The condition your hair says a lot about the condition of your health. For example, if you experience hair loss or your hair is becoming prematurely gray nutritional or other health reasons may be the cause.
Of course, people always shed some hair and eventual graying is inevitable. However, changes in the condition of your hair may indicate hormone imbalance or serious illness. In this article, we will discuss the various messages your hair may be trying to send you. Read on to learn more on how hair reveals heath issues and other things.
You May Be Suffering From A Vitamin and Mineral Deficiency
General vitamin and mineral deficiency can lead to loss of hair and poor condition of hair. In order to have healthy hair, you must consume an abundance of nutrients.
The reason for this is that hair is nonessential. It only receives the nourishment that the rest of your body does not need. Hair mineral analysis show that if you’re not getting enough nutrition, your hair will suffer.
To be sure that your hair stays healthy, shiny and free of premature graying you should eat an abundant and well-balanced natural whole foods diet.
Get plenty of fresh fruits and veggies, high quality protein sources, natural healthful oils, fiber and complex carbohydrates to provide your body with a proper balance of nutrients.
It is also a good idea to take a high quality multivitamin daily. It should contain at least the recommended daily requirement of all standard vitamins (A, B, C, D and E) as well as a good selection of the vital minerals magnesium, selenium, zinc and copper. Discuss your selection of supplementation with your healthcare professional.
Getting every hair strand in good condition is not a quick fix. If you are suffering from a lack of nourishment seen through hair loss and early graying, it can take as long as three years to grow out a new head of hair. Be patient and care for your hair gently as you wait for its condition to improve.
You May Not Be Getting Enough Iron
If you are suffering from an iron deficiency, you may feel excessively tired. You may even experience dizziness. Hair analysis say that hair loss is one of the later signs of iron deficiency that usually occurs after the problem has progressed into anemia.
When you are anemic, your body moves into survival mode. Oxygen that is usually used to help keep your entire body surviving and thriving is detoured to support only the most vital of functions. This means that your scalp, the roots, and hair follicles will receive less oxygen than it needs, and this can cause hair loss.
Luckily, the treatment for hair loss and other hair problems is easy. Simply add more iron rich foods to your diet and supplement with iron as advised by your healthcare professional.
Here are some the best iron rich foods you can add to your diet:
- Fortified Cereals
- Beans & Lentils
- Pumpkin Seeds
- Sesame Seeds
Add a few of these foods to your diet weekly and consult your health care professional about the possibility of supplementing with iron.
Healthy Hair Needs Healthy Fats
In 1980s and 90s, the idea that “Food doesn’t make you fat! Fat makes you fat!” Was very popular and many people adopted a fat-free way of eating. This is a very sure way to ruin the condition of your hair and your overall good health.
Today we know that our bodies need healthy dietary fats. If you want to have a healthy central nervous system along with healthy skin, hair and nails you must eat the right fats in the right amounts. To do this, you should add foods that are rich in healthy oils to your diet. These include:
- Oily Fish
- Nuts & Seeds
- Organic Butter
You should also shun unhealthy hydrogenated oils and use only healthy oils in cooking as they contain unhealthy fats that can cause heart attack.
Some healthy oils you can use include:
- Coconut Oil
- Peanut Oil
- Olive Oil
Additionally, be sure that your body is getting enough of the fat-soluble vitamins, A, D, E and K. Consuming enough healthy oils in your daily diet will ensure a healthy immune system, pliable skin, continuous healthy hair growth, strong nails, pain-free joints and good heart health.
You May Need More Protein
Remember the concept that hair is nonessential. For this reason, the protein that goes into making it (keratin) is a low priority for your body when protein is in short supply.
If hair growth seems a bit slow or is brittle and does not grow beyond a certain length, your diet may be lacking in high quality protein. To remedy this situation add these foods to your diet:
Naturally, if you are a vegetarian or vegan you will want to stay away from animal protein, there are plenty of good protein sources to be found in nuts, beans and lentils. Additionally, many green super-foods are also high in protein.
Be sure to include protein in every meal. It’s best if your protein sources can be organic. Grass fed and/or pasture raised animal proteins are most nutritious and most ethically and economically sound among the meat choices.
Your Hair Needs Water!
Many people today are dehydrated without knowing it. Remember that our bodies are mostly water (up to 60 percent). Unfortunately, today many people do not drink water. Instead they drink sodas and other prepared beverages.
