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Nutritional Remedies for Dry Brittle Hair

Home » Health Conditions » Nutritional Remedies for Dry Brittle Hair

Symptom :

brittle hair

Apart from many other possible causes, brittle hair may be a symptom of, or aggravated by, deficiency of certain nutrient(s).  This could be a direct result of the lack of the nutrient, or indirectly, when the deficiency causes conditions such as hypothyroidism, which leads to symptoms that include dry brittle hair.

The important hair, skin and nail vitamins that may therefore be helpful in the treatment of dry hair are tabled below, together with corresponding foods for healthy hair.

If dry brittle hair is also accompanied by dry skin, brittle nails or other hair problems, it could be a sign of overall nutritional deficiency.  Xtend-Life's page on Hair, Nails and Skin provides details on the relationship between these and overall health.

What nutrient deficiencies can lead to brittle hair :
Biotin   |   More on Biotin
Biotin is recognized as one of the major hair, skin and nail vitamins.  It is often used in shampoos and other treatment for dry hair.  A deficiency of biotin can lead to brittle nails and dry brittle hair.

Other symptoms that may indicate deficiency of Biotin :
Bn.02 Deficiency symptoms for Biotin-brittle-hair thinning of hair which may lead to total hair loss
Bn.03 Deficiency symptoms for Biotin-brittle-hair dry scaly scalp or face in infants (cradle crap), or in various parts of the body in adults
Bn.04 Deficiency symptoms for Biotin-brittle-hair mental depression
Bn.05 Deficiency symptoms for Biotin-brittle-hair insomnia
Bn.06 Deficiency symptoms for Biotin-brittle-hair intestinal tract symptoms like loss of appetite, nausea or vomiting
Bn.07 Deficiency symptoms for Biotin-brittle-hair fatigue or extreme exhaustion due to impaired energy production
Bn.08 Deficiency symptoms for Biotin-brittle-hair muscle pain or cramps related to physical exertion
Bn.09 Deficiency symptoms for Biotin-brittle-hair nervo-muscular symptoms like seizures, numbness and tingling of extremities, and movements characterized by lack of muscle tone and coordination

Biotin-rich foods that may contribute to the efficacy of dry hair home remedies include · organ meats such as liver · carrots · romaine lettuce · swiss chard · tomatoes.

Vitamin C   |   More on Vitamin C
Vitamin C is another of the hair, skin and nail vitamins that are important in treatment for dry hair or skin.  A deficiency of vitamin C is often symptomized by dry, rough or scaly skin and dry brittle hair.

Other symptoms that may indicate deficiency of Vitamin C :
VC.01 Deficiency symptoms for Vitamin-C-brittle-hair easy bruising and small spots of bleeding under the skin (which appear as pink spots on the skin)
VC.02 Deficiency symptoms for Vitamin-C-brittle-hair swollen or painful joints or bones
VC.03 Deficiency symptoms for Vitamin-C-brittle-hair slow-healing wounds and fractures
VC.04 Deficiency symptoms for Vitamin-C-brittle-hair nosebleeds
VC.05 Deficiency symptoms for Vitamin-C-brittle-hair spongy, swollen, bleeding gums and loose teeth
VC.06 Deficiency symptoms for Vitamin-C-brittle-hair teeth decay easily
VC.08 Deficiency symptoms for Vitamin-C-brittle-hair dry rough scaly skin
VC.09 Deficiency symptoms for Vitamin-C-brittle-hair anemia
VC.10 Deficiency symptoms for Vitamin-C-brittle-hair fatigue or lethargy or muscle weakness
VC.11 Deficiency symptoms for Vitamin-C-brittle-hair loss of appetite
VC.12 Deficiency symptoms for Vitamin-C-brittle-hair recurrent colds and infections
VC.13 Deficiency symptoms for Vitamin-C-brittle-hair atherosclerosis
VC.14 Deficiency symptoms for Vitamin-C-brittle-hair possible weight gain due to slower metabolism

Dry hair home remedies should include high vitamin C foods for healthy hair, such as · guava · lychees / litchis · papayas · strawberries · vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, kale, mustard greens, bell peppers, turnip greens, spinach.

Copper   |   More on Copper
Deficiency of copper may cause hypothyroidism (under-production of thyroid hormones) which can lead to dry brittle hair, hair loss, brittle nails, coarse dry pale skin, weight gain, intolerance to cold, fatigue, depression, irritability, poor memory, muscle or joint pain, constipation, decreased libido, heavy periods or menstrual irregularities.

