With the popularity and scope of beauty treatments these days you are able to remedy any ‘beauty’ challenge from the outside in. From hair extensions for thinning hair to covering problematic nails with fake nails, through to tattooed eyebrows to fill in eyebrows that are thinning, these are options that wonderfully make people feel good. And that’s great. However, when we do this it may mean that what we don’t address what has caused this to happen in the first place, which is usually requires an inside out approach to address aspects of our nutritional status or biochemistry.

What do these signs and symptoms our body is giving us really mean? Nails, skin and hair health are often compromised when stress hormones are being churned out, as non-vital processes, such as nail strength, hair, brow, and eyelash lush factor are not deemed important to your survival when you are on red alert. Without great food, nutrients, hydration, digestion, liver thyroid and kidney function, as well as sex hormone balance, just to name a few, it can be a challenge for our skin hair and nails to be nourished. Here are some common beauty concerns and their nutritional link.

Soft nails:

Can indicate inadequate dietary protein. If you are sure that you are consuming enough, focus on digestive system support strategies such as stimulating stomach acid production with apple cider vinegar. To make keratin, a tough protein that is a major component in hard, strong nails, the body needs high-quality protein. Soft nails can also indicate that you require more calcium, magnesium, zinc and/or iron.

Dry skin

Certainly more common in winter, it can be excaberating by lower temperatures. Nutritionally, this may indicate an essential fatty acid deficiency, poor skin-care choice, thyroid dysfunction, or poor digestion.

Newly oily skin and/or oily scalp

If greasy skin or a greasy scalp is new for you, it may signal that your sex hormones are imbalanced. This is particularly likely to be the case if you notice the greasiness increases in the lead up to menstruation.

Dandruff, flaky scalp

This can be a vitamin A deficiency, essential fatty acid deficiency, or gut dysbiosis. If you believe that for you it is more likely to be the latter, and that there are some less-than-friendly bacterial species living in your large intestine, trial a diet where you eat zero refined sugar, and eat carbs only from whole food sources, such as root vegetables. Trial this initially for four weeks, and, if you feel there is an improvement, continue for three months to assess if it will resolve in this period. You might also like to add more coconut to your diet or apply topically the night before you wash your hair, as the lauric acid may also assist the scalp. Amp up the greens and the whole food fat in your diet as well.

Hair loss

If you’re noticing that you are losing more hair than usual (it’s normal to lose hair, just not large amounts), you may notice that your part has become wider. You need to work with a health professional to determine why this is happening, as it will reflect an internal process that needs support such as thyroid function, adrenal function, sex hormone balance, iron and vitamin D status.

Thinning eyebrows

This is almost always a sign that the thyroid needs support, particularly if you’ve noticed you have a tendency to lower energy, a depressed mood, or anxious feelings.

Bad breath

Breath is typically an indication of gut function. Focus on resolving gut/digestion challenges – it may be beneifical to seek the assitance of a healthcare professional to work out if you are eating something you don’t digest well.

Your body doesn’t have a voice so it will communicate with you via symptoms and signs. It’s completely understandable and can be good for self-esteem to ‘fix’ these concerns externally, but it’s also important to address why these symptoms are occurring in the first place.

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