Learn Your Health Status Through Your Hair
Take a look at your hair because it might be trying to tell you something. Your scalp may only need a little love, or it could be more serious, like a reaction to medication or illness. Either way, it’s time to pay attention to what your hair is saying.
Don’t sweat the small stuff, like dandruff. The white flakes are caused by an over-accumulation of oil, skin cells or fungus, says Lyla Blake-Gumbs, M.D., a Cleveland family medicine physician. If the flakes are yellow, you might have seborrheic dermatitis. Though attributed to fungus, it’s treated the same way you treat regular dandruff. Wash with an antidandruff shampoo daily—every few days for coarser hair—leaving the suds on for at least five minutes. If that doesn’t work, visit your doctor.
Losing hair by the handfuls? This is to be expected if you’ve recently had a baby, undergone surgery or are taking certain medications, like some for hypertension. More than likely, the hair is just shedding. If it persists, visit your doctor, Dr. Blake-Gumbs says.
But if you have cornrows, micros or weaves that are too tight, you might be suffering from traction alopecia. Change your hairstyle and your hair should grow back. Keep the style in for too long and you can cause permanent damage.
Most importantly, remember that what you put in your body helps keep your hair healthy. So eat lots of whole grains, vegetables, fish and nuts. Foods that are good for your hair are also good for your heart, so you can’t go wrong.