They found that hair loss was almost 30% more common among men who had a daily habit of drinking up to one sugary beverage such as soft drinks, juice, energy drinks, sports drinks, and sweetened coffee and tea (totalling between one to three litres per week).
Men who reported having more than one sweetened beverage per day were even more likely to have hair loss, 42% higher risk compared to those who never drank sugary beverages.
The researchers also found that the majority of study participants drank a least some beverages containing sugar in their daily diet and nearly half reported having sweetened drinks more than once a day. But men who reported hair loss tended to drink more, about 12 servings a week on average, compared to seven per week for men who didn’t report hair loss.
One limitation of the study is that beverage habits aren’t the only factors in hair loss, and factors like the rest of the diet, overall health, and even stress and mental health history could play a role. For instance, men with hair loss also reported eating more fried food and fewer vegetables, according to the study. The researchers also found that a history of illness or anxiety, or even PTSD, were linked to a higher risk of hair loss.
So far, the link between sugary beverages and hair loss is correlation, not causation, and more studies are needed to find out whether drinking more directly raises the risk of balding.