BEAUTY&STYLE Published November5, 2014 By Staff Writer

What Hair Says About Health

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Hair has always been associated with beauty, aesthetics, image, and identity, but not many people rely on their hair as a measure of their health. However, several studies reveal that the look, texture, and even thickness of your hair mirror the state of your overall health. Indeed, hair is our crowning glory, not only in the context of beauty but in the realms of health and wellness as well.

Gray hair is a natural occurrence that we cannot avoid; however, premature or excessive graying may be telling you to cut back on stress. According to dermatologist Paradi Mirmirani, MD, pigment producing cells is affected by oxidative stress. Genes also play quite a role in hair graying.

Dry, thinning hair could be a sign of hypothyroidism, a thyroid disease. Hypothyroidism may result in hair shedding and change in appearance, shares Dr. Mirmirani. The condition is accompanied by other symptoms such as joint pain, muscle pain, weight gain, a puffy face, and cold intolerance.

Flakes are most likely to be seborrheic dermatitis, more commonly known as dandruff. Dandruff is caused by yeast or an inflammation on the skin, and some people also experience it on their shoulders and even eyebrows.

Brittle hair is a known symptom of Cushing's syndrome, which pertains to prolonged exposure to high levels of cortisol, also known as the stress hormone.

Hair thinning could be the silent sounding siren alerting you of a possible protein deficiency. Since protein is vital in hair building, not getting enough of this nutrient leads to hair loss or thinning. Though genetics play a role in hair thinning, it is best to eat high-protein foods daily to maintain hair production and growth.

Hair shedding is a reflection of possible low iron stores or anemia. According to Dr. Mirmirani, individuals who are vegetarian or women with heavy periods are particularly susceptible to this. 

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