Stress can cause hair loss in men and women. Whilst some people thrive on stress, others experience a detrimental effect to their physical and mental health if they are under pressure for too long. In this article we will be discussing the connection between stress and hair loss.
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Stress and Hair Loss
Stress related hair loss is a physical reaction to an increase in the amount of adrenalin reaching the hair follicles. It can also be caused by a change in the body’s hormonal balance such as during pregnancy when the body is going through many changes.
Hair loss as a result of one of these two occurrences will most likely be noticed some 2-3 months after the stressful event occurred as it generally takes this long to manifest.
When the hair follicle is subjected to too much adrenalin, it reacts by closing. Not instantly like a purse snapping shut, but slowly, over the course of 2-3 months. As the follicle closes it prematurely enters the telogen phase of its development. This is the resting phase during which the hair root ceases to grow. When the follicle is closed completely, the hair root, the only living part of the hair, is separated from the hair shaft and the shaft falls away.
In the case of sudden hormonal changes in the body, for example during pregnancy, a similar reaction occurs. The hormonal balance is temporarily altered, resulting in the hair follicles prematurely entering the telogen phase.
In most cases these effects are temporary and hair grows back within a few weeks.
Common Causes of Stress
Stress can be caused by a wide number factors – both external and internal. External factors can include situations such as a change in financial situation, the threat of redundancy, the death of a friend or relative or having too much to do. Equally, not having enough stimulation can also be stressful such as when a person is in a job that is boring and unsatisfying.
Internal stressors are the worries and negative thoughts people have about themselves and the way they interact with the world. They include feelings of not being good enough, a lack of confidence in social situations and feelings of powerlessness to change a situation. A bad diet, excess smoking or alcohol are also considered internal stressors as an unhealthy lifestyle exerts pressure on the body.
Relieve your Stress to Minimise its Affect on Hair Loss
Stressful situations, by their very nature, flare up and can dissipate quite quickly. It is learning to cope with and regulate these fluctuations in stress levels, as well as putting strategies in place to avoid them altogether, that will lead to a healthier lifestyle and a greater sense of control.
It is important to note that a stressful situation rarely goes away of its own accord. The situation can be ignored but this is not enough to solve the problem. It is far better to deal with and resolve the situation so that it no longer causes you stress.
People who feel committed, in control, challenged and clear are generally more resilient to stress. Learning to develop these feelings about your life is an excellent long-term solution to manage stress better.
Commitment to their daily activities helps them to feel a sense of purpose in what they are doing and therefore withstand higher levels of pressure.
Feeling in control rather than powerless in a situation also helps people to cope and maintain better levels of physical and mental health.
Challenges are important to help a person feel that they are moving forwards in their life and avoid feelings of boredom and de-motivation.
Finally a sense of clarity is essential to help a person see the bigger picture. Short-term stressful periods can be withstood better if a person can see what they are working towards.
In addition regular exercise, plenty of sleep, relaxation and a good diet can all help towards achieving a greater sense of well-being. Whilst not being cures for hair loss in themselves we would advocate them as sensible, practical ways to reduce your stress levels and feel better within yourself.
For more information and to book your free consultation, contact the London Centre of Trichology today. Call 020 7935 1935.
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