There is some truth behind the expression “tearing your hair out” when in a high-stress situation and evidence supporting the old belief that hair can turn grey from stress. One thing’s for sure when it comes to hair; our emotional state can have an enormous impact on its health and condition.
Your hair follows a cycle of growth with three different phases. The growing stage takes around six months and then the hair rests for 3 to 4 months before falling out. When we are faced with high levels of stress, the growth stage is halted and the hair rests. This means that hair can fall out months after a stressful event has passed and so it is important to manage our mental health in order to prevent stress from taking over in the first place.
Keeping stress levels at a minimum to keep your hair looking its best
While stress related hair loss is usually a temporary affliction, hair will grow back only if the stressors have been removed. However, dealing with stress induced hair loss once it has happened is a little like locking the stable door after the horse has bolted. Hair loss itself can be stressful and so a perpetuating cycle is created. As the saying goes; the best defence is a good offence. Ensuring that you live your life the best way possible and take care of both your physical and mental health to help reduce overall stress and anxiety will ensure that you keep your hair thick and healthy.
Maintaining a healthy diet
Eating healthily not only gives your hair the vital vitamins and nutrients it needs to stay strong and healthy, but a good diet also keeps you mentally and physically well. Healthy foods give your body strength and energy to cope better with anxiety and stress should it arise as well as making you feel rejuvenated and more positive. Try to enrich your diet with plenty of protein and Vitamin B to give your hair the nourishment it needs. It is also important to remember that crash dieting or strict calorie control can cause hair to thin or fall out as it is not getting enough protein. If you are attempting to lose weight, make sure to do it in a controlled and healthy manner.
Every time you exercise your body releases hormones called endorphins. These hormones are responsible for feelings of happiness and positivity. Regular exercise has been shown to have a big effect on mental health. Not only this, but exercise help increase blood flow which, in turn, transfers more oxygen and vital nutrients to the hair follicles; leading to healthier and stronger hair.
Getting enough sleep every night is essential to a healthy state of mind. Insomnia has been linked to depression, with one leading to or being caused by the other. A lack of decent sleep over an extended period can also lead to loss of appetite, a feeling of having no energy and can even cause your body to shut down certain processes, such as hair growth. While everyone needs different amounts of sleep, it is generally recommended that you aim for 7-8 hours each night.
Look after your hair and yourself
Keeping your hair well maintained can prevent hair loss in the future. Treat your hair to nourishing hair masks and shampoo treatments, and try not to overstyle it with heat and tight ponytails or braids. Eat well and keep active and always be mindful of your emotional state.