While most hair loss is caused by genetic factors, your lifestyle and diet choices can also have an impact on the health of your hair. Take salt, for instance. In addition to contributing to a host of medical problems, including high blood pressure and heart disease, too much sodium in your diet can lead to hair loss.
Salt and Hair Loss
High levels of salt can be toxic to hair, as sodium deposits can build up around the hair follicles and prevent important nutrients from entering your follicles. When your hair follicles don’t get these nutrients, hair loss can gradually occur.
Potassium and Hair Loss
Potassium is an essential mineral that facilitates electrical and cellular functions in the body. While it’s absolutely crucial for the proper functioning of your heart, kidneys, and other organs, it’s also important for hair growth. One of the ways your potassium levels can be depleted is through urination. High salt intake can lead to increased urination, which can reduce your potassium levels.
If your diet is high in salt, it’s important to increase potassium in your diet through foods such as bananas and whole grains, or supplements. Having a balanced mix of potassium and sodium can help prevent hair loss related to high sodium levels.
Dietary Guidelines for Sodium
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends consuming less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium a day. For those over 50 years old, especially with pre-existing conditions like hypertension, diabetes, or kidney disease, the recommendation is only 1,500 milligrams. Unfortunately, the average American adult consumes 3,436 milligrams of salt every day on average.
Tips for Avoiding Sodium
With the prevalence and availability of high-sodium foods and drinks, avoiding sodium altogether can be a challenge. However, here are a few ways to reduce your daily sodium intake:
- Cook your food from scratch.
- Avoid packaged and highly processed foods.
- Look for products with a “reduced sodium” label at the supermarket.
- Season your foods with herb blends instead of using the salt shaker at meals.
Other Causes of Hair Loss
While high levels of sodium can affect your hair health, the most common cause of hair loss is actually a hereditary condition. If you’re suffering from hereditary hair loss, reducing your sodium intake isn’t going to do anything to reverse it.
If you’re unsure about what’s causing your hair loss and want to learn more, schedule a consultation with a Bosley specialist today. Our experienced physicians can help you identify the cause of your hair loss and design a custom hair restoration plan. To learn more about your hair restoration options, download Bosley’s FREE guidebook, The Complete Book on Hair Restoration, to see how great your hair can look.