Hair loss and stress are directly related, and it’s helpful to know how you can manage these conditions. Learn more about the causes and treatment of stress-related hair loss here!
In this article:
- Identify and Avoid Triggers
- Work Out Regularly
- Be Mindful of Your Diet
- Try Relaxation Techniques
- Manage Your Time
- Invest in Me-Time
- Get Help
7 Stress Management Tips to Prevent Hair Loss
What Causes Stress-Related Hair Loss?
Hair loss may occur because of extreme or chronic stress. There are three hair loss conditions aggravated by stress:
- Telogen effluvium
- Alopecia areata
Telogen effluvium is a condition where hair follicles go into a resting phase because of stress. When you wash or comb the hair in these resting follicles, they can easily fall out.
Trichotillomania is a psychological disorder where individuals have the urge to pull out their own hair. Stress, negative emotions, frustration, and boredom can trigger this urge.
Alopecia areata is a condition where the body’s immune system attacks hair follicles, which leads to hair loss. Various factors contribute to this condition, including stress.
If stress is the primary cause of hair loss, then it’s not necessarily permanent. It’s possible to prevent further hair loss if you can manage your stressors.
Stress Management Tips
1. Identify and Avoid Triggers
To manage stress, you need to figure out which situations cause stress. It’s different for everyone, so it might be helpful if you use a journal to keep track of your daily activities.
Take note of the activities that cause you anxiety. Over time, you may notice a pattern.
Once you identify your triggers, you can find ways to avoid or even eliminate them altogether. If these are activities you can’t completely avoid, try developing coping mechanisms to deal with them.
You can use coping mechanisms before, during, and after you encounter a stressor. It can involve behavioral, emotional, and situational regulation.
Identifying your stressors is especially important if you have trichotillomania because stress can trigger the hair-pulling compulsion.
2. Work Out Regularly
Regular exercise not only improves your overall health, but it also helps relax your body and improves your mood. It’s important to make a habit of exercising, so you can reap its stress-relieving benefits.
You can start slow and work your way up to two hours of moderate exercise or an hour of vigorous exercise each day. Here are some examples of moderate and vigorous exercises you can try:
- Moderate exercises – brisk walking, tennis, dancing
- Vigorous exercises – swimming laps, jogging, basketball
An added bonus of regular exercise is that it helps improve blood flow in your body. It promotes the efficient delivery of oxygen and nutrients to different parts of your body, including your scalp.
3. Be Mindful of Your Diet
You’re more prone to stress and other negative feelings if you’re not getting the energy you need from your diet.
Make it a habit to eat well-balanced meals. Try not to skip any meals, too.
Remember, chronic stress actually increases your metabolic needs. When you experience stress, you need more nutrients to turn into energy.
Apart from ensuring your energy stores, nutrient deficiency from a poor diet can also lead to an increase in hair loss.
If you think your diet is contributing to your hair loss, try adding these foods that promote hair growth to your diet:
- Eggs – a great source of protein and biotin
- Berries – contains vitamins and antioxidants
- Spinach – rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, folate, and iron
- Fish – a good source of omega-3 fatty acids
Try incorporating these foods in a meal with other grains, vegetables, fruits, and lean protein.
4. Try Relaxation Techniques
Relaxation techniques can help you wind down after a stressful experience. Here are a few things you can do:
- Stretch your muscles.
- Get a massage.
- Take a nice, long, warm bath.
- Try breathing exercises.
- Get a good night’s rest.
Remember, it’s usually chronic stress that has a significant impact on hair loss, so it’s important to manage your daily stressors as they come.
5. Manage Your Time
If your day-to-day is usually busy and jam-packed with activities, maybe it’s a sign that you need to slow down. Here are some tricks that may be able to buy you more time:
- Set your watch 10 minutes earlier. That way, you can avoid rushing and the stress of being late.
- Make a to-do list and delegate what you can’t accomplish. This helps manage your expectations and helps you avoid feelings of failure.
- Get enough sleep. When you’re well-rested, you’ll have more energy to accomplish what you need to do for the day.
- Avoid procrastination. If you keep putting tasks off, they tend to pile up. Sooner or later, the tasks may begin to overwhelm you.
Managing your time is a great way to prevent chronic stress from creeping up on you. Your hair will thank you for it later!
6. Invest in Me-Time
Stress management doesn’t only involve minimizing and responding to stressors but also doing things you enjoy. They don’t have to take up too much of your time.
Setting aside an hour or so each day for an activity you truly enjoy can make a difference.
Here are some examples of activities you can do during me-time:
- Art projects
- Playing a sport
- Watching your favorite television show/movie
- Playing board games
- Solving puzzles
- Listening to music
- Spending time outdoors
It may seem counterintuitive to make time for yourself when you’re so busy, but everyone needs to set aside time to take care of their well-being. Me-time helps you recharge, so you can manage your stress more effectively.
7. Get Help
When things get really stressful, it can be helpful to talk about it with someone. Talk to your friends, family, or co-workers about what’s bothering you.
When you talk things through, you may gain new insights into your stressors. It may help you understand them from a new perspective or consider a new solution.
There are also mental health professionals who can help you, like therapists or counselors. Remember, no man is an island, so reach out and let others in to help you manage stress.
Sometimes, hair loss is also a source of stress, and it can also impact your self-esteem. The good news is you can prevent it and even try to remedy it.
When used together, they can help prevent further hair loss and promote hair growth. So if you want to be proactive about managing your hair loss, consult your doctor, so you can try these treatments as you continue to manage your stress.
Have you tried any of these stress management techniques? How did it go? Let us know in the comments section below.