Is your hair trying to tell you something? Your reflection in the mirror can tell you more than just if you’re having a good hair day. The next time you check yourself out, take a long look at your locks. They could be trying to tell you something about your health, especially if you’re experiencing the following symptoms:
Although no one has the time to count, the average person typically loses an average of 100 strands of hair per day. If your hair comes out by the handful or seems to pull out more easily than usual, it’s time to pay closer attention. It could be a result of anemia, severe stress, surgery, thyroid issues, crash diets or hormonal changes. If you’re noticing one or more of these concerns, it may be time to talk to your doctor.
Dull hair is most often a product of diet. If your locks seem lackluster, start paying attention to what you put on your plate. “A steady diet of nutrient-deficient foods like chips, candy, fast food, and processed food create the perfect recipe for dull, lifeless locks,” says Nese Altas, Owner and Lead Stylist at Current Salon in Ashburn, Virginia. “Your body runs on what you feed it. To support your vital organs and maintain healthy hair, you need to take in enough healthy nutrients to go around.”
Hair happy foods include lots of lean protein (the main building block of hair), whole fruits and vegetables, eggs, nuts, and whole grains.
There are several reasons why hair can become brittle. Too much sun, not enough water, harsh chemicals, and crash diets can deplete your strands of the moisture, oils, and proteins they need to be strong and elastic. Brittle hair is also a symptom of Cushing’s syndrome, a rare condition caused by the production of too much cortisol that also shows itself through high blood pressure, back pain, and fatigue.
“You can help fight split ends and brittle hair by wearing hats while outdoors, drinking plenty of quality fluids, and eating a balanced diet,” adds Nese. If some of the more serious symptoms above persist, you may want to chat with your doctor. “For more immediate results, deep conditioning and keratin treatments can also make a world of difference.”
Dandruff does not typically indicate a larger health concern, although it may be a result of a fungal overgrowth, eczema, or psoriasis. Regardless of the cause, a dandruff shampoo is the best way to keep it under control. If dandruff persists or worsens, a visit to your doctor may be in order as flare-ups are often related to hormones, stress, and diet.
Just like the rest of your body, your hair needs quality proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals to stay healthy. If your hair has a change in texture, fullness, or shine, it’s time to assess your diet, lifestyle, and other symptoms.
Make every day a great hair day. Regular visits to see your stylist can help you identify and address symptoms before they get out of control.