Is Dehydration Behind Your Hair Loss?
Nearly two-thirds of the human body is water. Water plays a key role in digestion, energy levels, skin health and organ function. So it’s no surprise that dehydration taxes our kidneys and liver and can make our skin look dry, dull and uneven. Being dehydrated can even cause symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Water also plays a major role in our hair health. This is why dehydration can make our hair become brittle and prone to breakage, and dehydration can even impact hair loss.
Read on to learn more about the link between dehydration and hair loss and how to identify dehydration symptoms in your hair!
What Are the Symptoms of Dehydration in Hair?
When our bodies are dehydrated, the symptoms extend far beyond just feeling thirsty. Dehydration impacts every function in the body because we are literally made of water. Some symptoms of dehydration in hair include:
- Dullness or loss of shine
- Brittleness or increased breakage
- Hair loss
- Itchiness on scalp
- Loss of volume
How Does Dehydration Impact Hair Loss?
Can drinking water really help prevent hair loss? Absolutely! Water helps fuel every cell and every organ in our bodies. Our scalp and hair follicles require water—along with other nutrients—to optimally do their jobs. Water helps keep our follicles active and our hair growing. Without water, we can end up with a dehydrated, itchy scalp that under-produces sebum and slows hair growth.
Think of staying hydrated as one brick in the wall of scalp and hair health—it won't fix your tresses overnight, but increasing your water intake will provide the fluids your scalp needs to support healthy hair!
How Can I Make Sure I'm Hydrated?
We've all been told to drink more water, but it can be hard to put into practice. We get sidetracked with work and family obligations, and suddenly it's 7 p.m. and we've had a grand total of 12 oz of water all day.
But increasing our water intake is a pretty easy change to make, if we can just remember to do it! And the payoff can be huge: Drinking water can help prevent hair loss (which often accelerates during menopause!), dehydration and dry hair. Check out our list of options below for ideas to easily increase your fluids throughout the day!
Pro tip before you begin: Be sure that as your water intake increases, your intake of electrolytes (primarily potassium, magnesium and sodium) remains balanced. Otherwise, you might end up with an electrolyte imbalance, which can also be harmful to your health.
NOTE: If you think you're dehydrated and are concerned about the symptoms you're experiencing, talk to your doctor. They can run tests to check dehydration levels in your blood and urine.
7 Ways to Treat Dehydration-Related Hair Loss and Dryness
Eat Water-Loaded Fruits
Not a fan of drinking your water? Supplement your drinking water with high water-content fruits and veggies for added fiber and hydration to help treat dehydration-related hair loss. Some great options include:
○ Lettuce (96% water)
○ Cucumber (95% water)
○ Celery (95% water)
○ Watermelon (92% water)
Download a Hydration Check App
There are tons of apps you can download to help you increase your water intake. These apps send a notification at set intervals throughout the day to remind you to drink more water. If you'd rather not download an extra app, try setting alarms on your phone to remind you to do periodic hydration checks during the day or enlist a friend as your water buddy to keep your water intake in check.
Jazz Up Your Water
If you're bored with plain water, give it a flavorful boost! Consider adding lemon, berries, cucumber or watermelon to your water bottle. You can also try unsweetened sparkling water for a hydrating drink that's good for your hair health! With or without the flavor, however, make sure your water is safe and pure to drink in the first place. Filtering your water can help enhance both its flavor and its impact on your body, your hair included.
Switch to Decaf
We understand how blasphemous this may sound! But decaffeinated teas and coffees count toward your total water intake for the day. Even though decaf versions contain small amounts of caffeine, it's not enough to be dehydrating.
Add a Glass of Water Before Each Meal
This is also a great way to naturally portion control at mealtime. Drink an 8 oz glass of water before each meal, prior to picking up your fork. (And refill the glass as needed!)
Pro tip: In addition to increasing water intake, adding a supplement with hair-strengthening vitamins and minerals is a great option for combating dehydration-related hair loss. We love our Significant Other Hair, Skin & Nails Supplement + Retinol Boost for a delicious option packed with hair-friendly biotin and vitamins A and C.
Evaluate Your Activity Level
Did you recently add a new workout routine? If so, your usual water intake probably isn't enough now that you're moving more! If you're working out more and focusing on fitness, be sure to increase your water intake. Don't wait until you're thirsty to take a sip!
Take Collagen with Your Water
Try adding a collagen type I & III powder to your water for a drink that's great for your hair health! Or, if you're not a fan of collagen powders, try our tropical fruit-flavored Power Within Skin & Scalp Collagen Gummies with an 8 oz glass of water for the same effect without a chalky mix!
4 Hydrating Hair-Care Steps to Add to Your Routine
Aside from drinking water to promote healthy hair and prevent hair loss, your hair-care routine can also be tweaked to add in hydrating options:
Try a Hydrating Hair Mask
In addition to drinking water to stave off hair loss, try adding an ultra-moisturizing mask in place of your regular conditioner on wash days. Our Hair Redemption Restorative Butter Masque contains our proprietary blend of plant butters and oils to penetrate and smooth the hair shaft, leaving you with hydrated, manageable locks.
Add a Dry Shampoo to Space Out Washes
We know that washing daily can put unnecessary stress on our hair and scalp, so washing every other day or twice a week is a good rule of thumb. If that sounds impossible, try adding a noncomedogenic dry shampoo like our Fresh Start Scalp Renewing Dry Shampoo to extend the time between washes. It uses oil-absorbing tapioca starch instead of talc to give you a safe refresh between wash days!
Use a Hydrating Shampoo and Conditioner
On wash day, skip the clarifying shampoo and opt for a hydrating duo like our amino acid and argan oil-infused Second Chance Repairing Duo. And remember: Shampoo is primarily for your scalp and conditioner is for your hair, so focus these products on those areas!
Consider a Scalp Serum
To prevent a dehydrated and itchy scalp, we love our Superpower Fortifying Hair & Scalp Serum for a caffeine and niacinamide-infused option that hydrates the scalp and promotes increased follicular activity.
Tell Us: Have you dealt with dehydration and dry hair and scalp? Has drinking water helped your hair? Share your favorite ways to combat dry, dehydrated locks in the comments below!
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Better Not Younger knows that our hair tends to become drier and thinner as we age—so staying hydrated has never been more important! That's why we formulated our entire line of products to address the unique concerns of aging hair. Let us help you find the right products to combat dehydration and hair loss!