We all know that achieving healthy and beautiful hair is not an overnight process and is affected by several factors - some of which we have control over. One of those factors that we can control is our diet. Most discourse about hair health focuses on hair products and regimen, but what we consume is actually just as important. We often forget to acknowledge how our diet contributes to our hair health, and how our addiction to sugar specifically, can negatively impact hair growth. Sugar may make life sweeter, but too much artificial or added sugars may be affecting your hair journey.
So, how do sugar and hair growth relate to one another? It has become an accepted concept in the beauty industry that too much sugar is bad for your skin. It can leave your skin prone to breakouts, premature aging, and discoloration. Research has found these effects for your skin and they are widely accepted now, but the relationship between sugar and our hair is not as commonly understood. Sugar has been proven to have negative impacts on the scalp and hair, but the good thing is, you have complete control over how much you consume. Not only that, but changing your eating habits can help your curls reach their full potential directly AND indirectly! April went over the disciplinary aspects of cutting out sugars, and the unexpected bonus effects mindful shopping and consuming will have on your hair.
We have all heard of a sugar rush. This rush gets the name from the way humans have blood sugar spikes after consuming sugar faster than the body can metabolize it, which causes insulin and steroid levels to rise rapidly. Inflammation is also a result of a blood sugar spike.
"When inflammation is constantly driven by high glycemic and high sugar diets, it messes with the immune system and that is where the high sugar diets are coming more into play with hair health," Dr. Apple Bodemer, an assistant professor of dermatology at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, told The Today Show. This process creates a rise in insulin and androgens which bind with follicles to cause hair loss.
When inflammation is constantly driven by high glycemic and high sugar diets, it messes with the immune system and that is where the high sugar diets are coming more into play with hair health
According to Dr. Batra's, a homeopathy clinic that specializes in hair loss, "One study published in the European Journal of Cardiovascular Risk found that women with some markers of insulin resistance have a greater risk for androgenic alopecia (AGA), or female pattern baldness."
Consuming too much sugar will leave you with thinning hair and may be why you aren't experiencing any new growth.
If you are wondering how sugar relates to growth, aside from thinning hair, it is important to note a few things. Excessive sugar consumption can throw off the chemicals inside your body that create hair growth. Remember, healthy hair capable of growing starts with the foods you eat. It should also be noted that there are healthy sugars that are preferred over artificial ones. Any whole food, such as fruits, that have naturally occurring sugar are actually good for your health and hair since they aren't processed. The goal is to avoid artificial sugars, as well as foods or drinks that add extra sugar to the recipe. Gerilyn detailed the hidden sugar issue a little further, and it's a real eye-opener!
The goal is to avoid artificial sugars, as well as foods or drinks that add extra sugar to the recipe.
So, the next time that sweet tooth starts talking, try to satisfy it with a bowl of fruit instead of strawberry syrup on top of ice cream! Here at NaturallyCurly headquarters, a handful of our editors and staff are doing the exact same thing in our No Sugar Challenge.Alex detailed the expected results!.
But don't think restricting sweetners and starches means you'll starve!
Lauren hooked us all up with a list of recipies that are both filling AND compliant in our 2-week challenge! Devri also went into what to expect when you're expecting those sugar withdrawals, and how best to keep your head up in all the sweet sweet madness (and among the friends and family that can and will wave pastries in your face).
Have you been keeping up with the No Sugar Challenge?
Let us know if you're struggling or thriving in the comments!