The correct term for temporary hair loss which is caused by stress or a trauma is ‘telogen effluvium.’ Hair loss is natural, however, hair loss related to stress can cause an excessive amount of hair loss as the natural growth /rest cycle of the hair is affected. Usually, around 80-90% of the hair follicles that are present on our scalp are actively growing. The remain 10-20% are in the resting phase.
As we’ve mentioned, stress is one factor which can cause telogen effluvium and below are some of the factors which can cause us stress:
- Malnutrition caused by excessive dieting or eating unhealthily
- Pregnancy and childbirth
- An acute illness
- A severe physical injury
- The sudden stoppage of oral contraceptives
- Severe emotional stress
Preventing Telogen Effluvium
Telogen effluvium will, in fact, resolve once the factors that are causing you to stress are over and your body begins to get back to normal. Irrespective of this, there are things that you can do to make sure that you take good care of yourself which will help your hair to get back to its normal cycle:
- Make sure that your diet is healthy and you are eating lots of nutrients, proteins, fruits and vegetables.
- Be gentle with your hair, especially when using heat appliances and styling your hair.
- If you have any deficiencies then take a vitamin/mineral supplement e.g. folic acid, iron, B12 etc.
Reduce Stress Levels
Although you may think it, stress is not something that you can control and manage. Stress is something that exists inside of you and it is your body’s response to what it thinks is a threat.
If stress is a persistent issue for you then you need to get your stress levels in control. An effective way of reducing stress levels is through the relaxation technique of meditation. We will provide you with 6 ways that meditation can help to reduce and control your stress levels and improve your health and well-being:
- It Promotes Good Sleep and Relaxation
The majority of us are sleep deprived and this can increase irritability and our stress levels. Meditation can be very effective for treating insomnia and therefore help you to get the sleep that you need in order to maintain good emotional and physical health.
- It Reverses the Effects of Stress
When meditating your body is in a relaxed state and can experience healing effects which are the opposite of the stress response (aka the fight or flight response) such as,
- Normalized blood pressure
- Decreased heart rate
- Reduction of stress hormones i.e. adrenaline and cortisol
- Deeper breathing.
Regular meditation allows your body to benefit from a deep rest. This then helps our body to restore its normal balance.
- It Releases Emotional Turmoil
When we meditate, we are able to observe how we feel and reflect on our thoughts from a more objective perspective. Once we can do this, we become able to see the reason for our thoughts and moods. This helps us to eradicate any negativity that we hold against ourselves. Once we realize that we don’t need to repress our emotions, we improve our well-being and ultimately, we feel less stressed.
- It Improves Attention and Focus
A lot of us feel stressed as we have too much going on and we, therefore, struggle to juggle multiple things at the same time. In fact, scientists have discovered that our brains are actually no good at multi-tasking when it is conscious! When we meditate we are able to train our brains to concentrate on one thing at a time and remain focused, instead of being easily distracted. When we are focused we feel more effective and therefore less stressed too.
- It Can Alter the Stress Patterns in Our Brains
When we meditate we can create new neural connections and we can even change aspects of our brain, this includes its structure. This can promote calmness and decrease stress related patterns.
- It Increases Our Well Being Chemicals
When we meditate we release well-being neurotransmitters which produce feelings related to calmness and focus. These neurotransmitters include:
This chemical helps us to feel calm and relaxed, releases tension and helps us to focus.
This chemical helps to reduce the feelings related to pain as well as reduce the side effects linked to stress.
This chemical is important in helping us regulate sleeping patterns, mood, feel pleasure and remain focused.
When we meditate we release these chemicals, something that’s not possible through taking medication.
When we keep our stress levels at bay, not only do we nurture our emotional and physical well-being by treating our mind and body well, we also help to maintain a healthier head of hair on our shoulders, as Mother Nature intended.