Winter is almost over! Cold, dry winter weather is a common cause of dry hair and skin.
But is it really only the weather that is causing problems with your hair and skin? How about with your overall health? Read to learn more.
Many nutrients are essential for the construction of our hair and skin cells. In an attempt to maintain an ideal weight, many people focus on the calories they consume, and not the nutritional value of the food itself. Unfortunately, this often results in increased hair loss, acne, and weak nails. In addition, consuming the wrong types of foods can lead to inflammation of the body’s cells and the breakdown of collagen, keratin, and elastin (essential components of healthy hair, skin, and nails). Lastly, a toxic overload, stress, and a poor diet all contribute to a drab complexion, dry, thin hair, and brittle nails.
The flip side: one of the most rewarding things about eating a healthy diet is that your hair, skin, and nails are often the first to change when your diet improves! Why? Because they are all influenced by the foods you choose to eat, and given that hair and nails are made of keratin, it makes sense that your diet choices affect them similarly. In addition, an important strategy to avoid the toxic overload mentioned is to pay attention to your daily showers and water intake. Water may not only affect your hair and skin but also, and most importantly, your health.
Public water supplies need to be disinfected before entering your home. Chlorine is a chemical used as an effective method to reduce the level of pathogenic bacteria in your drinking water.
We can filter out much of the chlorine from our drinking water, but when chlorine is added to water, it combines with other natural compounds to form THMs. One of the most common THMs formed is chloroform, which is a known carcinogen. Research have found that people using chlorinated or chloraminated drinking water have an increased risk of bladder, kidney, and rectal cancers.
"Cancer scientists believe that THMs are responsible for the majority of human cancers in the United States" The Environmental Defense Fund (EPA’s scientists).
But the toxic overload problem is also related to your daily showers. During your showers, the amount of chlorine in your water removes part of your natural hair and skin oils, causing them to become dry and brittle. Also, the chlorine gas you inhale enters directly into your blood stream. According to an article from Science News, researchers found increases in chloroform in study participants’ lungs after a 10-minute shower.
Free radicals in chlorinated water have also been linked to a variety of poor birth outcomes, greater risk of asthma, liver malfunction, weakening of the immune system, and pre-arteriosclerotic changes in arteries. And while there hasn’t been a lot of research on this issue, it’s appropriate to affirm that chlorinated water may also negatively impact your important and crucial beneficial gut bacteria. (Past Issues: Fixing Your Gut – 5 Steps)