As a child, all you want to do is grow up so you can do the “cool adult stuff.” However, once you do wear the big girl panties/big boy pants, you realize that being perpetually “stressed out” is the new normal. And this mere stress is affecting your body in countless ways. A very prominent sign of it is hair loss. Seeing your luscious locks lying dead in your hands will send you into another stress frenzy. It’s a vicious cycle. The surgeons at Longevita Hair Transplant have outlined the causes and solutions for stress hair loss.
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But Wait, Why Does Stress-Induced Hair Loss Occur?
There are different ways in which stress makes you lose your hair. Let’s take a look at the following:
This is the quintessential stress hair loss, where a stressful event sends your body into a state of shock. This stressful event can be anything from surgery, high fever, accident, hormonal fluctuations, poor nutrition, and emotional trauma.
For the hair follicles, it means premature entry into the resting phase from the growing (anagen) phase. You will not instantly start losing your hair as you’re experiencing the event. The telogen phase lasts for around 3 months or so. Once it’s over, you will notice excessive hair shedding.
It is an autoimmune condition in which your immune system will essentially turn against you. This means it will start attacking your healthy cells in the hair follicles. A few studies have suggested that stress can trigger alopecia areata.
A study showed that emotional stressors like the loss of a family member and emotional neglect could trigger alopecia areata. You will end up with bald circular patches on the scalp. This kind of hair loss can also occur in other areas of the body.
It’s the irresistible urge to pluck hair from the scalp, eyebrows, eyelashes, or other areas of the body. You may do so out of stress or anxiety. Plucking hair out is a way to “release” the stress in people suffering from this disorder.
How To Stop Stress Hair Loss?
First of all, find out what’s causing stress-induced hair loss. Depending on that, you can try out the following techniques for managing stress hair loss.
Make Your Diet Healthier
As the old proverb goes, “you are what you eat.” One study suggests that healthy eating may play a role in reducing stress. Moreover, certain foods can better manage the effects of stress on the body, according to another study.
Other than that, some foods can promote hair growth. For instance, foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, oyster, flax seeds, and walnuts are all good for your hair. Foods containing vitamin B, C and E can also promote hair growth. That means eating more avocados, berries, oranges, spinach, almonds, and chia seeds, etc.
If you aren’t getting enough nutrients from your diet, consider taking supplements. However, make sure to discuss this with your doctor because done wrong, they can increase hair loss and even pose a risk of toxicity.
Of course, it’s easier said than done. But there are a few things that you can do to better manage stress, such as yoga, meditation, mindfulness, breathing exercises, journaling, and just exercising. More than anything, don’t hesitate to get help. If you have an anxiety disorder or you’re losing hair because of trichotillomania, your doctor might suggest cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) to you.
Fortunately, stress hair loss is reversible in most instances. However, it is important to find out what’s causing the hair loss in the first place so that you can start getting the right treatment for it.