April is Stress Awareness Month, so we are sharing how stress affects you and the best ways to counteract this.
We’ve all experienced stress. Sometimes it’s a small, itching feeling. At other times it overwhelms us completely. Stress can have a devastating affect on our body, especially when it comes to taking care of our hair.
What is stress?
It is important to understand how stress affects our health and what we can do to manage it better.
Stress is our bodies natural response to feeling threatened. When we’re under threat, our nervous system reacts by releasing a flood of stress hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol, preparing our bodies for emergency action.
Problems arise because our bodies aren’t very good at distinguishing between physical life-or-death threats and emotional stress, such as working to deadlines and managing difficult relationships.
Over long periods of time, constant stress can take its toll.
How does stress affect our hair?
Stress affects our hair for several reasons.
Telogen Effluvium (TE)
The stress hormone cortisol is linked to the function of hair follicles. It pushes your hair follicles into the resting phase of their life cycle. This means that when cortisol levels are high, your hair weakens and can begin to shed.
The adrenal glands also produce fewer hormones that promote hair growth, meaning new hairs can be stalled from growing.
Stress can trigger us to pull nervously at our hair and scalp, which can be a sign of trichotillomania. This psychological condition can result in thin or bald patches on the scalp or elsewhere across the body, and it is often very distressing for people who suffer from it.
Alopecia Areata (AA)is a condition that causes spots of baldness to appear randomly on the scalp.
Widely accepted to be an autoimmune disorder that causes our body to attack hair follicles, what triggers this condition isn’t fully understood. Stress and trauma are associated with the disorder, and certainly living with Alopecia Areata (AA)is a stress-inducing experience.
10 tips to help you to de-stress
De-stressing is a very personal process. Finding out what works for you is crucial, and luckily there’s lots to choose from!
- Make time for yourself
Give yourself me-time every day as part of your routine.
- Move your body
Stretch, workout or go for a walk. Anything that gets your energy flowing.
- Change your environment
Remove yourself from the noise or whatever is causing you stress and get some fresh air.
Just 15 minutes a day can reduce negative feelings and improve your overall wellbeing.
- Spend time with loved ones
Socialising with friends and family can give you all the stress relief you need.
- Write down what you’re feeling
Let it all out on paper.
- Spend time in nature
Getting out in the great outdoors can help you to relax and improve your mood.
- Lean into self-care
Relax in a hot bath, diffuse essential oils, apply a face mask, whatever makes you feel relaxed.
- Eat the right, nutritious foods
Prioritise healthy eating and avoid stimulants and depressants like caffeine and alcohol.
Switch off from social media and the online world.
How Simone Thomas Wellness can help
Improving your diet by making sure you get the right vitamins and minerals can make a major difference to alleviating stress.
B complex vitamins can help to improve your mood and energy levels, which in turn reduces the negative side effects of stress on your hair. Foods such as salmon, leafy greens and legumes are high in B vitamins.
But B vitamins such as biotin aren’t stored in our bodies for long so supplementing your diet can also ensure you get the right amount your body needs to fight stress and to protect your hair.
Our Biotin Hair Care Plan is enriched with B vitamins to aid hair regrowth and reduce stress by providing our body with the biotin boost it needs.
Outer health begins on the inside. Reducing stress is vital for maintaining your body’s overall health, and especially the health of your hair. Slow down, take a deep breath and give yourself time to relax. You deserve it.