My hair has gone through all sorts of ups and downs over the years—and I’m not just talking about its varying lengths every time I leave the salon. No, what I’m referring to is the overall health of my hair. From thick and shiny to frizzy and lackluster, our hair weaves a tale about our health. We simply need to listen.
When I recently noticed more hair in the tub after showering, I heeded the message and considered the causes. It always makes sense to start with a past explanation, since this is most likely the culprit. And a quick look at Health Is Simple, Disease Is Complicated: A Systems Approach to Vibrant Health by James Forleo, DC, reminded me of a biggie.
Forleo points out that hair loss is often a sign of fluctuations in thyroid function. Specifically for me, low thyroid function. When I think back to the time when I was still putting together the pieces of my low functioning thyroid puzzle, my hair was telling a rather Grimm tale. With the help of our clinical nutritionist and some thyroid support, I got headed in more of a “happily ever after” direction—though I still need to make adjustments here and there.
Since there were no other signs that my thyroid was off-kilter, I needed to consider other causes of hair loss. What are they?
- Heredity: With the exception of one brother, my family is filled with full heads of hair. I’m thinking this isn’t the cause.
- Pregnancy: A woman’s body goes through all sorts of changes during pregnancy, including changes in the health of her hair. While I’d dealt with this three other times, it definitely wasn’t behind my current hair loss.
- Nutrition deficiencies: Forleo explains that healthy hair needs proper amounts of essential fatty acids and fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin A, as well as the actions of the B-complex family and adequate amounts of protein. Hmm, this is a possibility.
- Poor digestion: If your body struggles with inefficient digestion, you’re not absorbing the vitamins and minerals from the foods you eat. Therefore, if your digestion is slack, optimal health is near impossible. Forleo suggests digestive enzymes as a remedy for this issue. This seems like a good starting point in recovering the health of my hair—easy to implement and beneficial no matter what. I’ll be getting in touch with my health care practitioner about the nutritional supplements listed on the “Digestive Health: Foundation for Good Health” flyer from MediHerb and Standard Process to see which ones would be worth trying. This resource should also help me figure out if my gut health is in balance or if a look at the GAPS diet would be in order.
Much like our skin and our fingernails, our hair tells us what’s going on inside our bodies. Is your hair telling a “happily ever after” tale, or is it more of a Grimm brothers yarn?
Photos from iStock/LittleBee80 (at top) and AND-ONE (inset)