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How Dehydration Impacts Your Hair, Skin, and Nails

You hear the message constantly: proper hydration is a key factor in good health. But do you listen? Probably not, considering that only about 25 percent of people drink as much water as they should. This is terrible for our health, but did you know that dehydration can also negatively impact our hair, skin, and nails? The question is, if your hair, skin, and nails are dry, will drinking enough water help?


  • When it comes to your skin, the answer isn’t clear. What is clear is that when the outermost layer of skin, called the epidermis, doesn’t contain enough water, the skin can lose its elasticity. Drinking extra water may or may not impact that. However, if your skin feels dry, there are some steps you can take to improve it. Avoid long, hot showers, use a gentle cleanser, and don’t use deodorant soap or skin care products with alcohol, fragrance, retinoids, or alpha hydroxy acid. Moisturize as soon as you step out of the bath or shower, and every time you wash your hands. Use a humidifier, and wear gloves when you go out in the winter.
  • Dehydration may lead to hair loss. This is because proper hydration directly influences hair growth. Your hair follicles are the fastest growing tissue in your body, and when you’re dehydrated, they, like other bodily systems won’t be able to function properly. What’s more, dehydration makes for thirsty hair. If you’re only mildly dehydrated, your hair will look dull and less healthy than usual. With severe dehydration, however, it can become thin, brittle, and dry, breaking off easily and looking thin. Eating properly and drinking enough water is important in keeping a healthy head of hair.
  • Does drinking enough water cure brittle nails? Probably not. When nails are dehydrated, it’s sometimes from a medical condition, but most often from external factors. Want to keep your nails well hydrated, healthy, and strong? Moisturize them with lotion after every hand washing, and wear moisturizer to bed. Consider cotton-lined spa gloves for sleeping, and wear cotton-lined rubber gloves any time you’re washing dishes or using cleaners. Polishing your nails can give them some protection, but when it comes to removal, choose acetate polish remover over acetone based. And while gelatin and calcium supplements aren’t effective for promoting nail health, biotin is: it can strengthen nails by as much as 25 percent.

Whether you need help for your nails, face, body, or scalp, Swinyer-Woseth Dermatology is committed to providing superior, professional care that’s practical, efficient, and compassionate. With over 30 years of experience providing dermatological services in Salt Lake City, we provide a variety of services, from cosmetic skincare to treatment for skin cancer. Our team of board-certified dermatologists, licensed cosmetic service providers, and friendly staff members is here to provide you the care you need in a comfortable, professional atmosphere. For more information, contact us through our website or call (801) 682-4715 today.