Barometers Of Your Health: What Your Hair Can Tell You

By Brenda Mango, RN Supervisor

How can your hair tell you about your health? Hair, skin, and nails are all made up of a delicate protein called keratin, which is affected by stress, nutrition, and sleep deprivation. Irregularities in these factors are often reflected in the condition and appearance of your hair.

A healthy body produces healthy hair. Hair reacts to drugs, diet, hormonal changes, and emotional disturbances. Stress, hormonal imbalances, nutritional deficiencies, and anemia can result in dandruff, hair loss, and alopecia. Daily exercise improves circulation and takes nutrients and oxygen to the body resulting in better quality hair. Additionally, proteins are necessary for good hair, so a low fat, high protein diet that is rich in vitamins minerals is best for health hair.

If you notice lingering scalp disorders like redness, itchy scalp, dandruff, and/or hair loss, it is wise to consult with a professional. If your hair is drying, brittle, or falling out, unrelated to styling techniques, it may be an indicator of anemia, thyroid trouble, or hormonal imbalance.

Just remember that while the appearance of your hair may indicate the presence of a particular health concern, it is not a positive indicator of all possible issues. Be sure to check with your physician if you have concerns regarding your personal health.