The Link Between Stress and Hair Loss
December 26, 2018Stress has been said to be behind different health problems, from catching a cold to becoming prone to cancer, and hair loss is no exception to this. There is no doubt that too much stress will put you in a higher risk for hair loss. If your hair is suddenly thinning, gather some hair loss products to revitalize your tresses. But most importantly, bust your stress as soon as possible! To successfully do this, you should first learn exactly what stress is and how it operates, then fight it to improve the health of your hair and your overall happiness.
What Is Stress?Stress is your body's reaction to internal or external pressure. The characterizing reaction of stress is the release of chemicals into the blood; these prepare you for action (such as facing a strong emotion or fleeing a dangerous situation).
Stress is really a part of life, and it can be derived from good or bad experiences. The problem comes when it lingers, and your body's functions – among which theres the hair growth cycle – start getting altered. This is when you will start noticing more hair shedding than usual.
Stress, Hormones, and Hair LossHormone secretion can go berserk as a result of acute stress. There are two main ways in which hormonal imbalances derived from stress can manifest: the onset of androgenetic alopecia or telogen effluvium.
In the first case, a surplus of adrenaline can be converted into cholesterol and, in turn, raise testosterone levels. As you might know, high sensitivity to testosterone is a major defining trait of androgenetic alopecia . In other words, stress can trigger the onset of underlying androgenetic alopecia.
In the second case, hair loss is related to episodes of temporary increase in hair shedding. This phenomenon is called telogen effluvium. "Telogen" refers to one of the phases of hair growth, in which hair is shed. When more hairs than usual go on the telogen phase and the anagen (growth) phase slows down, telogen effluvium is produced. This type of hair loss is temporary and normally reversible. It can be classified as chronic telogen effluvium if it lasts for more than 6 months.
Telogen effluvium can be very distressful as you start noticing hair come out in clumps as you wash, brush, or style hair. how can you be sure that you are having an episode of telogen effluvium? Here are some predisposing events:
- Chronic emotional stress
- Chronic physical pain or a serious injury
- Chronic illness
- Illnesses like anemia and thyroid disease
- Surgical procedures
- Abrupt weight loss
- High fevers
- Malnutrition because of unhealthy food or extreme dieting
- Long periods of strong medication like antidepressants
- Pregnancy and childbirth
- Sudden stopping of contraceptives
Telogen effluvium might appear around six weeks to three months after the stressing conditions and will remain for three to six months or even longer if the stress doesn't subside. Is telogen effluvium reversible? The answer is yes. If the physical or emotional stress is overcome, hair follicles will be back to their normal growth cycle at least three months after the first episode of telogen effluvium. That means that it might be at least six months before your hair goes back to its normal thickness.
Another possible reason for hair loss due to stress is trichotillomania, the urge to pull out your hairs. This disorder is related to other psychological conditions such as OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder), depression or anxiety. It is essential to get a psychological examination and therapy to deal with this disorder.
Finally, some people think there is a link between stress and alopecia areata (losing hair in well-defined patches). However, it hasn't been established by science that this type of alopecia is due to stress; instead, it is the result of the immune system attacking hair follicles.
How to Deal with Stress and Hair LossAs much as you want a quick fix for your hair loss, the first thing you need to do is be patient with yourself and manage your stress. Here are a few ways you can keep stress under control to get your hair growth back on track and regain control over your life.
- Don't panic. Who wouldn't be terrified at the sight of hair clumps falling out every day? It is normal to be worried about it, but you must focus on winning the battle against stress. Otherwise, you will be worsening the situation and getting into a vicious circle of stress and continued hair loss.
- Eat a healthy diet and supplements. Bring yourself to realization that nutrition is essential for a healthy body. Taking nutritious foods and eating in a peaceful environment seem to be negligible things, but they're not. Take your time choosing healthy ingredients and eat with intention.
- Do some kind of relaxation practice. Learn how to release internal tension with a technique that resonates with you. There are plenty of options to choose from: meditation, breathing, visualizing, yoga, music therapy, color therapy, aromatherapy, and even exercise. You will get long-term benefits on your body, your mood, and obviously, your hair.
- Find a hobby or a source of regular entertainment. Do something you really enjoy at least once a week to take your mind away from worries. Anything, from watching a series you like to starting guitar lessons. Just make sure that you do this activity out of pleasure.
- Do not withdraw. Reach out to your loved ones and try to carry on with your daily life as usual. Don't let embarrassment settle in! hair loss can happen to anyone. Talking to others will bring you satisfaction and keep your spirits up, whereas shying away from contact will throw you deeper into a stress spiral.
- Give your hair extra care. Every little thing you do in your daily hair care routine is capable of helping with your hair loss episode or stalling it. Switch to sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner, use a natural bristle brush, use hair serums and treatments to encourage hair growth, and forget about chemical treatments or heat tools while your growth cycle stabilizes.
Your doctor might discover that you need supplements like zinc, iron or folic acid, which will help restore hair growth and strengthen your hair.
Now you know how important it is to keep stress in check! Your health and your beautiful hair are worth it. The Cosmetic Republic USA has just what you need to recover your hair's life and fullness. Call one of our representatives at TOLL FREE 1-888-513-8815 or fill out the contact form below to learn about our professional hair loss products. Don't forget to subscribe to our newsletter to get our news right in your inbox.
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