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4 Conditions Behind Brittle Hair

Avatar • Jul 11, 2012

By Emelyne of Nubian Tresses

Struggling with hair that is exceptionally brittle? It may be the result of one of these four conditions.

1. Pregnancy

Pregnancy can be a beautiful condition but with it comes a lot of physical changes and hair is often one of them. Many women experience lush, thick, glossy hair during pregnancy but this is not always the case. A lot of women experience dryness, breaking and even some balding during pregnancy. Sometimes hormones are to blame, but if you’re pregnant and experiencing any of these symptoms, go to a doctor and make sure than you are not suffering from malnutrition of a hormonal imbalance.

2. Anemia

Many women of African descent suffer from chronic anemia, an iron deficiently that can be relatively tame to the point of going completely ignored and untreated one’s entire life. There are more severe types of anemia which can be cause for medical concern, but regardless of whether it’s acute or severe, anemic can often suffer from brittle, breaking hair as a result. If you are anemic, an iron supplement could be the magic pill which eases your breakage woes and leads to length retention.

3. Hypothyroid

Thyroid disorders are fairly common in women as well and since hypothyroidism depletes the body of potassium, calcium, and vitamin D, the hair suffers as well. The hair is left dry and even grows at a significantly slower rate. If you have hypothyroid and suffer from dry skin, your condition could also be behind the dryness in your hair. A proper diagnosis and treatment could do for many suffers of this illness what no amount of deep conditioning could ever do: keep their hair shiny, soft, and strong.

4. Malnourishment

Like hypothyroidism and anemia, malnourishment implies a lack of much needed vitamins and minerals. While there are supplements for just about everything on the market, there is absolutely no substitute for a balanced diet, with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and purified water. If you are vegetarian or vegan, make sure that all the iron, calcium, and protein that could be gained from meat and animal products is being obtained elsewhere. Hair is only alive at the follicle and the hair that sits on our heads is a representation of the health of the owner’s body. Many naturals spend an obscene amount of time washing, conditioning, deep conditioning, detangling, and styling their hair with tools and products when the solution could be as simple (not to mention beneficial for the entire body) as tweaking their diets.

Ladies, have you dealt with exceptionally brittle hair? What was the root cause?

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Penelope Scotland Dimickk
Penelope Scotland Dimickk
8 years ago

I have a question..does people of african descent exclude born africans??

mangomadness
mangomadness
8 years ago

No. They are included in that phrase.

cygnet
8 years ago

If I had to define it, I’d say “of African descent” means your parents or the majority of your ancestors are African or are born of someone who is of African descent. So, by definition (unless someone wants to come up with a twist of which I just am not taking the time to think right now) it cannot exclude born Africans.

cygnet
8 years ago

Yes! My hair has always been fine, though it is of moderate density and was in my opinion even more thick upon my head when I was younger. I was diagnosed wit hypothyroidism in about February 2008, about eight months into my transition, and I have dealt with skin and hair issues since. I take a 5000mcg biotin supplement daily, as well as 4800mg fish oil, 5000IU Vitamin D, some MSM, and other things. The Vitamin D and fish oil are mandated by my GP; the rest I decided on my own to take. Now that I have decided to leave… Read more »

BlackOnyx03
BlackOnyx03
8 years ago
Reply to  cygnet

OMG! You sound EXACTLY like me — minus the part about taking supplements. But everything else you said — from the thicker hair as a younger kid down to the inconsistency in water intake — is like you were reading my mail!

SanJai
SanJai
8 years ago

so why is my hair brittle?? lol. I don’t apply to any possibility here and I drink tons of water, I moisturize and seal daily and I co-wash every 2–3wks. Siiigh my 4c hair is such a hassle! Aaaand it’s Always been this way. I am a BORN natural meaning I’ve never had a perm or color in my lifetime. Any suggestions from fellow 4c hair types?

maralondon
maralondon
8 years ago
Reply to  SanJai

What is your diet like, are you stressed at all or gone through any trauma?

Jade
8 years ago

sadface. I have a type of anemia that can’t be treated by consuming iron pills.
brittle hair forever then.

Janae
Janae
8 years ago
Reply to  Jade

Poor you.. Is it B‑12 deficiency?

Alicia L.
Alicia L.
8 years ago

I have anemia!!!! No one ever told me it causes brittle hair. I thought it was only responsible for the darkness around my eyes. Now I’m going to restock on iron supplements!!! Thanks!

maralondon
maralondon
8 years ago
Reply to  Alicia L.

I would say before you rush out and buy the supplements, if you are not already doing so look at including more foods rich in iron into your diet. My mum was anemic. Her doctor advised her to drink carrot and beetroot juice everyday. She did just that and after a few weeks of doing this went back to her doctors and guess what ? her iron levels had gone up and was no longer anemic.

Janae
Janae
8 years ago
Reply to  maralondon

Anemia sucks! Be careful when taking iron supplements though. And eat high iron foods at the same time as vitamin C. This helps iron absorption. But don’t have calcium at the same time as iron.

Bianca
8 years ago

Dark green leafy vegetables like collard greens are good for calcium.

bluknow
bluknow
8 years ago

I never related my anemia to my hair’s brittleness. A word of caution for those who are also anemic, before you run to the store to buy a supplement make sure you know exactly what type of anemia you have. There are several hundreds of them. Some people like myself have two forms and iron supplements may help one and cause more harm depending on the other.

Otutodilichukwu
7 years ago

I have not found what I needed

Mickey Tat
Mickey Tat
7 years ago

Iron supplements are used in medicine to treat iron deficiency and iron-deficiency anemia; parenteral irons can also be used to treat functional iron deficiency, where requirements for iron are greater than the body’s ability to supply iron such as in inflammatory states.^..–

My internet page
http://www.healthmedicine101.comtc

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