There can be many reasons why woman begin to start shedding hair or experiencing hair loss. It’s actually pretty commonplace and nearly half of all women will at some point in their lives be affected in some way.
Reasons may range from postpartum hair loss, hormonal triggered shedding or overuse of styling tools and dyes that can disrupt the health and happiness of our scalps. And while these are the most common, we were unsurprised when a recent survey of BAMbeautiful customers revealed that 55% believed stress was the root cause of their thinning hair.
But it’s not just a stressful event that triggers your hair loss, but the physiological and habitual changes that result from stress. When we are going through a stressful time, or have experienced shock of some kind we tend to not take care of ourselves as we should. We may begin to under eat for example. And when our diet is out of whack, we are not absorbing enough of the vital vitamins and nutrients we need that help nourish our bodies and keep hair follicles strong.
Because tissues like our hair and nails are not regarded by our body as essential for operation, often in times of stress our hair can be the first thing to suffer. The nutrients you do digest will be focussed on providing for your vital organs, such as heart and lungs, rather than the hair and scalp.
Similarly, stress weakens our immune system. We all know from experience that when we are run down we are more susceptible to getting coughs, colds or the sniffles; but in some cases this can be worse and could open us up to more problematic systemic upsets. Many Alopecia sufferers for example note that often serious stress or shocks triggered their condition. This may also be because of sensitivity of their hair follicles to a type of testosterone called DHT. When stressed we produce a hormone called cortisol, and with raised levels of cortisol many people will have increased testosterone levels in their bodies - even women. Combined with an individual’s sensitivity to DHT, hair shedding, and even bald patches can occur.
2020 has not been a stress free year for many of us. The whole world is living thorough a pandemic, and we will all have been feeling stressed. We may worry because our jobs are on the line, or our elderly family members may be getting sick, not to mention the double stress of having to juggle working from home with at-home-schooling your children. It is no wonder why dermatologists, like Dr Sandra Lee M.D, are noting that since the outbreak of Covid-19 they have been seeing an overwhelming number of patients come in and complain of hair loss.
Now we know that stress is causing hair loss for so many, what are the steps you can take to try and reduce your stress levels and care for your hair?
Try to ensure you are getting enough nutrients into your body. And even if you feel too stressed to stomach too much food try adding a multivitamin supplement into your usual mealtime routine to ensure, even if you may not be eating the best, you are putting all the right nutrients in.
Cortisol levels are at their lowest while we are sleeping, so ensuring we are getting lots of restorative and relaxing deep sleep is a must for helping us to de-stress and reduce the likelihood of raised DHT levels.
3. SELF CARE
Taking care of your hair and giving yourself little treats will help you relax while also imparting useful hair health ingredients into the tresses and scalp. Using something like our tried and tested Scalp Tonic and taking time to massage it in can help increase blood flow to the scalp and let the active ingredients work to help extend the life cycle of the hair to minimise shedding.
If you feel like stress is getting to you and causing hair loss, in honour of #HAIRLOSSAWARNESSMONTH readers of this blog can get an extra 10% their order by using the code STRESS10 or head over to our Instagram page for a chance to win some hair loss and stress-busting goodies throughout the month.