iron, and protein have all been linked to hair loss, so eating foods high in this category may be helpful. If you are considering changing your diet, consult with your primary care provider to assure that it does not interfere with any of your current treatment.

Is This an Emergency?

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
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