High stress levels have become a common feature of everyday life for many of us, affecting both our physical and mental health.
One possible side-effect of stressful events or periods is hair loss.
Stress-related hair loss is called Telogen effluvium and it normally occurs two/three months after the period of intense stress. This timescale is due to the way stress affects the hair follicles and the life cycle of individual hairs.
With Telogen effluvium, the hair loss occurs over the entire scalp, rather than localised areas, and it’s usually identified by increased hair fall when brushing or washing your hair, or while sleeping.
This type of hair loss is usually temporary and can be treated or reversed by certain regrowth practices as well as reducing the source of stress.
If you’ve experienced increased hair loss as a result of a stress-related incident in the past, you’ll probably find that your hair loss will stop by itself, after the cycle of affected hairs have fallen out, usually by six months.
But in the meantime, there are things you can do to encourage new growth as well as improving the strength and appearance of your existing hair.
Here are some ways to regain hair thickness and support healthy growth.
Ways to Regain Hair Loss From Stress
Vitamins & supplements
The condition of your hair and the rate of regrowth is greatly influenced by your overall health, so improving your general nutrition will positively affect your hair. There are also certain vitamins and supplements that are renowned for supporting healthy hair growth, for example, vitamins D and B5, omega-3 oils, iron, zinc, and folic acid.
Keeping physically fit and well is beneficial for the overall health that supports healthy hair. So finding a form of exercise you enjoy and do regularly will help your hair regrowth as well as boosting the strength and condition of your hair in the future.
Certain exercises are particularly helpful in encouraging hair growth. For example, some yoga poses are known to be beneficial for stimulating blood circulation in the scalp which will aid healthy hair. Most types of inversion exercise (where you tip your head upside down) can improve hair health.
Shampoo & haircare products
There are specialist shampoos, conditioners, treatments and products that are designed to thicken hair or encourage faster, stronger regrowth. These often have active ingredients ranging from natural additions such as caffeine or wheat to chemically-produced ingredients such as Minoxidil.
Massaging the scalp stimulates blood flow and can improve the health of hair follicles. This can be done regularly by yourself, by gently massaging your scalp in small, circular movements, or you can visit a specialist provider such as Indian Head Massage therapists. Hairdressers are also increasingly offering this service.
As well as taking the best possible care of your hair, reducing your general stress levels will not only boost the condition and growth of your hair, it can help to prevent stress-related hair loss in the future.
Some popular and effective ways to reduce general stress are;
- Spend time in nature
- Discuss your emotions with a trusted person
- Take up a hobby you enjoy
- Explore meditative practices such as yoga, mindfulness or Tai Chi
- Relaxing self-care habits such as scented baths
- Reducing screen time and the number of electronic devices in your home, especially your bedroom
- Playing a musical instrument or pursuing a creative outlet such as painting or writing
- Joining a club or sports team
Learning how to manage stress is a powerful wellness strategy for all aspects of your health and wellbeing but it can be particularly effective in supporting healthy hair growth.
With careful attention, the effects of stress-related hair loss can be minimised or even reversed. And by reducing the levels of stress in your life, you’ll support your body in its natural processes of repair and regeneration, helping your hair to recover from stress-damage, as well as preventing it from happening again.