We all know our bodies need water in order to function properly, but many underestimate just how important being adequately hydrated is to our basic health. In fact, it is estimated that only 25 percent of us drink the recommended amount of water needed daily. And if not addressed, prolonged dehydration can cause serious health problems like organ damage.
The major organs that depend on being adequately hydrated include the brain, kidneys, liver, digestive system, and the skin. And since the health of our hair is often tied to the health of our skin, chronic dehydration can eventually lead to hair loss.
Symptoms of Dehydration
While a common symptom, thirst is not a good indicator of dehydration. A person can be dehydrated without feeling thirsty, especially during cold weather months. Other symptoms may include:
- Less frequent urination
- Darker urine
- Muscle cramps
- Inability to focus
Causes of Dehydration
Those who exercise frequently can become dehydrated if what is lost through sweating is not replaced. Certain illnesses can also lead to dehydration, including those that cause fevers, vomiting, diarrhea, and excessive sweating. Medications that increase urination may also lead to dehydration. Additionally, caffeine and alcohol are diuretics, so you should drink a glass of water for every glass of caffeine or alcohol you consume.
Dehydration and Your Hair
Studies suggest that even though our skin is 63% water, it’s one of the first places the body tries to conserve water when we aren’t getting enough. When the skin continuously doesn’t get enough water, it can’t properly eliminate the toxins that we encounter in our daily environment, leading to dry, itchy skin, wrinkles, dry scalp, and more. A dry scalp, in turn, can lead to hair thinning and eventually loss.
With mild dehydration, your hair may not look as lustrous and healthy as it normally does. In more severe cases, hair may become thin, brittle, dry, and break off easily – leading to the appearance of thinning hair.
How to Stay Hydrated
The simplest way to stay hydrated is to drink more water. While other beverages may contain plenty of water, limit those high in caffeine, calories, and sugar as they not only cause you to lose more water through frequent urination but also aren’t great for your overall health. Drinking water is your best bet for maintaining proper hydration. Try adding fruit such as strawberries, pineapple, cucumber, or citrus to make it more flavorful. And if you’re not sure how much water you should be drinking to maintain proper hydration, consult your healthcare professional.
At DiStefano Hair Restoration Center, our job isn’t to keep tabs on your water intake (though we do hope you are drinking enough!). It is, however, our job to help you achieve the healthy, natural looking and feeling hair you dream of. If you’re struggling with hair thinning or loss and are ready to regain your confidence or are wondering if hair restoration is right for you, contact us today for a free consultation.