Are you concerned about the negative effects of stress on your life and the damage this is having on your hair? You’re not alone. Work and family demands that put us under huge amounts of strain daily, which can have dramatic effects on our general health and well-being.
Hair loss due to stress and anxiety are closely related. In fact, almost two thirds of people cite stress as the number one reason for their hair’s lack of volume and thickness – ahead of age, hormonal changes, illness and medication. Hair health is instrumental to your confidence and happiness. That’s why NIOXIN is the #1 globally selling salon brand for thicker, fuller-looking hair* developed specifically for thinning hair, working to ensure you can live your life to the fullest.
What Is Stress?
Stress is the body’s response to either physical or emotional stimuli that it finds threatening. These symptoms over a prolonged period of time leads to chronic stress. Small daily annoyances add up, too: an argument with your partner, feeling overwhelmed at work or even prolonged hunger can begin to trigger an acute reaction in your body.
When you experience stress, hormones and chemicals including cortisol are released into the body. These provide you with the adrenalin spike required for a "flight or fight" response.1 However, chronic stress causes continuous production of these hormones, which has a two-fold negative effect: the hormone level in your blood reaches a point where it cannot be brought back under control, and your organs are prevented from producing other important substances—including those which promote hair growth.
How Do Stress and Anxiety Affect Hair Loss?
One of the most common forms of stress-related hair loss is telogen effluvium, where high levels of stress alter the hair’s natural life cycle. Where normally hair spends 85% of its life in the "anagen" growth phase, sufferers’ hair instead prematurely enters the "telogen" resting phase, whereby the hair is simply left to fall out. Telogen effluvium causes hair shedding across the entire scalp, but it may be particularly noticeable in certain places, such as thinning hairline.2 Stress can be a trigger for the hair-shedding autoimmune disease. If you are experiencing alopecia areata stress, professional advice from a dermatologist is essential.
How Do I Treat Stress-Related Hair Loss?
The psychological impact of losing hair has a direct relationship with our self-image, and therefore self-confidence and self-esteem. Much as there is no concrete means of diagnosing stress-related hair loss, there is no guaranteed solution for its treatment. A doctor may be able to provide creams or medicine to help relieve the most severe side-effects. If you are experiencing thinning hair during a time of extreme emotional distress or anxiety, it is important to try and improve your mood and ease the tension you are feeling. An in-salon hair thinning treatment with Nioxin could also speed up the process and help you to get thicker, fuller looking hair.
The good news is that hair loss due to stress is not permanent and that your hair will grow back to normal once you have removed the source of your anxiety. A healthy lifestyle is one of the most crucial factors in hair health. Eating well and staying hydrated give your body the nutrients for optimum activity. Regular exercise reduces stress and tension, and sleep is essential for cell renewal and repair. These steps must be taken alongside your hair care regimen.