Can Dehydration Cause Hair Loss

What you put in your body is very important for the health of your hair. Hair is part of the integumentary system, along with skin and nails. This system requires proper nutrition in order to survive. Water is very beneficial for the body and for hair. Dehydration occurs when your body starts to lose more fluids than you take in. Normal bodily functions will begin to suffer because the body isn't getting enough water to carry them out. The body suffers in many ways during dehydration — one of them is hair loss.

About Hair Loss

To completely understand how dehydration causes hair loss, you must understand how hair loss happens. The integumentary system is constantly growing, and hair has a six-year life span. While hair is growing, it is also falling out. People experience hair loss in two different ways — shedding and breakage. Hair sheds from the roots and it breaks off anywhere along the hair strand. Dehydration can cause shedding and breakage, which can effect the length and thickness of the hair.

Hair and Water

Water is essential for the health of hair for a number of reasons. First, the hair is one quarter water. That fact alone should accentuate how important water is for the hair. Water also carries vital vitamins to the hair root and hydrates the entire strand from the inside. It is the main source of energy for hair cells, including the cells that generate new growth. Water also clears the body from pollutants, which also cause hair loss. Without proper hydration, you will see dryness in your hair and skin that can only be restored by drinking 8 to 10 glasses of water a day.

Warning Signs of Dehydration

On an average day, a human body can loses two to three quarts of water a day. If that water is not replaced, the body starts to dehydrate. Some of the early warning signs of dehydration are dizziness, lightheadedness, dry mouth, muscle weakness, headaches and fatigue. As the conditions continue, the hair and skin will start to dry out and other, more serious health concerns develop.

Hair Problems from Dehydration

Hair loss is just one of the things that can result from dehydration. Experts believe that drinking the recommended amount of water can help other hair and scalp issues, such as hair thinning and dandruff. When a person is suffering from dehydration, hardly any of their water supply is getting to their hair. When the water supply is low, the body must ration out the water to vital parts of the body, such as the brain and heart. This leads to excessive shedding because the hair is practically dying from thirst and a slow down of hair growth because the roots aren't moisturized enough to stimulate new hair growth.

Hair Dehydration

Another form of dehydration is hair dehydration. Hair dehydration may happen before complete body dehydration because of the way the body rations out the water that you consume. The circulation of the scalp is decreased and hardly any water is able to seep into the hair roots. Even if the body starts to retain water to preserve the water supply, exposure to sun, chemicals and wind rob vital water from the hair. When the hair dries from the inside out, hair loss is sudden and drastic. This can lead to balding spots.