Brittle Hair

Brittle hair is seemingly rather cosmetic than a medical issue, but it may also accompany many pathological conditions including lack of certain substances in our bodies. Therefore, complaints about brittle hair can attract a physician’s attention.


Environment factors

Hair can be damaged by excessive exposure to sunlight, as well as by excessive brushing and hair coloring.

Lack of proteins

Proteins are the basic building material of all tissues, so it is not surprising that protein deficiency is associated with dry and brittle hair. The problem applies particularly to women with anorexia nervosa and patients with more severe gastrointestinal malabsorption of nutrients.

Lack of vitamins

Lack of a wide range of vitamins causes deterioration of hair growth. It is usually seen by deficiency of vitamin A and vitamin C.

Lack of minerals

Minerals are important for normal hair look. Zinc and silicon deficiency is often associated with fragile and brittle hair.

Overactive thyroid gland

Hyperthyroidism is usually associated with dry and brittle hair. Other symptoms, however, dominate such as palpitations, weight loss, and heat intolerance.

Psychological stress

It has been observed that people exposed to prolonged stress have worse quality of skin and hair.

Jiri Stefanek, MD  Author of texts: Jiri Stefanek, MD
 Sources: basic text sources