Most of us see our hair as a pretty important feature. Not only for aesthetic reasons and our self-confidence, a way to express our style and to feel more attractive, but it also holds important information about our overall health. The condition and appearance of our hair may be indicating underlying medical problems, and sometimes, it can be one of the first signals to look out for!
Here at Cel, we understand the significance of good hair care, and how important it is to you. That’s why we’ve researched the 6 most common health issues your hair and scalp might be trying to tell you, so you can take action before it’s too late!
1. You Might Be Too Stressed
In today’s world, it’s common for many of us to suffer from stress. Busy lives, demanding jobs and juggling commitments makes it easy for us to skip out on any meditative time, and our bodies are in a constant state of ‘go, go, go!’. This heightened level of stress and permanent 'fight or flight' feeling, leads to an over-production of Cortisol (our stress hormone) and can cause premature graying, hair thinning, and even complete hair loss. Stress-related hair loss is known as Telogen Effluvium , and can occur after any kind of stress or trauma to your body (e.g. childbirth) or in periods of extreme mental stress (e.g. a new job, moving house, etc.)
If you’re feeling like your day to day life is a little too stressful, it might be time to take a step back and re-evaluate your routine. Set aside some time each evening to enjoy a few minutes of mindful relaxation, either in a bubble bath, doing some deep breathing exercises, or using a meditation app such as Headspace. It might be time to re-think how important the high-flying job is, compared to your health and happiness, or even a sign that a vacation is needed. Taking the steps to manage your stress levels could have a hugely beneficial impact on the health of your hair, as well as your overall happiness. Remember, no job or event is more important than your health.
2. You Might Have A Hormone Imbalance
Your thyroid is responsible for controlling the hormones in your body, all of which play an important role in your health. From your mood and metabolism to the rate your hair grows – hormones control the lot! Due to environmental and genetic factors, your hormones can easily become imbalanced, which can alter the health of your hair drastically . For example, if you have a sensitivity to testosterone, less hair will grow on your head, and more will grow on your body.
If you are concerned about a hormone imbalance in your body, there are many ways to correct it. From eating a healthier diet and getting more sleep, to taking hormone replacement medications such as the birth control pill. Speak to your doctor and see what will work best for your body.
Related: The Importance Of Hormonal Balance
3. You Might Have A Protein Deficiency
Protein is a key part of healthy hair growth, and without it, our bodies can struggle to keep our locks looking and feeling their best. If you’ve noticed your hair looking thinner or lackluster lately, it could be due to a protein deficiency. Your body needs protein for many functions – mainly for the growth and repair of essential tissues and muscles. In the hierarchy of needs, our bodies consider hair as a non-essential tissue, so if there is minimal protein in your diet, it will send it to the more important places first - neglecting our follicles. It’s recommended that you eat at least 0.8g of protein per kg of body weight per day, depending on your activity levels .
Increasing your protein intake can be easily achieved through proper nutrition and a bit of knowledge around what foods are best to eat! Make sure you are eating foods high in protein every single day, such as chicken and turkey, tofu, eggs, and nuts. If you prefer the convenience of supplements, a tasty protein shake makes a great mid-morning snack, too!
4. You Might Have Anemia
Iron is another key nutrient needed to maintain and grow thick, healthy hair, and without enough of it, our locks will suffer. Your body needs iron to produce hemoglobin, and without enough of it, your cells can’t function properly – including the cells responsible for hair growth! Anemia will result in gradual hair loss over time, so keep an eye out for more hair in your plug or hairbrush over the course of a few weeks.
If you’ve been feeling overly tired, you look pale and washed out, and your hair is thinning – go and see your doctor for an iron deficiency test. Once diagnosed, Anaemia is easily treated with a daily iron supplement and hair loss can be reversed almost instantly.
5. You Might Have A Fungal Infection
Most of us don’t worry too much about the condition of our scalp – after all, we can’t usually see much of it! But in reality, our scalp can be extremely sensitive, and prone to fungal infections just as much as other, more exposed, body parts. Certain fungal infections, such as ringworm or folliculitis, can cause hair loss and an inflamed, itchy scalp. Infections like this are best treated at the source, by neutralizing and nourishing the scalp itself.
Cel’s Microstem Thickening Shampoo has been formulated with Stem Cell Technology and nourishing ingredients such as Ginger and Balm Mint to rejuvenate dry, irritated skin and contribute to a healthy scalp. Your scalp will be revitalized and refreshed within just a few uses.
6. You Might Have Cushing’s Syndrome
As we mentioned earlier, too much Cortisol (the stress hormone) can lead to hair thinning. Cushing’s Syndrome happens when the body is exposed to high levels of Cortisol for a lengthened period of time, and in women, one of the first symptoms is hair loss . It’s usually accompanied by other symptoms such as weight fluctuation, acne or stretch marks, but can be dangerous if left untreated.
Cushing’s Syndrome is more likely to occur in those taking steroids, as steroids contain a manmade version of Cortisol, so if you’ve noticed any of these symptoms, it could be wise to go and see your doctor.
You may be putting your slow hair-growth down to genetics, or your thinning locks down to over-styling, but your hair is more intelligent than you think. Before you dismiss any of these symptoms, take a closer look and make sure your hair isn’t trying to warn you of anything more serious. Luckily, nearly all of these conditions are easily treatable, so listen closely to your locks… they could hold the secret to better health!