Your hair might very well be one of the first things people notice about you. Flowing locks, bouncy curls, pixie short, vibrant colors… whatever your style, your hair is an extension of your personality and a form of self-expression. It says something about you.
But sometimes our hair is trying to say something to us, instead of about us.
If your hair is giving one of the following cries for help, it might indicate a health problem or that your hair and scalp need your attention.
Do you have flaky white stuff on your scalp, in your hair, and on your eyebrows? Dandruff is the culprit. While we don’t know exactly what causes dandruff, some potential risk factors include stress, obesity, cold/dry weather, fungus, or skin conditions like oily skin, eczema, or psoriasis.
The takeaway: While annoying and embarrassing at times, dandruff isn’t dangerous or unhealthy. To help, try different dandruff shampoos until you find the one that works for you. If none do, talk to your doctor.
Yellowish dandruff with a greasy feel might be seborrheic dermatitis, a condition that can pop up anywhere your body has oil glands. It’s an inflammatory response that might be caused by a fungus, hormones, or some neurological conditions.
The takeaway: Like with the white flakes, “yellow dandruff” is not dangerous, and the usual treatment is dandruff shampoo. Test drive shampoos until you find the one that works for you. Or, see your doctor.
On a normal day, it’s natural to shed as many as 100 hairs. But if you notice hair falling out in your hands or clumping in your brush, you might have a type of abnormal loss called telogen effluvium.
Telogen effluvium is often caused by a shock, stress, or trauma. For example, illness or surgery, childbirth, thyroid problems, crash dieting, or extreme stress. The most common area affected is the top of the head. This is temporary loss, and new growth usually begins immediately.
Another possible cause of hair loss might be found in your medicine cabinet. Some common culprits are antidepressants, cholesterol lowering drugs, anticlotting drugs, NSAIDs, birth control, and antibiotics. If a short-term medication is the cause, like an antibiotic, the hair will probably grow back when the medication is stopped. However, hair loss could be a long-term effect if your medications are treating long-term conditions.
The takeaway: If you can’t pinpoint stress or a medical condition that may be causing your hair loss, check the listed side-effects for any medications you take. If you suspect a medication, talk to your doctor. There may be other options. But never stop a medication without talking to your doctor first.
Sudden, patchy hair loss could be caused by alopecia areata. This type of hair loss is the result of your immune system attacking your hair follicles. The hair loss frequently takes the form of bald patches, but in more severe cases can cause complete, full-body hair loss. Alopecia areata is not dangerous but can be psychologically traumatic.
The takeaway: Patchy loss could be a sudden abnormal immune system response. The hair generally grows back, although it sometimes can be helped along with treatment. This type of hair loss tends to recur. If you’re experiencing this type of hair loss, talk to your doctor.
Traction alopecia is a type of breakage and hair loss caused by pulling your hair too tight. Not an occasional ponytail; but frequent, tightly pulled styles can damage the hair follicles. Heavy hair extensions and hairpieces that pull on your natural hair can also cause traction alopecia.
The takeaway: Traction alopecia is a high price to pay for beauty! Resting your hair or changing your hair style should help. It can become permanent, however.
Easily broken hair that is dry and has split ends could be the result of too much sun exposure or over styling. Sun damage is more common with blonde or grey hair. Styling damage can be from over processing with color or with harsh, hot tools. This can damage the protective outer layer of hair, exposing the inner core to damage.
The takeaway: Overexposure to sun is easily remedied. Protect your hair and scalp with sunscreen products for hair and wear a sun-protective hat. For over processing damage, embrace your natural beauty and give your hair a break from color and heated styling tools.
Genetics usually determines when you’ll start turning gray, but premature graying can also be caused by anemia, thyroid problems, vitiligo, and vitamin B12 deficiency.
It can also be caused by chronic stress as a result of the inflammation that long-term stress releases in your body.
The takeaway: If blood tests are normal, assess your stress level. Unchecked stress doesn’t only cause gray hair; it contributes to serious chronic health issues like high blood pressure and heart disease.
Dull, limp hair is commonly caused by diet issues. It might indicate that you’re not eating enough of the good stuff your hair needs to stay healthy. Like the rest of your body, your hair needs lean protein, fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and plenty of omega-3 fatty acids.
One way to improve your hair’s health and lustre is to supplement with a high-quality marine collagen like DeepMarine’s Canadian-Made collagen. How does that work? Well, your hair follicles are all located in the dermis of your skin. The health of the dermis has an impact on the health of your hair follicle and your hair itself. Many DeepMarine users find that DeepMarine helps to significantly improve skin health and conditions like dandruff, eczema, psoriasis and dry skin. DeepMarine improves the cellular structure in the dermis and makes skin cells stronger and the extra-cellular matrix healthier. Since the health of the tissues around the hair follicles is improved, the health of the hair follicle itself also improves. With healthier hair follicles, the result is hair the is more hydrated, often thicker, less brittle and have a much better appearance.
The takeaway: Have you been dieting or subsisting on fast food? It might show in your hair. Make sure you’re getting enough calories, nutrients and supplementing with DeepMarine’s Canadian-Made collagen. And if your hair is suffering, the rest of your body is too. Assess your diet, and if needed, talk to your doctor.
When your hair speaks for you, listen to it; it might be giving you a clear message.