A bad hair day or a few bad hair days can leave us in an unpleasant mood as we find no solution in taming our manes. Although these lousy hair days are usually the result of haircut regret, or a hair product gone wrong, our hair woes could also signify underlying health problems a hairstylist cannot fix. Our hair acts like an extension of our body and can by tell us the secrets about our overall health.

It is common as we age for our hair and nails to begin to change. Typically, a change in hair color is one of the clearest signs of aging as hair follicles produce less melanin. This means there is less pigmentation and more grays. In addition, hair thickness along with smaller strands are also common signs of aging since many hair follicles stop producing new hairs, according to Medline Plus. However, these changes can be unrelated to age and can actually be symptoms linked to these several health conditions.

Hair Texture

1. Dry, Brittle Hair

If your hair feels as soft as a Brillo pad, and you wake up with hair litter on your pillow in the morning, this could be an indication of Cushing’s syndrome or hypothyroidism.These conditions occur when the thyroid glands do not produce enough thyroid hormones, according to Healthline. As a result, your metabolism begins to slow down leading to sudden weight gain, unexplained fatigue, and being cold all the time. A deficiency in iron, zinc and vitamin C can also lead hair to become often dry, brittle, and lusterless.

2. Thinning Hair

Thick locks that change into thin strands could also be a sign of hypothyroidism. The thyroid is the master gland that regulates the endocrine system and also impacts how hair is formed. However, thinner hair accompanied by hair loss could also be attributed to a hormonal imbalance relating to polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). This endocrine disorder affects how a woman’s ovaries work which leads to excessive hair shedding and hair thinning on the scalp, especially in those who have a genetic predisposition and follicle sensitivity, says the Mayo Clinic.

3. Hair Shedding

The average person loses about 100 hairs a day but this hair loss is normal and doesn’t not make your hair feel any less thin. However, if your hair starts to fall out in clumps, it could be a sign of anemia. This health condition is caused by low iron in the body which leads to brittle nails or hair loss. Iron Is necessary for maintaining many body functions, says the American Society of Hematology, and for maintaining healthy cells, skin, hair, and nails.

A protein deficiency could also indicate a protein deficiency. Protein is essential in building and growing your hair. About two to three months after a person does not eat enough protein, they will most likely see hair loss.

Hair Color

1. Gray Hair

The moment we spot gray hairs we begin to cringe and quickly rush to the pharmacy or our hairstylist for a quick hair dye job. While gray hair is dictated by our genes, it can also signify high levels of stress. Stress hormones are thought to believe to impact the survival and/or activity of melanocytes, follicle shrivels, which is the result of the production of free radicals produced by the stress hormones, Scientific American reported.

2. Brunette, Blonde, And Red Hair

Hair color has been associated with personality traits from “blondes have more fun” to “redheads being wild,” but your locks’ hues can reveal a lot about your health. Brunettes are known to have fewer hairs on their head than their blonde and redhead counterparts, which predisposes them to being at a higher risk for hair loss, Medical Daily reported. Unlike brown hair, blonde hair is caused by a lack of melanin in the body which can leave blondes more prone to skin and eye problems. According to a study, if you have blonde hair and blue yes, you are at a higher risk for developing age-related macular degeneration – the leading cause of irreversible vision loss in Americans aged 50 and over.

Compared to brunettes and blondes, redheads are found to have increased self-esteem. Unfortunately, when it comes to their physical health, people with red hair are more likely to develop Parkinson’s disease. Moreover, the genetic mutation in redheads that gives them their bright and lustrous color also puts them at risk for developing the degenerative disease.

Remember, look in the mirror not just to style your hair but to learn the truth about your tresses.