Women can struggle with alopecia (hair loss) for many reasons, from natural to age-related hormonal changes. Different kinds of stress can cause hair loss or sluggish hair regrowth. Fortunately, you can avoid or minimize some of these stress-related hair loss triggers.
The more you know about stress and its effects on your hair, the more easily you can address whatever type of stress has caused your hair to grow thinner. Ask yourself whether any of the following three stress factors play a role in your hair’s current state of health.
1. Oxidative Stress
A common chemical process called oxidation can cause plenty of problems, not only for your hair but also for your overall health and wellness. Oxidation occurs when free radicals (oxygen molecules with uneven numbers of electrons) roam the body unchecked, reacting with other molecules as they go.
Substances called antioxidants normally balance the number of free radicals floating around in your body. When the free radicals outnumber the antioxidants, you can develop conditions ranging from diabetes to cancer. You may also experience premature hair graying and hair loss.
Oxidative stress can stem from UV exposure, exposure to bleaching agents such as peroxide, air pollution, alcohol or tobacco usage, and poor diet. You’ll want to eliminate these stressors and boost your internal stores of Vitamins A, E, and C, along with minerals such as zinc.
2. Rough Treatment
Rough treatment can stress the hair and the scalp, potentially causing hair loss. One common example, traction alopecia, occurs when you get into the habit of securing your hair in a way that tugs on the hair follicles. This constant physical stress can damage the follicles until they simply stop producing new hairs.
Other styling practices can also promote both hair damage and hair loss. Heat tools often cause this kind of damage by drying out the hairs until they split, break, and detach from their follicles. If you must apply heat to your hair, thermostat-equipped heat tools and heat defense sprays can reduce this damage.
Even over-aggressive brushing can encourage hair loss. A certain amount of brushing actually nurtures your hair by stimulating blood flow to the scalp. Too much brushing, or brushing with too much force, can have the opposite effect by pulling hairs out by the roots and damaging follicles.
3. Emotional Stress
Emotional stress can cause you to lose your hair just as physical stress can. You may find that you lose abnormally large amounts of hair after you have experienced a physical trauma, the loss of a loved one, a financial disaster, or some other deeply stressful, life-changing event.
In a relatively common stress-related problem called telogen effluvium, the stress causes the follicles to go into a resting or dormant state. As hairs continue to fall out on their normal schedule, new hairs may not take their place for several months.
A less-common condition triggered by stress, alopecia areata, can cause more severe hair loss than telogen effluvium. In this condition, the stress compels white blood cells to attack hair follicles by mistake. The resulting damage can cause rapid patches of hair loss on the head and body alike.
Fortunately, you can expect to see at least some hair regrowth once you’ve put your emotional stress behind you. In the case of alopecia areata, however, you may need to pursue medical treatment or other wellness care to help the process along.
If your stressed-out hair could use some extra help, turn to Phyllotex. Our all healthy, all-natural “nutraceutical” formula will provide your hair, hair follicles, and scalp with key nutrients that can help protect and support healthy hair growth. Take control of your hair health by starting our simple, twice a day regimen today – and contact us with any questions you may have.