Hair Loss Prevention: How To Stop It Falling Out And Thinning With Stress
Causes, prevention and treatment… we speak to an award-winning hair doctor to get some advice on preserving your precious locks
e are living in stressful times.
For some the mask wearing, hand washing, food hoarding and job uncertainty will cause sleepless nights, for others it might trigger, or exacerbate existing, hair loss.
Its well established that hair loss can be related to emotional stress or anxiety, award-winning dermatologist Dr. Serkan Aygin tells the Standard. When youre stressed or anxious, your body produces whats known as the fight or flight response. This is when your body is making extra hormones to prepare it to deal with whatever it thinks of as being a potential threat. This change in your hormone levels can have effects all around your body. When these extra hormones are made, they can affect the growth patterns of the hair follicles on your scalp.
Theres usually about a three-month delay between the stressful event or time period and the moment your hair starts falling out. So anyone feeling the Covid-19 anxiety, might not actually notice any hair loss until the end of summer.
The good news though, is that hair loss due to stress tends to be temporary. Unless theres another underlying medical reason for your hair loss, it should only last for as long as youre going through that particular period of stress or anxiety, says Dr. Aygin, who has treated over 10,000 patients for hair loss at his eponymous specialist hair clinic.
Sometimes Hair Loss Can Occur When You Stop Taking The Pill
How to control hair loss due to stress. Sudden hair loss can signal an underlying medical condition that requires treatment. Preventing dandruff-related hair loss focuses on eliminating as much itchiness as possible. You may have heard that stress can cause hair loss and its true.
Stress and hair loss dont have to be permanent. Hair loss can be an upsetting condition to deal with. In cases of hair loss being due to hair styling practices like tight braids or ponytails or certain chemicals treatment means not doing the things that caused the damage.
According to Ayurveda hair loss is caused when there is an imbalance in the harmony of tridoshas. Traumas such as childbirth major surgery poisoning and severe stress may cause a hair loss condition known as telogen effluvium 19 in which a large number of hairs enter the resting phase at the same time causing shedding and subsequent thinning. Common balding androgenetic alopecia occurs in men and women and is due to the effect of testosterone metabolites in genetically.
Hair loss is a common occurrence with low carb dieters mainly due to the increased stress that comes with large dietary changes. Lets face it If youre a woman youre eventually going to experience the dreaded menopause Hot flashes mood swings insomnia weight gain. Causes of Anxiety Hair Loss.
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Other Hair Loss Culprits
While stress and sickness are the two primary suspects when it comes to sudden thinning of your hair, there are other possible reasons youre going insta-bald. Under the umbrella of alopecia, the Greek word for hair loss, youll find multiple conditions. This list is not exhaustive, but these are some other most common reasons for hair loss:
Androgenetic alopecia: This type of hair loss affects 50 million men and 30 million women in the U.S., according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Commonly known as male and female pattern hair loss, its genetic and can be a natural part of the aging process but can also occur in younger people. Treatments include medications like Rogaine , surgery such as follicular unit transplantation, laser, or even stem cell therapy.
Alopecia areata: This is the autoimmune disease that attacks the hair follicles, causing hair to fall out in round patches the size of a quarter . If you have alopecia totalis, you lose all your hair on your head . If you have alopecia universalis, you lose all the hair on your body . Treatment can help hair possibly regrow, but theres no cure.
Hypothyroidism/Hashimotos: Hair loss from this thyroid condition and the autoimmune disease that can cause it is pretty common, Ziering says. Researchers still dont know why it happens, but it often resolves with thyroid hormone replacement therapy.
Recommended Reading: How To Fix Thinning Hair Naturally
Stress Can Lead To Grey Hair
However, recent research shows that stress can also be a cause of greying. In other words, shock or trauma caused by the death of a close one, or critical illness of somebody close can cause enough stress to lead to sudden greying. It is said that the Mughal Emperor Shahjahan was so grieved by the death of his wife, Mumtaz Mahal, that he led a totally secluded life for a few weeks. At the end of the period, when he appeared, his hair had become totally grey. Scientists have found that when the body is under stress, a defence mechanism is awakened within the cells of the body that actually interferes with the production of melanin, the colouring matter. The result is that melanin does not reach the hair follicles and the hair remains white.
