Hair has been a symbol of strength, beauty, femininity, and even fertility for ages. We go to great lengths to keep our hair looking good, and the undeniable fact is that to keep it looking good, we must keep it healthy. In recent years, the attention being paid to hair health has been immense.
Curling, bleaching, straightening are just some of the efforts people make to keep their hair looking stylish and presentable. But ultimately it's the attention you pay to your health that pays off. Unfortunately, some of the actions we take to improve our appearance do more harm than good.
What to Look Out for?
Credit: Simran Sood
So what are the things we should be doing? Well, there are a couple of things we can do to optimize our appearance while protecting and strengthening our hair.
Home remedies for hair and good scalp health have grown popular, as well as washing less often, so as not to strip the hair of its natural oils. Having a balanced diet as well has proven to work for so many! Getting the essential nutrients is critical for keeping hair healthy. Nutritional deficiencies are linked to causing patchy hair loss and alopecia areata. Light physical exercises, like maybe even long walks, do a whole lot of good for your overall health, and for your hair specifically, due to the increased circulation and blood flow which replenishes hair follicles. But what people seem to forget is to keep a close eye on their stress levels and mental health. Why is this so important?
Is Stress Good or Bad?
Stress is not inherently bad; it is necessary for our survival, but can be very harmful in excess amounts. Stress can rise due to many reasons. Maybe it's an upcoming exam you're worried about, that public speech you're supposed to give, the job interview that you haven't prepared for, your appearance for a party, or anything else you dread.
Well despite the numerous stressors we encounter every day, we need to find a way to manage our stress before it gets out of hand. What happens if we don't?
Why Do We Need to Manage Stress?
Stress causes biological changes in the body which are necessary for us to deal with certain events or challenges in life; as a survival mechanism. These changes save us a lot of trouble and damage while helping us succeed in different aspects of life. But sometimes the stress can be disproportionate to the challenge at hand. When this happens the biological changes persist for longer, and an excess of these changes leads to health detriments; damaging the immune system. The body needs to return to its resting phase, which will bring its hormone levels to normal.
The Stress Hormone
But what does this have to do with hair health? Well the increase in the stress hormone- Cortisol, is one of the major effects that follow. Besides weight gain, diabetes, and high blood pressure, this hormone, in large amounts lead to hair fall. Too little of it, and your hair will grow thin and dry while speeding up its aging process.
How Does Chronic Stress Affect the Health of Your Hair?
Credit: Engin Akyurt
Without getting too much into the scientific jargon, chronic stress has been shown in numerous studies to inhibit the growth of hair. This can lead to breakage, because of the halt in the growth cycle of the hair follicles; the resting phase of the hair follicles. You will be alarmed when within a few months your hair easily falls out when you bathe, brush your hair, or even run your fingers through them.
With stress the scalp tends to get itchy and flaky, therefore making it more irritable. Sometimes it might get so irritable that you have to scratch your scalp, which only worsens the existing problem. it might also lead to alopecia, which is an auto-immune condition. Inflammation of the scalp, flaking, and itching can be addressed by a few well-known home remedies, but they will not give you a longer-lasting solution. These will just be for temporary relief for the symptoms. What you want to do is get to the root of the problem- no pun intended- instead of going with a 'band-aid strategy'.
Is Hair Loss Permanent?
Loss of hair by stress is not permanent, however. Regrowth of hair will happen at a different pace for each person. But if you take a few steps in managing your stress you will be able to fasten this process.
How Can You Beat the Stress?
Stress and hair loss go hand in hand and so in order to reduce it, you need to be able to control stress.
1) Exercise Regularly
You don't need to do something very strenuous. Long walks or light exercise will do just fine. You could even indulge in hobbies that require you to move around quite a bit. Gardening, a game of catch, rearranging your room, taking your dog out for a walk, etc. are some ways you can ensure you are not sedentary.
2) Keep a Diary
Most effective before you go to bed- keep a diary by your bedside. Getting your thoughts out of your head and onto paper is probably one of the best things you can do to reduce your stress levels, not to mention have a good night's sleep.
3) Deep Breathing
There is a lot of talk surrounding breathing, yoga, and its benefits to overall health. To close on this news, deep breathing in particular can do wonders for stress levels. Do it for about five minutes before you go to bed and right after you wake up. Time both, your inhales and exhales, to be equal. You can find out the science behind this tip yourself! It is most certainly very interesting!
A lot of the external factors contribute to extreme stress. Looking good helps you feel good. More specifically, it boosts your self-esteem. Self-esteem has been repeatedly shown to be closely related to stress. Regular exercise, a healthy diet, and elevating your outfits and style can boost your self-image. Even having a good grip of your surroundings, which would include decluttering your space, organizing things so you can find them easily, reduces stress. The idea of comfort will always be a relief to your mind.
No one wants the sight of loose hair around their room, or on their clothes and other belongings. These are a few of the immediate steps we can take to manage stress so that we can curb stress-induced hair loss as much as we can. If your hair problems persist or worsen, it will be in your best interest to fix an appointment with a doctor or a board-certified dermatologist. There are quite a few medications available to treat hair loss to a certain degree. There are a number of ways to reverse hair loss, so don't worry.
If you are looking for the perfect option to look good, feel comfortable, de-stress and protect your hair, Burlybands has just the thing for you!