Bad hair may be telling you to improve your health. Some conditions and medications may affect your hair as well as your body. We review several conditions.
Bad Hair: Dandruff
Dandruff may be due to an overgrowth of a fungus. Other possible risk factors include oily skin, stress, obesity, flu, cold dry weather, and having eczema or psoriasis. Although it’s embarrassing and the itching can be a nuisance, dandruff isn’t harmful.
Bad Hair: Yellow Dandruff
Yes, believe it or not, there is such a thing as yellow dandruff. If the dandruff flakes you see are greasy and yellow, you may have seborrheic dermatitis. It’s an inflammatory skin condition that can occur where there are lots of oil glands, like the scalp and face. Seborrheic dermatitis is related to hormones and fungus and can be treated with anti-dandruff shampoos. However, severe cases may need a prescription steroid or antifungal medicine.
Experts estimate that we may shed up to 100 or more hairs a day. But, don’t worry, it does not mean that you’re going bald since about 90% of your 100,000 hair follicles are producing hair at any given time. The other 10% are in a resting phase, and that hair falls out after about 2 to 3 months. It’s replaced by new hair, and the growth cycle starts over again.
Hair Shedding In Handfuls
A shock to your system — surgery, vaccinations, giving birth, some medications, crash diets, severe stress, thyroid problems, can shed your hair. In most cases, new hair starts growing right away.
Bad Hair: Sudden Hair Loss
Sudden hair loss is called Alopecia areata and is caused when your immune system attacks your hair follicles, causing hair to fall out, often suddenly. Your hair may grow back on its own, or, call your doctor injections and creams.
Genetics Male Hair Loss
Genetic male hair loss may be more influenced by your mother’s family than your father’s. So a look at your maternal grandfather’s hair to give you a better clue about the future of yours. Male pattern baldness often starts with receding hair at the temples, then moving to the crown, thereby leaving a horseshoe-shaped ring of hair around the sides of the head. Don’t despair, some think it looks sexy.
Age-related thinning may mean hair thinning all over the head, but pattern hair loss is usually most common on top of the head. Unlike men, women rarely go bald, and they tend to lose hair more slowly than men do. Contrary to popular belief, longer hair won’t put a strain on the roots, causing more to fall out, don’t believe that. Nor will shampooing pull hair out, it just gets the ones that were falling out already. Minoxidil 5% applied once daily may help hair growth and prevent thinning. Spironolactone and Flutamide (oral medications) can also be used in women.
Bad Hair: Avoid The Sun
Too much sun can turn your hair into a brittle, dry mop that breaks and splits easily. This is especially true in those with blonde or grey hair. You also risk sunburn on your scalp. Protect yourself by wearing a hat with a wide brim that also contains UPF 30 (ultraviolet protection factor) in its fabric.
We can’t stress this enough. Proper nutrition is the key to great looking healthy hair. Your hair needs protein and iron to stay healthy, along with omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, and vitamin A. Very low-calorie diets are often lacking in sufficient nutrients and can stunt hair growth, as well as, leave your hair dull and limp. If the nutritional deficiency is big enough, hair will fall out in bunches.
Premature Gray Hair
Premature gray hair is genetic. If you’re not yet 40 and see more than a few gray hairs, chances are it runs in your family. In general, gray hair usually isn’t a sign of poor health, although anemia, thyroid issues, vitamin B12 deficiency, and vitiligo (loss of skin color) can cause premature graying. You can highlight or color hair to cover the gray. But be careful as some people are sensitive to the chemicals in dyes. These chemicals may result in a burning and itchy scalp.
Among the medications that list hair loss as a side effect are anticlotting drugs, cholesterol-lowering drugs, antidepressants, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and drugs for menopause, birth control, and antibiotics. Usually, hair grows back when the medication is stopped, but in some cases, hair loss is permanent.
Say No To Hair Analysis
Some companies claim they can analyze hair clippings to see if you are deficient in vitamins or have health problems. Although hair analysis can detect some poisons like lead or arsenic, findings can be inconsistent and varied. Everything from air pollution to shampoo may affect test results. The American Medical Association is against hair analysis to determine treatment. Stay away from this con.
Traction alopecia happens when you pull your hair too tight. Ponytails, braids, and cornrows, can damage hair follicles and cause hair to break or fall out. Moreover, be aware that hair extensions and hairpieces can sometimes cause also traction alopecia, as it adds extra weight on your head. Furthermore, pulling hair back tightly for a long time will lead to permanent hair loss.
Blow drying, using a flat iron, coloring, bleaching, even over-brushing — all can damage the outer layer (cuticle) of your hair. When the inner core of hair is exposed, your locks become dry and dull. Although it doesn’t cause any permanent health damage, you can overstyle to the point that your only option for healthy hair is to cut it off and start over. When it comes to your hair, doing less actually becomes more.
Bad hair can indicate that you may have health problems. Watch this informative video on bad hair and learn what to do and what not to do.