Is Your Hair Telling You Your Health Is in Jeopardy?

Amy Kuras

hairI don't mean to brag, but I have magic hair. Not that it's especially pretty or manageable or anything. I mean it's a nice dark brown color, and I got a good haircut the last time I went to the salon.

But it has magical powers to both my kids; when they are sad, scared, or crabby or just want to be with their mom, holding on to my hair is like their comfort object and has been since they were babies.

But my hair could actually hold magical properties to help me maintain my health. The condition of your hair can tell you about your diet, your hormones, even your risk of a heart attack.

Just one strand of hair can predict your risk of a heart attack. Cortisol, the hormone produced by high and sustained levels of stress, is stored in hair. Researchers found that women with the highest levels of cortisol in their hair were most likely to have had a heart attack in the last few months.

Of course, your hair reflects a lot about your health in other ways. Thinning hair can be a symptom of thyroid problems or autoimmune diseases, while hair that's dull, dry, and lifeless can mean you need to improve your diet. Women with eating disorders typically lose their hair in large clumps.

If you notice serious thinning or a sudden change in the look of your hair, talk to your doctor. And then, maybe your stylist.

Image via Mike Baird/Flickr

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