If you find yourself dealing with an oily hair and scalp, your diet could be to blame! While an oily scalp can be caused by genetics, the food we eat does play a part in determining if the sebaceous glands in our hair follicles overproduce sebum. Here are 5 common foods that cause your oil glands to overproduce sebum.
An increased sugar intake results in increased blood sugar levels, causing more insulin to be produced to return your blood sugar levels back to normal. A continued diet with increased sugar intake leads to excess insulin in the bloodstream, and this then leads to a sharp increase in androgen production. As androgen circulates through the bloodstream, it encourages your oil glands to produce more oil.
2) REFINED CARBOHYDRATES
Refined carbohydrates refer to carbohydrates that have a high Glycemic Index (GI) rating. They encourage more sebum production because they are quickly broken down by the body, thus causing a large and rapid rise in blood sugar levels. This then triggers the pancreas to release large amounts of insulin, leading to a sharp increase in androgen production. This in turn, encourages greater overall sebum production. The main dietary sources of refined carbs are white flour, white bread, white rice,pastries, sodas, snacks, pasta, sweets, breakfast cereals and added sugars. They are also added to all sorts of processed foods.
3) FRIED FOOD
Any fried food, especially deep fried food and fast food, tends to overstimulate the oil glands due to the high level of saturated fats found in them. As the body only needs an extremely amount of saturated fat, a diet high in saturated fat would result in increased sebum production.
4) DAIRY PRODUCTS
A high consumption of dairy products may cause greasy hair in some people! This is because to produce maximum milk yields, cows are artificially inseminated almost immediately after giving birth. Although the calf is soon taken away, the cow continues to produce milk while still pregnant. As a result, the cow is producing both hormones that are meant for a growing calf as well as hormones meant for maintaining a pregnancy. The hormones contained in the milk of a pregnant cow may break into androgens, which can contribute to increased oil production.
An excess consumption of salt leads to overall body dehydration and water loss. As such, the skin produces more oil to in a bid to stop water loss from evaporation as well as to re-moisturize the skin. This also causes your scalp to become oiler as your body does not differentiate between the skin on your scalp and the skin on your face.
If you want a healthier, less oily scalp, these are the foods you should be eating:
1) Foods rich in Vitamins B & E
Vitamins B and E are among most essential vitamins for our body and hair. Not only do they help grow strong and beautiful hair, but they also regulate the production of extra oils, thus, making your hair look naturally smooth and lustrous, without weighing it down with sebum. Foods like beans, vegetables, and fruits are rich in vitamin B and it’s these that can help your hair look stunning. Vitamin E can be found in leafy green vegetables, sunflower seeds, and nuts.
2) Food rich in zinc
Clinical trials have shown that zinc supplementation in your diet is effective in controlling oil production! As your body cannot produce zinc, you can only obtain it through your diet. Bear in mind that zinc requires vitamin B6 for proper absorption in the intestines! Zinc is found in a variety of foods, the best dietary sources being oysters, red meat, and poultry. Zinc from plant sources such as nuts, legumes, and grains is of a different type than that found in animal sources and is not readily used by the body, although oats are a good source of zinc that the body can easily use.
3) EAT MORE EFAs
Essential fatty acids (EFAs) — found in large quantities in such foods as nuts, seeds, fatty fish and unrefined whole grains — are necessary for the proper functioning of the body, and a deficiency in EFAs can also have negative impacts on scalp and hair health. These fats cannot be synthesized by the body and must therefore be obtained through diet. Of course, if you want a quicker solution to your oily hair and scalp, we’re always here to help! Simply click here to arrange for a consultation with our specialists today!