Hair Care | Women

Hair myths: does stress make your hair fall out?

Is it true that stress can lead to hair loss? And does the problem disappear if you reduce your stress levels? We look at the facts

On average, we lose around 100 hairs every day. That might sound like a lot but it’s perfectly normal. However, if this increases significantly for a longer period of time, it’s known as hair loss and we should think about what’s causing it. There are lots of theories about why hair loss happens; pregnancy, dieting, too frequent brushing and stress are all common suspects. So is there any truth to these theories?

Why can stress lead to hair loss?

Just like skin, our hair reflects what’s going on in our lives and our emotions. When we’re under significant stress, it suffers with us, becoming less shiny and more brittle, and losing its vitality. If the stress continues over a longer period of time, so that the stress hormones can’t return to normal levels, this can affect the hair follicles, disturbing normal hair growth and in some cases causing hair loss, either all over the head or in circular patches. This can also happen several months after the stress ends.

Does the hair loss stop once stress is reduced?

As soon as stress levels fall, the hair loss should be reduced. Which sounds more simple than it is because you’ll need to identify what’s causing the stress and then avoid it. One way to try to reduce stress is to try to have a healthy lifestyle and get enough sleep, so your body can recover from your busy day. Yoga and autogenic training, which uses the body’s natural relaxation response, can help reduce stress. But be patient – the hair’s growing cycle is quite slow and it can take several months before you see real improvement. During this time, volume care products can make the hair appear fuller. Tip: stimulate the roots of your hair while you’re washing it, by massaging in the shampoo.

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