What Your Hair Says About Your Health
Did you know that some health conditions can affect your hair as much as your body?
The following guide can help you separate myths from facts when it comes to your hair.
Dry, limp, thin-feeling hair
Hair dyes, blow dryers, and swimming in chlorinated water can lead to dry hair, but dry hair can also be an indicator of an underactive thyroid, known as hypothyroidism, especially if you also notice fatigue, weight gain, slow heart rate, and frequently feeling cold.
Scaly or crusty patches on the scalp
Scaly or crusty patches on the scalp often indicate psoriasis, which can be distinguished from other dandruff-like conditions by the presence of thickening, scab-like surfaces.
Thinning hair over your whole head
There are many things that can cause thinning hair, including physical or psychological stressors like divorce or job loss. Thinning hair can also be caused by high fever from ‘flu or an infection, or a chronic condition like thyroid problems or diabetes. There are many medications that can cause hair loss as a side effect, including birth control pills, lithium, and Depakote. Autoimmune disease can cause sudden hair loss. Hormonal imbalances and thyroid disease, especially hypothyroidism, are common causes of hair loss.
Overall hair loss that appears permanent
Overall hair loss is often caused by a change in the pattern of sex hormones, but some diseases and other underlying conditions can cause this type of hair loss by affecting different hormones.
Dry, brittle hair that breaks easily
Breakage is frequently a result of hair becoming brittle from chemical processing or dyeing, but there are health conditions that can lead to brittle fragile hair. Some examples of these health conditions include: Cushing’s Syndrome, a disorder of the adrenal glands that causes excess production of the hormone cortisol; and hypoparathyroidism, a condition that is usually hereditary or a result of injury to the parathyroid glands during head and neck surgery.
- Yellowish flakes in hair and scaly, itchy, patches on the scalp
This can be a chronic inflammatory condition of the scalp which then develops scaly patches, often in areas where the scalp is oiliest. When the flaky skin loosens, it leaves telltale dandruff lakes.
7 Ways to Undo Hair Damage- Fast!
Put down those clippers, I’m not talking about shearing yourself like a sheep… Though you can, if you want to. The pixie cut is definitely in and it’s paying off for celebs and girls-next-door everywhere.
Before we get started, remember it’s important to think positive and stay confident. The process of restoring your hair may take a little effort, but you’re headed towards amazing results that’ll make you even more beautiful than before.
1. Get a trim – Sun, fun, and chlorine can sap away your hair’s natural oils and make it dry and brittle resulting in frizziness and split-ends. A trim of half an inch or more will make your hair look better instantly.
2. Wash only when necessary – Nothing is better for your hair than its own natural oils. However, shampooing everyday will wash these oils away and doesn’t give them time to nourish the whole shaft. Try foregoing shampooing for a day or two.
3. Use the right shampoo – As mentioned in #2, you can try to go a day or so without shampooing. Which is great, unless you have oily or fine hair and don’t want your hair to look dirty. You can shampoo daily, but drench your hair with water before putting the shampoo in. Massage the scalp and concentrate on lathering the area two inches from the scalp as this is where sebum collects. Then, rinse very well using the coldest water you can stand. Using cool to cold water will smooth the cuticle so frayed ends aren’t as noticeable. Use products with the words “strengthening”, “renewal”, or “anti-breakage” on the label.
4. Rehydrate – Rather than using your regular conditioner, try a product that’s made for after-sun use. Hydrating hair balms are often more healing than regular conditioner, especially the leave-in sort. Don’t use styling products that contain alcohol and stay away from maximum-hold hairsprays. You can also use coconut oil, it smooths away frizz and leaves lovely shine.
5. Use the right brush – Plastic combs and brushes can do major damage to your hair, especially when it’s wet. Boar’s hair brushes can help spread the hair’s natural oil down the cuticle and avoid breakage.
6. Avoid hot tools – Flat irons, curling irons, blowdryers and other such items will damage your hair and reverse whatever kind of benefits you’ve been trying to implement. If you absolutely cannot do without your blow dryer, use it on its lowest setting.
7. Try an at-home hair mask – Chop up a cucumber and an avocado (with the skin on) and puree them together in a food processor. Add a tablespoon of honey and dilute with enough water to make a paste. Apply this mixture all over your head and gently massage it into the scalp; cover your head with a shower cap and wrap it in a warm towel. Leave the mixture on for at least fifteen minutes, then shower as usual.
Another easy hair remedy is to combine one teaspoon of lavender oil to a teaspoon of coconut milk. Massage into dry hair before you go to sleep, then rinse it out in the morning. You won’t believe the difference!