Stress, Hair Loss, and How to Dodge It

Everybody knows what stress is. Although stress can weigh quite heavy on our health it can be considered a positive survival tool . Our cavemen ancestors, for example, used the onset of stress to alert them to a potential danger.

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What is Stress?

Stress is primarily a physical response. When stressed, the body thinks it is under attack and switches to ‘fight or flight’ mode. The body then releases a complex mix of hormones and chemicals such as adrenaline, cortisol and norepinephrine. This prepares the body for physical action.

This causes a number of reactions, from blood being diverted to muscles to shutting down unnecessary bodily functions such as digestion.

Stress and Hair Loss

Hair loss due to stress can occur anywhere from 6 weeks to 3 months after a very stressful life event. This form of hair loss is temporary and called telogen effluvium. It can also be caused by hormonal changes (menopause or post-pregnancy for example), illness or poor diet, among many other things. 

How Can You Reduce Stress?

There are many healthy ways for you to relax and take the edge off. Meditation, or quiet time, is one of the best ways for you to take some time away from the daily grind. Meditation doesnt necessarily need to be incense and bare feet, either. Sometimes closing your eyes for a few minutes or sitting in silence is all you need.

It can be as easy as laying down and listening to music or reading at night without your phone. Psychologists even believe that daily meditation may alter the brain’s neural pathways, improving your resilience to stress in the long-term.

Another great way to deal with stress is through moderate exercise. Some people even say that they find their time at the gym to be its own form of meditation. All forms of exercise can help ease anxiety and depressed mood by helping the brain release endorphins, enabling you to better deal with stress. Take a nightly walk around the block, do some yoga, or play your favorite sport – its good for you, and your hair.

The Power of Music

Relaxing music has been shown to actually lower blood pressure, slow your heart rate and quiet anxiety. Quite often relaxing music is good for soothing babies. Try mid-tempo, melodious classical music, or even nature sounds such as ocean waves or a babbling brook. Some people report that “rain apps” help them fall asleep at night. Sit and quietly focus on the instruments in the piece or picture the natural scenery associated with the sound. Try to take your mind away for a minute. This exercise encourages you to quiet your thoughts and breathe deeply to relax.



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