A lot of people have dandruff that is easily treated with an anti-dandruff shampoo, but if your dandruff is starting to turn into thick scaly patches, it could be a sign that you have psoriasis, an autoimmune disease in which the skin goes into overdrive, speeding up the process of skin cell turnover.
Dry hair may also be a sign of hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid, in which your thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough hormones, causing your metabolism to slow down.
For an interesting take on what your hair says about your health.
- High-Carbohydrate Foods: Foods that are quick affects blood glucose levels pose similar hair and nail risks. Starchy white bread, pasta, and cakes trigger a similar response in the body and can lead to hair thinning. Research has shown that a high-glycemic-index diet can increase androgen levels, while a low-glycemic-index diet can reduce them.
- Too Little Protein: Since hair and nails are made of protein, people who don’t get enough in their diet may experience brittle nails or hair loss. Typically, this only occurs in people with severe diet limitations or eating disorders occurs. Vegetarians should keep in mind that protein doesn’t have to come from meat — beans, tofu, spinach, lentils and more are all beneficial. Foods with a particular amino acid that creates keratin, called cystine, can also help, like pork, broccoli, wheat germ and red peppers.
- Too Little Iron And Zinc: White flecks in nails may indicate a calcium deposit. Those spots might be a sign of your diet is lacking in zinc. Both zinc and iron — found together naturally in red meats and some seafood — are important to keratin formation, so skimping on these can cause hair and nail problems. Getting enough can be challenging for vegetarians. Luckily, both zinc and iron are found naturally in some beans.
- Too Much Vitamin A: In ultra-high doses, vitamin A can lead to hair loss. A typical multivitamin won’t usually contain a dangerous amount, but an individual vitamin A supplement might. It’s also related to compounds found in some medications which could be why hair thinning is a side effect of some treatments.