Stress can be destructive in every aspect of our physical and mental health. It’s understandable to become stressed with what’s going on with the world, not to mention the struggles that happen in our personal lives. Stress can come from an assortment of issues or events that can leave people feeling anxious or nervous beyond the norm, remaining in a prolonged state of fight or flight. Stress is something everyone ultimately goes through in life, and more often than not, it’s only temporary. Stress is by all means normal, however, stress could be causing another unsuspecting problem: hair loss.
How Stress Leads To Hair Loss
Stress is quite literally an interruption to the regular functions of the human body. The mind races, the heart may beat faster, and hair may even end up falling out.
Stress causes hair loss when the growth and maintenance of hair cycles is interrupted. Hair follicles cycle between rest and growth phases. During the rest phase (telogen), hair is shed from the scalp and during the growth phase (anagen), hair grows. However, times of great emotional or mental stress can trigger an event or condition called Telogen Effluvium where the hairs suddenly go into the rest phase abruptly. This in turn can prevent growth phases from happening and one may experience more hair loss than growth. Luckily, this is only temporary and the hair will start to resume regrowth. However, despite all of this, this may not be the only culprit. There are certain stress related conditions that can also contribute to hair loss.
This condition is not a cause of stress, but it is closely linked. Trichotillomania is a condition, most commonly found in teenage girls, where stress and anxiety causes an urge to pull one’s hair out. People who suffer from this condition pull out the hair from their head, eyelashes, eyebrows, and so much more. It’s a psychological condition where people deal with their negative emotions by pulling out hair follicles, which can cause scarring and a decline in growing hair. This impulse control condition can lead to prolonged hair loss, which sometimes can be permanent.
How To Address Stress-Induced Hair Loss
A problem is not without its solution. This is especially the case for hair loss induced from stress, as it can be treatable. One can also promote hair growth by seeking treatment or changing up habits or lifestyle.
Exercise can have profound positive impact on stress levels. Regular physical exertion can help the body and the mind by helping improve the body’s ability to utilize oxygen and improve blood flow. This in turn has a direct impact on the brain and how it can process certain things. Exercising has the added benefit of increasing endorphin production in the brain. Endorphins help to give a feel-good response after working out, with these effects lingering long after exercise.. Exercise classes are a great idea for someone who is looking for a stress release outlet as they occur regularly, they provide a social element, and, of course, they provide new and challenging ways to get moving.
See A Doctor
A doctor or other health professionals may be able to help someone with stress-induced hair loss. A psychologist or a psychiatrist can help to diagnose mental health issues and steps can be taken to treat or handle said issues. If chronic stress is something one may be dealing with, therapy or medication can help the brain better deal with anxiety and stress at hand. Therapists and doctors can also help people learn coping mechanisms to handle stress when it does arise again, and how to better handle feelings from stress such as uncertainty, fear, and anxiety.
Get Plenty of Sleep
Not getting enough sleep can be a precursor to unwanted stress or nervousness. Anxiety or stress can cause insomnia related symptoms and can therefore cause an imbalance in the body. In fact, an imbalance of hormones could create a domino effect leading to less sleep, more stress, and ultimately hair loss in some cases. Cortisol, the stress hormone, is released when the body isn’t getting enough sleep which triggers the body’s fight or flight response, causing large amounts of stress and hair loss, among other detrimental effects. Getting around 7-9 hours of sleep daily can help to mitigate these effects and bring stress down to a more manageable level.
Change Up Hair Care
Combining any one of the previously stated methods can help to slow or stop stress related hair loss. Another method that can help to mitigate hair loss is to change up hair care. Some shampoos simply aren’t the right recipes for the job and some can even be damaging to one’s hair. Avoid ingredients such as polyethylene, parabens, glycol, and sulfates to prevent unwanted chemicals from soaking into the hair. Instead, use shampoos or other hair formulas containing beneficial ingredients such as keratin, biotin, and different amino acids. These can help to make hair thicker and appear more full. Minoxidil is an ingredient that has been proven to regrow hair, which is why it’s the main ingredient in Keranique’s Hair Regrowth Treatment. Using clinically proven formulas and the only FDA approved ingredient for hair loss, minoxidil, this system can attack hair loss at the source.
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This article is not intended to treat any disease or offer a substitution for professional medical advice.