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Your Health and Hair Loss- Understanding the Relationship

Millions of people around the world experience hair loss due to different reasons. While there are some who don’t need to do anything to maintain a healthy mane, others may require hair loss treatments to deal with the issue.

If hair loss is gradual and consistent, then it may be hereditary. However, if you experience premature hair loss then the reason may be your poor health. That’s right! Health and hair loss are closely tied together. Your health affects the quality, texture and strength of your hair. Poor health habits and prolonged illness can throw your body out of balance and trigger hair loss.

Putting Things in Perspective

Let’s take a deeper dive to understand the connection between hair loss and your overall health:

Our body requires a healthy balance of different factors, like a nutritious diet and ample sleep, to name a few, and any imbalance in these can result in problems like hair loss. You may experience significant hair loss after a prolonged illness like severe infection, surgery, high fever or even flu. In medical terminology, this type of hair loss is referred to as telogen effluvium.

Other underlying diseases that can also cause hair loss are:

  • Over or under active thyroid glands
  • Anaemia

Sleep Deprivation

Sleep deprivation and hair loss may appear to be two different problems but actually they are not. Where sleep helps body to repair and revitalize, it also influences hair growth. Poor sleep patterns, insomnia and narcolepsy can influence the health of your hair and lead to hair breakage and loss over time. In fact, lack of sleep is one of the reasons for Male Pattern Baldness in male adults.

Diet Matters

Poor diet can impact the whole body and deteriorate your health, often resulting in hair loss. Simply put, what you eat not just impacts your overall wellbeing but also the health of your hair. The effects of your diet on the appearance, texture and growth of your hair should not be underestimated.

That being said, it is important to understand that striking a nutritional balance is the key. Scalp and hair problems may occur either due to nutritional deficiency or excess intake of nutrients. Other reasons include iron deficiency. Iron is necessary to maintain healthy hair and nails and deficiency can thereby trigger hair loss. And according to the University of Hawaii, overdose of intake of vitamin A can also result in hair fall. [URL]

For some people, a healthy diet is one that includes vegetables, fruits and minimal proteins, while others believe high protein diet with no carbohydrates (Atkins diet) is the best. These types of diets may be healthy, but for optimum hair growth and health, it is imperative to strike a balance of all the nutritional elements like iron, vitamins, minerals, proteins and complex carbohydrates. Make sure your diet includes all these essential nutrients for healthy hair and growth.

Bad Habits

You may find it strange but hair loss problems can be associated with smoking, drinking and excess consumption of caffeine. Smoking puts men at a greater risk of going bald. Here’s how: hair basically grows out of follicles underneath the scalp. These hair follicles require oxygen, essential nutrients and blood circulation to function properly and trigger hair growth. Cigarette smoke contains chemicals and toxins which affect the blood circulation, and disrupt hair growth resulting in thinning and loss of hair.