Stress raises noradrenaline levels, which prevents melanocyte stem cells, the cells that give dark hair its color, from functioning properly. This results in greying of the hair.
For many people, hair loss frequently becomes a source of worry. However, have you ever thought about how stress brought on by other circumstances and your general mental health can effect hair loss? Daily physiological or emotional stimuli that the human body is exposed to might throw off the body’s regular functioning if they are not properly regulated. When a balance in regular physiological functioning is upset, the body responds by going into “stress” mode. While the signs and symptoms of stress often result in internal problems, they ultimately become visible from the outside when mild or severe kinds of stress are experienced over an extended period of time. Dietician at Traya Nishita Suratkal discusses how stress affects hair.
Stress, Hormones, And Hair Health: A Connection
According to a cross-sectional study, both men and women who experienced more stress had more severe hair loss. Many people are unaware that stress can cause hair loss, as in the instance of “telogen effluvium,” when many hair shafts prematurely transition from the growth phase to the resting and shedding phase. In other situations, stress can exacerbate an endocrine or medical issue that is the main reason causing hair loss. Additionally, the synthesis of the sleep hormone melatonin is altered by inadequate sleep and sleep deprivation, which can also have an impact on hair. The body may experience physiological stress as a result of this hormone, which also regulates anxiety and depressive states.
In either case, sustained exposure to either physical or psychological stress can lead to an increase in the production of the stress hormone cortisol. The hair follicles’ natural cycle of hair development is disrupted by cortisol. Additionally, higher hormone levels can either cause a reduction in the synthesis of hair cycle modulators such hyaluronic acid and proteoglycans or a large-scale breakdown of these modulators, leaving the scalp with a dry and coarse texture.
How Does Stress Impact The Cycle Of Hair Growth?
The development phase, the transition phase, the resting phase, and the shedding phase are the four stages of the hair growth cycle. The stem cells in the hair follicles experience a decrease in their potential for regeneration under conditions of high stress. The theory that higher corticosteroid levels in the body inhibited hair development and drove the hair follicles into the resting phase, producing poor hair growth or easy hair shedding, was substantiated by a research relating stress and hair loss at Harvard University conducted by Dr. Ya-Chieh Hsu.
The significance of mental health for healthy hair
For a healthy hair cycle and a typical hair growth cycle, maintaining excellent mental health is essential. Therefore, regular stress management must be practiced to regulate stress levels. Chronically being exposed to moderate to high amounts of stress might eventually worsen the condition of your hair and scalp.
Building inner resilience to deal with daily challenges can be facilitated by spending quality time with others who positively impact our lives. Additionally, using relaxation methods like music therapy, meditation, and deep breathing exercises might be beneficial. A soothing head massage can lessen stress and enhance the condition of the scalp and hair.
In conclusion, finding a good work-life balance may be achieved by taking time out of our hectic workdays to cultivate a pleasant mental environment. Additionally, maintaining good mental health and reducing stress are helpful for enhancing overall hair health.