There are a variety of factors that contribute to hair loss, including hereditary factors, hormonal changes, medical conditions, the natural aging process, and physical and emotional stressors. If you are experiencing rapid or premature shedding or bald patches your hair loss may be due to stress, which can be treated.
Physical stressors that can lead to hair loss are most common with African American women. Hair loss and bald patches are the result of prolonged hairstyles that require significant tension, such as tight braids, twists, and weaves. Over time, this can lead to patches along the front hairline and nape of the neck, but sometimes in the middle of the scalp as well. If your family is prone to thinning hair, you are more at risk for this type of hair loss.
Wearing a tight hairstyle here or there typically isn’t problematic, but if it’s your go-to style, it can put so much stress on your hair follicles, that hair can fall out in large sections. You can typically regrow your hair, but in the meantime trying to conceal your hair loss with wigs and creative styling can lead to significant emotional stress.
Work with your dermatologist and hairstylist for your hair regrowth plan and consider styles that put less stress on your hair once it regrows. This includes embracing your natural hair.
Emotional Stress And Hair Loss
When we are stressed to the max, our body goes into fight and flight mode. This increases the stress hormone cortisol in our body which throws many of our internal systems off balance. This can result in a variety of side effects including increased internal inflammation, decreased quality of sleep, decreased immunity, and prompting our hair follicles from the growth phase to the resting phase.
This is typically caused by emotional stressors such as major life changes—divorce, illness, death, losing your job, ongoing financial stress, or the current global pandemic. Once stress subsides, your stress hormone will shut back off and your hair should begin to regrow. Don’t go this alone, as you have many resources available to you.
Minimizing Chronic Stress
If your dermatologist determines that chronic stress is the cause of your hair loss, they may prescribe a few products to stimulate new growth—but getting your stress under control and taking a proactive approach once it is minimized is the best way to go. A few changes you can make include:
- Stock your fridge and pantry with healthy whole foods to limit stress and comfort eating
- Keep alcohol to a minimum, especially in times of stress
- Get at least 30 minutes of cardio 5 days a week, even a brisk walk
- Incorporate yoga or meditation into your weekly routine
- Identify stress-relieving outlets such as massage, sound therapy, steam, or Epsom salt baths
- Spend at least a few hours a week doing a hobby like reading, arts and crafts, playing a musical instrument, or listening to music
- Explore your options in online talk therapy which is available 24/7 at increasingly affordable rates
- Invest quality time with friends and family who lift you up
- Stick to a consistent sleep schedule and consider using Holmes Organics CBD oil tincture to soothe your mind and body
Hair loss can leave you feeling self-conscious but if it’s caused by physical or emotional stress you can get it under control.