What Your Hair Says About Your Health

At The Griffin Center of Hair Restoration and Research, we talk a lot about the many different causes of hair loss, and whether you are male or female, young or old, we emphasize that every case of hair loss requires its own individual diagnosis. This is because there are many underlying conditions that can contribute to hair thinning and each requires a customized approach to treatment.  The cells that create new hair deep inside the hair follicle divide much faster than any other cells in the body, so they are likely to be one of the first places where any changes in your health may manifest.  As a result, some of the most common hair issues that we encounter can also be early signs of potential health problems.

What Your Hair Says About Your Health

Graying Hair and Vitamin Deficiencies

While all hair naturally becomes lighter in color as we grow older, a 2017 article in The International Journal of Trichology suggests that there may be a connection between certain key vitamin deficiencies and premature graying.  Specifically, evidence has been found that low levels of Vitamin B12, folic acid, and biotin may adversely affect the pigment producing cells that give hair its color, leading to greyness.  While the underlying mechanism remains unclear, and additional, larger studies need to be conducted to draw conclusions, it is worthwhile to look into possible nutritional deficiencies in these situations

Thinning Hair and Poor Nutrition

There is also a strong link between proper nutrition and hair growth.  Since each stand of hair is composed mostly of protein, it follows that hair needs an adequate supply of protein in order to grow, and both iron and omega-3 fatty acids have been found to play important roles as well.  Patients who are not getting enough protein may find that their hair is growing thinner, and patients suffering from anemia, or low levels of essential iron in the blood, may find themselves experiencing more shedding than they might otherwise expect.

Brittle Hair and Thyroid Disease

The thyroid produces the hormones that regulate the speed of the body’s growth and metabolism.  When it is not functioning correctly, hair growth is only one of the many physical processes that can be affected.  Too much thyroid hormone (hyperthyroidism) causes the hair on the head can become fine, and appear to be thinning all over the scalp; too little (hypothyroidism) can cause the hair to become dry and brittle in texture, leading to hair loss all over the body.  Hair loss from thyroid problems is different from other forms of hair loss and requires different approaches for treatment.

It is important to understand that every patient, and every case of hair loss, is different, so even similar symptoms can result from very different causes in different patients.  Although the connection between hair growth and the health of the body can help facilitate a diagnosis, it can also make determining the specific causes of hair loss difficult, particularly in women.  That is one of the reasons why Dr. Edmond Griffin and Dr. Ashley Curtis have founded The Griffin Center for Women’s Hair Loss, the first center in Georgia exclusively devoted to addressing the unique issues associated with women’s hair restoration.  Here we can perform a detailed diagnostic examination and determine exactly what you need.  If you or someone you love is experiencing hair loss and would like to learn more about what we can do for you, please contact The Griffin Center of Hair Restoration and Research to schedule a consultation.  Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ to get the latest news in hair restoration and research.