Hydration is important for hair growth and the overall health of your hair and scalp.
Drinking enough water every day not only prevents hair breakage and shedding, it also improves the appearance of your hair. If you have frizzy and dull hair, you might not be taking in enough water.
How dehydration affects hair growth
1. It dries and weakens hair
One of the most noticeable effects of dehydration is hair breakage. This happens when hair doesn’t get enough water, causing it to dry and become weak. It breaks easily whenever you wash or comb it.
Over time, if you don’t improve your water intake, you’ll notice your hair gradually thinning. Bald patches might begin forming around your head.
2. It dries the scalp
A healthy and well hydrated scalp is essential for good hair growth.
If your scalp is too dry, it can prevent the hair from growing properly and even cause some hair thinning.
A dry scalp makes hair weaker and more prone to breakage and shedding.
3. It increases stress levels
You don’t have to be dying of thirst to experience increased stress levels. Taking inadequate water is enough to sustain higher levels of cortisol in your body.
Stress is one of the main causes of hair loss.
It can trigger hair to go into dormant mode, cause the immune system to attack hair follicles or increase oxidative stress (damage caused by free radicals) on hair, causing it to fall out.
If you keep missing the recommended water intake goals, the sustained stress levels are even worse for your hair.
Benefits of drinking water for hair growth
Drinking enough water every day has the opposite effect as dehydration.
The first thing you’ll notice is that your hair feels thicker and stronger. That’s because your hair and scalp are finally getting hydrated.
Your hair will start breaking less and might even get fuller and glossier.
Having enough moisture also reduces the risk of common scalp problems like dandruff, which can affect hair growth.
Drinking water reverses the rising stress levels caused by dehydration. With less stress, your hair has a better chance of growing.
How to tell you are not drinking enough water
The 8-glasses of water a day rule is not based on any solid scientific research. It’s an arbitrary number.
Everyone’s water intake needs vary depending on environment, body weight and activities. Furthermore, your get water from many more sources than just pure water.
Coffee, tea, juices, fruits and many other foods also count towards your daily water consumption.
An easy way to tell that you are not drinking enough water is if you keep feeling thirsty. It’s the most reliable body signal that you should take water.
If you keep ignoring your thirst, you are on the path to dehydration.
Here are other signs of mild to moderate dehydration.
- Low energy levels. Dehydration causes fatigue even if you have not done any intensive activity.
- Constant unexplained headaches.
- You keep feeling mentally tired without any reason. This makes it hard to concentrate.
- Your hair feels frizzy and brittle. Over time, it begins to break more than usual.
- Your skin looks dull. If you are prone to acne, lack of water can trigger or worsen it.
How to keep your hair (and body) hydrated
Forget the 8-glasses rule. There are two simple rules when it comes to drinking water.
- One, drink water when you are thirsty.
- Two, drink a bit more water than usual when it’s hot or during an intensive activity like exercise. This will compensate for water loss.
In addition, eat plenty of vegetables and fruits through the day to keep your hydration levels up.
It’s also important to moisturize your hair from the outside for added protection from dehydration.
Use natural oils and hair moisturizing products to keep your hair soft, strong and healthy. It will improve hair growth or slow down hair loss. Or alternatively buy some of these shampoos for hair loss that may have similar effects.