Whether your hair is short, long, straight, or curly, your hair is considered your crowning glory. But aside from that, the state of your locks could also help you understand a few things that are happening in your body, health-wise.

You’re stressed.
According to New York City dermatologist and psychiatrist Amy Wechsler, M.D., it’s normal to shed 80 to 100 hairs a day. If you start to lose more than that, it could be a sign of telogen effluvium or a period of (totally reversible) hair thinning brought on by psychological and physical stressors, like an illness, pregnancy, or a period of depression.

You’re not getting enough nutrients.
It’s not only your body that’s in need of vitamins. If your hair is dull and limp, it could mean that you lack in nutrients such as protein, iron, zinc, and vitamin A. "If you don't have enough protein, you can end up having hair that is dry and thinner. Protein is the building block for keratin," says Debra Wattenberg, M.D., a New York City dermatologist at NY Skin Rx. Also, a lack of Vitamin B12 and folic acid could lead to early signs of gray hair. So what should you do? Stock up on lean red meat, shellfish, eggs, poultry, and milk.

You don’t drink enough water.
If your hair seems to be brittle and lacks shine, then you’re probably not drinking enough water, says Diana Bitner, MD, an OB-GYNE at Spectrum Health Medical Group in Grand Rapids, Michigan. If you’re bored with drinking plain water, spice it up by adding lemons and cucumber–tasty and refreshing!

P.S. Want to have great hair all day every day? Check out the best of the best products, tools, and services for your hair at the first-ever Female Network Hair Awards here!

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