The effects of prolonged or excessive stress in our lives are becoming more widely understood. Stress has been linked to a range of health and medical conditions, and some of these can result in stress induced hair loss.
While extreme cases can be severe and even permanent, many types of stress-related hair loss can be treated by reducing or eliminating chronic stress from your life.
How does stress cause hair loss?
There are several ways in which stress can cause hair loss. These include the following conditions:
- Alopecia Areata
- Telogen Effluvium
What is alopecia areata?
Alopecia areata is a condition where the body’s immune system attacks the hair follicles resulting in patchy hair loss. There are a variety of factors that are believed to be the cause of alopecia areata including severe stress which can negatively affect the immune system with the release of the hormone, cortisol.
What is telogen effluvium?
Telogen effluvium is condition where sudden hair loss occurs as a result of significant stress such as childbirth, emotional trauma, or serious injury or illness.
When a normal hair cycle is disrupted by telogen effluvium, hair follicles are rushed into the resting phase of the hair growth cycle instead of the growth phase. As a result, shedding occurs resulting in generalized hair thinning.
What is Trichotillomania?
Trichotillomania is a condition where sufferers compulsively pull out their hair resulting in lost hair and bald patched. The compulsion to pull our hair follicles is often exacerbated by stress and anxiety in the sufferer.
What are some stress-relieving strategies to help relieve emotional stress?
Modern lifestyles are likely to always have a degree of pressure and challenge. Here are some strategies to help to reduce problematic stress levels and minimise stress induced hair loss issues.
The simple act of breathing well can work wonders on the entire nervous system, helping to calm frazzled nerves or racing minds. These days, there’s a wealth of books and apps that can teach you specific techniques for reducing stress levels or enabling more positive reactions to challenging situations.
An easy place to begin is simply to take a slow, deep breath whenever you remember, or when you begin to feel your stress levels increasing. Experiment with the simple techniques to find out which ones are most effective for you.
Spend time in nature
Scenes and places of natural beauty can instantly recalibrate your nervous system, without any effort on your part. Though it’s not always possible to head to the forest or up a mountain every time you feel stressed, the more often you reconnect to the natural world and enjoy its calming effects, the more you’ll strengthen your ability to cope well with life’s demands naturally.
Simplify your schedule
Constant rushing is highly stressful and can become a habit if it’s carried on for a prolonged period, resulting in the stress side-effects that are so unhealthy for our bodies, minds, and hair.
If you find that you are constantly up against the clock, it can be helpful to review your schedule and look for any non-essential activities or commitments that you can scale back, even if only temporarily.
Friends & family
Meeting up socially with people whose company you enjoy can be an excellent way to relieve stress. Humans are naturally social creatures who thrive in environments where we feel like a loved and as valued members of the community.
Enjoyable social activities can be useful in balancing out stressful jobs or work conditions. Or chatting through your problems with a kind and willing listener can help to put your problems in perspective, so that you stress less about them.
Pets & animals
Numerous studies have shown that pets and animals can have a calming, soothing and even healing effect on humans. Spending time with your pet naturally causes you to slow down and adopt a more relaxed and healthful pace. Less rushing and more relaxed enjoyment of your pets or animals can be a great antidote to excessive stress and its effects on both your hair health and your overall health.
Even if you’re unable to do much about the causes of stress in your life, with a few simple techniques, you can improve how you manage stressful situations and learn to respond in calmer, healthier ways. Providing your body and mind with the rest, replenishment and resources they need to handle your life’s challenges will help you to minimise all stress-related conditions, not only those affecting your hair.
Trying out some of these simple strategies will help to boost your natural abilities to handle difficult situations, as well as processing the after-effects in a healthier way. By reducing the effects of stress, you should soon see any related hair loss issues begin to improve, as well as experiencing new levels of overall health, wellbeing and enjoyment of life.
If you’re still concerned about losing hair, you should seek advice from qualified hair loss professionals about ways to promote hair regrowth.
Talk to a specialist ☎ 020 7935 1861.
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