There are many factors that can affect the health of one’s hair. While you may be taking good care of your hair by washing it regularly and applying products that promise to make your locks shiny, bouncy and healthy, there still might be things you’re not aware of affecting your hair’s health. Here are five surprising factors that can hurt your hair.
Stress is a Factor
Stress is a very powerful factor when it comes to health, including our hair. Regardless of its nature and cause, stress can deprive our hair of the much-needed nutrients and oxygen that can only be obtained through efficient circulation of blood. When we are stressed, our bodies produce hormones that tell our brain to redirect blood flow away from superficial organs such as the skin (and therefore, the hair) to more vital organs such as the brain, heart, lungs and kidneys. This is so we can face and manage stressful events in a manner that our body deems appropriate.
Nutrition Can Help
All organs in our body are made up of cells that depend on nutrients to function normally. The hairs on our scalp are no different. They need high-quality proteins to help provide structure and protection for the hair shaft. Hair needs vitamin A for the production of sebum, which helps moisturize the scalp and keep hair healthy. B-vitamins are important in the production of red blood cells, which facilitate the transport of oxygen and nutrients. Vitamin C helps in the formation of collagen, a major structural protein of hair, while vitamin D can help in the formation of new hair follicles. Other nutrients needed for optimum hair health include vitamin E, zinc and iron.
Hair-care Habits and Practices
Frequently subjecting your hair to a variety of products and procedures can actually have an adverse effect on hair health. Many hair-care products contain harsh chemicals that can permanently damage hair. Tight hairstyles such as braids, buns and corn rows can exert too much tension on the hair shaft, causing hair to fall out. Hot oil treatments, straighteners and the use of hot irons (such as flat and curling irons) can also damage hair. If such practices or habits cannot be eliminated, at least reduce their frequency. And look for more natural products to use in your hair.
Certain Medications and Diseases
Medications can also affect the health of our hair. For example, a side effect of anti-hypertensive medications such as beta-blockers as well as the painkiller ibuprofen is hair loss. Certain health conditions can also have the same effect. Polycystic ovary syndrome, thyroid conditions and celiac disease as well as a handful of others can also adversely impact the health of hair. As such, it is often wise to take care of the body so you can also take good care of your hair.
Most people equate sun exposure with getting sunburn or skin cancer. But too much sun — and UV exposure — is also not good for your hair’s health. UV exposure produces free radicals that change the chemical composition and physical properties of hair. These free radicals make hair dry, dull and fragile, which can cause it to break very easily. Moreover, you can lose the natural shine and color of your hair.
Understand and paying attention to how these factors can impact your hair health can help you take concrete steps to ensure optimum health for your locks.