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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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
  • EFA 6 Need
  • Anorexia/Starvation Tendency

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:
some loss of muscle tone
slow reaction time
very low HDL cholesterol level
bags under eyes
fair recovery from exertion
major unexplained weight loss
numb/burning/tingling extremities
unexplained missed periods
scrotal edema
frequent unexplained sadness/crying
poor cold weather tolerance
edema of the hands
... 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
Nephrotic Syndrome 92% Confirm
Anorexia/Starvation Tendency 28% Unlikely
Hypothyroidism 1% Ruled out
EFA 6 Need 1% 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™
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