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If you want to know how healthy you are, look at your hair

by , 15 October 2013

If your hair has a life of its own, we'll forgive you for thinking it's something separate to your body. But like your fingernails, your hair is an extension of your body. And when it isn't happy, it can give you vital clues that something is wrong with your health…

Healthy hair is easy to spot. It’s full of body, shine and frizz.

“But what,” asks Mother Nature Network, “about when your crowning glory isn't quite so glorious?”

Well, warns the site, it could be a harbinger of health problems

Here’s what common hair problems could be warning you about your health

Hair problem #1: Limp, dry hair
If you blow dry your hair often or spend hours in the pool on the weekend, it’s likely dry, limp hair is just that.

But if these factors don’t apply to you, your limp, dry hair could be a sign your metabolism is slow because of an underactive thyroid, warns The Huffington Post. This is especially true if you experience sudden weight gain, unexplained fatigue and feel cold all the time.

And, if you don’t get this treated, it could increase your risk of heart disease.

Hair problem #2: Dandruff
If you constantly find unsightly white flakes on your black shirts, you have dandruff. And this could be a sign that you’re suffering from stress or have skin problems like eczema and psoriasis, says webMD.

And remember, if you already suffer from an autoimmune disease like multiple sclerosis, lupus or Crohn’s disease, you’ll be more susceptible to psoriasis.

Hair problem #3: Hair loss and thinning
On average, you lose around 100 hairs a day! That’s completely normal. But, if your hair starts to look thinner and you start losing it in clumps, watch out.

It could point to thyroid problems, hormonal imbalances or a protein deficiency, explains MSN’s healthy living site.

Hair problem #4: Brittle, damaged hair
Brittle hair is another tell-tale sign of thyroid issues. It could also be a sign that you need to pay more attention to your diet.

So what can you do to keep your hair (and body) healthy

To keep your hair in tip-top condition, eat foods rich in:

  • Omega-3 fatty acids like salmon and walnuts;
  • Vitamin A like spinach and carrots;
  • Selenium (Brazil nuts)
  • And zinc (oysters and cashews).

These not only help you maintain scalp and hair health, they’re good for your overall health too.

Bottom line: Don’t ignore the warning signs! By paying close attention to your hair, you could spot and treat health problems long before they become a serious health issue.

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