How your health affects your hair

Your hair condition can give you important indications about your health. Hair is incredibly sensitive to internal changes. Though hair is the second fastest growing cell in your body, the fastest being intestinal cells. hair is a not as essential as your intestines. Your metabolism will only keep your essential tissues functioning first and foremost, which often means that the hair is usually the first to suffer, and also the last to benefit from any issues related to the body.

You probably, at one time or another, have connected the condition of your hair with the state of your health. A head of thick, shiny and bouncy hair is not just a show of how well you have taken care of your mane but also that your body is in very good health. On the other hand, thin, dry, brittle hair will reflect certain underlying health issues that you need to get treated first. Here are the ways in which your overall health affects your tresses.

1. Not getting enough nutrients

If you have dull or thin hair, it means that you have been eating too much processed food and have not enough protein, good fats and other nutrients in your diet. Do eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, as well as at least two to three servings of good sources of protein such as chicken, eggs, fish, tofu and nuts. Remember to add good fats like oily fish, avocados, dark chocolate, and olive oil to your diet since fats improve the health of your hair and help your body to absorb vitamin D, which can cause hair loss in women if the body is lacking in it.

2. Dental issues

If you have tooth decay, beware. Research has shown that there is a link between hair disorders and tooth decay and gum disease. People who suffer from hair disorders like the Anagen hair syndrome, where hair can be pulled out easily, are easily prone to tooth cavities and a weaker enamel coating.

3. Stress-related hair loss

If you have been shedding a lot of hair, it could be due to a major psychological or physical stress such as a death in the family, surgery or childbirth, which can have a powerful effect on your entire body, causing hair to fall out in clumps. This condition, known as telogen effluvium, is reversible once the source of stress is removed. You can also reduce the severity of the effects by practising stress management, eating a balanced diet and switching medication following the advice of a medical professional.

4. Side effects of birth control 

If you realise that your hair is getting thinner, drier and duller, and you are taking birth control pills, ask your doctor to recommend a non-hormonal form of birth control. The hormonal changes that come with stopping or starting birth control pills may cause shedding of the hair.

5. Thyroid dysfunction

If you have suddenly thinning hair, be warned that it is a sign of hypothyroidism. The thyroid gland is responsible for hair growth, and when it does not produce enough hormones, it can result in a sudden drastic hair fall and thinning on the scalp.

6. Mental health issues

If you have the habit of pulling out your hair, it may indicate that you have a mental health condition called trichotillomania. This is predominant in people who tend to be perfectionists, and they tend to pull at their hair to relieve their frustration when they do not get something done right. Do see your mental care provider for this, as it is a compulsive disorder that requires treatment.

7. Too much testosterone

If you notice hair loss from the crown area, it could be a result of the body producing too much testosterone. This may be accompanied by dark facial hair on the upper lip or thick hair on your arms and belly fat. Abdominal fat boosts production of testosterone, so losing weight will help to alleviate this problem.

8. Anaemia

If you have hair loss and feel tired most of the time, you may have an iron deficiency. It is relatively easy resolvable as it comes down to a lack of iron in the diet. Severely iron deficient anaemic people may also have pale skin as well. If this form of anaemia is the problem, you can help yourself by increasing your iron intake through sources like spinach, red meat, liver and nuts including almonds and walnuts.

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