Are you concerned about negative effects of stress on your life and, as a result, on your hair? You aren`t alone. Our life is filled with work and family issues, that are constantly kept on in great tension. Despite all our efforts to control situation, constant anxiety can have strong impact on our health and general well-being.
Stress and hair loss are closely related. In fact, almost two thirds of people call stress main cause of insufficient volume and density of their hair – more than age, hormonal changes, diseases or medication.
What is stress?
Stress is body’s response to physical or emotional stimulation, that it considers dangerous. If you suffer from chronic stress, it means that you feel its symptoms for a long period of time. In this vein, effects of small everyday irritants will accumulate: quarrels with partner, feeling of being overworked at work, and even waiting too long for meal can trigger acute reaction in your body.
When you experience stress, cortisol is secreted in body along with various chemicals and hormones. They serve to create sharp adrenaline effect required in run or fight situation.
However, chronic stress leads to constant production of such hormones, which has double negative effect. First, hormones and chemicals level in your blood reaches mark, after which it can no longer be taken under control. Secondly, selection of such elements doesn`t allow your organs to produce important substances, including those that stimulate hair growth.
How does stress affect hair loss?
There are six main factors affecting hair thinning, where stress and injury are second most important factor after genetics. Stress unbalances all chemical reactions in your body: it not only unbalances your hormonal metabolism, but also irritates your skin, and also worsens overall condition of your scalp. Scalp plays huge role in healthy hair growth: in absence of clean and healthy growth environment, hair quickly becomes weak and dull.
One of most common forms of hair loss due to stress is telogen alopecia. In this state, high level of stress causes body to change natural hair life cycle. While normal hair spends 85% of its life in “anagenic” growth phase, hair of person under stress, on the contrary, too quickly turns into “telogenic” rest phase, when there is nothing left for hair, but to fall.
Telogen alopecia leads to hair loss over entire surface of scalp, but it can be especially noticeable in certain areas – for example, in marginal zone of hair growth.
Therapy for hair loss due to stress
Psychological aspect of hair loss is difficult to underestimate; it is directly connected with our self-image, and, accordingly, with self-esteem and self-confidence. Largely due to lack of tools for diagnosing hair loss caused by stress, there are no solutions that guarantee complete cure.
Doctor may prescribe creams or medicines to relieve most acute side effects. If you are experiencing thinning hair during period of strong emotional shock or anxiety, it is important to improve your mood and ease tension you are in.
Good news is that hair loss caused by stress isn`t permanent. Your hair will return to normal as soon as you get rid of your anxiety source.
Best ways to maintain healthy lifestyle:
- Proper nutrition and plenty of water will provide body with nutrients, necessary for optimal functioning.
- Regular exercise can reduce stress and tension, as well as ensure flow of endorphins, which act as natural painkillers.
- Sleep is main key to physical health, since it is during this period that cell renewal and restoration takes place.