How Stress Affects Hair Growth

Did you know stress can directly reduce your hair growth or worse, cause your hair to fall out? When under stress your hair begins to shed excessively, this is a major warning from your body that something is not right.

Four common types of hair loss associated with high stress are:

Telogen Effluvium – this is when our stress levels become too much and our hair follicles are in a resting phase. Our hair begins to fall out when simply combing or washing your hair.

Trichotillomania – the urge to pull out hair from our scalp as a coping mechanism. This can be a way of dealing with negative emotions such as boredom or even frustration.

Alopecia Areata – I know that you’re thinking ‘this is hereditary’, however severe stress levels can cause it as well. Our body’s immune system attacks our anlagen hair follicles and suppress growth.

Hormonal Imbalance – You may have low thyroid, high estrogen / testosterone levels (yes females do produce it) or anemia.

You may not be able to prevent slow growth or loss but it can be treated by making necessary changes. Make time for yourself to unwind and find activities that encourage exercise like dancing or walking. Include more fiber in your diet to help strengthen your hair follicles. Fresh vegetables, fruits and grains contain proteins and fiber to help maintain a balanced diet. Avoid foods that are high in sodium which can build salt deposits in your scalp that prevent hair growth. Lastly, drink more water! Your body craves water to help rid it of toxins and clear its digestive tract.

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