As we grow from childhood to adulthood, to old age, we all have different experiences. Some experiences can cause stress that can affect everything from our internal health and even our hair.
When I was 10, I remember going through a stressful situation. I was fighting with one of my friends at school, and being the young girl I was, I was unsure of how to handle it. So, as a coping mechanism, because I didn’t want to get any adults involved, I would mess around with my hair. I didn’t do anything extreme such as pull it out, but I recall experimenting with it often as a way to make me feel better about the situations I was undergoing.
At first, I thought I was alone in my hair fiddling; I assumed that I was the only one that resorted to hair when dealing with stressful situations. However, as I grew older, and began to interact with more people, I did some research of my own. I found that stress is related to hair in a variety of ways, especially hair growth.
Various Causes of Hair Loss
Stress and hair growth relate in ways that you wouldn’t expect. If you’ve found your hair going through some unusual changes, it may be time to analyze whether you’re going through some stress in your life.
Have you noticed that more of your hair is shedding as you maintain it? Has your scalp recently become very itchy and dry? Have you felt the need to visit a dermatologist due to some newly found symptoms that are affecting your hair? There are so many different ways that stress can affect hair, and we’re about to give you the inside scoop.
When people think of stress and hair, their thoughts often lead them straight to hair loss. Typically hair loss is one of the key identifiers that stress is messing with your style.
An acute psychological or physical stress such as a significant injury, death in the family, the birth of a new child, or a divorce can cause powerful effects on the body. Stress from events like this can cause hair to fall out in chunks potentially.
Minor issues such as starting new medications, or starting a new diet, can cause your hair to shed, and harm your hair growth journey. It’s always suggested to visit a doctor before making any significant dietary changes.
If you’ve ever experienced your hair falling out in clumps, you’re not alone. This is a temporary condition called telogen effluvium. This stage usually begins around the time of the trauma and causes hair growth to halt, and shift to the resting phase suddenly.
As ordinary human beings, we all experience shedding. In fact, we usually lose about 100 hairs per day. Given the amount of hair we have, that’s not too much to fret over. However, when experiencing this condition that affects hair growth, our standard shedding rate can double or even triple, depending on the stress we’re experiencing.
Telogen Effluvium can last two to six months, and with hair growth, your hair may take up to 18 months to completely grow back. If you’re dealing with this condition, which is temporary and only heightens within stressful circumstances, you’ll need to learn useful ways to combat it.
How To Combat It
The first step is to manage the stress in your life. Any additional burden will only push your recovery time and cause you to lose more hair. If it's possible, try to remove all stressors from your life. Typically during high-stress periods of life, we’re suffering from a vitamin deficiency as well. Make sure that you take your needed vitamins, visit your doctor, and do your best to be as healthy as possible.
During this period of hair loss, avoid heavy hair products as they can weigh your hair down, and cause it to be thinner. Be gentle when caring for your hair during this time to avoid losing more hair, and most importantly, be patient with your hair and yourself. We all suffer from stress, but as long as we take care of ourselves as we go through the motions, we can manage it and experience hair growth more efficiently.
Dry, Itchy Scalp
Believe it or not, a dry, itchy scalp can be a symptom of stress and can affect your hair growth more than you think. Pressure can increase the production of certain hormones which will then release pro-inflammatory chemicals that can influence the outer layer of your scalp. The function of this thickness is to lock in moisture so that your hair can continue to grow and flourish.
When we stress, this segment of your scalp doesn’t function as well, causing moisture to escape and create dry, itchy hair and scalp that will result in decreased hair growth! Oh No!
If you’re experiencing these symptoms of stress, don't worry because it won’t be difficult to fix. To get back to a healthy moisturized scalp, you’ll first need to remove all stressors from your life. As always, the more we stress, the worse the symptoms get, and if you care about your hair like I care about mine, we can’t afford to let the stress take over.
Try your best to be healthy. Drink water, exercise, be intentional about meditating if that’s something that helps you. While dealing with these symptoms, it’s important to wash your hair less frequently. Doing this will allow the natural oils to build up in your hair and keep your scalp moisturized. When you do wash your hair, try to use gentle products such as those made for people with sensitive skin.
Make sure you use fragrance-free products that won’t irritate your scalp and cause it to be even itchier. Always use a conditioner because this will replenish and hydrate your scalp. If you want to take the extra step, use a hot oil treatment; this will lock in moisture and get your hair back to growing at its average rate.
Scalp Conditions that Effect Hair Growth
There are a variety of different scalp conditions that can affect hair growth. The most common ones are eczema, psoriasis, and alopecia. These conditions differ in symptoms, but they all have one similar aspect. Stress can trigger all of these conditions.
