How many times have we missed a call or text message and left it unread for days until we’ve completely forgotten about it – until the point when someone asks why you weren’t at an important meeting, or if you picked up a food item for a family dinner? If it’s easy to dismiss a notification on our cell phones that can vibrate or ping us to pay attention, then it’s no surprise we ignore some easy-to-miss messages our body sends when things are going awry internally. One of the ways we can tune in with our well-being is by paying attention to our hair, as it often reflects our health. Read on to discover four messages your hair may be sending you about your health that you won’t want to ignore.
1. Your Hormones Are Unbalanced
Unbalanced hormones can be the culprit of numerous symptoms women experience throughout their lifetime. Anything from the birth of a child to being on specific medications can cause hormonal imbalances that can present quickly, or sneak up on us over time. One sign of hormonal imbalance is hair loss or thinning beyond the typical amount of shedding you see on a daily basis. If you see a significant amount of hair loss in a short period of time, it might be a good idea to speak with your doctor to have tests run and explore options for hair regrowth such as a prescription hair loss treatment.
2. You’re Missing Something
Our body is good at sending us messages in the form of physical feelings, but often we don’t understand what these messages mean! It’s generally well known that we need specific vitamins and minerals to give us energy or boost our immunity and we can usually tell when those vitamins are lacking. It might be surprising to know that for those not getting enough iron, zinc, or vitamin D, it’s common to see hair loss or thinning hair. If this is something you suspect is going on, or want to prevent from happening in the future, make sure you’re including these essentials vitamins and minerals in your diet. Again, it’s always a good idea to talk with your doctor to see if any extra supplements are needed to get you up to the correct levels needed for strong and healthy hair!
3. You’ve had enough!
Whether we plan on it or not, our bodies go through a lot! Generally, for those of us leading busy lives, it’s easy to push through warning signs of burnout, physical exhaustion, and chronic pain. But eventually, you may notice after traumatic or prolonged stressful events or illness – we’re looking at you COVID-19 – that your hair loss ramps up, or hair regrowth is sluggish. If you haven’t listened to previous messages from your body, now is the time to stop and realize how the effects of the last two years are playing out, even with your hair! Pay attention to the external stressors around you and look for opportunities to check in with your body on a regular basis. We are truly the only ones who can tell ourselves how we feel. Unfortunately, we are often so busy or numbed to the issues swirling around us that we neglect to process our feelings as we experience them. Practicing embodiment via yoga, meditation, or special mindfulness exercises is a wonderful way to center ourselves even in the midst of a chaotic or stressful life and allow our body (and hair!) to recover.
4. You’re Thirsty!
Hydration is still a buzzword in the haircare world, and for good reason! At some point in our life, we will experience some level of dry or brittle hair. This can happen due to a number of reasons. Years of changing our hair color, or trying different updos and textures with heat tools can cause extensive damage to our hair. Exposure to certain chemicals and minerals such as chlorine from swimming pools, or hard water in specific parts of the country can dry out even the softest hair if you’re not careful. Much like skin, your hair can have a combination of issues. If you tend to have an oily scalp but find your ends are dry or split, it’s time to take a look at your shampoo and conditioner! Check out nutrient-rich hair masks and other hair products like formaldehyde-free shampoo. It is best to avoid harsh chemicals such as sulfates and phthalates, both of which can, ironically, cause hair loss!
Even though it’s easy to miss a couple of messages here and there that our hair might be giving us, don’t let your mental inbox get swamped before you take action and do something to protect, nourish, and even regrow your hair if need be. Our hair can be so closely tied to our identity! Once we realize something is wrong with our beloved locks we might be tempted to worry causing a vicious cycle of detrimental thinking and physical symptoms. Hopefully, these tips can get you started on your way to achieving the hair you want.