Is it possible to have bad hair? Before condemning your tresses to the firey pit, let’s explore what can cause you to have a “bad hair day”.
If you’ve ever experienced very dry, brittle, dull hair or have seen excessive hair loss at certain times, you’ve had a “bad hair day”. Changes in your hair and skin are often first warning signs that there may be something going on. While some of it is related to cultural influences of yesteryear, a great deal of the health of our hair relies on several factors from age to medical health. Yes, there are times when poor hair care can cause any number of hair issues, but for those who do take care of their hair, when there is a change, it may be a symptom of a serious illness or as simple as reacting to hormonal changes.
Women have very complex bodies with numerous systems and networks that somehow have to all come together and work for the greater good, but there are these things called hormones that can change the game mid court.
Hormones are your body’s chemical messengers. They travel in your bloodstream to tissues or organs. They work slowly, over time, and affect many different processes, including
- Growth and development
- Metabolism – how your body gets energy from the foods you eat
- Sexual function
Endocrine glands, which are special groups of cells, make hormones. Hormones are powerful. It takes only a tiny amount to cause big changes in cells or even your whole body. Source: Medline Plus
If you are faced with the daunting challenge of keeping your hair moisturized or your scalp from scaling and you have tried DIY and over the counter remedies, like deep conditioning treatments and dandruff shampoo-even home made concoctions, it may be time to visit your doctor to see if there is anything else contributing to your hair woes.
Something else to consider. If you are menstruating or embarking on the menopause trail, this will most often affect your hair. From puberty throughout adult hood, a female’s hair texture can change when on their cycle, making hair most often resilient to chemical or thermal hair straightening.
Flaky hair. Sebhorric dermatitis or dandruff is a common scalp problem that can cause flakes or scales that can be minimal to severe. Often found on babies, AKA cradle cap, dandruff can be treated with over the counter solutions like medicated shampoo or a simple recipe of baking soda and water, mixed to a paste; place it on the affected area, let it dry, then gently rinse clear. Dandruff isn’t “catchy”, but it is unattractive and embarrassing. Hair that is unclean, very oily, or a person who has certain illnesses are likely to get dandruff. The Elderly are often affected by dandruff, due to the lack of proper hair care coupled with ailments of the aging. A natural remedy is a mix of aloe vera gel and tea tree oil (tea tree oil alone may be too potent to use alone). The Tea Tree Oil is medicinally healing and the Aloe is cooling and soothing. Some doctors even recommend taking zinc daily to combat the problem. Check with a doctor or nutrionalist to determine what a safe amount is for you.
Shedding vs Hair Loss. On average, hair can shed up to 100 strands a day. This is a normal part of the hair growth cycle.
But when an individual is ill, stressed, pregnant, in puberty, menopause or menstruating, AND based on genes and heredity; the hair growth cycle can be longer or shorter.
Normal shedding is hair that comes out when even finger styling your hair. It may often have a little white bulb at the end.
Hair loss is displayed as clumps of hair coming out with little or no manipulation, patches of scalp exposed where hair used to be, itchy scalp with lots of tiny bumps where stress is a factor, and hair that falls out in greater amounts than what you are used to.
If you have ruled out, tight braids and pony tails, chemical burns, and over manipulation as factors in your hair loss, traction alopecia, you may have a more serious condition that can possibly be treated with medication.
The sudden falling out of hair, often in a round patch is known as alopecia areata. This hair can grow back and doesn’t usually require treatment, but it can lead to permanent hair loss.
Male and Female pattern baldness. Male pattern baldness often occurs right in the front of the head or in the top. Female pattern baldness most often is thinning all over the head.
Puberty/Adolescence. Between the ages of 8 and 13, girls will experience growth in a number of ways including hair growth and weight gain. The increase of estrogen may cause an array of emotional responses as well as physical responses. The excess in hormones may make hair resilient to relaxers, color or press and curls. It may be best to choose a curly or braided style for the week she will be on her cycle.
Aging vs Menopause. Because menopause can occur in a woman who is younger than 40, the hormonal changes may warrant changes in hair growth as well. In an aging adult, hair becomes thinner and less dense, losing its pigment (color) and elasticity.For a woman going through menopause, these changes can also occur.
Many young women can be diagnosed with a hormonal imbalance that may be due to various issues like poly cystic ovaries, early menopause, diabetes, lupus, cancer, and other autoimmune diseases. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can aid in the balancing of hormones, giving the body, skin and hair more time to go through its stages of growth, with fewer major incidents.
Be encouraged that as women face many a challenge in the “engineering department”, there are ways to combat those changes, being able to still rock a fierce full natural.