You should do the opposite of worrying If you are finding more strands of hair on your pillow than usual, after waking up, because believe it or not, worrying, excess stress and anxiety is causing the same. If you see most of your hair stuck or flowing away from your head while into the shower drain, then it’s time that you address the fact that other than lack of care and nutrition, anxiety is the cause to be blamed.
You must have heard about a possible link between stress and hair loss, but might have wondered if there is any truth to that claim at all? Truth is that stress does affect your overall health adversely and causes hair loss.
So if you are feeling overwhelmed by workload or are frazzled by emotional events such as breakup, divorce or an old friend not talking to you, you’re indirectly putting your hair health at risk too.
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Can Anxiety Cause Hair Loss?
Not only do stress and anxiety play a role in hair loss, they are also linked to a few conditions that can make the situation worse for you.
Here are the following three conditions that can trigger you to lose hair.
This condition is a common cause of temporary hair loss. In this condition, when a person is under a lot of anxiety and stress, hair fall begins to start. Stress pushes hair follicles into a phase called “resting” phase. When this happens hair follicles do not produce new hair strands. Overall hair quality and strength of hair weakens. Over the course of time, because of this condition, hair falls out more easily, even if you are treating it gently in your daily routine. By mere acts of washing your hair, combing, or touching it, hair keeps on falling. Telogen effluvium also can be caused by poor nutrition and changes in hormone levels. It’s important that if you notice hair fall that seems to be increasing over the course of time and happens even on gentle touch, try to relax and lower your stress levels. Eat a healthy diet and meet a doctor who can help you get your lost hair back.
You must have heard people saying things like “oh the task was so frustrating that I just wanted to pull my hair”, well, this can happen quite literally with some people.
If you’ve ever found yourself literally pulling out your hair when you’re anxious, stressed or tense, it could be a sign of trichotillomania.
Trichotillomania is a psychological condition that is found in people that routinely deal with negative emotions, like stress and anxiety. People suffering from trichotillomania are often seen pulling their hair from the scalp, face, and even other parts of the body.
While it may be seen in any age or gender, it is most commonly seen in teenage girls who suffer from emotional and mental issues.
If you, or anyone around you seems to be pulling their hair off of their scalp, it’s time that you meet a doctor and seek proper help.
If your hair loss is caused by stress, then it’s possible that your hair will probably grow back in time however how fast your hair comes back, that is, the rate of regrowth, will be different for everyone.
The average human scalp has about 100,000 hair follicles and any given time, each of your hair follicles is undergoing a different phase. Human hair growth occurs in a cycle of four phases which are –
- Anagen phase – This is the growing phase of hair and in this phase hair is in the growing stage. This please lasts for about two to seven years.
- Catagen phase – This is a shorter phase. Almost a two-week phase which occurs when the hair follicle begins to shrink due to several factors.
- Telogen phase – This is a three-month resting phase of the hair follicles.
- Exogen phase – In this phase new hair begins to grow. It occurs when the follicle sheds the hair and begins a new growth.
How can you minimise hair loss?
Diet and nutrition
Eating a balanced, nutritious diet of whole foods is necessary for the health of your body — and your hair.
While it’s important to include all of the essential vitamins in a healthy diet, there are some that may be vital to hair growth:
- Vitamin C – This vitamin is essential for building collagen, which is an essential part of the skin. It builds the connective tissue that is found in hair follicles. Foods that contain vitamin C are orange, guava, strawberry, gooseberry, pineapple, broccoli, bell peppers, and raspberries.
- Vitamin B – Vitamin B complex ensures a healthy metabolism, as well as healthy skin and hair. Vitamin B complex is a bunch of different kinds of vitamins that can be found in foods like dark leafy greens such as spinach. It is also found in beans, nuts, and avocados.
- Vitamin E – This vitamin is known for its potent antioxidant property. Being an antioxidant and growth promoter, vitamin E can contribute to a healthy scalp. Foods rich in vitamin E include sunflower seeds, spinach, olive oil, broccoli, and shrimp.
If you aren’t getting enough of these nutrients through your diet, then you should talk to your doctor about supplements. Your health care provider will discuss your options and prescribe the best dosage for you.
Make sure that you do not self-medicate or add nutritional supplements to your routine on your own without your doctor’s supervision as an excess of these can be fatal.
Keeping yourself properly hydrated
If you want to stay healthy and beautiful, make water your friend. Water is an essential ingredient to overall good health. Every cell in your body relies on water to function properly and rejuvenate every day.
A person on average should drink about eight to 12 glasses of water a day. This can be achieved through drinking water regularly and getting it through food. Ideally, men should aim for fifteen to sixteen cups of water per day, and women should aim for eleven to twelve cups per day. Goal is to remain hydrated and steer clear of dehydration.
Learning how to effectively manage your stress levels may help you reduce your risk for further hair loss. Of course, this is often easier said than done.
You may have to try several different stress-management techniques before you find what works for you.
Popular ways to reduce stress:
- Exercise – Exercise is an excellent way to reduce and combat stress. If you cannot exercise everyday try to live a healthy and active life. Go for a light walk daily for at least 30 minutes. Try yoga or breathing exercises. Join swimming classes and consider signing up for a dance class to have fun at the same time. You can also try gardening or doing some yard work.
- Hobbies – If you’re good at something then do it more often. Keep yourself busy with something that you enjoy doing such as singing, writing, dancing, photography or painting. Try to take a few minutes out of your busy life for yourself each day to write about your feelings. You can also document and write about the things that cause you stress. Reviewing the daily items that trigger your stress may help you to discover ways of coping with it. Hobbies can be a great way to combat stress. Consider doing volunteer work, joining your local community theatre group, planting a garden, or starting an art project.
- Meditation – Meditation will put you at peace. Meditation along with breathing exercises are great ways to allow yourself to focus on the present moment. You may also wish to try techniques that combine meditation with physical exercise, like yoga or tai chi.
If your hair loss has been triggered by stress, managing your stress could be the key to returning to a healthy rate of hair growth.
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