Stress has, unfortunately, become commonplace in the modern world. Varying degrees of stress affect us on a daily basis, and while a certain amount of stress is good for us if we’re not able to find ways to manage and minimise stress each day it can quickly begin to have an impact on our health, inside and out. The busy nature of our lives now means that stress can quickly become overwhelming, and it can impact other aspects of our life including health, relationships, work and even other ways such as hair loss. Stress-related hair loss can be extremely upsetting and ironically can even lead to more stress. In this blog we cover why anxiety can cause stress-related hair loss and how it can be treated.
Is there a link between stress and hair loss?
There is a well-established link between stress and hair loss. Hair loss is often related to emotional stress and anxiety and can affect your hair in a number of ways. There is often a period of up to 3 months between a stress event and your hair falling out. For most people who experience stress-related hair loss, it does stop once the stress is properly managed and regrowth is possible.
The medical term for stress-related hair loss is Telogen Effluvium, which can be very distressing. It can be triggered by continued stress or be due to a single traumatic or stressful event. Ascertaining whether stress is the cause of your hair loss is important to ensure you don’t need further medical advice and to find the right treatment plan.
How to Identify Whether Your Hair Loss is Caused By Stress
To cure a hair loss problem, it is vital to understand whether it is caused by stress or something else. The following points will help ascertain your hair loss cause.
Recognising signs of Burnout or Anxiety
Burnout is more common than you might think, and many of us don’t realise we are experiencing it until it is too late. Common symptoms of burnout you may recognise in yourself include:
- Unmanageable tiredness or feeling drained most of the time
- A sense of helplessness or dejectedness
- Feeling alone or detached from those around you
- Always having a negative or cynical outlook
- Self-doubt with no reasoning
- Procrastination and tasks taking longer than they should to get done
- A sense of overwhelming
Acting quickly to stem the sources of stress before any of these signs become too much can help minimise the physical impact stress can have on your body.
What does stress-induced hair loss look like?
Telogen effluvium, otherwise referred to as stress-related hair loss causes a diffuse thinning of your hair. Unfortunately, it affects the whole scalp and will see hair thinning or falling out too. Stress-induced hair loss can lead to missing patches or hair but commonly leads to an overall thinning of the hair. You may notice your hair appear a lot less dense and can be particularly noticeable in sunlight or under bright lights.
What are the first signs of stress related hair loss?
Alongside the first signs of burnout we’ve covered earlier in the blog, you may start to notice changes in your hair before realising your even stressed. That’s because our hair can be one of the first areas to be neglected by the body when experiencing anxiety or stress, hair is not vital for survival or day to day functions, therefore to counteract the stress your going through, your hair is the first to be impacted.
Often people find additional strands or even clumps of hair coming away in the shower or bath when washing your hair, which can be a warning sign that stress is starting to impact your hair. Similarly, you may recognise personal triggers of stress or recognise symptoms alongside thinning hair, such as changes in mood, appetite or even poor digestion that can indicate your body is going through stress. While you cannot simply reverse hair loss instantly, there are ways to treat stress related hair loss.
How to Treat Stress Related Hair Loss
As the name suggests, to treat and reverse stress related hair loss, you must tackle the stress and anxiety at its root. Treating hair loss caused by stress or burnout needs to start by finding ways to minimise and alleviate the main stressors in your life, increase relaxation as well as looking at direct treatments to compliment the recovery of your scalp and hair.
Tackling stress head on
Unfortunately, it’s not quite as simple as changing up your lifestyle with fantastic healthy foods and supplementation, it’s not enough on its own to tackle stress. It will help, and you may notice improvements at the start but if you’re stressed and experiencing burnout regularly, you need to get to the root of the problem before you notice any long-term changes to your hair or skin.
There are techniques and methods for minimising the anxiety in your life. You may want to ask for support from your workplace, colleagues, friends or family. This isn’t always possible, and sometimes, simply giving yourself five minutes to breathe or think can help to minimise the impact of stress and help ground your feelings. Taking time for a few measured, deep breaths can help your body and mind calm down and relax, stopping stress from taking over.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle
A healthy lifestyle promotes a better relationship with your body and mind. To help get your hair back to its peak condition, you should consider your diet and commit to daily sessions of relaxing, stress-busting exercise. Stretching and meditation, such as Pilates and yoga, give you a chance to work on your breathing and your physical health. A gentle walk can also be brilliant for helping you to relax. Certain exercises, such as high-intensity workouts, weight lifting and high-energy classes such as spinning actually increase cortisol in the body, further exacerbating your stress levels which is why if you’re experiencing burnout, we recommend taking a step back from hit workouts.
Your healthy lifestyle should also include a commitment to better quality sleep. People experiencing burnout often have difficult or irregular sleeping patterns and so prioritising sleep is a must to combat symptoms of stress like hair loss.
Feeding your body with the right nutrients to promote a healthier scalp and restore your healthy hair is an essential step in getting your hair back to it’s healthy condition after burnout. The best way to treat any form of hair loss is from the inside out. Our Ginkgo Biloba B+ and the Ginkgo Bundle Hair Care Plan help to minimise the impact of hair loss caused by stress. They have the added bonus of active ingredients helping reduce anxiety, encouraging healthy regrowth and the return of your healthier hair. Find out more on how Ginkgo Biloba is recommended for healthy hair regrowth.
Support Your Mind, Body and Hair with Simone Thomas Wellness
Simone Thomas Wellness, hair loss consulstant and nutrition advisor, created expertly formulated supplements with organic ingredients selected to support your hair, skin, nails, and overall health and wellbeing. The nutrients chosen for our supplements are specially selected to ensure they promote your health and encourage the condition of your hair. After experiencing hair loss herself, Simone was determined to produce a formula that would be effective in supporting hair regrowth, replensish your scalp and manage anxiety to improve overall wellbeing. Meet our Gingko Biloba range, recommended to anyone experiencing stress-related hair loss to encourage healthy hair regrowth, reduced feelings of anxiety and give your body the nutrients it needs to recover from burnout. Find out more about Ginkgo Biloba B+ and how it can help yu by visiting our stress related hair loss page.