Photo by Baylee Gramling
While hair loss is fairly common among all of us, it’s also a common side effect of being stressed. Rather than ending up in a dark internet hole of faux medical diagnoses, take a step back and think about how stressed you’ve been lately. Trust us, we know you don’t need another thing added to your plate, especially if the thought of hair loss stresses you out even more. The good thing is that hair loss from stress is reversible. You just need to take the right steps to minimize it. Start with these.
The Connection Between Stress and Hair
If you’re wondering just how these two go hand in hand, you have cortisol to blame for that. A study showed that cortisol, the stress hormone, is known to affect the function and regulation of the hair follicle. When we’re stressed, cortisol encourages our hair to exit the anagen (growing) phase and prematurely enter the telogen (resting) phase, which causes the hair to fall out. This is also known as telogen effluvium.
Another interesting factor to point out is that stress as a secondary response to hair loss can have a significant effect. Even if stress isn’t the initial inducer of your hair loss, it can lead to the continuation of hair loss. In other words, it becomes a cycle that can feel difficult to escape. Thankfully, with the right methods, it’s a cycle that can likely be broken.
Then, of course, there is trichotillomania. This relates to anyone who’s found themselves literally tugging at or pulling their hair strands out during high times of stress. Hair pulling becomes a coping mechanism during uncomfortable situations and dealing with any negative emotions. Since this is a psychological condition, trichotillomania is usually treated through habit reversal training and therapy.
Determine the Actual Cause (Because It Might Not Be Stress)
Remember that losing up to 100 hairs per day is considered normal (most of us have about 90,000 to 150,000 strands), but if you’ve noticed an uptick of shedding, it might be time to see a doctor. Have a medical expert confirm that your hair loss isn’t a result of a vitamin deficiency, genetics, or a hormone imbalance before assuming it’s just stress.
Truly Commit to Calmness
First things first: we know it can be difficult, but stressing out about thinning hair might aggravate the situation. Breathe in and out and know you have solutions at your disposal.
There are several stress-coping methods you can try to eventually put a halt to your hair loss. For a week or two, pay attention to your emotions, particularly when you feel anxious or tense. Jotting down your feelings in a journal will help you identify stress triggers lurking around, especially those that are unexpected. For example, your surroundings can be a huge trigger (such as a disorganized room or bathroom that really needs to be cleaned).
One of the biggest stress-fighters that has helped plenty of people is meditation. Breathing exercises, guided meditations, and self-meditations can help your body feel more aligned and relaxed in just a few minutes. Exercise is also another major stress reliever. It releases endorphins, which are known for reducing stress. Find an activity you genuinely enjoy, such as yoga, dancing, or sports, to encourage your body to feel relaxed.
We obviously can’t leave out hair products as a solution to hair loss from stress! Our Gro Hair Serum contains ingredients such as mung bean and red clover, which are known to inhibit hair-damaging DHT and relax the scalp, while curcumin extends the hair growth phase. If you prefer supplements, our Full Spectrum Hemp Gummies are formulated with CBD, which is known for its relaxation and calming effects. They also contain biotin, which by now you know is one of the most common vitamins used to treat hair loss and encourages hair growth.
If your stress seems unbearable or like it won’t be going away any time soon, it might be time to talk to someone. Therapy can help with those underlying emotional and psychological factors that can’t always be treated otherwise. The most important thing to note is that you shouldn’t beat yourself up over stress-related hair loss as that will only take you further away from achieving hair wellness.