As the world continues advancing all around us, it seems that some of us are falling behind due to the weight of it all. Stress has been increasingly on the rise around the globe, and there doesn’t seem to be any signs of it decreasing in the near future.
While stress isn’t a new response for humans, it is one that we are continuing to learn the intricacies about. Chronic stress has been regularly shown to have deleterious effects on the human body and mind, affecting the ways in which we think, feel, communicate, and act. While symptoms vary between people, there are common signs we can tend to look for—ones that stand out as being directly related to stress. These include tremors, increased heart rate, excessive sweating, mild dizziness, and more. A symptom that is often overlooked is that of hair loss. While sometimes considered a myth, stress-induced hair loss is a thing, and it can pop up in different forms.
Chronic bouts of stress have been shown to lead to periodic hair loss, as continual stressors eventually lead to compromises within the body, particularly to the immune system. While stress can trigger other, more negative, health effects in people, it has been shown to leave the afflicted with hair that feels thinner or weaker or is simply falling out.
As briefly mentioned, stress and anxiety, when severe or constant, can lead to progressive hair loss, but they can also trigger other conditions that can lead to an increase in hair loss over time. What are these conditions, and should they be ones you should worry about when noticing another bout of stress returning? Here are three of the most common hair loss conditions that can either be produced by stress and/or can help increase symptoms of stress.
Unlike Alopecia Areata, Telogen Effluvium is a condition brought on by significant amounts of continued stress. In this condition, severe stress causes hair follicles to be pushed into what is considered a “resting” phase, where new hair strands are not produced after the old ones fall out.
Affected hairs will be more likely to fall out the longer this condition lingers, with light washing, combing, or touching aggravating weakened hair follicles and pulling hair from the body.
While chronic stress is one of the most common causes for this condition, poor stress and hormonal imbalances, such as thyroid issues, can also lead to this affliction taking hold.
Most commonly seen in teenage women, Trichotillomania is a condition where extreme bouts of stress and tension will cause people to pull out their own hair when stressed or tense. Psychologists have long believed this to be a psychological response to facing negative emotions, such as stress, loneliness, frustration, unease, etc. Hairs from the face, scalp, arms, and more will be pulled as a means of dealing with these intense emotions, viewing it as a release compared to undergoing such emotionally traumatic events.
While we often talk about androgenetic alopecia, more often referred to as male- or female-pattern baldness, alopecia areata is a condition where a compromised immune system reacts by attacking the body’s hair follicles. Under such conditions, hair loss will begin either by circular patterns of hair thinning across the body or bald spots developing rapidly and noticeably. While hair can regrow with time, it will eventually fall out again for those affected by this condition.
Doctors are still unsure of the causes of alopecia areata, but they believe them to largely be genetic. While stress might not be a direct indicator of this condition cropping up, it is fair to say that a condition such as this will likely cause stress in those afflicted with it.
Managing Hair Loss Caused by Chronic Stress
We’ve discussed the ways in which chronic stress can have a deleterious effect on the hair around your body, but we’ve yet to talk about the ways this issue can be managed. One of the best ways to help manage stress is to simply undertake courses of action to reduce stress from your overall life. We say simply, and it might not seem all that easy when you’re in the thick of a stressful day or week, but some minor life adjustments can make all the difference.
- Start Performing Regular Relaxation Techniques
When first looking for something to reduce everyday stress, relaxation techniques such as controlled breathing, meditation, and mindfulness exercises can go a long way. Active communities such as local studios can provide you with a notable environment to begin learning more about relaxation techniques to reduce your stress. With ample focus and time, you can begin taking measured steps to start taking better care of your mind and body, allowing yourself to slow down after a day of work, family outings, chores, and more.
- Begin Exercising on a Daily Basis
Similar to having mindfulness and meditative exercises to begin taking part in on a daily basis, you should also begin exercising each and every day. It might not be your first thought, as many people tend to correlate exercise with stress and negative emotions, but regular exercise can reduce stress by leaps and bounds. Whether it’s a post-work run every day or a morning and nightly walk with the dog, getting up and moving around can provide you with countless benefits while also reducing stress.
- Take Time When Treating Your Hair
While this won’t reduce stress on its own, it’s important that you set aside time to properly take care of your hair on a regular basis. This can include washing your hair on a daily or semi-daily basis, conditioning a few times a week, talking to your barber or hairdresser about hair care products that might enhance the overall look of your hair, and so much more. Your hair won’t look healthy if you never take the time to care for it. It’s important you have time set aside to treat it, ensuring its health for the moment and the future.
- Seeking Out a Clinically Tested Solution For Genetic Hair Loss
For people struggling genetic hair loss, there is a treatment that has been clinically tested and shown to reduce and sometimes reverse the progression of genetic hair loss. Cleared by the FDA and using low-level laser treatment, our Capillus laser caps have been clinically shown to be beneficial to those dealing with androgenetic alopecia.
The Capillus laser caps line features three ranges of products for people looking for different treatment levels, for those relying on certain budgets, and those wanting more or less scalp coverage. Our laser caps include the CapillusUltra, CapillusPlus, and the CapillusPro—which correspondingly have 82, 202, and 272 diodes designed for laser light therapy for hair loss. Each of these caps has been shown to slow the progression of hair loss caused primarily by genetic conditions, which in turn can possibly help to reduce stress brought on by the effects that hair loss has on a person’s overall self-confidence. With an inconspicuous design, those undertaking the Capillus LLLT treatment can easily commit to their daily therapy sessions all while drinking a cup of coffee or reading a book.
- Seek Out the Help of a Therapist or Positive Friends
Having someone you can talk to and rely on can go quite a long way. Whether it’s a therapist or a close friend, it’s important to have a person who is in your corner. If we’re discussing therapists, there are many to choose from, so you should take some time doing your research before settling on just one. Consider relying on word-of-mouth recommendations, as a close friend or family member might know someone who would make a good fit for you.
A poor diet can have negative effects on your hair, whether due to being malnourished or eating heavily processed foods on a regular basis, but it can also negatively affect your stress levels. When under emotional stress, many people will often reach for food as an outlet, and this can lead to numerous health issues, most caused by overeating foods that are nutritionally deficient. Healthy food choices can benefit your body more than you might think, helping to reduce stress with a little fine-tuning.
Reach for foods that span the whole spectrum of whole foods, particularly those rich in omega-3 fatty acids—which have been shown to reduce heart disease and depression in many clinical studies. These include foods such as walnuts, almonds, flaxseeds, salmon, and tuna. For a more well-rounded diet, consider adding in whole grains such as rice and quinoa or fiber-rich vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and spinach.
Managing Hair Loss
For a lot of people, hair loss can cause a great deal of stress and can negatively affect a person’s overall self-confidence. Luckily, laser light therapy for hair loss has been clinically shown to be beneficial for people struggling with genetic hair loss, particularly androgenetic alopecia. If you’re struggling with this and if you have any questions about our hair regrowth products and how they can help you, you should consider reaching out to one of our hair restoration experts to have any of your pertinent questions answered. Your hair could look shinier, stronger, and healthier with just six minutes of your time each day.