The condition of your hair can tell a lot your overall health. For example, it can let you know if you have a thyroid problem, nutritional deficiency, or other health issues.
According to studies, changes in your hair’s texture, look, or thickness can be signs of serious health conditions. Here is how you can tell if your hair’s changes are due to stress, genetics, a health issue, or a nutritional deficiency.
1. Stress can make your hair go grey
Studies suggest that chronic stress makes your hair turn gray by causing DNA damage and lowering the supply of pigment-producing cells in hair follicles. Moreover, stress can cause your hair to fall out.
Also, oxidative stress may influence pigment-producing cells when cell-damaging free radicals hinder the repair processes of the human body.
2. Brittle hair can be a symptom of Cushing’s Syndrome
Brittle hair is a common symptom of Cushing’s syndrome, a rare health condition caused by increased production of cortisol, a stress hormone. Other common symptoms of Cushing’s syndrome are high blood pressure, pain in the back, and fatigue.
3. Hair thinning can be a symptom of thyroid disease
A change in hair appearance and increased hair shedding can be signs of hypothyroidism, a health condition that occurs when the thyroid gland does not produce thyroid hormones.
Hypothyroidism can cause hair thinning and other symptoms, such as cold intolerance, tiredness, muscle pain, joint pain, sudden weight gain, etc.
Except for thinning hair, some thyroid disorders can increase the risk of alopecia areata, an autoimmune hair-loss condition. It can lead to sudden round patches of hair loss.
4. Hair shedding can be a symptom of anemia
Anemia, or low iron stores, can lead to hair shedding. It is not known how iron causes hair loss, but it is considered that iron is important for many chemical and biological reactions, including hair growth. If you are iron deficient, you should consume more iron-rich foods, or take iron supplements.
5. Hair loss may indicate protein deficiency
Protein is important for hair growth and health. Protein deficiency is closely related to hair loss and thinning.
However, in most cases, hair thinning is due to genetics.
6. Yellow and white flakes mean that you have dandruff
If you notice white and yellow flakes on your shoulders or eyebrows, it means that you have dandruff, a scalp condition. It is not a serious health issue. And it can be treated with a prescription shampoo or other specialty hair shampoos.
One of the main causes of dandruff is seborrheic dermatitis. People with seborrheic dermatitis have greasy and red skin covered with yellow and white scales.
Moreover, the scalp can be also irritated by a yeast-like fungus. Dry skin and sensitivity to certain shampoos can also cause dandruff.