Everyone knows our bodies need water to function. But few of us—only 25%—drink the recommended amount of water we need daily. That means you may be dehydrated right now! Dehydration may slow the efficiency of organs and systems inside your body, and it can also potentially lead to hair loss.
Symptoms of Dehydration
A sign of dehydration can be extreme thirst, but there are other symptoms you may notice:
- urinating less frequently
- darker urine
- muscle cramps
Dehydration can even affect your mood and ability to focus.
Causes of Dehydration
If you’re exercising frequently, especially outside on a hot day, it’s easy to become dehydrated. Illness can also be a cause of dehydration, including those that make you vomit, sweat excessively, run a fever or have diarrhea. Kidney disease and medications that increase urination may also lead to dehydration. Being in very hot or very cold weather is a risk, too. In hot, humid weather, you need to replace what is lost to sweating. In cold weather, indoor heating and drier air can pull moisture from your skin and hair.
How Water Affects Hair Growth
Beyond promoting overall health, proper hydration directly influences the growth of your hair. Water is a source of energy for every cell in your body, including cells that generate new hair. The body is comprised of 60% water, so when you’re well-hydrated, your body can function properly. This is especially important for your hair follicles, which are the fastest growing tissue in the body.
Dehydration and Your Hair
When you’re dehydrated, it can leave your hair thirsty. With mild dehydration, your hair may not look as lustrous or healthy as it normally does. But with more severe dehydration, your hair may become thin, brittle, dry, and break off easily—leading to the appearance of thinning hair. Just as eating properly and getting the right nutrients is key for the health of your hair, so is drinking enough water.
Advice on Staying Hydrated
Not all liquids are created equal. Alcohol contains water, but like caffeinated beverages, it causes you to lose more water through urination. Carbonated soft drinks and fruit juices contain water, too, but they’re high in calories and sugar, which isn’t good for your overall health. Drinking water is your best bet for maintaining proper hydration. You can try adding fruit such as cucumber, orange or lemon to your water to mix up the flavors. Ask your doctor how much water you should be drinking every day to maintain proper hydration.
For informational purposes only. The information presented herein is general in nature and is not intended to substitute the advice of a physician or other health care professional. The exact cause of hair loss can only be determined by a medical professional.