Other symptoms that may indicate deficiency of Copper :
Cu.01 Deficiency symptoms for Copper-brittle-hair early symptoms are osteoporosis, osteopenia (lower bone mineral density than normal, but not as low as for osteoporosis) and joint problems
Cu.02 Deficiency symptoms for Copper-brittle-hair retarded growth or abnormalities in bone development in infants and young children
Cu.03 Deficiency symptoms for Copper-brittle-hair anemia that is characterized by lack of improvement with iron therapy alone
Cu.04 Deficiency symptoms for Copper-brittle-hair loss of skin or hair color
Cu.05 Deficiency symptoms for Copper-brittle-hair impaired immune function that may lead to frequent infections
Cu.06 Deficiency symptoms for Copper-brittle-hair impaired nerve function that may lead to taste insensitivity and lack of physical coordination
Cu.07 Deficiency symptoms for Copper-brittle-hair inelastic blood vessels that rupture easily
Cu.08 Deficiency symptoms for Copper-brittle-hair elevated LDL (bad) cholesterol and lower HDL (good) cholesterol levels
Cu.09 Deficiency symptoms for Copper-brittle-hair irregular heart beat
Cu.10 Deficiency symptoms for Copper-brittle-hair breathing difficulties
Cu.11 Deficiency symptoms for Copper-brittle-hair skin sores
Cu.13 Deficiency symptoms for Copper-brittle-hair Menkes disease that occurs mostly in male infants, characterized by sparse greyish or colorless twisted hair, and floppy muscle tone

Copper-rich foods that can help alleviate hypothyroidism, and dry brittle hair, include · cashew nuts · dried beans like soybeans, adzuki beans, garbanzo beans (chickpeas), lentils, lima, navy beans · dried spirulina · crimini mushrooms · shiitake mushrooms · sesame seeds.

Iron   |   More on Iron
Iron is important for oxygenation of body tissues, and a lack of iron can lead to symptoms such as brittle nails and dry brittle hair.

Other symptoms that may indicate deficiency of Iron :
Fe.01 Deficiency symptoms for Iron-brittle-hair iron-deficiency anemia, with symptoms that may include headaches, dizziness, irritability, pale skin, cold hands and feet, lack of energy, rapid heartbeat, brittle nails, shortness of breath, sore or inflamed tongue or mouth, lack of appetite
Fe.02 Deficiency symptoms for Iron-brittle-hair food cravings for inedible items such as ice, paint, starch, clay, or dirt
Fe.03 Deficiency symptoms for Iron-brittle-hair increased intestinal inflammation or irritation
Fe.04 Deficiency symptoms for Iron-brittle-hair depression or apathy
Fe.05 Deficiency symptoms for Iron-brittle-hair insomnia or disturbed sleep
Fe.06 Deficiency symptoms for Iron-brittle-hair decrease in ability to concentrate
Fe.07 Deficiency symptoms for Iron-brittle-hair impaired mental skills that can affect memory and job performance
Fe.08 Deficiency symptoms for Iron-brittle-hair learning disabilities and short attention spans in children
Fe.09 Deficiency symptoms for Iron-brittle-hair irregular menstrual periods
Fe.11 Deficiency symptoms for Iron-brittle-hair hair loss
Fe.12 Deficiency symptoms for Iron-brittle-hair nails that are spoon-shaped or that have ridges running lengthwise
Fe.13 Deficiency symptoms for Iron-brittle-hair higher risk of lead poisoning in children

Foods rich in iron that may help prevent dry brittle hair include · animal liver · blackstrap molasses · beef · eggs (especially the yolk) · shiitake mushrooms · dark green leafy vegetables like spinach, mustard greens, romaine lettuce, swiss chard, turnip greens · green beans such as winged beans, string beans · dried beans like kidney beans, lentils · soybeans and soy products, especially tofu · rice bran and wheat bran.

Iodine   |   More on Iodine
Iodine deficiency can contribute to hypothyroidism (under-production of thyroid hormones) which can lead to symptoms such as dry brittle hair, hair loss, brittle nails, coarse dry pale skin, intolerance to cold, fatigue or weakness, poor memory, depression, irritability, weight gain, muscle or joint pain, constipation, decreased libido, infertility, menstrual irregularities or heavy periods, and in more severe cases, hoarseness, decreased sense of taste and smell, mental impairment, skin thickening, and puffy face, hands or feet.

