The health of your hair is closely connected to your overall health. As a nutritionist, there are many things I can tell about your health by looking at the state of your hair. Your hair might indicate that you are stressed, have nutritional deficiencies, issues with your thyroid, hormones, iron levels, gut absorption and much more.
Your hair is part of your integumentary system which also includes your skin and nails. This system is not essential to life. If you get stressed or suffer from various deficiencies, your skin, nails & hair will be sacrificed before your cardiac or nervous systems. Your body prioritises the survival functions of your heart and brain so you can survive. Your body will shunt blood to various vital systems, leaving others less nourished.
Underlying Conditions for Bad Hair Health
Research shows that changes in the look of your hair texture or thickness can be signs of underlying health conditions. You can tell whether your hair changes are due to a health problem, stress, hormonal imbalances or a nutritional deficiency.
Many clients that I treat for hormonal imbalances like thyroid or infertility often report that their hair has changed over the last year.
This was one of the things I noticed when treating Stephanie & James who were recently added to the ‘Rejuv Rainbow Baby’ list with the birth of little baby boy Max Oliver. If you are struggling with infertility, please download our FREE Fertility Guide.
5 Signs Your Hair Is Giving You To Improve Your Health
Here are five essential signs to look for in your locks to determine if you have deficiencies or need to get your stress under control.
1. Thinning Hair Can Be a Sign of Hypothyroidism
Hypothyroidism is a condition that occurs when your thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormones, and many experiences increased hair shedding and a change in hair appearance. About 5% of the U.S. population ages 16 and over have hypothyroidism, although most cases are mild.
Hypothyroidism can cause thinning hair and other symptoms, such as tiredness, cold intolerance, joint pain, muscle pain, a puffy face, water retention, weight gain, low energy and an overall feeling of flat & a lack of joy in your life.
If you feel you have a thyroid issue, you can have a blood test, but make sure the Doctor tests for TSH, T3, T4, Free T3 & Thyroid Antibodies; many don’t do a full panel of tests, and you remain suffering and incorrectly diagnosed.
Increase Trace Minerals
Low thyroid can often be rebalanced with plants, and I weaned myself off Thyroxine with my Sea & Soil Capsules – replacing all the trace minerals from the earth and the sea missing from our diets. Adding seaweed to your diet is a considerable health benefit. When you buy organic vegetables, leave a little dirt on them, which will also boost your trace minerals.
Thinning hair triggered by low thyroid can put you at risk for an autoimmune hair-loss condition called alopecia aerate. This type of hair loss causes round patches of sudden hair loss caused by the immune system attacking the hair follicles.
Hair shedding can also happen temporarily with sudden changes in oestrogen levels and is often noticed with IVF treatment, after pregnancy and when stopping birth control capsules.
If you feel your female hormonal levels are out, you can take a female panel blood test, but please don’t opt for synthetic hormones as these are linked to female cancers. Go for plant-based options like our Female Hormone Balance Capsules.
Avoiding sugar is also crucial to keep your hormones in balance.
2. Mineral Deficiencies Linked to Hair Loss
Many of my clients have poor health, including falling or dull brittle hair due to mineral deficiencies.
With over-farming, it is easy to experience deficiencies of trace minerals, as mentioned in the first point above. Still, many clients experience significant vitamin and mineral deficiencies despite eating a balanced diet. Once I investigate further, I usually find that clients are trying to eat well, but their food’s nutrient density is low, and their digestive system is letting them down.
Eat From The Rainbow
As a first step, I suggest eating from the rainbow to ensure you are getting enough vitamins and minerals. Adding in 2 portions of good fats each day, such as nuts, seeds and avocados, is also essential, so you nourish your hair from the inside out.
I even remember it as kids we used to give our horses linseeds so they would have shiny coats! If you are already doing that, you will need a supplement like the Hair Elixir I formulated for Elle Macpherson and WelleCo. If you find it tricky to eat from the rainbow, choose outstanding foundational support like The Super Elixir.
Digestive support is something we all need because we now know that we are what we absorb, not simply that we are what we eat. Chewing your food around 20 times per mouthful is a great way to improve gut function, but if you suffer from IBS symptoms such as bloating, heartburn, constipation or diarrhoea, then you will also need digestive support.
3. Grey Locks Can Be a Sign of Stress
Sudden shock and stress can cause your hair to go grey prematurely. We all go grey, but I’m referring to premature greyness like in your 30’s and 40’s.
For example, my Dad’s brother suddenly died when he was only 29, and my Dad went grey almost overnight by the time he was 30 from the shock.
A study on mice published in the journal Nature revealed that chronic stress is linked to greying hair by causing DNA damage and reducing the supply of pigment-producing cells in hair follicles.
Stress can also cause your hair to shed.
If you feel under much stress, it would be great to embrace mindfulness and adopt some good habits to support a balanced and joyful lifestyle.
You can download our Free Good Habits Guide here.
Our Rejuv Adrenal Complex Capsules are also powerful adaptogens to calm your nervous system and allow your body to release unwanted stress, and improve your capacity to handle life better.
4. Excessive Shedding Could Be a Sign of Anaemia
If you’re suddenly noticing a lot more hair in your hairbrush or on your shower floor, this could be a sign that your body has low iron or anaemia.
With more people choosing to become vegan, anaemia is on the rise. This doesn’t mean you need to go back to eating animals, but you need to be vigilant with your dark green leafy vegetables, dark red foods like beetroot and pomegranates, and take a plant-based iron supplement like our Cherry Iron Calm. These capsules also calm your nervous system, so be taken at night just before dinner.
Some women who have heavy periods can also suffer from low iron and excessive hair loss, so taking an iron supplement will prevent this dip and hair loss every month.
5. Hair Loss is Related to Protein Deficiency
Protein is essential for hair health and growth. Like our vitamins and minerals, many are trying to eat a balanced diet, but their digestive system lets them down.
This is why it is important to choose a good quality organic free-range animal protein, chew your food well and swap out animal protein a few times a week with black beans or lentils. I also love adding pumpkin, sunflower and flaxseeds to most meals.
Vegan Deficiencies and Hair Health
Many of my clients have chosen to go vegan and often have protein deficiencies affecting their overall health, including their hair. When Elle Macpherson moved to the USA years ago, she found it hard to get good quality protein, so I invented the WelleCo vegan Nourishing Protein with all the essential amino acids you need. This protein is easy to absorb because it is plant-based.
Vibrant Health and Luscious Locks
So keep an eye on your hair to monitor your overall health. Ensure your thyroid is supported and your blood is nourished with iron-rich foods.
Keep your stress under control, embrace good habits and support your adrenals. Chew your food, support your digestion and add in good quality protein, so your body has all it needs to have vibrant health and thick luscious locks.