Stress Hair Loss - How to Stop It
An average human has about 100,000 hair follicles on their scalp. If you’re losing some of it, it isn’t really a problem. Hair loss is a common problem in both men and women. However, women are more prone to it. Finding a few hair strands on your hairbrush, on your pillow or in your shower drain is completely normal, but if you notice that you’re losing a lot of hair all of a sudden, it’s a cause for concern. Your stress might be getting better of you!
Stress can wreak havoc in your body. It can disrupt your physical and mental wellbeing, that much is known. But did you know that it can also cause excessive hair loss too? Stress-induced hair fall is very common. If you’re overburdened at work or are going through a rough patch in life, you might notice that you’re losing more hair than normal.
Read ahead to know all there is to know about stress hair loss – what it is, what causes it, and effective remedies and techniques to control stress hair loss!
NORMAL HAIR LOSS
Your hair isn’t meant to stay on your head forever. Like everything else, every hair strand has a lifespan, after which it naturally falls out. If you’re losing around 100 hair strands a day, you need not panic. Losing this much hair every day is completely normal. A single hair strand has an average lifespan of about 4.5 years. After this, it falls out, and it takes about 6 months for new hair to replace fallen strands. Brushing and shampooing your hair can also lead to hair fall. Moreover, you lose more hair as you age. However, all of this is natural and not something to worry about.
GENETIC HAIR LOSS
Sometimes, you might assume that your reduced hair volume is due to excessive hair fall when, in reality, it may be due to less hair growing back to replace the hair that has fallen out. The cause of this is your genetics. Genetic hair loss is usually characterized by pattern baldness and receding hairlines. Genetic hair loss is more common in men than in women. 1 in 4 men start to develop pattern baldness by the age of 30, and 2 in 3 men may be completely bald by the age of 60. Genetic hair loss may also be due to hormonal imbalances as well. Women with higher levels of testosterone are more likely to lose hair and fail to regrow new hair.
Since genetics are in play here, there is little that can be done!
HOW YOU CAN TELL IF YOU’RE LOSING HAIR DUE TO STRESS
As we’ve seen above, hair loss can be influenced by a number of factors that are out of our control. So how do you know that your hair loss is due to stress?
If the number of hair strands on your pillow when you wake up, in your shower, or on your hairbrush has increased noticeably, you need to know why it’s happening. If you’re losing 150 hair strands a day, which will be about a palm-full, stress is most likely the reason. Also, if the hair loss is majorly around your temples, it is another indication that you’re suffering from hair loss due to stress.
Stress hair loss is different from both normal and genetic hair loss. It not only results in the loss of a greater number of hair strands on a daily basis, but it also slows down the rate at which the hair grows back. The good news here is that stress hair loss is reversible. The normal hair growth rate is restored as soon as your stress levels are reduced.
TYPES OF STRESS-INDUCED HAIR LOSS
When we talk about stress-induced hair loss, there are three types of hair loss that present themselves. Let’s have a look at each of them.
The most common type of stress-induced hair loss is telogen effluvium. It is characterized by patches of thinning hair towards the center of the scalp. People suffering from telogen effluvium do not lose all the hair on their scalp but only in certain areas. It is a type of hair loss that occurs when the number of active hair follicles changes during the resting phase. The growth phase (anagen) is cut short as a result of an internal disruption within the body.
When you’re stressed out, the adrenal glands produce a hormone called cortisol, which is converted into cortisone. Cortisone is responsible for signaling the hair follicles to shift from the growth phase (anagen) to the transition phase (catagen), which results in the hair falling out. The hair follicles stay in this transition state for about 2 to 3 months and are eventually shed. If you’re losing your hair now, the chances that your hair was in an inactive phase for the past few months are high!
Stress is seen to be the most common cause of telogen effluvium. People tend to skip meals or eat unhealthy when they’re overwhelmed with stress. It also affects digestion and hence, disrupts the absorption of essential nutrients. When the body is short of nutrients, it prioritizes essential areas of the body that are more in need of nutrients. Hair is a non-essential part of the body, and therefore, when your body is falling short of vital nutrients, your hair is usually the first thing that gets affected. Your body cuts down on its supply of nutrients to your hair, and as a result, your hair loses its shine, strength, and vitality and eventually falls.
Alopecia areata is another type of hair loss that is associated with stress. It is a condition that is characterized by random bald spots on your scalp. The bald spots are usually circular and the size of a coin. However, they can be larger than that. Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder. Your body recognizes certain hair cells as foreign species and produces an immune response against them. Actual triggers of this condition are not known entirely, but approximately 90% of cases of alopecia areata are associated with stress, bereavement, and shock.
