Whether you're a busy executive or a homemaker, you’re often found cramming some kind of work every hour of every day.
But the daily pressure can build into stress; if ignored, it can be damaging to your body and overall health.
One of the unhealthy responses to stress is hair loss. If you're losing hair more than usual (we lose 50 to 100 strands a day), you’re feeling a lot stressed out than you might think.
So could it be possible that there is a link between stress and hair loss?
Most hair loss conditions are caused by genetic and hormonal factors. According to Dr. Lamen Ploch, Dermatologist at the Georgia Dermatology and Skin Cancer Centre, “When our body experiences stress, it essentially goes into survival mode and diverts resources away from functions that are non-essential for life such as hair growth and nail growth.”
Stress and hair loss in females
Experts have found that there is a strong link between hair loss and stress in females. There are different areas of stress when hair loss becomes apparent; divorce and heartbreak, losing a job, losing a family member, coming to terms with significant changes in your life, accident or trauma, and even lack of sleep, among others.
When you are stressed, your adrenal gland becomes active leading to the production of cortisol, a stress hormone, which increases the production of testosterone and, in turn, converts to DHT, which interrupts the hair’s growth cycle. Stress also constricts blood supply through the capillaries restricting oxygen, nutrients and vitamins from reaching the hair follicles.
When we’re stressed, the body shuts down production of hair since it’s not necessary for survival and instead devotes its energies toward repairing vital body structures. All of a sudden you may notice that there are more strands of hair on your brush or pillow than normal.
DHT, or dihydrotestosterone, is one of the main contributors to hair loss. DHT is an active testosterone converted by the body from testosterone. As adults, DHT causes the miniaturisation of hair on the scalp converting it back to baby hair.
Compared to men, women have generally low levels of testosterone in the body versus female estrogen. However, at certain points in life, this balance can change leading to more DHT being produced by the body.
Stress-related hair loss may also be caused by a condition known as Telogen Effluvium. Stressful experiences can shock as many as 70% of scalp hairs and eventually will prematurely push the hair strands into the resting phase. This results in a noticeable increase in hair fall and thinning.
According to The American Hair Loss Council (AHLC), hair that thins out because of stress does grow back, but it can take several months.
How to reverse hair loss from stress?
Your first step would be to try to reduce stress or avoid stressful situations. If you are severely stressed due to your already-piling office workload or balancing your kids with household chores, you need to properly recuperate.
For example, if work and domestic duties are causing you a lot of stress, move away from it by having a vacation.
If you cannot avoid stressful situations, you can learn how to cope with them. There are stress reduction techniques, like meditation or having scalp massages at your favourite salon.
You should also get proper hair nourishment from anti-stress foods that are packed with correct levels of vitamins, proteins, minerals and other nutrients necessary for healthy hair growth, such as salmon and oily fish, nuts, spinach, avocados, dairy, lean red meat, lean chicken, seeds, green tea, blueberries, oats, and green leafy vegetables.
What are stress related hair loss treatments available?
Get a grip on stress-related hair loss by using hair loss products that can nourish the hair and stimulate new hair growth.
Hair products that contain natural DHT blockers can effectively prevent and treat hair loss. Natural DHT blockers include, but not limited to: saw palmetto, nettle root extract, biotin, rosemary, horsetail, and even caffeine. These natural DHT blockers penetrate deeply into the scalp and actively targets DHT, making hair to become fuller and thicker.
Although stressful experiences are an inevitable part of life, how you take care of yourself can transform your experience into a positive, nourishing one for your hair’s health.
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