Contributor: Jackie Goulding
It’s our belief that true beauty starts within. If you’re having a bad hair day every day, it may be a symptom of a deeper, underlying health problem — and not something you can fix with hair care products alone. As much as 50% of women experience hair loss before age 50, the North American Hair Research Society reports. This is due to a myriad of reasons, including, genetics, deficiencies, stress, menopause, or more serious physical illness. Here are a few clues your hair may be giving you about your overall health, as well as what you can do to stimulate healthy hair growth.
You need to eat better
Unhealthy hair may be down to a nutrient deficiency and can be solved with a healthier, balanced diet. Your hair is made up of 97% protein and requires continual nourishment to help it grow as quickly as it should (about 1/8 inch per day). However, if you have digestive issues, your body may struggle to break down protein. Get advice from your doctor in this case.
While it’s very hard for most people — even vegetarians and vegans — to actually develop a protein deficiency as long as you’re eating enough calories, you should eat more foods helpful for hair growth. Also, stay hydrated by drinking at least eight glasses of water a day. You can also support healthy hair growth by taking a concentrated beauty supplement to boost your vitamin and antioxidant levels.
You need to relax
When you’re stressed, a chain of reactions can cause your body to release extra testosterone. This is a male hormone which can trigger thinning hair and hair loss. You may just notice your scalp losing more hair than normal, but, in more severe cases, the hair may fall out in clumps. Stress and anxiety can also cause people to habitually pull their hair out (trichotillomania), resulting in broken hairs and bald patches. Stop hair loss and regrow your hair by minimizing your stress levels and practicing relaxation techniques. If you have a more serious problem with stress, ask your doctor for help.
You’re entering menopause
Menopause occurs at around 50 years old. It involves a drop in estrogen levels, and therefore a greater prominence of male hormones. This can cause hair to grow thinner and look less voluminous, rather than it simply just falling out. You may notice the first signs of hair thinning in your late 40s (or a few years before your period ends). You can encourage your hair to grow by living a healthy lifestyle with plenty of healthy food, water, exercise, sleep, and relaxation; switching medications which may cause hair loss; or trying hormone replacement therapy to balance your hormones again.
If you’re already living a generally relaxed, healthy lifestyle, and aren’t menopausal, you may have an underlying health problem. Thinning, greying, or dry hair may also be a sign of anemia, hypothyroidism, heart disease, and type two diabetes. Visit your doctor for a general health checkup. If something comes up in your test results, you can then take the appropriate steps to restore your hair and your health.
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