Trichotillomania or the hair-pulling disorder is characterized by the urge to pull your hair out from your scalp or any other parts of the body. Hair pulling actually occurs without much thought. You start pulling your hair out when you’re bored or when you’re lost in your thoughts. It can also be done intentionally as an attempt to relieve stress. It is a noticeable occurrence that can put you under additional stress, hence worsening the cycle. Trichotillomania is more common in pre-teens; however, it can last a lifetime.
IS STRESS-RELATED HAIR LOSS PERMANENT?
Stress-related hair loss is not permanent. The hair you lose due to stress will grow back as soon as you are stress-free or learn to manage your stress. The key to restoring healthy hair growth is learning to manage your stress. The sooner, the better!
HOW TO STOP STRESS-RELATED HAIR LOSS?
The answer to the question “how to stop stress-related hair loss” is pretty straightforward – rid yourself of the stress that is causing it! However, this is easier said than done. There are numerous ways, both medical and non-medical that can help you with your stress-related hair loss problem. Some effective and promising ways to reduce, and even stop stress-related hair loss have been listed down for you below.
One of the primary causes of stress-induced hair loss is poor eating habits. You either skip your meals or start relying on junk food (stress eating). When your body doesn’t receive the essential nutrients that it needs to maintain healthy hair growth, it provides what’s available to vital and essential parts of the body, which your hair isn’t. Therefore, the first and the most effective way to reduce stress-related hair loss is to get back on track with your diet. Following a balanced diet will ensure that your body is receiving all the nutrients that it needs.
Your hair is the fastest-growing part of your body. Therefore, it is given that it needs plenty of nutrition. Some of the most important nutrients needed for healthy hair growth include:
- Vitamin A: It is required for the production of sebum that keeps the hair follicles and scalp moisturized. Some vitamin A-rich food sources include carrots, sweet potatoes, kale, and spinach. They contain beta carotene that is converted into vitamin A. Other sources include yogurt, eggs, and milk.
- Vitamin C: An essential vitamin for building collagen. It is also a powerful antioxidant that combats free radicals and prevents oxidative damage to your hair and scalp. Citrus fruits are a rich source of vitamin C.
- Vitamin B: Vitamin B complex promotes healthy metabolism, hair, and skin. You can obtain the required quantities of vitamin B from whole grains, meat, fish, almonds, leafy vegetables, and various animal foods.
- Vitamin E: It is a potent antioxidant, just like vitamin C, that is vital for a healthy scalp and hair. Almonds, spinach, sunflower seeds, and avocados are great sources of vitamin E.
Taking dietary supplements like HAIRFINITY Detox & De-Stress Antioxidant Booster is also a great way to meet the dietary requirements of the body. HAIRFINITY Detox & De-Stress Antioxidant Booster has been discussed in detail ahead.
Stress management is the key to combating stress-related hair loss. As soon as your stress levels are managed and controlled, normal hair growth is restored. You can manage your stress levels in a number of ways:
Exercise is an effective way to eliminate stress. You don’t necessarily have to get involved in high-intensity exercise. Something as light as a daily walk, light yard work, or signing up for a dance class will serve the purpose well. Exercise promotes the production of certain hormones that make you feel good. These feel-good hormones are responsible for lowering your stress levels, and hence, help in fighting stress-related hair loss.
DO WHAT YOU LIKE
Spending time doing what you enjoy can help reduce your stress levels. Occupying yourself in your hobbies is a great way to fight stress. It can be anything that you like doing – singing, painting, dancing, reading, gardening, or even volunteer work. Just like exercise, spending time doing something you like will make you feel better.
Many people have benefited greatly from writing. Penning down your feelings and emotions and what triggers your stress or negative thoughts can really help you address your stress and cope with it effectively.
Meditation induces feelings of calmness and relaxation. If you feel too stressed out, you can try relaxing breathing exercises and meditation to manage stress efficiently. Meditation enables you to focus on the present moment and forget the rest, even the things that are causing you stress.
GET ADEQUATE SLEEP
Getting adequate sleep can help reduce stress significantly. It refreshes and calms your body, regulates your mood, improves concentration, and makes you feel better. Sleeping for at least 8 hours regularly can help reduce the stress level and hence, help you combat stress-induced hair loss more efficiently.
Other than dietary supplementation and stress management techniques, you can opt for various topical treatments available in the market that can be used to treat hair loss. These include:
· TOPICAL MINOXIDIL
Topical minoxidil is an OTC drug that is available as a foam, spray, and cream. You can apply it directly to your scalp, beard, or eyebrows twice every day. There are different formulations for male and female use. Minoxidil prolongs the growing phase and promotes healthy and natural hair growth.
