The Sugar Wars: Will Coconut Sugar Save My Hair?


Coconut sugar! The cure all for a bad hair day! You can have your cake and great hair too! So are the claims of the food blogosphere. Food blogs are fun to read. Many of them have incredible pictures of delectable looking foods and baked goods. I browse through a few daily, looking for inspiration for easy dinners and snacks for my family. My kids are little foodies who love fresh herbs, spices and vegetables and I’m constantly looking for ideas to keep meal time interesting. I also enjoy reading about the latest super foods and how they promise to keep us young forever.

It seems vain and more than a bit gluttonous to spend so much time thinking about food. But ever since I switched my family to a whole foods, organic diet there has been a tremendous all over change for the good in every member of my family. Behavior improved, eczema disappeared and even flakey scalps started clearing up. My own hair which was doing the postpartum crazy shedding  since five kids ago started growing in thick, fast and super lively. Reading these food manifestos has become an exercise in keeping us all healthy.

Over the past two years I noticed an interesting phenomenon. Many recipes that originally contained sugar were now modified to contain coconut sugar. There is usually a sidebar that states that due to the fact that white sugar is really a poison, this replacement is made. And then there is usually the explanation that consuming coconut sugar instead of white sugar will supply you with necessary nutrients you would miss without eating this wonder food, sometimes even promising that coconut sugar’s micronutrients will help with anything from better hair growth to stronger nails.  Aside from the fact that coconut sugar is prohibitively expensive when compared to cane sugar, is there really such a big difference in the way the body metabolizes it? Will eating cookies really help my hair to look better?

You see, even though I try to keep processed foods and sugars to a minimum, I like to eat something sweet every so often. I don’t really think it’s necessary to have absolute ideas about diet. Like everything else in life, moderation is key. Yes it’s probably healthier to cut all sweet things from our diet, yet I can’t help but think that if we were created with the ability to taste sweet things, then sugar really cannot be that terrible in small amounts. (Of course if one has a health issue they should stay away from it.) Am I now supposed to substitute coconut sugar for white sugar in all my favorite recipes? Will doing so really supply us with vital nutrients?

I decided to research this topic. I questioned nutritionists and doctors on the pros and cons of different sugars.  My takeaway is that although coconut sugar has some nutrients that are vital to hair growth, like iron and calcium, the amount is negligible. You would have to eat pounds of the stuff for it to make any difference and that pounds of sugar, even “healthy” sugar, is never a good idea.  These professionals told me  to save my money, that if I was looking to keep my hair healthy I should better spend it on natural hair care products. I have decided not to bow down to food blogger social pressure. I will continue to enjoy my every so often cookie or cake made with regular sugar. I also took their advice and enrolled in the Two Minute Club. I feel that is a better investment if I want to keep my hair looking as good as it does.


Bluma Marcus

Bluma Marcus is the editor of She lives with her husband and five children in southern California.

You may also like...