Other symptoms that may indicate deficiency of Iodine :
I.01 Deficiency symptoms for Iodine-brittle-hair goiter characterized by an enlarged thyroid gland which may cause a choking feeling or difficulty with breathing and swallowing
I.03 Deficiency symptoms for Iodine-brittle-hair impaired immune system leading to susceptibility to infections
I.04 Deficiency symptoms for Iodine-brittle-hair hearing loss in children
I.05 Deficiency symptoms for Iodine-brittle-hair severe deficiency during pregnancy, breastfeeding or infancy can lead to neuro-cognitive defects in the baby and problems with growth, speech and hearing; a very severe form is cretinism, characterized by brain damage, speech problems, hearing loss, apathy, spasticity, and stunted growth
I.06 Deficiency symptoms for Iodine-brittle-hair even mild iodine deficiency during pregnancy can hamper growth of the child's brain and lead to low intelligence
I.07 Deficiency symptoms for Iodine-brittle-hair congenital hypothyroidism is the most common cause of mental retardation in children

Foods high in iodine that help prevent hypothyroidism, and consequently dry brittle hair, include · salt-water fish · seafood and shellfish · seaweed like dulse, bladderwrack, kelp, nori · iodized table salt.

Manganese   |   More on Manganese
Manganese is important for activating enzymes that enable the body to utilize key hair, skin and nail vitamins like vitamin C and biotin.  Lack of this nutrient can therefore contribute to excessive bone loss and weak hair and nails.

Other symptoms that may indicate deficiency of Manganese :
Mn.01 Deficiency symptoms for Manganese-brittle-hair nausea or dizziness
Mn.02 Deficiency symptoms for Manganese-brittle-hair vomiting
Mn.03 Deficiency symptoms for Manganese-brittle-hair skin rash
Mn.04 Deficiency symptoms for Manganese-brittle-hair hearing loss
Mn.05 Deficiency symptoms for Manganese-brittle-hair iron-deficiency anemia, due to manganese's role in iron utilization
Mn.06 Deficiency symptoms for Manganese-brittle-hair high blood sugar levels (impaired glucose tolerance)
Mn.07 Deficiency symptoms for Manganese-brittle-hair blood cholesterol levels that are too low
Mn.08 Deficiency symptoms for Manganese-brittle-hair impaired bone growth or skeletal abnormalities, especially in children
Mn.10 Deficiency symptoms for Manganese-brittle-hair loss of hair colour
Mn.11 Deficiency symptoms for Manganese-brittle-hair defective functioning of the reproductive system
Mn.12 Deficiency symptoms for Manganese-brittle-hair severe deficiency in infants can cause convulsions, and even paralysis, blindness and deafness

Manganese rich foods for healthy hair that may be part of dry hair home remedies include · dark green leafy vegetables (broccoli, chard, collard greens, kale, mustard greens, romaine lettuce, spinach) · avocados · pineapple · raspberries · nuts (almonds, peanuts, pecans, walnuts).

Selenium   |   More on Selenium
Research indicates that selenium deficiency worsens the effect of iodine deficiency on thyroid function, leading to hypothyroidism with symptoms such as fatigue, joint pain, irritability, depression, poor memory, weight gain, constipation, intolerance to cold, heavier or lighter menstruation than normal, coarse dry pale skin, dry brittle hair, hair loss, and brittle nails, and that selenium supplements may help protect against goiter.

Other symptoms that may indicate deficiency of Selenium :
Se.01 Deficiency symptoms for Selenium-brittle-hair weaker immune system leading to susceptibility to stress and illnesses
Se.02 Deficiency symptoms for Selenium-brittle-hair greater incidence of cancer, especially gynaecological, gastrointestinal, esophageal, lung, and prostate cancer
Se.03 Deficiency symptoms for Selenium-brittle-hair rheumatoid arthritis patients tend to have low blood levels of selenium
Se.04 Deficiency symptoms for Selenium-brittle-hair elevated blood pressure
Se.05 Deficiency symptoms for Selenium-brittle-hair risk of arteriosclerosis / atherosclerosis (hardening and/or narrowing of the arteries), leading to heart or coronary artery disease
Se.07 Deficiency symptoms for Selenium-brittle-hair loose skin
Se.08 Deficiency symptoms for Selenium-brittle-hair hair or skin discoloration
Se.09 Deficiency symptoms for Selenium-brittle-hair whitened fingernail beds
Se.10 Deficiency symptoms for Selenium-brittle-hair Keshan disease (heart disorder characterized by inflamed heart muscles)
Se.11 Deficiency symptoms for Selenium-brittle-hair Kashin-Beck disease (disabling disease of bones and joints, characterized by stunted growth, bone deterioration, and deformity of joints)
Se.12 Deficiency symptoms for Selenium-brittle-hair severe deficiency along with malnutrition can cause muscle breakdown characterized by pain or weakness in the muscles

Selenium-rich foods that alleviate iodine deficiency and hypothyroidism include · Brazil nuts (one of the most concentrated selenium food sources) · mushrooms (button, shiitake, reishi) · fish (cod, flounder, halibut, herring, mackerel, salmon, smelts, red snapper, swordfish, tuna) · seafood (lobster, oyster, scallops, shellfish, shrimp).

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