Medical Conditions That Cause Excessively Dry Hair

Written by Dr. Tristan Barmer Feb 3rd, 2012

Hair is often considered an accessory, which is styled to fit a mood, suit the occasion or to make a statement. But when hair becomes unmanageable, several hair care products serve as quick remedies that seem effective. Though the results may be lasting and effective, the damage these ingredients cause may result in long-term effects. With so much hype and media advertisements on these hair care products, women especially believe hair gels, mousse, hair spray are the saviors for a hair that looks limp and dry. Dryness, dullness, brittleness, hair fall, split ends and dandruff are some effects of these harsh products. Pollution, smoke, dry weather, chlorine and UV rays are other contributing factors to excessively dry hair. These are the non-medical contributors for dry hair.

The following are known medical conditions that can cause excessively dry and brittle hair:

Malnutrition or Anorexia – Malnutrition arises when the food consumed by the individual lacks essential nutrients such as vitamins and minerals. Anorexia is a condition where the individual reduces his food intake either voluntarily to lose weight or due to lack of appetite. In both these conditions the body is not supported with enough nutrients for normal metabolism of cells and body organs , which results in hair loss and severe damage to the hair.

Hypothyroidism – is characterized by lack of thyroid hormones and it manifests itself as a early clinical symptoms of dull, dry, brittle hair

Menkes Syndrome – It is an in- born fault in metabolism where the body is unable to absorb copper resulting to brittle, kinky and dry hair

Physical Changes – hormonal changes, post-pregnancy/breast-feeding, some medications, etc. can also contribute to dry hair

Environmental factors – Climate is another major influence of dry hair symptoms. Excessive exposure to sun, dry heat and low humidity for the perfect recipe for a dry , brittle hair.

Other factors – Shampooing your hair very often, physical agents such as blow drying, curling iron and using dyes, chemicals and other synthetic hair colorants also result in dry hair on the long run.

The foundation for a healthy, shiny, strong hair begins from within our body. Nourishing the body with a variety of nutritious foods containing omega – 3 fats, vitamins A, C and B, minerals copper, zinc and selenium etc helps our body to function efficiently. Other simple life style changes such as avoiding excessive sun exposure by wearing hats, limiting the use of hair irons, dryers and hair styling products will also significantly improve damaged hair and also helps in hair loss prevention. For persisting symptoms of dry or damaged hair it is wise to consult a specialist.

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