Your Hair Is Reflective Of Your Health — Diet, Shedding, Hyperthyroidism, and Hormones


There’s a reason the global hair care industry is valued at a whopping $160 billion and rising — most people are concerned with their appearance, and hairstyle makes a huge first impression.

But beyond our superficial concerns, it’s important to pay attention to our hair for another reason: our health.

You may not consider it much, but our hair holds a lot of clues about how healthy — or unhealthy — we are. So listen up as we explore the secrets that are hiding in those mops on our heads.

Photo Credit: pxhere

1. Nutrition & Diet

One of the most important things that our hair reveals is nutritional deficiencies.

If you suffer from sudden hair loss, the culprit might be an iron deficiency. Besides thinning out your hair, a deficiency in iron might cause your hair to become wiry, brittle and dry.

The appearance of your hair can also reveal a lot about your diet. If your diet is packed with highly processed foods and a lot of trips to McDonald’s and Burger King, your hair (and your waistline) may suffer.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

When your body doesn’t get the nutrients it needs, what little it has will be transported to your heart and other crucial organs, which means your hair gets left in the dust. As a result, your hair might start to look dull or thin.

Solution? Just turn it around. Eating a balanced diet full of all the goodies — like veggies, lean meat, etc. — will give your hair the shine you’ve been missing.

2. Shedding

Another thing to keep an eye on is just how much hair you’re shedding on a daily basis.

It’s normal to lose about 50-100 hairs each day, but if you notice that you’re losing an excessive amount of hair, you may be overstressed without even realizing it. Some common stressors include giving birth, dealing with an illness, an anxiety inducing job, dealing with family and relationships in general.

For most people, this rapid hair shedding is temporary and eventually stops. However, it is important to notice if this is happening to you as it may be a sign you need to see a mental health practitioner to help you deal with your stress.

3. Hyperthyroidism

Another reason your hair might suddenly start thinning is a thyroid issue.

Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland isn’t producing enough of the hormones your body needs. This can usually be corrected with medication, but it’s an important thing to notice before the situation gets out of hand and starts affecting things like your weight and overall health.

4. Dental Health

Surprisingly, your hair may also be related to your dental health.

Some people who suffer from a mutation of the hair protein keratin have a higher risk of developing cavities. Keratin is not only essential for growing hair, but also for building tooth enamel. If a person suffers from a keratin mutation, they may have softer teeth that are more susceptible to decay. So, if you do have this hair mutation, it’s important to be extra vigilant about your dental care.

5. Hormones

If you’re a woman, adjusting to new birth control may affect the appearance of your hair as well.

New hormones from pills can cause a woman’s hair to be less shiny, finer and even drier. Since birth control can cause hair to thin, the American Hair Loss Association suggests that women predisposed to hair loss consider a non-hormonal form of birth control.

6. Early Graying

Finally, it’s time to address the dreaded gray.

If you find yourself growing a head full of white hairs (there’s no such thing as a “gray” hair) it’s most likely due to your genetics.

Photo Credit: Max Pixel

But if you find yourself “going gray” before the age of 35, you might be suffering from a lack of vitamin B12 and folic acid. Thankfully, researchers have found that taking vitamin B12, folic acid and getting plenty of sunshine can help re-pigment skin AND hair that has stopped producing melanin, so you may not be prematurely grey forever.

In conclusion, it’s generally a good idea to pay attention to what your hair is telling you. If you see rapid changes or excessive hair loss, you may be overly stressed and should pay your doctor a visit to see if there is another issue that needs to be addressed.

After all, your hair is about more than making a good first impression!