The Relation Between Stress And The Hair Cycle
There are approximately 100,000 hair follicles on the adult scalp . Each hair follicle is constantly cycling between growth and rest. The majority of these hair follicles are in the growth phase at any given time. When the hair follicle transitions to telogen, or the resting phase, the hair is shed. During an episode of telogen effluvium, a trigger causes a sudden, abnormal shift of hairs into the telogen phase all at once. One possible trigger for this sudden shift? Significant emotional stress.
What qualifies as significant emotional stress? Think major, negative life event . While a single bad day at work shouldnt meet this threshold, severe and prolonged stress secondary to the Covid-19 pandemic, for instance, could certainly qualify.
To test the relationship between substantial stress and hair loss, researchers giving birth can also trigger an episode.
Temporary in nature
The other good news? The hair loss is temporary, and should return to itspre-effluvium density, although this process is generally slow. It can take months before the shedding stops, and then months to years for lost hair to grow back at the sluggish rate of ~½ inch per month.
In some circumstances, hair does not fully return to its normal density. For one, telogen effluvium can uncover other types of long-standing hair loss . Additionally, overall hair density is expected to slowly decrease with age, and in few , telogen effluvium can be chronic and lasts for multiple years.
Male Pattern Hair Loss
In men, hair loss can begin any time after puberty and progress over the course of years or decades. It starts above the temples and continues around the perimeter and the top of the head, often leaving a ring of hair along the bottom of the scalp. Many men with male pattern hair loss eventually become bald.
Increase Hair Growth Nutrients With Smoothies And Bone Broth
Your hair needs nutrients and minerals to grow. These are the fundamental building blocks of the hair follicle and without them, growth is stunted.
Further, your body knows that having hair is not the most important thing for survival. So if there is a lack of nutrients or minerals in your body, your hair wont be a priority.
This is why, the first thing you should do to grow your lost hair is to make sure you have an absolute abundance of the specific building blocks of the hair.You can do this in two ways:
- Hair growth smoothies
- Bone broth
Both of these have very specific nutrient and minerals profiles which closely match those needed for hair follicle growth.
Lets take a closer look at each one.
One of the quickest and most efficient ways to provide the raw material for new hair follicles is with my tailored berry smoothie.
The more varieties of berries the better, since the variety means we have more chance of getting a complete nutritional profile of micronutrients.
Due to depleted top soils, chemical fertilisers and selective breeding, its more likely than ever that were getting less nutrition from each berry, fruit or vegetable. So its important to vary the source as much as possible.
- Mixed greens powder
- Coconut water or almond milk
For an additional special ingredient, add 1 tablespoon of chia seeds soaked overnight in coconut water with a probiotic capsule. Youll find out later why the probiotic capsule is important.
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Medication For Hair Loss
Minoxidil, or Rogaine, is a topical medication that is used to treat female pattern hair loss and male-pattern baldness. It was initially developed as a blood pressure medication and was used off-label to treat hair loss until it became FDA-approved for that purpose. Minoxidil can slow the progression of hair loss. Most women who use the medication experience regrowth of hair. The medication needs to be used continuously to maintain results. Other types of treatment work for different kinds of hair loss. Corticosteroids help suppress the immune response that damages hair follicles in people who have alopecia areata. Once the follicles recover, hair can grow back. If nutritional deficiencies underlie hair loss, eating a healthy diet with adequate and protein and nutrients can help you regrow hair. Certain medical problems may trigger hair loss. Adequately treating these conditions may help restore hair growth.
Can Stress Cause Hair Loss Whats The Connection
Can stress lead to hair loss? Yes, studies suggest that stress does impact hair follicles, causing hair to fall out. Factors like physical and emotional stress, injury, and anxiety can trigger hair loss. Incidents like accidents, hospitalization, infection, financial burdens, debt, death of a loved one, work-related issues, etc., are significant contributors to stress.
Fortunately, stress-related hair loss is usually temporary, lasting only for three to six months before your normal hair cycle resumes.
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Causes Of Hair Loss And Baldness
A variety of factors from illness to poor nutrition to hormonal imbalances to major stress can contribute to hair loss. If you’re experiencing thinning hair or baldness, you need to get to the root of the problem to determine the best treatment.
Hair loss whether baldness or noticeably thinning hair can occur for a number of different reasons. Sometimes hair loss is a side effect of a health problem that needs to be addressed and will remedy itself when the health problem is properly treated. When hair loss is due to a condition involving the hair itself, as in the case of alopecia, the hair loss can be permanent.
Hair Loss During Menopausal Transition
Hair loss during the menopausal transition can be just as dramatic as menopausal hair loss. The two are both related to the same changes in hormone levels. The menopausal transition is the time leading up to menopause and can last several years. During the menopausal transition, fluctuating hormones can cause some of the same symptoms typically associated with menopause.
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Stress Cortisol And Hair Loss
According to Kogan, stress is a huge, huge, huge component of .
Stress nowadays is different from the stress your ancestors faced. Thanks to technology like smartphones, internet, email, and social media, your nervous system is in a more-or-less constant state of stimulation.
Were no longer able to disconnect from anyone, even ourselves, Kogan says. We never put that phone down thats what we call the 21st-century conundrum.
Statistics back up what Kogan says: 59 percent of working-age people report feeling significantly stressed. Most of them also report burnout, exhaustion, anxiety, and depression.