How To Prevent Hair Loss Due To Stress
This article was medically reviewed by Sarah Gehrke, RN, MS. Sarah Gehrke is a Registered Nurse and Licensed Massage Therapist in Texas. Sarah has over 10 years of experience teaching and practicing phlebotomy and intravenous therapy using physical, psychological, and emotional support. She received her Massage Therapist License from the Amarillo Massage Therapy Institute in 2008 and a M.S. in Nursing from the University of Phoenix in 2013.There are 15 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article received 13 testimonials and 87% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 864,156 times.
Sometimes emotional or physical stress can lead to hair loss, which is a serious concern for most people and something they wish to reverse. However, due to the length of the hair growth cycle, people often only begin losing their hair weeks or months after the stressful event has occurred, and the hair loss can continue for several months afterwards. Luckily, hair will usually grow back on its own once the source of stress has been removed, but there are several things you can do to help the process along. By easing your stress and taking good care of your hair, you can reduce the effects of hair loss.
Read Also: What Vitamins Can I Take For Thinning Hair
Style Your Hair Gently
Depending on the cause, stopping hair loss can take some time. But in the meantime, you can help reduce hair fall by being smart about how you handle and style your hair.
Here are a few things you can do to be gentle with your hair care and help prevent hair loss:
- Set your hair dryer on cool and low settings, and minimize your use of flat irons.
- Dont dye your hair more than one or two shades lighter or darker than its normal color to minimize damage from chemical treatments.
- If you use hair gel or hair spray, dont wait for it to dry before you comb through itif you do, the hardened hair is more likely to break.
- When your hair is wet, use a wide-toothed comb instead of a brush, and comb it lightly to avoid any pulling and tugging.
- Avoid unnecessary brushing, combing, curling or straightening. Excessive use of these tools and techniques will weaken the hair at the root level.
- Avoid taking hot showers, which can sap your hair and scalp of their natural oils and make your hair dry and brittle.
- Wash your hair with a mild shampoo, as harsher formulas may cause hair to become dry, brittle, and prone to breakage. Look for words like gentle or soothing on the label.
What Is Stress Related Hair Loss
We all have times in our lives that are stressful. When stress becomes a long-term or intense part of life, this can have negative impacts upon the body. Stress over time can cause your body to move into survival mode which can then start to have adverse effects, particularly on our hair. Survival mode diverts all essential vitamins and minerals away from the hair, skin, immune and digestive systems so that these can protect vital organs from the shock of stress.
Its helpful to understand what your bodys response to stress is and how your body shows stress, as this can empower you with knowledge about repairing the damage done to your body and hair by investing in stress related hair loss treatment.
Stress can impact your hair in three possible ways:
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How To Control Hair Loss Due To Stress
Hair loss is when you lose hair from your head resulting in thinning patchiness or baldness. Medical professionals should distinguish hair loss from breakage of the hair shaft from hair loss due to decreased hair growth.
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Dont Forget Your Vitamins
And speaking of diet, dont forget about vitamins! One thats particularly important for stopping hair loss is vitamin A. Studies have found that retinoids, which are derived from vitamin A, can increase hair growth and prolong its active growth phase.
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There are plenty of foods that are good sources of vitamin A, like leafy greens, carrots, and sweet potatoes, or you can get it in the form of daily supplements of vitamins and minerals. A collagen supplement can also support hair health and growth as a source of amino acids and antioxidant protection.
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Is There A Way To Prevent Telogen Effluvium
Unfortunately, there is no proven way to prevent or stop an episode of telogen effluvium, and it should resolve on its own with time.
However, there are a few things that may help to support overall hair health. Eat a balanced diet, and in particular, consume an adequate amount of protein . Hair is made up of primarily protein , so its no surprise that sufficient protein is vital to maintain and grow hair. Also, be sure to avoid very tight hairstyles, excessive heat styling, or chemical-based treatments, as these can contribute to hair loss or cause hair breakage.