Eczema & PsoriasisEczema is a common skin condition that can flare up during stressful moments. It’s a different experience for each person, but inflammation usually shows up as a red, itchy, scaly rash. Psoriasis showcases symptoms of hardened plaque with a scale that can itch and flake. Psoriasis and eczema are both hereditary conditions but can also show up due to stress. They affect hair growth by increasing dryness within the scalp.
Alopecia causes hair follicles to deplete and hair to fall out. It is an autoimmune disease that is also hereditary but can be triggered by stress. Typically, the first indications of alopecia begin around the scalp, starting at the edges. You may hear people advise you to take care of your sides because they are fragile, and become even more fragile as we deal with stress.
With any of these conditions, stress can cause them to worsen, and halt hair growth until the flares have lessened in frequency. If you’re suffering from any of these issues, it’s essential to visit a dermatologist. A dermatologist can determine the best regimen for your unique experience and get you on the right track to hair growth.
Your dermatologist will give you the same advice about the stress that I have. Manage it as best as you can, and stick to whatever regimen that your dermatologist offers to control your symptoms.
Ways To Increase Hair Growth
Even if you’re going through a stressful time in life, there are ways to curb that and still promote hair growth in your life. Always remember that hair growth takes time, and the remaining patient during your journey is essential. With that being said, here are some ways to increase hair growth.
Every-time that you wash your hair use a conditioner. Conditioners assist in replacing lipids and proteins within your hair and prevent more damage from occurring.
Don't Over Shampoo
Don’t shampoo every time you shower. Washing your hair with shampoo too often can cause your scalp to lose its natural oils, and strip your hair of its moisture.
Take Hair Vitamins
If you haven’t tried using hair supplements, you might want to try incorporating some into your diet. Eating healthy foods will increase the benefits of the supplements as well! Also, just to make sure you’re not interfering with any medications you may already be taking, make sure that you check in with your doctor first.
One of the primary methods of growing healthy hair is to trim it often. I remember being a child obsessed with how long my hair could grow and I hated the idea of using scissors. I later learn that cutting is actually beneficial for my hair.
For typical styles, it’s vital that you get a trim every 10-12 weeks to prevent split ends which will ultimately block hair growth.
Don't Brush Too Often or Too Hard
Another tip for increasing hair growth, and combatting stress, is never to brush your hair too often. Brushing too harshly can cause harm to your strands.
If you're cleaning your hair with the intention of detangling, it's best to do so when your hair is wet. When your hair is wet, it’s much easier to detangle your hair, mainly when you work from the bottom to the top rather than from the scalp to the ends.
Rinse With Cold Water
Doing a cold-water rinse at the end of each shower has been said to increase hair growth. It will help keep your hair healthy for longer. By doing so, you’re laying down the layers of your hair, which will help keep the moisture in as you move through your day.
Avoid Coloring Hair
Get rid of the dye. If you want your hair to grow, there’s often no way to avoid stress, but of the things you can prevent, coloring your hair should be one of them. Hair color has been proven to have harsh chemicals that can damage hair follicles.
Avoid Wrapping Your Hair
Another tip that most people aren’t aware of is that wrapping your hair in a large towel can be so incredibly harmful to your hair. It can cause breakage by pulling hair that is packed too tightly in a cloth.
Use A Silk Pillowcase
During this journey to healthier, longer hair, it’s important never to use cotton pillowcases. Silk pillowcases will save you from breakage that can reverse the hair growth process.
What To Remember
Hopefully, by now, you’ve gained some insight on how to manage your hair during a stressful period. Never forget that you’re not alone if you’re suffering from symptoms of stress that are messing with your lovely locks. Make sure that you prepare yourself for the journey needed to get back to your healthy roots.
Stress is unavoidable at times, but remember that meditation, healthy diets, and outstanding hair-care regimens will help you through it. Stress and hair growth can have a variety of symptoms from hair loss, to the dry and itchy scalp to scalp conditions which can all affect the rate your hair grows.
If you’d like to curb these effects, it’s not difficult to find ways. Not shampooing too often, conditioning much more frequently, letting go of the dye, and throwing away those pro-breakage cotton pillowcases can help ease the effects of stress.
You Are Not Alone
If you’ve ever suffered from any of these conditions that affect hair growth, know that you’re not alone. There are multiple events in life that can cause stress. From college to work, to directly dealing with other people, we’ve all been involved in some situations that caused us to be anxious.
Fortunately, considering that we’re not alone, it’s easier to manage these conditions when we have support, and here at Private Label Extensions, we always support you!
Be patient with yourself, as always. Don’t judge yourself for having hair issues. Always remember that many people are willing to help you through this journey.
Have you experienced significant hair loss or growth? What has been your experience? Share your story with us in a comment below. Also, share this article with anyone you know that could be experiencing hair loss.