13 . May . 2019 BY Dr. Sharmishtha Deshpande

Once upon a time, there lived a king by name Hairy. When Hairy met Stressie, initially things didn’t seem that worrisome. But soon, Stressie proved that she isn’t a befitting friend for Hairy. Whenever Stressie was around, Hairy seemed disturbed. There was trouble in their life. He became dull and lifeless. He was losing out on his charm, confidence, happiness and health. Hairy was worried. Stressie soon became a burden on Hairy. He wanted to be like before – Happy and healthy Hairy as everyone used to call him! He sought his trustworthy Minister Tricho’s help. Tricho used his witty mind and skills and threw Stressie out of the kingdom. And Hairy lived happily ever after………..

Does that seem like an easy plot or does it make you all the more stressful? If it does, then you need to take a chill pill. Yes! This blog is all about the ‘Stressed’ you,your ‘Distressed’ hair and how to beat the ‘stress’ out of your hair!

Stress, these days, has become more like some sort of fashion statement. He is stressed, she is stressed, everyone is stressed. We have struck an imbalance in the psychological self while trying to ride multiple horses in our personal and professional lives. Stress has significant negative impact on your hair, skin, and other organs within. Not just that, when you find more strands on your pillow, and hair bands suddenly, you are additionally stressed for your hair. Stress – Hair fall – More stress – More hair loss – This is a vicious circle where you are likely to get trapped in.

What happens to your hair when you are stressed?

Everything that you do not desire. From breakage to thinning to severe conditions, your hair and scalp are prone to a lot if you suffer from chronic stress. Let us tell you about the three common but extreme conditions that can arise due to the effects of stress on hair.

Telogen Effluvium

As explained in our earlier blogs, hair travels through three stages before falling out, namely the Anagen, Catagen and Telogen stages. When under stress, hair is pushed into the resting (Telogen) phase before the actual/expected time. Without a proper life cycle, within a few months, these hair strands in the resting phase may fall out while simple combing, washing, or finger raking. Poor hair care regimen, nutritional intake, hormonal imbalance and stress are some of the reasons leading to Telogen Effluvium. We won’t stress you with more here. You can, however, click to read more on Telogen Effluvium if you wish to, to understand its effects and also the solutions available to tackle it.

Trichotillomania

Trichotillomania is as bizarre a condition as its name. It is an uncontrollable urge in a person to pull out/pluck his/her hair from the scalp, eyebrows and everywhere. It is a reaction of psychological action like anxiety, stress, frustration, depression, loneliness, negativity, pessimism etc. Many a time, the person is not even aware that he or she is actually doing this to himself or herself owing to tension.

Alopecia Areata

One of the many reasons contributing to this condition is stress. In Alopecia Areata ,which is an autoimmune disorder, the body’s immune system attacks its own hair follicles. The immune system starts to work against its own hair follicles mistaking them for foreign bodies. In some cases, the person experiences hair fall and hair loss; while in some, there is just hair thinning. There are cases where people have developed bald spots and patches. In some cases, stress is often a resultant factor after being diagnosed with Alopecia Areata! And it adds on to the mess of sudden hair loss in large clumps or gradual hair loss over a period of time. T

Solution to Stress.
Happy ending to Hair Fall.

So, aren’t there any solutions? Of course, there are. Every lock is manufactured with its key. So are hair problems, with their solutions to get rid of them.

  1. Relax. Chillax. Calm down.
    Stress and Hair fall need not be permanent problems in your life. The earlier you learn to manage stress, the sooner your hair concerns get addressed.
  2. If you realise something is putting pressure on you, be it at work, at home, after a traumatic event or emotional happening, step back and don’t let the anxiety affect you or your hair.
  3. Try any form of relaxation that suits you and your body; a technique that preps you in the management of stress. For example, yoga, meditation, music, and exercise can really help you to a great extent.
  4. Stay in the company of people who motivate and encourage you. This will ensure optimism in your life.
  5. Follow a healthy lifestyle with balanced diet and timely sleep habits. Do include hair healthy foods in your diet which can really help in the regrowth of your hair.
  6. Only after consultation with your hair doctors, should you resort to vitamin supplements and other medications, to boost your hair growth and further stop it from falling out due to stress.
  7. Follow your trichologist’s advice for hair styling, hair maintaining, hair washing and drying. He/she would be in a position to assess your condition and advice on what’s good and bad for your hair. Hair care tips coming from a professional any day ensure better results than those untested trial and error methodologies, that you make your hair go through.
  8. Oil regularly. A good oil massage will give your hair, the much-required relaxation and soothing effect amidst all the chaos and chemicals that it is subjected to.
  9. Wash your hair daily with a scalp cleanser. Mild shampoos can be used for daily use while anti-dandruff shampoos, only twice a week.
  10. Not all hair loss is on account of stress. It may be so that, you have drawn parallels between the two. If hair fall still persists, contact a trichologist who can study the actual cause of hair fall and prescribe the right course of treatment.

Hair loss is a sign that stress has taken a topsy-turvy turn within your system. It indicates that stress has gotten beyond the control in your body. Stress starts rendering your hair dull, lifeless, dry, and brittle. In other words, stress and hair have a two-way relationship. You lose hair because you are stressed. Because you are losing hair, you are all the more stressed.

Both these scenarios have to be handled. It is nearly impossible to live a life absolutely free from stress in today’s times. However, you will be in a better position to face stress if you modify your lifestyle, your outlook and perspective towards things, events and people around you.

Yet if you are stressed, and you spot visible chunk of hair fall, relax and contact your hair doctor at the earliest. As ever, we are here with blogs that keep you abreast in hair care information, with social media that engages and enlightens you for your everyday share of hair trivia, with clinics that offer the best of services and with trichologists who excel in bringing your hairs back and keeping your stress at bay.

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