It is important to understand that sodas contain absolutely no nutrition and do not rehydrate your body. Likewise, beverages containing caffeine and/or alcohol do not nourish your body and may even act as diuretics.
To be sure of getting enough hydration, you should hearken back to old-fashioned advice that tells us to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water every day. Invest in an inexpensive water filtration pitcher to filter your tap water.
This is a great way to save money, support your local water utility and supply yourself with the highest quality fresh, filtered water. Keep a reusable container of filtered water at your side throughout each and every day to stay well hydrated.
For variety, you can enjoy freshly squeezed juices, coconut water and herbal teas. Additionally, you can add natural flavors to your water such as lemon juice and mint. Eating lots of fruit also helps provide valuable hydration.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Causes Hair Problems
PCOS is a condition that approximately 10 to 20 percent of women of childbearing age experience. It is caused by a hormone imbalance that can lead to a number of distressing symptoms such as:
- Unexplained Weight Gain
- Menstrual Irregularity
- Ovarian Cysts
- Extra Hair Growth
If you are experiencing these symptoms, you must see your doctor right away. He or she can run hair mineral testing to determine the cause of your problems and chart a course of treatment.
Hypothyroidism Can Cause Hair Loss
If your thyroid gland is not working at optimum levels, it will not produce enough thyroid hormones. This causes a number of undesirable symptoms including:
- Sudden Weight Gain
- Brittle Hair
- Limp Hair
- Weak Hair
- Hair Loss
- Thin Hair
- Dry Hair
To determine whether or not you have hypothyroidism, you should see your doctor. He or she will probably send you for a simple blood test which will give you a conclusive answer. If hypothyroidism is confirmed, your doctor will devise a plan of treatment for you which may include hormone therapy along with dietary recommendations.
Estrogen Imbalance Can Affect Your Hair
Normal changes in the female condition can cause a change in hair growth. For example if you are pregnant you may experience abundant hair growth because of very high levels of estrogen. Additionally, your hair may change texture and become curly or wavy.
Increased oil production may cause you to experience oily hair while pregnant. These are temporary conditions that will resolve when you have your baby.
Another way in which estrogen levels affect your hair is evident during menopause. Women going through menopause have a reduced amount of estrogen and increased amount of testosterone. This can cause the hair to thin and/or recede. Additionally, this change in hormone balance can cause hair growth on the face and body.
While hormone replacement therapy is a possibility for correcting these problems, it is an undesirable one. Hormones used in pharmaceutical hormone replacement therapy are sourced from animals (pregnant horses) through very cruel means.
Their use is ethically undesirable and has also been proven to increase cancer risk for patients using these products.
A well-balanced diet, exercise and the addition of herbal supplements to help balance hormones during menopause provide gentler and more humane and ethical choices. Natural alternatives to balance hormones during menopause include:
- Add cruciferous veggies (broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts) to your diet.
- Add foods that contain phytoestrogens (beans and lentils, seeds, soy foods) to your diet.
- Explore herbal remedies such as red clover extract, black cohosh, evening primrose oil and more.
- Practice effective stress management techniques such as deep breathing, yoga and meditation.
- Maintain a healthy body weight or promote weight loss with a generally balanced diet and regular exercise.
Remember that menopause is referred to as “the change” for good reason. Your body is naturally changing, and it is wise to change, adapt and adjust your habits to accommodate the transition.
A Compromised Immune System Can Cause Hair Loss
If you are experiencing scaly patches on your scalp, hair follicles or in your hairline, you may have psoriasis. This is an autoimmune condition that happens when skin cell growth becomes accelerated. Many people mistake this condition for dandruff, but using a dandruff shampoo will not help if you have psoriasis.
Other autoimmune disorders that can cause hair loss include:
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Alopecia Areata
- Crohn’s Disease
Naturally, you must see your doctor for assistance in dealing with these serious conditions; however, you can also take natural steps to help build up your immune system. Use common sense in personal care by being sure to:
- Add fermented foods to your diet for excellent gut health.
- Get 6 to 8 hours of high quality sleep nightly.
- Eat a healthy, balanced whole foods diet.
- Practice good stress management habits.
- Take a high quality multivitamin daily.
- Drink plenty of pure filtered water.
