collaborative post | In today’s fast-paced society, it is common to experience periods of stress. Whether it is due to personal issues or workplace factors, stress in large amounts is not good for your body. Hair loss is an unfortunate side effect of stress and one that can often make the stress worse.

Photo by Lera Kogan on Unsplash

Hair loss can affect men and women, but it can be enhanced for those who are stressed. Lowering your stress levels may be easier said than done, but it is effective in reducing hair loss. Here are some tips to help keep your hair loss to a minimum.

Understanding the hair growth cycle

The average human head contains 100,000 hair follicles, though this does vary depending on hair colour and type. These follicles are constantly cycling between resting and growing. This is called the hair growth cycle.

The cycle starts with the anagen stage. This is the stage your hair is in for the majority of the time – growth. Your cells are diving rapidly to produce new hair cells and growing your locks roughly half an inch a month.

Next comes the catagen stage where your body signals the end of the hair’s growth and cuts them off from the blood supply. Your hair then enters the telogen stage which is known as the resting phase. Simply, your hair is not growing but it is not falling out either.

When your hair is released from the individual follicles, the exogen phase has begun. Once this phase has ended, the whole cycle starts again.

The impact of stress on hair loss

Stress produces hormones such as cortisol. In short bursts, this hormone activates your fight or flight response which is helpful in dangerous situations. However chronic or prolonged stress means that this hormone is coursing through your body constantly.

Stress hormones can disrupt your hair growth cycle and push a large number of your hair follicles into the telogen, or resting, stage. This means they will soon fall out which can happen in a short period of time.

Coping strategies and prevention

In an ideal world, hair loss could be prevented by not being stressed. Unfortunately, it is not that easy. There are some things you can do to reduce your stress and in turn your hair loss.

If you are able to identify a stressful period, you can start taking supplements to support thicker hair such as hair fibres. Whilst this won’t prevent the hair from falling out, it will help the new hair appear thicker and fuller.

It could also be worth incorporating some relaxation techniques into your day. Even if you take 15 minutes in your evening to meditate it will have a positive effect by lowering your blood pressure and reducing stressful feelings.

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