Your hair changes a lot over time and it can tell you a lot about your health. Your diet is a big factor and if you’re not healthy enough, your body will tell you in many different ways.
Here are 7 things your hair and scalp can tell you about your health:
1. Shedding too much hair.
It’s completely normal to shed a bit of hair, especially when you’re in the shower washing your hair. But what isn’t healthy is when you lose an excessive amount because that is a signal for a more serious issue.
Paradi Mirmirani, dermatologist and regional director of hair disorders at Kaiser Permanente says excessive hair loss can be caused by deficiencies or medical issues.
“In addition to testing for thyroid disease and anemia, your physician may check for certain vitamin and/or mineral deficiencies, including a vitamin D deficiency,” she added.
2. Your hair is dry.
According to Megan Faletra, an MS and a global health consultant and dietitian you should consume enough healthy fats in order to keep your hair healthier and less dry.
“Think about supporting the health of your hair by supporting your skin and scalp with an abundance of healthy fats such as avocado, olive oil, and salmon into your diet.”
3. Dull hair.
According to Kaleigh McMordie, if your hair looks dull, it’s a sign that you’re not consuming enough healthy fats in your diet and to add shine to your hair you need to consume things like Omega 3.
“Omega-3 fatty acids and monounsaturated fats are important for overall health, but dull hair could be a sign you aren’t getting enough. Load up on salmon, avocado, flaxseeds, chia seeds, and nuts,” she advises.
Healthy fats nourish the hair follicles and help to add elasticity and prevent breakage.
4. Brittle hair.
Tania Dempsey, MD from Armonk Integrative Medicine says having very brittle hair can indicate a zinc or iron deficiency – or both.
“Zinc and iron are important for keratin production so not having enough of these can lead to changes in the structure of hair. Zinc can be taken alone or with a mineral formula including iron. You can add foods that are high in zinc like beef, pumpkin seeds, and lentils to your diet, too,” explained Tania.
5. Having a dry scalp.
Having a dry scalp means you need more omega-3s and omega-6s. These fatty acids are essential for healthy follicles and they bring extra moisture to your hair and scalp so you should consume more foods that are rich in these fatty acids if you’re finding that your scalp is very dry.
Foods like sunflower seeds, fish and flaxseeds have a lot of fatty acids but you can also take fish oil supplements.
6. Your hair is super thin.
McMordie says ”Hair cells, just like every other cell in the body, are made up of amino acids, which are the broken down form of protein, so if you aren’t getting enough, you may start to lose more hair than normal,” she explained.
It’s a sign that your body needs more protein and she advises consuming protein-rich foods like eggs, fish, beef or nuts, beans and whole grains.
7. Greying prematurely.
The loss of pigment is sometimes down to genetics but when it happens at a young age it can be a sign of a copper deficiency according to McMordie. She recommends consuming sesame seeds, mushrooms and seaweed.
While we’re on the subject of hair….
Since shampoo and conditioner were invented all those years ago, we’ve been taught to shampoo first, condition after but it turns out we’ve been doing it wrong this entire time.
Yes, you read that correctly.
Nina Dimachki, the artistic director of Kérastase says, “Conditioning before you shampoo is great for adding nourishment to fine hair without weighing it down.”
“It also promotes a longer lasting blow-dry and primes the hair before cleansing, allowing shampoo to distribute easier and more evenly.”
So why have we been doing it the other way around then?
Apparently, this way of washing your hair is only needed for certain hair types…not all of them. So any of you out there with greasy or highlighted hair, you should switch up your hair washing routine and try this new way of things if you want your hair to last longer and get less knotty, no one likes having knotty hair.
We’ve also been told to only cover our ends with conditioner, to keep them looking clean and tidy but now we’re supposed to be covering the roots too.
“You will be cleansing it after, so your hair won’t be weighed down or oily.”
Kératase has products meant for this routine, if you’re looking to mix things up in your hair department, why not try this?
And if you’re on a bit of a budget and don’t want to be splashing out on expensive stuff then Tresemmé could be the brand for you. They offer salon-worthy products for a fraction of the price. Their Beauty-Full volume pre-wash conditioner isn’t anywhere near as expensive as Kératase.
You could also try co-washing, which means “conditioner-only washing” which is supposed to give you that perfect in between “freshly washed and second-day hair” which makes it smooth, soft and easy to manage.
“In between shampoos, I apply a co-wash. My favourite is the ‘As I Am’ Coconut one because it seals in moisture,” Viola Davis claims.
It might not work for everyone but it’s definitely worked for some & it’s worth a try…
Here are some other things we’ve been doing wrong all our lives…
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