Is Meditation Missing From Your Hair Growth Routine?
You eat an organic, healthy diet, make movement a regular part of your routine and stick to your clean self-care products daily – yet, when it comes to your hair health, it’s still not looking as lustrous as it used to be. Wondering what’s missing? If you’re not making mindfulness and meditation a habit, it could be what both your health and hair need.
From cultivating clarity of mind to relieving stress to enhancing respiratory function (along with a whole host of other positive mind and body improvements), the benefits of meditation may also extend to encourage hair growth. Here’s everything you've wanted to know about meditation, including how practicing meditation may improve your hair wellness.
Must-Know Benefits of Meditation
Surely, you’ve heard people raving about the positive results of meditation. After all, not only do meditation and its corresponding breathwork techniques calm the nervous system, sticking to a consistent meditation practice can improve health.
The benefits of meditative practices include:
- Creating inner peace
- Lowering stress levels
- Bolstering brainpower
- Enhancing focus and awareness
- Improving immune and respiratory function
- Alleviating feelings of anxiousness
- Reducing the stress hormone cortisol, which can cause hair to thin
- Becoming present
- Balancing body, mind and spirit
- Boosting mental health
- Regulating blood pressure
- Promoting better blood circulation and blood flow
Some studies have found that practicing meditation actually produces changes in the brain circuits involved in regulating emotions and responses to stressful life events. Plus, meditation can be done anywhere, at any time, with no props required.
Learn More: The Hair Care Routine Everyone Needs
Meditation and Healthy Hair Growth
“Many believe meditation is practiced simply to clear the mind completely," said Olivia Mead, Founder/CEO of Yoga For First Responders. "It’s not. Meditation trains the mind to 'sit and stay' and focus on the object of meditation. The object could be your breath, a candle flame, a flower, your footsteps or a yoga pose, for example."
By becoming present and bringing focused awareness to breathing, we take a subconscious act (breathing) and turn it into a conscious one. As a result, by becoming aware of our subconscious mind and its emotions, along with the body's physical sensations, we can better understand ourselves in order to cultivate healthier habits. So, exactly how does this all connect with slowing hair loss, boosting growth or otherwise accelerating the hair growth process?
“When the mind is trained to be still, the nervous system can feel safe and steady," said Mead. "Only when the nervous system feels safe will it offer energy to other areas besides survival. This is when we start to see skin clearing up [and] more effective sleep, which is always the biggest key to holistic health and our hair becoming healthier."
Minimize Stress With Meditation
You likely already know that stress can impact everything in your life, including your health. Along with stress comes negative responses by the body, including:
- Reduced immunity
- Signs of aging, including graying hair and wrinkles
- Potential weight gain
- Problems sleeping
- Elevated cortisol levels
- More hair shedding or hair loss
Stress actually changes our DNA by altering the telomeres and the receptors in our brain. Stress comes in two forms: Actual stress and perceived stress. Regardless of the source, stress manifests itself in the same physical response. The "fight or flight" state in which stressors elevate cortisol levels can trigger telogen effluvium. Stress, trauma or shock forces hair into the telogen phase prematurely, which can lead some women or men to experience hair loss.
Also known as stress-related hair loss or thinning hair, telogen effluvium is – thankfully – typically temporary and will resolve itself once the stress has been removed. This differs from the resting phase of hair growth known as the telogen phase, in which your body is actually getting ready to shed the hair and begin a new growth phase.
As meditation is known to reduce stress, thereby lowering these stress-related cortisol levels, using meditation for hair growth and to minimize hair loss may be a possibility. Yoga is another great stress-buster that can also help ease digestion as it bolsters your health.
Another helpful idea is to treat yourself to a soothing scalp massage, which also allows for increased blood flow to the hair follicles. In turn, this may help boost hair wellness — and make your scalp feel great. The GRO+ Advanced Stress Release Kit taps into the therapeutic power of healing CBD and includes best-selling:
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The Power of Patterns: Breathwork and Belief
The consistent chatter within your head is an ever-fluctuating narrative that affects both how you think and feel. If you can change this narrative, you can change your responses, actions and reactions. As meditation lessens the extremities of negative thoughts, it allows you to change patterns of belief and facilitates learning how to forgive yourself.
In order to harness the power of meditation effectively, consistency is key, as is believing in the power of these practices. Learning how to breathe effectively and adopting a consistent schedule of meditative practices can retrain both the brain and the body.
“Yes, breathing in different patterns really can influence our body weight and overall health. Yes, how we breathe really does affect the size and function of our lungs. Yes, breathing allows us to hack into our own nervous system, control our immune response and restore our health. Yes, changing how we breathe will help us live longer. No matter what we eat, how much we exercise, how resilient our genes are, how skinny or young or wise we are — none of it will matter unless we’re breathing correctly ... The missing pillar in health is breath,” according to an excerpt from "Breath" by James Nestor.
Mind (& Meditation) Over Matter
Along with how we speak to ourselves, what we believe is equally important — and words have power. Can practicing guided meditation or reciting mantras and affirmations impact your health, including that of your hair? The answer is likely yes because your mind is far more powerful than you might think.
In a study of 60 people experiencing hair loss, those who received the placebo to grow hair and believed their hair would grow experienced real results in the hair growth process.
Along with the power of belief, maintaining a better diet with added essential nutrients via supplements can help hair, skin, nails and overall health. Consider taking daily biotin gummy. Look for one that includes an array of beneficial vitamins and minerals such as biotin, folic acid, vitamins A, B-5, 6, C and E.
Meditation in Action
Put meditation for hair growth and your mental health in action with this simple, short and effective practice known as alternate nostril breathing or Nadi Shodhana Pranayama in Sanskrit.
This technique can balance energy, either inviting calm or boosting alertness. Here's how:
- Curl your right ring and pinky fingers into your palm.
- Join your middle and index fingers and point your thumb upright.
- Rest your left hand on your thigh.
- Gently press the extended two fingers to seal off the left nostril as you inhale for four counts through the right.
- Close your right nostril by pressing down with your thumb, releasing the left nostril as you exhale out of it for four counts.
- Inhale through the left nostril for four counts.
- Close the left nostril, open the right, and breathe out of it for four counts. Practice four to six rounds.
While there may be little science-backed evidence to prove a definite positive result of meditation for hair growth, it certainly can't hurt to take a few mindful moments out of your busy life each day to sit in stillness, quiet the mind, allow stray thoughts to dissolve and breathe. If we think and speak into existence, we can make it manifest. Add meditation into your daily routine to boost overall health and to encourage healthy, happy hair.
Crystal Fenton is a freelance journalist and E-RYT-200 YACEP yoga instructor.
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