Take Control: How to Manage Stress and Hair Loss
Posted by Isis Martinez
Take Control: How to Manage Stress and Hair Loss

It can be alarming when you notice more than the usual number of hairs falling out in the shower or coming out in your comb. While noticeable hair loss is an unsettling occurrence, it's not something that should stress you. High-stress levels may be at the root of your hair loss problem. Learn more about how stress and thinning hair can go hand in hand and find out what you can do about it.

Understand Your Condition

If you're experiencing hair loss due to stress, you're probably suffering from a condition known as telogen effluvium. Telogen effluvium occurs when there's a shock to the system, such as a particularly stressful event. This shock is commonly associated with a traumatic accident, illness, extreme jet lag, or psychological stress. As a result, up to 70% of hair follicles on your scalp may enter telogen , a resting stage. Within about three months, these hairs will fall out.

Due to the seemingly delayed response, it's not always easy to connect the particular shock that you've suffered to the resulting hair loss. If you're noticing a lot of hair falling out when you wash or comb your hair, think back over the last month or two and consider whether you suffered any traumatic event. In addition to stress, telogen effluvium may result from changing hormone levels, a vitamin deficiency, new medications, or childbirth.

It's perfectly natural for hair follicles to go through this resting phase, but it's usually staggered so that only a portion of your scalp is in a telogen phase at one time. With telogen effluvium, up to 50% of your hair follicles may go into telogen at once. The resulting hair loss is spread evenly across the scalp. If you're experiencing patchy hair loss with bald spots, you may suffer from another condition, such as alopecia areata, a hereditary autoimmune disorder.

The excellent news about telogen effluvium is that it's typically brief. If the stressful event is a short-lived one, your hair should grow back and return to its natural fullness within nine months. However, telogen effluvium can become a chronic condition if stress is ongoing.

COVID-19 is also now a cause of acute telogen effluvium. Make sure to watch hair health and be extra cautious after being diagnosed with COVID-19. 

The excellent news about telogen effluvium is that it's typically brief. If the stressful event is a short-lived one, your hair should grow back and return to its natural fullness within nine months. However, telogen effluvium can become a chronic condition if stress is ongoing.

Manage Your Stress

If psychological stressors are causing telogen effluvium, it's essential to implement effective stress management techniques so that you can put an end to this condition. Choose a strategy that you find personally soothing. If you don't enjoy writing, forcing yourself to journal every day may add to your stress. However, if you find writing therapeutic, you may notice a significant decrease in your stress levels if you commit to making a daily gratitude list.

Exercise is a great stress reducer. Physical activity releases brain chemicals that help you handle stress and depression better. Outdoor activities like taking a hike in the forest or going for a swim in a lake can also lower your stress levels by allowing you to unwind and connect with nature. Yoga is another purposeful exercise for stress management.

Sometimes managing stress is simply about making the time for things you enjoy. If you don't participate in self-care, it's time to examine your routine and look for ways to treat yourself. Include a regular dinner with friends or date night in your week. Laughing, talking, and enjoying the company of others can bring down your stress. Having a solid network of people you're close to can also increase your resilience so that you can better equip yourself to handle life's challenges when they come your way.

Maintain a Healthy Diet

Extreme weight loss and vitamin deficiencies are other potential causes of telogen effluvium. In many cases, rapid weight loss and poor diet are the results of stress. One powerful way to help your body recover from sudden hair loss is to treat it well, consuming a healthy diet full of the whole foods that your body needs.

Protein, iron, vitamin D, biotin, and essential fatty acids are fundamental building blocks for hair growth. You can get protein and omega-3 fatty acids together in foods like salmon, tuna, mackerel, walnuts, and flaxseed. Iron and protein come together in chicken, turkey, oysters, and beef. Spinach, broccoli, beans, and walnuts are rich in iron as well. Egg yolks, peanuts, soybeans, sweet potatoes, and sunflower seeds contain natural biotin. As a bonus, egg yolks, tuna, and salmon all contain vitamin D as well.

If you're not getting enough of these nutrients in your diet, consider to give your body an extra boost for better hair growth as you recover from telogen effluvium.

Give Your Hair Follicles a Boost

Since stress-related hair loss is usually due to telogen effluvium, it may help to treat your scalp with stimulating products that encourage a healthy growth cycle. Ingredients like caffeine and Reishi mushrooms can increase circulation in the scalp to help hair follicles return to the growth stage. Indian gooseberry gives your hair a natural lift, which can help conceal some of the thinning on your scalp as your hair regrows. Density ACCELER8 Hair Booster + Nutrients from HairMax contains all these ingredients for a healthy scalp.


Hair Boost

If you suffer from chronic telogen effluvium, a laser hair treatment may help. This process uses therapeutic light energy to stimulate hair follicles and restore the scalp's natural growth cycle. Depending on the level of coverage you want, you can use these medical-grade lasers at home in short treatment cycles working with a LaserComb, LaserBand, or Laser Cap. Although Laser Therapy is not FDA Cleared for this particular type of hair loss, many users have reported hair growth results. 

Stress-induced hair loss is typically very manageable. By addressing the source of the stress and taking proactive steps to promote a healthy scalp, you should be able to restore your hair back to its original fullness. If you notice hair loss that results in bald patches or does not stop after a few months, speak with your doctor to ensure you're not missing another underlying condition.

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