Is holiday sugar spoiling your healthy hair?

By Jennifer Roman, on Dec 23, 2015


The holidays are great for many reasons, but one of the best parts is the food – the desserts, the dinners, the cookies, and all the family recipes saved for this time of year. We all understand what consuming sugar-heavy treats does to our bodies, but what about the impact on our hair?

Just as sugary foods are bad for your skin and nails, they can also be damaging to hair. Your body’s response to the increase in blood sugar also raises the levels of androgen, a hormone that can cause hair follicles to shrink. cookie-infographic

How much sugar is a lot? Christmas is the third largest “candy holiday,” and 16 national food days are recognized in the month of December. The numbers based on sugar consumption during the holidays are stammering:

  • 35% of all cookies eaten during the holidays are sugar cookies
  • Americans use an average of 7 pounds of sugar during the season
  • Over 70% of adults give or receive a box of chocolates during the holidays

*The above stats are according to a secondary source.

We know that eating more than one Christmas cookie or having a second helping of candied yams is easy to do during the holidays, and it just wouldn’t feel like a holiday party without a cup of eggnog. But monitoring your sugar intake can reduce the damage done to your hair.

If you do find yourself spending more time at the sweets table this season, the following tips can help keep your hair healthy while allowing you to sneak one more piece of pie after dinner.

5 tips for healthier hair this season

  • Balance out the rest of your diet – if you’re already anticipating the extra cookies you will want to eat, monitor your portions and nutrition in the other contents of your meals.
  • Use a good shampoo – make sure the products you are using don’t have harsh chemicals or ingredients that will contribute to hair damage.
  • Get enough sleep – healthy sleep patterns can have a positive impact on hair health.
  • Remember to exercise – the holidays are busy, but making time to work out will keep your hair healthy and make you feel less guilty about the foods you’re eating.
  • Try different recipes this year – recipes can be modified to include healthy substitutes for sugar, and there are plenty of recipes that require less or no sugar.

Concerned about hair loss or thinning hair? Download our ebook to learn more about causes and treatment options, or contact us for answers to your questions.