Did you know there is a direct correlation between healthy hair and your health? Problems such as dry brittle hair, hair thinning, hair loss and even flaky scalp can be an indicator of a health condition or a lack of nutrients and essential vitamins in the body.
Dry, Brittle, Dull and/or Breakage – there are basically three reasons for this hair condition. The first is self-inflicted by the use of blow dryers, flat irons, chemical processes, pulling the hair to tight with pony tails, braids and excessive sun exposure. All of the above damages the cuticle layer of the hair shaft. The second is lack of protein and/or moisture to the hair. The omega 3 fatty acids found in salmon, flaxseed or fish oil supplements will play a role in keeping the strands strong, healthy and shiny. Lastly is low levels of parathyroid hormone which causes calcium to fall and phosphorous to rise. However, if this is the case you will also notice scaly skin.
Limp and Thin – thinning hair is not the same as hair loss. Thinning hair is when the actual texture of the hair changes. Thinning hair is usually an indication of an under active thyroid. Sometimes the eyebrows will thin and a good indication of an under active thyroid is the outermost third of the eyebrow thins out or disappears altogether. If this be the case, consult with you doctor and a test can determine your thyroid levels.
Hair Loss – it is normal to lose about 100-150 strands of hair a day. However excessive hair loss can be caused by changes in hormones, medications, stress, eating disorders (lack of proper nutrition) and ill health. Hair loss for the above reasons is usually temporary and will grow back.
Dandruff/Psoriasis/Eczema – all of these conditions affect the scalp and cause dry, itchy and flakes. While these conditions can be controlled with certain shampoos specifically made for the condition it is advised that you see your doctor so that you know what condition you are treating. For instance, dandruff is not dry scalp; it is an inflammation of the scalp. Psoriasis on the other hand will form a thick crust on the scalp usually at the hairline.
Going Gray – gray hair is genetic. If one of your family members had gray hair chances are you are predisposed to gray hair too. The hair doesn’t actually turn gray but it is the new growth that comes in gray. As we age there is a decrease in melanin production in the hair bulb, thus new strands form and grow out with less or no pigment.
To summarize, your health plays an important role in the health of your hair. Your hair needs protein and moisture just like the rest of the body. If there are no underlying health issues affecting your hair then take the time to treat it gently and provide the nourishment it needs with a healthy diet and an occasional hair mask.