Emotional and physical stress can cause hair loss or alopecia. Some examples of physical stress include high fever, childbirth, surgery, or acute illness. Emotional stress can be severe and affect the normal growth of hair. If you know your hair loss is due to stress, you can take certain steps to deal with it.
How Does Stress Cause Hair Loss?
Stress related alopecia include three different types:
- Telogen Effluvium: This type of hair loss is the result of severe stress that pushes hair follicles into a resting phase. You may lose the affected hair while combing or washing.
- Trichotillomania: This type of hair loss is due to an irresistible urge to pull out your hair. Many people develop this condition and they want to pull out hair from eyebrows, scalp, and other areas of the body. They do it because of feelings such as tension, stress, boredom, loneliness, or frustration.
- Alopecia Areata: This type of hair loss refers to a situation when your immune system mistakenly attacks your hair follicles. This usually is the result of severe stress and often leads to baldness.
How to Deal with Stress Related Alopecia
Identify the underlying cause of your alopecia is important, and you can also try ways to deal with alopecia. Here are some suggestions:
1. Manage Stress Better
Since your hair loss is the result of stress, reducing stress will significantly improve your condition. You can try the following ways to keep stress under control:
- Meditate: You can meditate to reduce stress. Find a relaxing place with no distraction and close your eyes. Now, recite a phrase and focus your attention on it. The idea is to forget about other thoughts that make you feel stressed out. Overtime, meditation helps change your brain's neural pathways and makes it easier to deal with stress.
- Socialize: Do not isolate yourself when you are under stress. Go spend time with friends and do not mind talking to a good friend about your stressors. Talking about what puts you under stress can actually make you feel better.
- Belly Laugh: It may seem difficult when you are under stress, but you can always find something to laugh about and forget about your own worries, even if it is for a short time. A good laugh can actually trigger the release of feel-good hormones that improve your mood and reduce your stress levels.
- Music: Listening to calming music can really help relieve stress. Many people believe that learning to play a musical instrument is even better than listening to something soothing. See what works better for you.
- Stay Active: Stress can make you feel tired but you should push yourself to get up and get moving. Exercise can help change your depressed mood by producing endorphins. Anything like a brisk walk for 10 minutes can work wonders.
2. Increase Your Protein Intake
You can improve the condition of your hair just by including more protein in your diet. It works even when you have stress related alopecia. Protein is important because your hair is composed of it. The good thing is that if your hair is falling out because of insufficient protein, you can resolve the issue by adding more protein-rich food in your diet.
- Include more fish in your diet, such as salmon, tuna, and halibut.
- Have more of white poultry, such as chicken and turkey.
- Enjoy dairy products such as cheese, milk, and yogurt.
- Include more beans in your diet. White, kidney, black, and lima beans just work great.
3. Get More B Vitamins
When you have stress related alopecia, managing stress should always be your first priority. However, you should also consider increasing your intake of vitamins because they are essential for health hair growth. Also, pay attention to limiting your intake of vitamin A because it triggers hair fall.
- You can always find supplements to increase your intake of B vitamins. Eating more fish, starchy veggies, lean mean, and non-citrus fruits can also help provide your body with more B vitamins.
- Limit your intake of supplements that contain vitamin A. You need to ensure that you are not getting more than 5000 IU of vitamin A per day.
4. Stay Away from Low-Calorie Diets
Many people opt for a low-calorie diet in order to lose weight, but it is not always the right thing to do because it can lead to malnutrition. Losing weight quickly with the help of a low-calorie diet is not a good idea because it puts too much physical stress on your body. Your body may not get enough nutrients, which will cause several health issues, including problems like hair fall.
You should work with a professional and lose weight gradually. Starvation tactics are never going to work. Ensure that you do not lose more than 2 pounds a week. Moreover, you may want to include some healthy high-calorie foods in your diet. Some great choices include avocados, nuts, and oily fish.