Last year, our world was turned upside down by the global pandemic, highlighting the importance of taking the best care of our mental wellbeing. This Mental Health Awareness Week, we look at the connection between mental health and hair loss whilst sharing self-care tips to relax your mind.
How does mental health affect hair loss?
Poor mental health can have a negative impact on our physical health, including the health of our hair. In the UK, in 2013 alone there were 8.2 million recorded cases of anxiety whilst worldwide the most predominant mental health condition is depression
Although mental health conditions, such as anxiety and depression, don’t cause hair loss directly, they do often cause persistent or acute stress, which is commonly linked to hair loss.
Stress can trigger a condition called telogen effluvium, which disrupts the natural hair cycle and is characterised by abrupt hair loss. Telogen effluvium can affect anyone of any age, but fortunately the condition is largely reversible.
Anxiety can also cause trichotillomania, a psychological condition that triggers people to pull nervously at their hair and scalp, resulting in hair loss and damage to the hair growth cycle.
It’s worth noting that hair loss related to mental health is rare and usually only occurs in cases of severe conditions.
Can hair loss affect mental health?
While anxiety and depression can impact your hair growth, hair loss can also take its toll on your mental health.
Sudden hair loss can feel devastatingly shocking whilst hair loss over prolonged periods can feel frustrating, both of which can negatively affect our mental health.
Our hair is very much a part of our identity so hair loss can lead to a decrease in our self-esteem and feelings of unattractiveness or failure. For many people, hair loss can be a traumatic experience that triggers further mental health issues.
Studies show that around 40% of women who experience hair loss have had marital problems as a result and a further 63% say they have experienced career-related problems.
We often hear people expressing how hair loss, unlike other health conditions, can be so visible and noticeable. Simone Thomas Wellness has treated many people who say they’ve felt ashamed of how they look because of hair loss. It is an understandably upsetting experience but fortunately there are things you can do about it.
What can you do about mental health and hair loss?
As with any health condition, if you’re experiencing poor mental health, talk to your doctor as they can provide the help and direction you need.
Self-care practices can also help you tune into how you’re feeling and build an awareness of your mental health to help you stay balanced.
Our top 5 mental wellness practices
Take care of your body
Eat nutritious meals, exercise regularly and drink plenty of water.
Surround yourself with good people
Make plans with supportive family members and friends. Seek out activities you enjoy where you can meet new, like-minded people.
Quieten your mind
Practicing mindfulness and meditation can help improve your state of mind and outlook on life.
Unplug from social media
Social media can increase levels of anxiety and depression. Give yourself a break from scrolling to connect with yourself and people you love.
Connect with nature
Getting out into nature can help to improve your mood and reduce feelings of stress whilst increasing your confidence, self-esteem and physical health.
If you’re experiencing hair loss that’s impacting your mental wellness, Simone Thomas Wellness is here to help. Not all forms of hair loss are permanent. Determining what’s causing your hair to shed can put your mind at ease as you find the road to recovery.
Contact us today to book a consultation with our founder, Simone Thomas.