What Your Hair is Telling You About Your Overall Health

You can’t help but notice and think about your hair every day. Is it tidy enough so you can venture out, even to run an errand? Is it time for a trim? Oops, you might just need to little color touch-up. You get the idea.

Beyond playing an integral role in your appearance, hair can be sending signals about overall health. Changes in texture, thickness, and appearance can be signs of an underlying healthy problem.

Here are 6 things to watch out for.

Turning Gray – Going gray is a natural part of aging and, depending on your genes, you might see the first signs of silver much earlier than expected. In addition to age, stress can cause turn your hair gray and even fall out. Chronic stress can cause DNA damage and reduce the supply of pigment-producing cells.

Brittle Hair – Cushing’s syndrome is a rare condition caused by the adrenal glands’ over-production of cortisol – the body’s primary stress hormone. Symptoms of Cushing’s syndrome include high blood pressure, back pain, fatigue, and brittle hair.

Hair Thinning – Increased hair shedding and a change in overall appearance – along with fatigue, cold intolerance, joint and muscle pain, and weight gain – can be a symptom of hypothyroidism. This condition occurs when your thyroid gland doesn’t make enough thyroid hormones.

Hair Shedding – If you suddenly notice more hair going down the shower drain, it could mean your body is low in iron – at that point, it’s a good idea to talk to your primary doctor about testing. Vegetarians and women with heavy periods have an increased chance of being iron deficient, though hair shedding also can occur after pregnancy or stopping birth control pills, both of which cause sudden changes in estrogen levels.

Hair Loss – Though not a problem for most Americans, protein deficiency has been linked to hair thinning and loss. Some individuals may have gastrointestinal issues that make it difficult to digest protein.

White or Yellow Flakes – Flakes in your hair or on your shoulders typically indicate a chronic scalp condition or dandruff. Either way, the effects often can be erased by usually over-the-counter or prescription shampoo.

The moral is, don’t assume that the symptom explains the cause, as there are multiple causes of hair loss. Schedule a free consultation to discover what a hair transplant can do for you.