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    Dry hair

    Hair - dry

    Causes

    • Anorexia nervosa
    • Excessive washing, or using harsh soaps or alcohols
    • Excessive blow-drying
    • Dry air (environmental dryness)
    • Menkes kinky hair syndrome
    • Malnutrition (for example, kwashiorkor disease)
    • Underactive parathyroid (hypoparathyroidism)
    • Underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism)

    Home Care

    • Shampoo less frequently -- perhaps only once or twice a week
    • Add conditioners
    • Avoid blow drying and harsh styling products

    When to Contact a Medical Professional

    Call your health care provider if:

    • Your hair does not improve with gentle treatment
    • You have hair loss
    • You have any other unexplained symptoms

    What to Expect at Your Office Visit

    Your doctor will perform a physical examination and may ask the following questions:

    • Has your hair always been slightly dry?
    • When did the unusual hair dryness first start?
    • Is it always present, or is it off and on?
    • What are your eating habits?
    • What kind of shampoo is used?
    • How often do you wash your hair?
    • Do you use a conditioner? What type?
    • How do you normally style the hair?
    • Do you use a hair dryer? What type? How often?
    • What other symptoms are also present?

    Diagnostic tests that may be performed include:

    • Examination of the hair under the microscope
    • Blood tests

    References

    Habif TM. Hair diseases. In: Habif TP, ed. Clinical Dermatology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2009:chap 24.

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    • Skin layers

      illustration

      • Skin layers

        illustration

      A Closer Look

        Self Care

          Tests for Dry hair

            Review Date: 11/30/2012

            Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

            The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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            St. Luke's Hospital - 232 South Woods Mill Road - Chesterfield, MO 63017 Main Number: 314-434-1500 Emergency Dept: 314-205-6990 Patient Billing: 888-924-9200
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