Adding immune building herbal teas to your diet can also help boost your immune system. Among these are:
All of these teas are readily available at your local health food store or online either as single ingredient loose or bagged tea or in tasty combinations.
Sleep Is Restorative For Your Entire Body and Your Hair!
You may be doing everything else right, but if you’re not getting enough sleep you are compromising your immune system and hampering your body’s ability to restore itself. Getting 6 to 8 hours of high quality rest every 24 hours is essential to keeping your hormone levels balanced and your immune functions strong and vibrant.
If you have trouble sleeping, here are a few smart ideas to help you get a good night’s rest:
- Avoid adrenaline producing activities such as vigorous exercise or exciting games or TV viewing.
- Don’t eat sugary foods or drink caffeinated beverages in the evening before bedtime.
- Enjoy some quiet time with gentle stretching, yoga, deep breathing and meditation.
- Take a warm bath or shower and listen to quiet music.
- Drink a cup of chamomile tea to calm your nerves.
In addition to restoring your body, getting enough sleep also helps keep cravings for unhealthy foods at bay. People who do not get enough rest tend to crave foods that give them a jolt of energy such as simple carbohydrates, sugary foods and salty foods. All of these are bad for your health and bad for your hair.
Some Chemicals May Cause Damage To Your Hair
Avoid the worst hair products that causes long term damage to your hair. Some of these products include:
- Silicone-based products – prevents nutrients from healthy conditioners from entering the hair shaft.
- Alcohol-based products – zaps the moisture from hair and skin.
- Cheap Shampoo and conditioner – includes fake products, solutions from unknown brands with all ingredients not fully disclosed. These products may contain hazardous materials not only to the waist-length hair but for other hair types and length as well. It may also cause male-pattern baldness or thinning hair.
- Protein-based conditioner – too much protein will make hair lose its elasticity. Make sure to get protein-fortified or products with omega fatty acid and not those items that only contain protein.
- Zinc pyrithione and coal tar – these anti-dandruff ingredients may be incredibly harsh for the scalp and hair.
- Products with the ingredient Parabens – Prabens contain toxicity that passes through wet hair and may get absorbed by the skin. Somee hair dye and hair color products usually have parabens.
- Salt sprays – dries out your hair. Use a hair moisturizer when applying to help it stay hydrated.
- Toxic metals – These heavy metals cause great damage to your hair and can be dangerous to your overall health. Avoid products with the following ingredients: lead, cadmium, mercury, cobalt, vanadium, barium, nickel, chromium and more.
Growing Older Affects Your Hair
Some change in your hair is be expected as you grow older. While there are those lucky people who never experience a gray hair, the vast majority of people do experience graying as they age. If you are of Asian descent, you can expect to begin getting some gray hairs when you are in your 30s.
If you’re African-American, your hair may begin to turn gray when you’re in your 40s. By and large, all people have some gray hair by the time they are age 50.
In addition to turning gray, your hair may also become more brittle and thin some as you age. This is because lowered hormone levels cause your scalp to produce less oil. This can cause dryer hair that breaks more easily and becomes thin.
While some of the hair problems that come with aging are inevitable, you should remember that there are things you can do to help keep your hair healthier and stronger as you age. Here are a few smart ideas:
- Change your hairstyle. A shorter, more easy-care hairstyle may be more appropriate for your age. Having your hair trimmed more often will help you to present your healthiest head of hair to the world!
- Use nourishing hair care product. Avoid using hair care products that are filled with harsh chemicals. These will dry your hair and damage it. Look for natural product that contain natural oils that will nourish and protect your hair.
- Remember that less is more when it comes to hair care. You really do not need to wash your hair every day. Doing so will dry it and cause it to fall out. Washing your hair once or twice a week is probably plenty.
- Avoid using heat on your hair. Allow your hair to air dry naturally rather than using a blow dryer, curling irons, hot rollers and other heated instruments. All of these work to damage your hair.
Develop Healthy Habits For Healthy Hair
Generally speaking, if you take good care of yourself your hair should be in good condition. Remember to eat well, play well, rest well and drink plenty of pure, filtered water.
Treat your hair gently and kindly and be realistic in your expectations. Don’t get obsessed with applying a lot of chemicals such as hair dyes, hair color agents, beauty products, wax, and strong conditioners. Consistent practice of sensible, healthy habits will result in a healthy head of hair!