Scalp Hair Health

What Causes Dry Brittle Scalp Hair?

Dry brittle scalp hair can have various causes, ranging in severity from 'worrying' to 'life-threatening'.  Finding the true cause means ruling out or confirming each possibility – in other words, diagnosis.

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  • learn what you should be doing right now
  • identify any nutritional deficiencies
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Diagnosis is usually a complex process due to the sheer number of possible causes and related symptoms.  In order to diagnose dry brittle scalp hair, we could:

  • Research the topic
  • Find a doctor with the time
  • Use a diagnostic computer system.
The process is the same, whichever method is used.

Step 1: List all Possible Causes

We begin by identifying the disease conditions which have "dry brittle scalp hair" as a symptom.  Here are four possibilities:
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Nephrotic Syndrome
  • Anorexia/Starvation Tendency
  • EFA 6 Need

Step 2: Build a Symptom Checklist

We then identify all possible symptoms and risk factors of each possible cause, and check the ones that apply:
hypothyroidism in family members
bags under eyes
frequent unexplained sadness/crying
premenstrual abdominal bloating
blood clotting problems
having non-scalp scaly/flaky skin
regular postprandial somnolence
scrotal edema
very low HDL cholesterol level
slowed pulse rate
low free T4
some loss of muscle tone
... and more than 60 others

Step 3: Rule Out or Confirm each Possible Cause

A differential diagnosis of your symptoms and risk factors finds the likely cause of dry brittle scalp hair:
Cause Probability Status
Hypothyroidism 94% Confirm
Anorexia/Starvation Tendency 19% Unlikely
EFA 6 Need 4% Ruled out
Nephrotic Syndrome 2% Ruled out
* This is a simple example to illustrate the process

Arriving at a Correct Diagnosis

The Analyst™ is our online diagnosis tool that learns all about you through a straightforward process of multi-level questioning, providing diagnosis at the end.

In the Hair-Related Symptoms section of the questionnaire, The Analyst™ will ask the following question about scalp hair health:
Without hair treatments, how strong and healthy are the hairs on your head? Brittle hair is dull, rough, lifeless, frizzy, has split ends and breaks easily. Healthy, strong hair appears moist and shiny.
Possible responses:
→ Very dry/brittle, break easily
→ Somewhat dry/brittle/dull
→ Healthy / strong / I don't have hair / don't know
Based on your response to this question, which may indicate either very brittle hair or brittle hair, The Analyst™ will consider possibilities such as:
Nephrotic Syndrome

Over time, the protein loss occurring in nephrotic syndrome will result in a generally malnourished state.  Hair and nails become brittle, and growth is stunted.  Bone becomes weak, and the body begins to lose other important nutrients (sugar, potassium, calcium).

Concerned or curious about your health?  Try The Analyst™
Symptom Entry
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