Stress and Hair - How Stress Affects Hair Loss

Written by: RKT Hair Care Team


Time to read 5 min

Overview: How stress affects the body

Whether it be from a busy day at work, an argument you had with a friend, grief, or an important essay due, we all have had to deal with stressful situations. When we deal with a stressful situation, the body's main stress-hormone called cortisol spikes. Cortisol is produced by our adrenal glands and is often referred to as the body's emergency signal which in turn is used by the brain to control other cognitive functions such as our emotions and actions. Though everyone deals with stress at some point during their life, dealing with constant and large amounts of stress can negatively affect the body by causing other health issues such as anxiety, trouble sleeping, and even digestive issues. You may also notice when you are feeling stressed that you experience increased hair loss and issues related to scalp health. This article will delve into greater detail about how stress affects hair loss, overall health of the scalp, and some tips for combatting stress.

doctor treating hair loss

Stress can affect scalp health and cause hair loss

Though not everyone dealing with large amounts of stress may experience hindered hair and scalp health, many people who are chronically stressed may face more scalp issues and even hair loss. When you experience stress, your body may feel like it is in fight or flight and hormones such as cortisol are triggered to help manage this response. When someone is dealing with stress more often than they should or chronically, this imbalance or hormones could create a variety of issues with hair and scalp health. For one, stress related hormone imbalances may lead to scalp conditions such as dandruff, psoriasis, and seborrheic dermatitis. Increased risk of scalp conditions such as the ones named above, as well as others occur as a result of hormone imbalances which in turn disrupt the skin barrier on the scalp as well as a normal hair growth cycle. As a result, someone dealing with stress-induced hair loss may experience more hair fall and slower hair regrowth.

Though many of life’s stressful situations may be out of our hands, there are many things that we can do to help combat stressful situations and help our bodies recover. There are also many ways to help soothe and prevent further contribution to hair fall and scalp irritation. Making big lifestyle changes on top of a busy schedule can be daunting, which is why we put together some simple yet effective ways to combat stress.

Tips For Managing Stress

Tip #1 - Make time to exercise

One simple way to help reduce stress is through making time to get some exercise into your routine. Whether is be a 10-minute walk or taking a cycling class, exercise is a fantastic way to reduce stress levels. Exercise is often recommended by physicians and mental health professionals is for its ability to boost endorphins, also known as the hormones that increase the body's feeling of well-being. In addition to boosting endorphins, implementing exercise into your routine also improves your overall health by strengthening your cardiovascular, digestive, and immune systems. If you are curious about how stress affects hair loss and looking for a way to manage stress, try finding an exercise routine that works best for you.

person running

Tip #2 - Find a way to relax your mind

There are several ways to wind down and stay centered during increased stress. Just a few ways to help calm the mind include, journaling, crocheting, spending time with friends, and meditating. Meditation is a compelling way to manage stress for its ability to improve mental clarity and calm jumbled thoughts. Several studies suggest that regular meditation could help relieve other stress-related issues, including gastrointestinal issues and anxiety. If you are wondering how stress affects hair loss and looking for ways to help keep a clear mind and better prepare for stressful situations, try relaxing practices such as meditation.

woman meditating

Tip #3 - Keep an eye on your diet

Many times during periods of increased stress we may lean towards picking up fast food because it is quick and convenient or an energy drink because we just didn't get enough sleep last night. Though picking up an energy drink, and grabbing that bag of potato chips may have been quick and convenient in the moment, excessive consumption of these foods could lead to issues such as increased inflammation of the body. When our bodies are under stress, it is crucial to make sure we get the nutrients we need to stay healthy and fueled to take on life's challenges.

If you are wondering how stress affects hair loss and looking for ways to help reduce it, there are quick and easy swaps you can make in your diet to give your body essential nutrients for combatting stress. One change you can implement is opting for green tea instead of a sugary energy drink. Green tea will not only give you a boost of energy but is also rich in antioxidants that are essential for skin and hair health. Furthermore, consider including fiber and vitamin-rich leafy greens and/or seasonal veggies with your meals. Here is a quick and energizing smoothie recipe with many essential nutrients for hair health all packed in one!

fruits and vegetables

Healthy hair practices for reducing hair loss

If you are experiencing hair loss due to stress there are some simple yet effective things that you can do to keep from unintentionally contributing to further hair shedding and disrupting regrowth. One simple change you can make within your haircare routine is to ensure that you are being as gentle as possible when brushing and styling your hair as well as using gentle hair care products. When brushing your hair to eliminate tangles, make sure you are brushing gently as to not disrupt already fragile hair. Furthermore, try to limit the use of heat-styling tools and tight hairstyles such as buns and ponytails. These hairstyles place a lot of tension on the scalp that may contribute to further hair loss and breakage. If you are experiencing hair loss, consider hair care products that are aimed towards improving scalp health. RKT Hair Care's Scalp Treatment is a great product to consider if you are experiencing hair loss because it features ingredients such as niacinamide, peptides, castor oil, and caffeine. These ingredients are great for maintaining a healthy scalp, encouraging hair growth, and protecting against damage and hair fall.

woman brushing hair