Is Bad Hair an indicator of Bad Health?
Sometimes, poor hair and scalp health is indeed a pointer to your body becoming unhealthy. This is because your hair health depends on certain diseases you have and on certain medications you take. In other cases, make sure you are not neglecting your hair and are taking good care of it so that it remains healthy. Here is a practical guide to help you to understand the relationship between your health and your hair.
Dandruff is not a Health Risk
As a matter of fact, dandruff is not contagious and even doctors are confused about how you get it. According to them, overgrowth of a certain fungus is a possible cause. Apart from this, stress, oily skin, cold or dry weather, eczema, psoriasis, and obesity are the other potential risk factors. Keep in mind that, even though dandruff is indeed an embarrassing condition which causes severe itching, it is not harmful.
Dandruff Treatment Options
To prevent dandruff we have to reduce the buildup of dead skin cells on your scalp. The best method for this is the daily usage of anti-dandruff shampoos. While shampooing, make sure to leave it on the scalp at least for five minutes and then rinse it well. Also, keep in mind that you may have to try more than one anti-dandruff shampoo to find the one which suits you. If nothing seems to work even after several tries, consult your doctor.
What is Yellow Dandruff?
If you have yellow and greasy dandruff flakes on your scalp, the chances are that you are suffering from seborrheic dermatitis. This is an inflammatory condition of your skin which usually occurs on scalp and face where there is an increased number of oil glands. The treatment of seborrheic is same as dandruff treatment even though it can be caused by various fungal infections and hormonal issues. Sometimes certain neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease or even HIV can cause it.
When should we take hair fall seriously?
As a rough estimate, it is common to shed around 100 hairs a day. You need not panic in this case. You are not going to be bald. It is usually observed that around 90% of your one lakh hair follicles are continuously producing hair. The remaining 10% of the follicles are said to be in a resting or telogen phase and these will generally fallout within the next two to three months and will be replaced by new hair.
What do you mean by Telogen Effluvium?
Sometimes, when your body receives a shock such as surgeries, certain medications, vaccinations, childbirths, crash diets, thyroid problems, and severe stress, your hair may be pushed into the telogen or resting state. Once your hair is pushed into this state, you will experience significant thinning and falling out of your hair. This condition is called telogen effluvium. Hair usually comes out as bunches in this state, but it starts growing back immediately in most cases.
What is Alopecia Areata or Male Pattern Baldness?
This is a condition in which hair follicles of your scalp is attacked mistakenly by your immune system. This causes a sudden fall out of hair and creates bald patches on your head. This can be treated with injections easily, but in some cases, the entire body hair also begins to fall out. As a matter of fact, Alopecia areata is not contagious or harmful. But people may have to face psychological problems associated with having bald patches on their scalp. Even though hair grows back almost immediately and effective treatments are available for this condition, it is seen to be recurrent in nature for some people.
The major cause of Male Pattern Baldness
Its seen that almost in 90% of people, male pattern baldness is maternal hereditary. This condition often begins with hair at your temple disappearing, then it happens on the crown. Mostly, after some months all you will be left will be a ring of hair resembling a horseshoe along the sides of your head. Some medications which are found to slow down this process are finasteride and minoxidil.
When compared to men, women lose hair much slower and they seldom go bald even though they usually have longer hair. Having longer hair in no way puts pressure on hair roots and cause them to fall out contrary to the belief of most people. Also, keep in mind that shampooing is not going to pull your hair out. Rather it just gets rid of the already falling out ones. Minoxidil 5% applied once daily is the best solution to prevent hair thinning. Other oral medications which can be considered for women are Flutamide and Spironolactone.
Make sure to protect your hair from too much exposure to the sun
Keep in mind that too much sun is not good for your hair. This can cause your hair to become dry and easily breakable especially if you have grey or blonde hair. Also, don’t forget that you can also get sunburns if you already have thin hair. You can choose hair care products which also works as a sunscreen to prevent this. The easier solution is, obviously simple. Just wear a hat made of ultraviolet protecting fabric.
Don’t forget to have proper nutrients if you love Luscious Locks
It’s possible that going on an extreme crash diet may damage your hair. Some of the main nutrients your hair need to remain healthy are protein and iron. Apart from these it also needs zinc, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin A. It’s often observed that going on an extreme diet which drastically cuts down your calories may make you deprived of these much-needed nutrients for your hair. So make sure you are not having any nutritional deficiency while switching to a new diet.
Foods beneficial for your hair and heart
Do you know most of the foods which give you luscious hair are also good for your heart? In fact, it is. Here is a list of food items which gives you this double benefit. Try eating carrots and spinach (for vitamin A); brazil nuts if you need more selenium; cashews and oysters (for zinc); and walnuts and salmon for omega-3 fatty acids.
Premature Gray Hair – Genetic or not?
As you all know, hair turns grey when you get old. But, if you are already seeing gray hair before reaching your 40’s, it means that it has something to do with your genes. Even though going gray doesn’t mean you are unhealthy, premature graying can be an indicator of thyroid issues, anemia, vitiligo, and vitamin B12 deficiency. Dyeing is a simple solution for this condition. But before you apply any type of dyes make sure you are not allergic to them. Otherwise, you may end up with an itchy scalp instead of beautiful black hair.
What is Traction Alopecia?
Are you someone who likes to put up your hair in a ponytail? Or one who loves cornrows or braids hairstyle? Then, be aware of the fact that these hairstyles cause too much traction on your hair follicles and cause damage to them. Such damages will eventually lead to hair breakage and fall out. Sometimes certain hair extensions also can cause traction alopecia due to the additional pressure and extra weight these put on your existing hair. In such cases, make sure you change your hairstyle so that permanent hair loss is avoided.
Over styling won’t help your hair growth
The outer layer of your hair, namely cuticle, can get damaged when you expose your hair to certain styling methods such as bleaching, colouring and blow drying. When this happens, the inner core of your hair gets exposed and your hair becomes dull and dry. your locks become dry and dull. Even though over styling won’t cause any permanent damage to your health, there are cases of doing this to such an extent that your only option remaining will be to cut it off completely and wait for new hair.
Can hair loss occur as a side effect to medications?
Yes. This is possible. Some of the medications which can cause hair loss as a side effect are antidepressants, anti clotting drugs, cholesterol-lowering drugs, etc. In addition to this, some nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are also found to cause hair loss. Also, keep in mind that some birth control pills and antibiotics also fall into this category. In most cases, hair regrows once the medication is stopped, but not in all cases.
Go for a Scalp Massage once in a while
Even though there is no proper evidence to support getting a scalp massage will give you a healthy scalp and hair, it is a surefire method to relieve stress. This is because your scalp has many nerve endings which are extremely sensitive to touch. It is also found that a good scalp massage is a great way to release your body’s feel-good hormones such as serotonin and dopamine.
Is Hair Analysis Reliable?
According to American Medical Association, hair analysis is not a foolproof method for treating unhealthy hair conditions. It can only detect the presence of poisons in the hair like lead or arsenic and these findings are often inconsistent. As a matter of fact, everything from the shampoo you use to factors such as air pollution can affect such test results. Therefore, they can’t be thought of as a reliable method to diagnose your hair conditions.