The Positive Side of Medicine

What Does Your Hair Say About Your Health

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What Does Your Hair Say About Your Health

Did you know that some health conditions can affect your hair as much as your body? The following guide can help you separate myths from facts when it comes to your hair.

  • Dry, limp, thin-feeling hair

Hair dyes, blow dryers, and swimming in chlorinated water can lead to dry hair, but dry hair can also be an indicator of an underactive thyroid, known as hypothyroidism, especially if you also notice fatigue, weight gain, slow heart rate, and frequently feeling cold.

  • Scaly or crusty patches on the scalp

Scaly or crusty patches on the scalp often indicate psoriasis, which can be distinguished from other dandruff-like conditions by the presence of thickening, scab-like surfaces.

  • Thinning hair over your whole head

There are many things that can cause thinning hair, including physical or psychological stressors like divorce or job loss. Thinning hair can also be caused by high fever from ‘flu or an infection, or a chronic condition like thyroid problems or diabetes. There are many medications that can cause hair loss as a side effect, including birth control pills, lithium, and Depakote. Autoimmune disease can cause sudden hair loss. Hormonal imbalances and thyroid disease, especially hypothyroidism, are common causes of hair loss.

  •  Overall hair loss that appears permanent

Overall hair loss is often caused by a change in the pattern of $e* hormones, but some diseases and other underlying conditions can cause this type of hair loss by affecting different hormones.

  • Dry, brittle hair that breaks easily

Breakage is frequently a result of hair becoming brittle from chemical processing or dying, but there are health conditions that can lead to brittle fragile hair. Some examples of these health conditions include Cushing’s Syndrome, a disorder of the adrenal glands that causes excess production of the hormone cortisol; and hypoparathyroidism, a condition that is usually hereditary or a result of injury to the parathyroid glands during head and neck surgery.

Yellowish flakes in hair and scaly, itchy, patches on the scalp

This can be a chronic inflammatory condition of the scalp which then develops scaly patches, often in areas where the scalp is oiliest. When the flaky skin loosens, it leaves telltale dandruff flakes.

What Does Your Hair Say About Your Health

What Does Your Hair Say About Your Health

[Last Updated on June 6th 2014]

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