Have you recently noticed a change in your hair? If so, it could be down to the increased levels of stress due to the coronavirus. Indeed researchers at University College of London have already carried out a large-scale survey of 80,000 adults in England and have found a sharp increase in stress levels.
Stress is known to have a direct impact on the hair, leading to issues with thinning and hair loss.
During these unprecedented times, more people than ever before are suffering from increased levels of chronic stress. So, how does stress impact the hair and how can you deal with it if you do suffer from this type of hair loss?
The link between stress and hair loss
High levels of stress can have a devastating impact on the body. It is known to weaken the immune system, cause the muscles to tense up, and raise blood sugar levels. Stress literally changes the way the body functions, including its cells. Unfortunately, hair cells are not immune to the effects of stress and too much of it can trigger temporary hair loss.
The hair loss caused by stress is known as telogen effluvium. This is a more wide-spread type of hair loss that occurs on the scalp. Stress causes internal disturbances within the body, including forcing more hair into the shedding phase.
When you’re stressed, you also don’t tend to look after yourself as much as usual. Poor diet, lack of sleep and skipping meals altogether can all exasperate the problem. The hair is considered a non-essential part of the body. So, when there are nutritional deficiencies caused by a poor diet, the body sends them to the most essential organs and tissues first.
This leaves the hair lacking in nutrients, increasing hair loss and thinning.
High levels of stress are also known to contribute to alopecia areata. Although the exact cause isn’t known, most sudden cases tend to be triggered by a stressful event such as a bereavement or accident.
Can you prevent stress-related hair loss?
The only way to prevent stress-related hair loss is to avoid increased levels of stress. This isn’t always possible, particularly if the stress is caused by an unforeseen event like an accident. However, if you can get into a routine of adding relaxation techniques to your day, it could potentially limit the severity of stress-related hair loss.
How to deal with hair loss caused by stress
The good news about stress-related hair loss is that it is usually only temporary. However, while it will typically clear up by itself, there are some things you can do to speed the process along.
Ensuring you eat a proper diet and stay hydrated will help to protect the hair during periods of stress. However, the most effective method of speeding up the hair’s recovery is by lowering your stress levels. This includes participating in relaxing activities such as yoga, reading and breathing exercises.
There are also temporary treatments available to help speed up hair recovery. These include topical treatments such as Minoxidil.
If you suspect your hair loss could be down to stress, you should seek advice from a hair loss specialist. There are many different causes of hair loss and each requires its own type of treatment. Book a consultation today to determine the cause and best treatment to clear up the problem.