Constantly high cortisol, your bodys stress hormone, causes a 40 percent drop in hyaluronicacid and proteoglycan synthesis. These two compounds protect your hair follicles and help them grow when theyre depleted, your hair begins falling out and it doesnt growing back.
Infections That Cause Hair Loss
A number of infections and illnesses can lead to hair loss. An infection that causes a high fever, a fungal skin infection, and bacterial infections like syphilis can all be responsible for balding or thinning hair. Treating the underlying infection can restore hair growth and prevent future hair loss. So your first step is to seek medical attention for the primary health problem.
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How Long Does It Take To Regrow Hair
Most of the time, any hair you lose from stress-induced hair loss will come back. After youve treated the root cause of your hair loss, its normal for your hair to grow back over three to six months.
However, because it can take several years for hair to grow to its full length, it can take quite a lot of time for your hair to completely restore itself after stress-induced hair loss.
Stress And Hair Loss: The Basics
Contrary to popular belief, stress is not linked to male pattern baldness the form of hair loss that causes you to permanently lose hair around your hairline, temples and the crown of your scalp.
However, stress can trigger and potentially worsen a form of temporary hair loss called telogen effluvium.
Telogen effluvium affects your hair by interrupting the natural hair growth cycle.
Normally, there are four different growth phases during the hair cycle as it grows from below the skin to its full length, then falls out to be replaced by a new hair:
The first phase is the anagen phase, during which the hair grows to its full length.
The second phase is the catagen phase, during which the old, fully grown hair follicle detaches from the skin.
The third phase is the telogen phase, also known as the resting phase, during which a new hair starts to grow from the follicle to replace the old one.
The fourth phase is the exogen phase, during which the old hair falls out, with the new hair growing in its place.
Just like your skin and nails, your hair is constantly undergoing this growth cycle. Weve covered each phase of the hair growth cycle in more detail in our guide to the hair growth process.
Each phase of the hair growth cycle varies in length. Hairs usually stay in the anagen phase for up to six years during which they grow to their full length.
About 90 percent of your hairs are in the anagen phase at any time, meaning that most of your hair is constantly growing.
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Could Your Hair Loss Be Stress
Excessive levels of stress can cause hair loss in men and women. Many people do not realize that stress can have a physical impact on your body. Severe stress over the course of a few months can lead to extreme fatigue during the day and hair loss.
If you start to notice your hair thinning, eliminating stress is a great first step. You can start engaging in more activities you enjoy and try to decrease the number of extreme stressors in your life. If stress was the cause of your hair loss, then when your stress level decreases, it’s likely that your hair will grow back.
What Are The Cycles Of Hair Growth
Hair goes through three cycles:
- The anagen phase can last from two years to eight years. This phase generally refers to about 85% to 90% of the hair on your head.
- The catagen phase is the time that hair follicles shrink and takes about two to three weeks.
- The telogen phase takes about two to four months. At the end of this phase, the hair falls out.
Your shorter hairs like eyelashes, arm and leg hair and eyebrows have a short anagen phase about one month. Your scalp hair can last up to six years or even longer.
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How Can I Cope With A Bald Spot
A bald spot can be an alarming experience, especially if youre in your 20s or 30s.
Coping with hair loss starts with accepting the situation and then being proactive about addressing it. Part of this comes from remembering that millions of people just like you are going through the same experience.
More than 5 million people in the United States have alopecia areata. The National Institutes of Health reports that androgenetic alopecia affects about 50 million men and 30 million women in the United States.
While the vast majority of men experience some degree of male pattern baldness by age 70, more than half of all women also have thinning hair by the time they turn 70.
To help you deal with the emotional aspect of hair loss, consider the following tips:
- Work with a stylist to make the most of the hair you do have, or look into products such as wigs, hair extensions, scarves, and hats.
- Be open with friends and relatives about how youre feeling and what support you need.
- See a dermatologist early on to discuss options such as medications or procedures to slow or reverse your hair loss.
- Focus on positivity, and the people and things in your life that bring you joy. Exercise to feel fitter and more energetic.
Medical Ways To Regrow Hair
Whether youve already gone to the doctor or not, itd be good to read this section carefully and see what could work the best for you in regrowing your hair.
You can also use the tips we listed below to consult with your medical expert and choose what would be the best way to recover your hair loss and help the hair regrow.
Topical Solutions: There are several topical medications such as gels, shampoos, conditioners, and soaps that will possibly be enough to thicken your hair. These topical medicines are mostly used when your hair is falling off due to moisture collected on your scalp. Consult with your doctor about the best options, to make sure youre not allergic to any active substances in the product. One of the popular options is Minoxidil.
Medications: There are medicines that both require and dont require a prescription to use. One of the most prescribed medicines is Finasteride, also known as Propecia.
NeoLTS Light Therapy: Whether youre trying to regrow your hair or heal after a hair transplant and speed up the growth of your hair, NeoLTS Light Therapy treatment is prescribed to help the process. The therapy includes a machine that emits low light to help trigger the hair-growth cells. It makes the hair thicker and healthier, helping the hair follicles in your scalp grow.
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What Are The Stages Of Hair Growth
There are three main stages of hair growth:
Anagen: This is the growth phase in which the hair follicle grows.
Catagen: This is the transition phase where the hair follicle stops growing.
Telogen: This is the resting phase where the hair stays for 2 to 3 months until it falls out. About 10% to 15% of your hair is in the telogen phase at any given time.
Telogen effluvium occurs when hair follicles are pushed into the telogen phase earlier than normal. In 2 to 3 months after the stressful event, these hairs will start falling out.