How to Deal with Stress-Related Hair Loss
By Kiku Chaudhuri
Do you suffer from stress-related hair loss? Here’s what you can do to stop it.
Constant stress can negatively impact our body in a multitude of ways and our hair is no exception. In fact, stress is the second biggest cause of hair loss after genetics. Studies also show that apart from hair loss, stress can affect the scalp in the long run. Nonetheless, a good diet, better lifestyle and the right hair care products can help stop stress-related hair loss in its tracks.
How does stress impact hair fall?
Our mind and body are intrinsically linked and the scalp particularly is a very stress-activated organ. Increased cortisol levels can affect the hair follicles and create a vicious cycle of stress-related hair loss. A common type of hair loss that is associated with high stress is telogen effluvium. Usually, most of our hair is in a growing stage called anagen while only 15% is in a resting phase - telogen. However, physical or physiological stress may disturb this ratio resulting in increased shedding. The good news is that stress-related hair loss is temporary. Once you learn to manage your stress, get good sleep, consume a proper diet and follow a suitable hair care regimen, stress-related hair loss will be a thing of the past.
Here are a few ways to determine if you have stress-related hair loss:
- Your daily hair fall is more than the usual 80-100 strands
- You notice bald patches on your scalp
- You are experiencing hair loss following a tragic event in your life
- You notice thinner ponytail or a sudden shedding of hair on the pillowcase or in the shower drain
How to combat stress-related hair loss?
Meditation and breathing exercises are excellent ways to calm your mind and release stress. Both mental and physical stress cause an increase in the levels of cortisol, the stress hormone in the body. This produces many harmful side effects. Meditation is scientifically-proven to help calm the nervous system, which reduces stress over time. In one 8-week study, meditation reduced the inflammation response caused by stress in people. Reflect on your lifestyle choices that are worsening your stress levels. Simple inhalations and exhalations for ten minutes can make a tremendous impact on your overall health and treat the root cause of stress-related hair loss. To elevate your mood, you can also try creating a positive environment by filling your space with things that you like. This will help your mental health, release tension and prevent stress-related hair loss.
- Eat a balanced diet, rich in vitamins and minerals
A good and balanced diet is essential for healthy hair. Incorporate chia and flax seeds into your diet as they are rich in omega-3 oils that help prevent hair follicle inflammation. Focus on protein and iron-rich foods as well. Fill your diet with foods that are rich in vitamin C and E. These are powerful antioxidants that combat oxidative stress and improve the quality and strength of the hair. Their natural antioxidant properties avert hair fall while improving the texture of the scalp. For the aforementioned nutrients, apart from a good diet, supplements may also help. In a study, people with hair loss witnessed a 34.5% increase in hair growth after taking vitamin E supplements for 8 months. Avocados, almonds and spinach are all great sources of vitamin E.
- Stimulate your scalp
Stimulate your scalp by using nourishing hair oils and a scalp comb. According to studies, physical scalp stimulation increases hair thickness by stretching the cells of hair follicles, stimulating them to produce thicker hair. Scalp stimulation may help dilate blood vessels under the skin, promoting hair growth. Try our Handmade Neem Wood Comb that contains soft bristles and can be used to comb or "massage" the scalp. Neem is highly rich in fatty acids, vitamin E and antioxidants. The neem wood comb also provides nutrients to the hair follicles and removes impurities.
- Follow a clean hair care regimen free of parabens
Parabens have been associated with hair loss for years. According to studies, parabens are known to cause damage to the scalp and hair. Switch to plant-based formulas that are paraben-free. All Shaz + Kiks products are made with plant-derived ingredients and are free or parabens, sulfates, silicones and phthalates. Try our Repair Hair Oil with Moringa + Vetiver. It is a cold-pressed premium hair oil that moisturizes a dry scalp, reduces breakage and stimulates hair growth.