15 Your Hair Problems Are Trying to Tell You About Dangerous Disease

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11. Pattern baldness: Risk of hypertension

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Baldness is more than just an unfortunate part of the aging process. According to a 2007 study published in the European Journal of Dermatology, researchers found that hypertension was “strongly associated” with baldness. And though the exact reasoning behind the correlation is still unknown, the findings suggest that hair loss may indicate a higher risk of high blood pressure and heart disease. If such health issues run in your family, now you have even more of a reason to get checked out.

12. Bald patches: Alopecia areata

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“Some hair loss is hereditary, like male or female pattern hair loss, but some hair loss can indicate a more complicated health problem,” says Dr. Hannah Kopelman, a dermatology fellow at Boston University Medical Center.

One common example is the autoimmune disease alopecia areata, a type of alopecia that causes hair to fall out in round patches. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, those with this condition have an “immune system [that] attacks the hair follicles, causing hair loss.” If you’re experiencing such symptoms, you may be able to stimulate hair regrowth with steroid injections or over-the-counter products like Hims.

13. Dull or weak hair: Too much sun or too many chemicals

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While most people are aware of the harmful effects of UV rays on the skin, many overlook the fact that the same goes for their hair. According to the Cleveland Clinic, if your hair has prolonged exposure to the sun, UVA and UVB rays can damage the cuticle, the outside cover of the hair strand. The result is lackluster, brittle, and dry hair.

“If you are someone with dry, brittle hair, you might have overexposed it to chlorine or sun,” says Kopelman. The combination of chlorine and sun is especially potent: Chlorine opens up the cuticle, and UV rays can infiltrate more easily. Thankfully, protecting yourself isn’t a tall order. Wear a hat in the sun and if you take a dip, rinse your hair out with fresh water after.

14. Split ends: Dehydration

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“Water makes up almost 25 percent of the weight of a single strand of hair,” Jacynda Smith, a hairstylist and the founder of beauty company Tyme, told Bustle. With that in mind, Supercuts stylist and hair health expert Caitlyn Perkins says, “Think of your hair like a plant. If you give it all the right things, it will grow beautifully!”

If you find that the ends of your hair could use a little extra hydration, start from the the inside and work on getting the recommended eight eight-ounce cups of water each day.

15. Weak hair: Too many harmful chemicals

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“A lot of store-bought products contain harsh chemicals, alcohol, and even wax. It’s so important to be aware of what ingredients we are using on our hair,” says Perkins. “I always recommend my guests to buy their hair care products from a salon or professional store, so they know they’re putting the highest-quality products on their hair.”

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