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
  • EFA 6 Need
  • Nephrotic Syndrome
  • 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:
incoherent speech
fair recovery from exertion
history of frequent dieting
short-term memory failure
difficulty losing weight
frequent dieting
low energy/stamina
frequent colds/flus
moderate afternoon/evening fatigue
being an unsocial person
great 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 99% Confirm
Nephrotic Syndrome 27% Unlikely
EFA 6 Need 4% Ruled out
Anorexia/Starvation Tendency 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:
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