Stress is one of the main causes of hair loss.Every time we feel stressed, our body releases cortisol , causing pro-inflammatory effects that inhibit hair growth and damage the scalp.
Why does stress cause hair loss?
With high levels of stress, the adrenal glands increase the secretion of a hormone called cortisol , which at high levels and chronically affects the function of our immune system, increases general inflammation and inflames the hair follicles , affecting the growth cycle of the hair. hair.
If stress levels are high and prolonged over time, in many cases it translates into less hair on the head.We have seen it many times in athletes, trainers, politicians, celebrities or businessmen and high-level executives who, exposed to high levels of stress, lose their hair in a few months and need to resort to treatments to regain their original hair.
In fact, there is scientific evidence that supports the fact that significant emotional stress can be related to at least one type of hair loss: telogen effluvium , that is, the alteration of the hair growth cycle that causes hair loss. .
What is telogen effluvium?
Your scalp has an average of 100,000 hair follicles.Each hair follicle is in constant cycle between the growth phase (anagen, which lasts between 2 and 7 years), the transition phase (catagen, which lasts between 3 and 6 weeks) and rest (telogen, which lasts between 2 and 3 months), in which hair falls out. Significant emotional stress can be a trigger that causes a sudden and abnormal change of the hairs to the telogen phase all at once.
In summary, emotional stress induces a micro-inflammation of the hair follicle.When the microinflammation is chronic, there is a dysregulation of the follicle stem cells that induce the premature catagen phase, which promotes cell death, leading to the telogen phase of fall.
What can cause us significant emotional stress?
Think of a critical and negative event in your life, such as a job dismissal, a broken heart or the loss of a loved one.When this event triggers severe and prolonged stress, the body releases cortisol, leading to micro-inflammation of the follicle.The Covid-19 pandemic is an example of a triggering situation for many of the above stressors.
Hair loss in telogen effluvium generally does not begin until approximately three months after the critical triggering event, as this is the time it takes from when the hair follicles prematurely enter the telogen phase to complete the cycle until hair shedding.
In addition, high levels of stress aggravate other hair loss factors such as hormonal causes, toxins, lack of essential nutrients and metabolic causes, a weakened immune system, inflammation or oxidative stress.
However, there is good news in this regard.This hair loss is temporary and should generally return to its pre-effluvium density, although this process is usually slow - up to about 6 months before the shedding stops, and then a year or two until the lost hair returns. grow up.In some circumstances, the hair does not fully regain its normal density.
How can we prevent telogen effluvium?
Unfortunately, there is no single way to prevent or stop an episode of telogen effluvium, rather a holistic and integrative approach must be used in which it is fought simultaneously with different tactics.
For example, paying attention to emotional health, applying deep breathing techniques regularly, practicing meditation and mindfulness, doing moderate or adequate physical exercise at your level, are useful strategies to reduce the impact of a stressor.
From Olistic, once our hair diagnosis is made, we send you a plan of personalized advice to improve your stress levels among many other factors.This plan will evolve over time and with the improvement of your hair health and healthy habits.The benefits for your well-being go beyond the hair, being our main objective the improvement of the general health of your whole organism.
In turn, we recommend taking dietary supplements with natural adaptogens to balance cortisol levels.Olistic For Men and Olistic For Women incorporate the highest quality adaptogens in their formula to combat stress as a root cause of hair thinning.
One of them is Ashwagandha Sensoril®, the highest quality Ashwagandha dry extract on the market.Contains the highest level of bioactive principles (≥ 10% withanolide glycosides) and the highest levels of bioavailable purity and concentration.This reduces the feeling of daily stress, helps the body to better cope with the stressors of each day and improves the quality and duration of sleep.
Finally, if your hair loss is chronic, irregular, or associated with redness or itchiness, we recommend that you seek medical attention from a dermatologist, trichologist, or hair specialist.