Knowing how to minimize stress related hair loss can sometimes be a daunting task, especially if you are a busy person with many things to do and places to go. But, you should know that stress can exacerbate hair loss.
Stress has several hormonal effects on the body, but the main one is an increase in stress hormone cortisol levels. Cortisol leads to an increase in substance P levels around the hair follicles of the scalp. Together, cortisol and substance P act to:
Slow your hair growth rate
Switch follicles from growing phase to dormant phase
Cause the release of free radicals which can damage follicles
The problem is that, it’s difficult to minimize stress levels when the major cause of stress is your hair loss! Here are some help ways you can reduce stress:
- Make sure to get more sleep. After a healthy diet, sleep deprivation is the number one lifestyle factor that will improve your hair. Shoot for at least seven hours a night.
- Exercise. You will feel better and your hair will grow better.
- Listen to music.
- Try meditation. A big part of modern stress is the constant thinking, worrying and anticipating. This is where people talk about being mindful or living in the moment. Some find that a therapist who teaches Cognitive Behavioral Therapy works for them, but many get the some of the same benefits from meditation. It helps to be able to switch off that anxious chatter for a while.
- Socialize and spend time with your extended family.
- Breathe properly. Breathing through the diaphragm rather than the chest wall muscles lowers cortisol levels. Breathing is the only part of the autonomic nervous system (the part that controls heart rate, etc.) that is under conscious control. Some get enough help from the following exercise: first slowly breathe in through your nose for a count of five. Hold your breathe for a count of five. Then open your mouth and let all that air out.
- Try yoga. The benefits of exercise and meditation.
- Eat chili. The hot part of chili is called capsaicin. Capsaicin blocks the action of substance P.
- Give of your time and money. You do feel better getting outside of yourself and doing something for others.
- Reduce your commitments. Don’t spread yourself too thin.
- Maintain your healthy diet. It is easy to eat poorly when you feel rushed and under pressure. Make sure you have adequate protein intake (one gram of protein a day per kilo of bodyweight) and avoid those processed carbohydrates.
Not every item on the list will help everyone, and everybody will have a different ranking, but I hope there is something in the above list which will help you.
Read More: How Men and Women Hair Loss Differ