Jan - Feb 2017

What Your Hair is Telling You About Your Health

By Omodolapo Familusi, RN MSN ANP-C

 

Most of us don’t think of our hair as a part of our bodies, but the truth is our hair is an extension of our bodies and can give clues as to the state of our health. A simple look at the condition of your hair can indicate imbalances of various degrees.

 

If you find your hair is limp and dry, it may indicate an underactive thyroid or hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism is when the thyroid does not produce enough hormones causing your metabolism to slow down. Other accompanying symptoms may include being cold all the time, weight gain or unexplained fatigue. A visit to your doctor for a discussion and blood work can confirm hypothyroidism.

 

If you find yourself losing hair it may be a sign of a protein or vitamin deficiency. A strand of hair is composed of mostly protein which means your hair needs protein to grow. Iron, vitamin E, copper and magnesium also help to keep your hair in good shape and a deficiency of any of these nutrients can lead to hair loss. Eating a nutrient rich, balanced diet can give your hair the nutrients it needs.

 

Brittle hair that doesn’t grow and dry scalp may be a sign of dehydration. We all know to drink up to 8 glasses of water daily to hydrate our bodies but doing so is also important for hair health. Water not only hydrates the body but also helps regulate the circulatory system which feeds the hair follicle and therefore stimulates hair growth.

 

The human body has various ways of communicating a deficiency, a simple glance at the condition of your hair can be a sign that something is wrong within.