· TOPICAL CORTICOSTEROIDS
Prescription and OTC topical corticosteroids like prednisone are commonly used with other treatment options to treat alopecia areata.
· CASTOR OIL
Treatment of hair loss with castor oil is a very popular folk remedy. Numerous evidence suggests that it can increase hair growth and help in the treatment of stress-related hair loss.
We’ve already discussed the importance of adequate nutrition when it comes to reducing hair loss and promoting healthy and natural hair growth. Many people opt for nutritional supplements targeted at boosting hair growth to ensure that all the dietary requirements of the body are being met. A good example of such hair growth supplements is the HAIRFINITY Detox & De-Stress Antioxidant Booster.
HAIRFINITY Detox and De-Stress Antioxidant Booster
The HAIRFINITY Detox & De-Stress Antioxidant Booster is a complete hair care system. It works inside out to boost your natural hair growth. HAIRFINITY Detox and De-Stress repairs, nourishes, and protects your hair from root to tip. Made from all-natural ingredients, it cuts down the need to apply any harmful chemicals to your hair. It offers nutritional supplementation to your body that it fails to get from food alone.
HAIRFINITY Detox and De-Stress Antioxidant Booster contains the following ingredients:
- Turmeric root extract
- Grape seed powder
- Black Pepper Fruit extract
- Vitamin E
Let’s have a look at the role that each of these ingredients plays in promoting natural and healthy hair growth.
Turmeric belongs to the ginger family. It has been used for centuries for its numerous health benefits. It is often referred to as hair growth supercharger. Turmeric is rich in curcumin (found in its rhizome). According to research, curcumin can combat hair loss in a number of ways. It is a polyphenol that provides not only antioxidant support but also offers excellent anti-inflammatory support to your hair.
The anti-inflammatory properties support a healthy and natural inflammatory response. An inflammatory response can be a result of psychological stress, high sugar, viruses, bacteria, and other toxins like smoke and pollutants. This is where curcumin in turmeric proves to be beneficial. It is a vital component when it comes to supporting optimal hair growth.
In addition, the antioxidant properties of curcumin help combat free radical damage to the scalp and hair follicles, thereby promoting the healthy growth of hair. Curcumin is also known to activate Vitamin D receptors in the hair follicles that control hair growth cycles.
GRAPE SEED EXTRACT
Grape seeds are abundant in nutrients that are highly beneficial for your hair. It is said to increase the blood flow, which is the most critical factor for the health of your hair.
Restricted blood flow to the hair follicles can lead to miniaturization. The hair follicles are no longer able to support strong and healthy hair growth. However, with improved blood flow, the hair follicles receive the nutrition that they require.
Grape seed extract also pushes the hair follicle from the telogen phase to the anagen phase, hence boosting the hair growth cycle and promoting hair growth. Grape seed extract is also rich in antioxidants. It efficiently fights against hair loss and hair thinning. All in all, grape seed extract is more like a miracle ingredient for hair growth and health.
BLACK PEPPER FRUIT EXTRACT
Black pepper fruit extract is rich in antioxidants that enhance the blood circulation to the scalp. It is also a rich source of beta carotenes, vitamin C, and terpenoids that cause the tensing of the hair cells, hence promoting proper hair growth.
The use of beta-carotene can prevent hair problems like dandruff and dry hair, which are often the underlying causes of premature hair loss. Beta carotenes are converted into vitamin A, which is vital for sebum production. It also promotes cell growth all over the body, including the cells of hair, which results in the growth of new hair. Piperine in black pepper has excellent antioxidant properties, which is also beneficial for healthy hair and scalp.
According to experts, a deficiency of zinc can result in the deterioration of the basic protein structure of a hair follicle. The weakening of hair follicles eventually results in weakening and shedding of hair. Zinc also plays an important role in the production of DNA and RNA, which are required for the normal division of hair cells during hair growth.
It is also believed that keep the levels of hormones well in check, which is one of the ways in which zinc prevents hair loss. Zinc is a trace element that is associated with considerable benefits!
Vitamin E is believed to support healthy hair due to its excellent antioxidant properties. It reduces the oxidative stress that is caused by the free radicals on the hair follicles, which causes the hair cells to break down. Some research also suggests that Vitamin E can prevent hair loss as well.
Stress hair loss is real. While there is little that you can do to stop natural hair loss, you can definitely stop stress hair loss. The better you manage your stress, the sooner the stress hair fall will stop. The key to controlling the loss of hair due to stress is the effective management of stress! Along with stress management, you might want to start nutritional supplementation (only after talking to your physician).
Nutrition supplements like that by HAIRFINITY are made from natural ingredients that do not pose any harm to your health and hair. If you’re suffering from stress hair loss, don’t worry. Take a deep breath, relax, and get hold of your emotions.