Stop ignoring your hair!
And by that we don’t just mean stop throwing it up in a top knot every day, we mean listen to your locks.
While this might sound crazy, did you know that your hair’s health, texture and appearance is directly linked to your physical and emotional wellbeing?
From stress to sun damage, nutritional deficiencies, and poor diet, here are five things your hair is trying to tell you about your health:
the THICK Halo in #10/6 styled by @amybaineshair
1. You’re stressed
Stress is not good for you; we all know this. But did you know stress doesn’t just affect you internally, but it affects your appearance too?
We don’t just mean those lovely dark bags around your eyes from being up all night either. We mean stress can literally affect the not only condition and appearance of your hair but also it’s growth.
So if you’ve noticed your locks are looking and feeling a little lacklustre, your body might be trying to tell you to calm down.
So, how does stress affect your hair?
Sudden, severe or prolonged stress can cause a condition called Telogen Effluvium, which causes interruptions to your natural hair growth cycle. Specifically, it means your hair will prematurely enter its resting phase and stay there for longer.
In short, your locks are not being replenished with healthy cells causing them to become brittle and break. To add salt to the wound, the strands you lose won’t be replaced as quickly as your lazy locks are stuck in their resting phase.
Now don’t panic, seriously that will only make things worse. This condition, and most stress-related hair loss, is usually temporary. Once the stress goes away, your hair growth cycle should return to normal.
If you are experiencing extreme levels of stress, you should consider speaking to your GP.
@p.joneshair styles the MEDIUM Halo in col. Dark Brown and Medium Brown #2/4
2. You need more SPF or a hat
While sipping a Sangria in the sun sounds like absolute heaven, you might want to slip, slop, slap on a hat.
Did you know your hair can get sunburnt too? Ok, maybe not sunburnt, although, your scalp can, but sun damage is just as bad for your strands as it is your skin.
The main signs of sun-damaged hair include;
- Dry and Brittle texture
- Split ends
Your hair may also be unruly or difficult to style, i.e. not holding a curl or refusing to stay straight. Sun-damaged hair also dries much quicker than healthy hair. Sunburn on your scalp can also cause inflammation, dry skin and dandruff.
But don’t fret, this isn’t a “no hat no play” situation, there are lots of ways you can beat the heat and save your hair.
Here are the best ways to repair sun-damaged hair:
- Rinse with cool water
- Use sulphate-free shampoo and conditioner
Use a Hydrating Hair Mask, (we know a good one)
- Get regular trims
Deep condition before sun exposure
- Wash your hair after swimming
- Hydrate with coconut oil or Aloe Vera
@les.essentiels wears the THICK halo in col. Dark Blonde 10 styled by @pinklalonde
3. You have an underlying health condition
Your hair’s health is not just dependent on your overall health and wellbeing, but it can also indicate underlying health issues.
This is especially common in women.
Underlying health issues cause everything from hair loss to breakage, to abnormal growth, dull texture, and so many more hair problems.
The most common medical cause of hair loss in women is thyroid disease. Hyper (overactive) and Hypo (underactive) thyroidism both cause abnormal hair loss and thinning.
Other medical conditions which can cause hair problems are:
- Eating Disorders
- Burning Scalp Syndrome
- Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
On the bright side, if you do suffer an underlying medical condition, once you receive treatment, your hair should be restored to its former glory.
If you are experiencing abnormal hair loss accompanied by other symptoms, you should see your GP.
The MEDIUM halo in col. Cream Blonde 20C styled by @mareealexhair
4. You have a nutrition deficiency
Are you going grey before your time? Losing locks? Or is your hair just very slow to grow? These could all point to one or more nutritional deficiencies.
The main nutritional deficiencies that impact our manes are Vitamin B12, Biotin and iron.
A lack of B12 could be causing your hair to go grey prematurely, but that can also be attributed to stress and good old genetics. To boost your B12 levels include more red meat, eggs and dairy in your diet. Or if you’re a vegan/vegetarian, you can add nutritional yeast to a meal, eat shitake mushrooms, nori, mylks, juices and cereals fortified with B12. A good greens powder normally contains ample supply of B12. Or take a B12 supplement.
Biotin is a building block for healthy hair growth which helps to break down protein. Again, it is mostly found in meat so supplements can be helpful here too.
Iron deficiency is probably the most common cause of hair and getting-dizzy-from-standing-up-too-fast issues in women. Lucky us, am I, right ladies? Iron carries oxygen to the roots of your hair and boosts blood flow and circulation. So, without it, things get a little haywire.
From beefing, or even leafing up your diet, luckily there are lots of ways you can up your iron intake. Try eating more lean meats and green leafy veggies as well as beans and legumes. If you still lack iron, again, there are always supplements.
The THICK halo in Col. #4
5. You need to change your diet
While you might be okay with your coffee-counts-as-a-meal style diet, we promise you, your hair is not.
As mentioned above, nutritional deficiencies wreak havoc on your locks, so; it is super important to remember that while you’re feeding your face, you’re also feeding your hair.
… Put the doughnut down.
Your diet creates the building blocks for healthy, strong, shiny locks, so if your hair is a bit blah, it might be time to reconsider your diet.
What foods are best for your hair’s health?
A diet low in refined sugar and high in unrefined carbs with a moderate protein intake is best for healthy hair.
- Fatty fish, such as salmon (consume in moderation due to high mercury count)
- Citrus Fruit
- Eggs (also consume in moderation as they can cause hormone imbalances)
- Nuts and Seeds
- Lean Meat
- Tofu and Tempeh
- Beans and Legumes
- Leafy Greens
@mariathattil wears the Thick Halo in Col. Light + Medium Brown #4/6
This article is a guest post by Kaitlyn Wilson at Sitting Pretty. Sitting Pretty solves thin hair problems with uniquely designed halo hair extensions, so you can look like you, but you’er.