Your hair is a focal point of your appearance, whether it's long and thick, short and thin, nonexistent or anywhere in between. While many people feel that hair only tells superficial things about someone, like their personal style or grooming habits, your hair can also act as a sort of road map, pointing out the way to any underlying health issues you may be experiencing. Here are some common signs to look for, and explanations of what they might mean.
Some people naturally have hair on the dry side, so this doesn't always indicate a health concern. If your hair is naturally dry, products like argan oil and cocoa butter conditioners can help it to retain moisture. However, if your hair has suddenly become extremely dry and brittle out of the blue, this could indicate hypothyroidism, a condition which occurs when your thyroid gland
is underactive and doesn't produce enough of the thyroid hormone.
Sudden, significant hair loss can be attributed to many different causes, with some of the most common ones being stress
, certain medications, thyroid problems, anemia, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and alopecia. In addition, a lack of sufficient protein or vitamin B deficiency can cause your strands to start falling out.
A change in your hair texture could be caused by a simple nutritional deficiency, or it might be related to illnesses like Cushing's disease, Graves disease, thyroid conditions or hormonal imbalances
. Some treatments for brittle, breaking hair that is unrelated to serious illness include properly balancing protein and water intake and maintaining a healthy diet.
4. Bald Spots
If you notice patches of skin peeking through your hair, it's likely you're experiencing alopecia, a type of hair loss that happens when your immune system attacks your hair follicles by mistake, according to WebMD
. Alopecia can affect both men and women, and though it is not typically permanent, it can be in certain instances. If you are prone to allergies, have a family history of alopecia or also possess another autoimmune disease, you are more likely to have permanent pattern baldness.
5. Dry, Flaky Scalp
Those nasty white flakes on the shoulders of your favorite black T-shirt are a telltale sign of a dry scalp and dandruff. Natural oils like coconut
, almond and olive can be diluted and applied to soothe dry scalp, and anti-dandruff shampoos
and conditioners can also provide relief. However, a flaky, dry scalp may also be a sign of the skin condition psoriasis. While medications are often recommended to fight psoriasis, products with tea tree oil may also be able to help improve the condition, as it contains antimicrobial and antiseptic properties.
6. Thinning and Limp
Hair that resembles skinny, wet noodles is often a sign of vitamin or nutritional deficiency. Your hair needs B vitamins
, along with protein
and a variety of other nutrients to keep it strong and healthy. Omega-3s and the omega-6 fatty acid GLA (gamma-linolenic acid) can encourage hair growth and help maintain its softness and luster. In addition to the vitamins and supplements that can impact your hair and overall health, consuming certain foods can help keep your hair in great shape. Foods rich in omega-3s, like salmon and avocados, can help keep your hair hydrated and strong. In addition, eggs, walnuts, yogurt and blueberries can all provide support for your hair.
If you are experiencing any dramatic changes with your hair, it's important for you to first be evaluated by your doctor before attempting to treat them with any supplements or natural remedies.
Check out our selection of healthy hair products and other supplements at eVitamins, and have a great day!