The Effect Of Stress On Your Hair
Stress is a killer; that's already been established. What most people don't know, however, is the extent of its effect on the human body. Though we often associate it with sheer fatigue, there's an undeniable link between stress, anxiety, hair loss and a bad scalp.
Stress and Hair Loss
Studying in college or meeting a deadline at work are arguably among the most stressful events we'll encounter. There's simply too much to handle sometimes and we're often at our wits' end figuring out how to juggle everything and still end the day fresh and sane.
Stress forces the body to undergo a change in routine, and in the case of hair, causes an unusual amount of hair to be shed in one place. This is where the myth of hair falling from one place comes from; it's not necessarily a large clump of hair that's fallen out; the shedding just happens to be localized there due to stress.
One thing to remember, though, is that the kind of stress that can cause our hair to start shedding is more psychological than emotional. This means we can't blame our extreme hair shedding to being stood up on a date. Rather, a combination of stressful events, 'toxic' environments, and changing diets causes this.
Addressing Hair Loss: Sleep!
The solution to addressing hair loss is actually quite simple, just sleep more! The biggest cause of stress is when we don't get enough time to sleep and eat properly, and as these become reoccurring, the stress levels begin piling up. While we can't necessarily avoid staying up late to study for an exam or finish a project, it's imperative that we compensate for our lack of sleep during the weekends.
By getting enough sleep and making sure to eat at the right times, we'll be able to rearrange our body's routine and minimize the effect stress has on our hair. It's also a good idea to stay away from potential stressors as these can further aggravate the condition. It's always a good idea to spare some time to de-stress and cool down.
Itch and Anxiety
Sudden hair loss isn't the only thing that we'll potentially experience once the stress becomes too much to handle. There's a clear physiological link between anxiety and an itchy scalp.
Stress increases skin sensitivity, including that of your scalp. Your scalp comes into daily contact with a lot of bacteria and germs. With greater stress and anxiety, your skin is more likely to chemically react with these bacteria, causing an uncontrollable itch.
Moreover, stress aggravates your scalp condition. This increases the amount of dandruff on your hair, which then results in greater itch and your incessant scratching of the head.
Preventing the Itch
The first thing that runs through most guys' minds when our scalp starts drying out is to wash it more frequently. This is wrong and it will actually only make the situation worse, especially if we apply the wrong shampoo. It's better if we use a combination of a scalp-protection shampoo + the natural oils in our scalp to hydrate it and nourish it back to full health.
Using a conditioner is also necessary as it will help replenish and rehydrate the scalp. Just make sure to choose the gentler variants, as conditioners that are too strong or too harsh can cause the scalp to dry even faster.
The same goes for the rest of our body. If the stress levels are too high already and we start itching all over, using a milder soap will help soothe the inflammation. Avoid using a scrub when taking a bath and instead use the soap to 'naturally' lather the skin. Abrasive surfaces can tear away recovering and new skin cells, which is counterproductive to recovery.
We can't stop stress in school or at the workplace, but we can do something to reverse its range of nasty effects on the body. When the first few signs of stress crossing over to the physical aspect of our health arises, it's important to take action as soon as possible.