If you hair loss is chronic, patchy, or associated with redness, itching or pain, seek medical care from a dermatologist.
Best Ways To Prevent Hair Problems From Stress
If you try some of these tips youll see improvements in the health and fullness of your hair. Remember that hair growth takes time and that there are many causes that are more likely than stress for hair problems.
The best way to prevent hair loss due to stress is to try to reduce stress is by being healthy, eating a good diet, exercising regularly, and making sure you take time to relax and distress.
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How Does Stress Hurt Your Hair
Hair is made up of a protein called keratin. The hair shaft is composed of three layers the medulla , cortex , and cuticle .
The cortex contains long chains of keratin molecules that are held together by disulfide bonds. These bonds give the hair its strength and elasticity.
The cuticle is a layer of overlapping cells that protect the cortex. The cuticle can be damaged by physical or chemical stressors, such as heat styling, harsh chemicals, and UV light exposure. Psychologically, stress can also lead to hair cuticle damage.
Cortisol, the stress hormone, is thought to interfere with the normal hair cycle and lead to hair thinning and shedding. When the hair follicles are exposed to high levels of cortisol, they enter into the resting phase and shed excessively which may lead to TE.
Discover Your Perfect Hair Loss Treatment
Stress related hair loss can really affect your ability to think straight and can in turn naturally cause more stress. The Simone Thomas Wellness Hair Care Plans take care of the whole body, helping to reduce your anxiety, increase energy levels and improve your overall well-being so you can get back to feeling yourself, or even better!
Not only will you achieve better levels of calm and an increased sense of wellbeing, but each plan specifically supports healthy hair growth and nurtures the scalp.
If you suffer from stress related hair loss, you need the Ginkgo Hair Care Plan. For more help or guidance on the health of your hair, contact the Simone Thomas Wellness team who can advise on the right plan for you.
In this e-book you will find information on:
- The Hair Growth Cycle
- The different types of hair loss conditions explained
- Natural treatments and approaches to combat hair loss
- The disadvantages to conventional hair loss treatments
- How to address hair loss in a healthy way, as recommended by Hair Loss Consultant, Simone Thomas.
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Curry Leaves To The Rescue
Including curry leaves in the diet is said to strengthen the hair roots and follicles. They are rich sources of beta-carotene and protein, which actually helps to control hair loss and encourage healthy hair growth. They also contain calcium, phosphorous, iron and folic acid and also Vitamins C, B, A, and E. Or, apply a paste of curry leaves on the hair. They contain antioxidants and prevent early degeneration. Wash it off after 20 to 30 minutes. They help to moisturise the scalp and prevent dryness.
Get Up And Get Moving
When it comes to hair loss due to stress, all forms of exercise can help ease anxiety and depressed mood by helping the brain release endorphins. Youve heard of a runners high, but a brisk walk, dancing or jumping jacks, can all help elevate mood-boosting brain chemicals, enabling you to better deal with stress.
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Improve Your Sleep Hygiene
Stress can disrupt your sleep cycle by causing you to have upsetting nightmares or wake up several times a night. Insomnia and other sleep disorders could further wreak havoc on your bodys hormonal balance, which is already out of sync due to chronic stress. Strive to get seven to nine hours of restful sleep every night. Improve your sleep hygiene by going to bed and waking up at consistent times, sleeping in a cool, dark room and keeping electronics out of your bedroom.
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.
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Why Are Your Adrenals Important
Your adrenals signal the fight or flight response, which is your bodys response to stress. Fight or flight causes the adrenals to release cortisol and adrenaline. Cortisol is a hormone released by the adrenals for use in the regulation of blood pressure. In response to stress, the adrenals release greater amounts of cortisol.
Theyre pretty darn important to overall health and unfortunately we dont realize that our lifestyle choices and habits can have a detrimental impact on our adrenals. When we dont nourish and protect our adrenals, it can lead to a slew of health issues, negatively impact thyroid hormone production and slow the metabolism.