Stress is one of those silent killers in the modern world and it doesn’t do your hair any favors either. As scientists discover more about the various types of stressors on the body and mind, the connections become clearer: stress can be connected to hair loss in real ways.
Hair restoration patients are also advised to reduce stress in order to get the most mileage from treatments like hair transplants, forehead reduction, and other medical interventions. With excess stress removed, the better the body can heal.
Let’s walk through the ways that you can regain hair after a stressful event or having experienced chronic stress for years. These tips will help you make the most of whatever hair restoration plan you have in place and set the stage for better results.
Not all forms of stress are equal. It’s sometimes hard to look objectively at what might cause stress in our lives. If you’ve noticed significant hair loss in a short timeframe, try to zoom out and identify potential causes for these changes as they relate to your lifestyle, habits, and mindset.
Some instances may be clear, such as a major medical event or a change in employment or relationships. Other cases could be far more subtle and require more personal reflection.
No matter the type and scope of your stress, this is step one in your journey back to complete well-being and the healthy head of hair growth you deserve.
If your hair loss was rapid and completely unpredictable with no clear connection to a cause, consult a hair loss specialist to get a more accurate diagnosis.
Doctors in this field are equipped to identify unusual hair loss patterns such as telogen effluvium, trichotillomania, and alopecia areata. These conditions are rarer than the typical case of androgenetic alopecia but are likely linked more closely to stress. They may need closer medical supervision to overcome this type of hair loss.
Even if you choose to tackle this process on your own, input from a leading physician like Dr. Jae Pak can make a world of difference in your results.
For many people, stress is accompanied by a lack of proper hygiene, grooming, or general self-care habits. The pressure of work or personal obligations might mean you’re dedicating 100% of your time and energy to others while totally neglecting your own well-being.
It might seem like a minor fix, but prioritizing hygiene and grooming can be an effective first step on your return journey to healthy hair after stress-induced thinning hair or balding. Create a schedule of self-care practices each morning and evening, and try to stick to them no matter what life throws your way.
We drastically underestimate the influence of diet in all areas of health, from physical and cognitive performance to our appearance, including hair restoration. Nutritional deficiencies won’t do your body any favors. An unhealthy diet not only starves the body of key nutrients and building blocks for hair but also worsens the effects of stress from other sources.
Commit to a healthy diet with lean proteins, unprocessed carbohydrates, and plenty of colorful fruits and veggies. Along with proper hydration and limited junk food, bouncing back from stress-induced hair loss could be far easier. Choose a balanced diet and you’ll help support your immune system function in the process.
Most people have no problem committing to healthy habits — until stress kicks in. That’s when the real test begins. For instance, quitting smoking is easier on vacation but way more challenging during a stressful work week or grad school exams.
However, if you can reduce or totally eliminate unhealthy habits, hair loss from stress could be a thing of the past.
You’ve probably heard of lavender, tea tree, rosemary, and peppermint essential oils. Clinical studies on the topic are in short supply. While some people swear by essential oils, stick to scientifically-proven research so you don’t waste your time and money on something that may not work (or could potentially do more damage to your mental health when it doesn’t work in the long run).
Our immediate environment has a huge impact on our quality of life and health standards, including hair restoration. If you’re constantly in a cold, dry environment without much natural sunlight and lots of synthetic chemicals, that might spell disaster for your hair long term.
It’s time to start looking at smaller sources of environmental stress and do what you can to improve them. Air purification, humidification, and using natural cleaning supplies are a few steps you can take to improve the space where you live.
The world of supplementation is vast and confusing, but hair restoration experts recommend a simple combination of multivitamins and some sort of hair-strengthening complex. This may include collagen, biotin, or other supplements that bring hair back to full strength.
It’s best to meet with a hair restoration specialist to determine the best course of action for you. Your specialist can make adjustments down the road if needed.
The best way to combat stress, and the effects of stress hormones, is to employ proven stress management techniques that directly benefit your body, mind, and hairline. Favorite coping techniques include meditation, yoga, counseling, journaling, and regular exercise.
Everyone responds differently to these inputs, so there’s no substitute for experimentation. Try everything from weightlifting and cardio to saunas, steam rooms, massage, and more to see what works best for you.
The benefits of technology are plentiful, but our reliance on devices has taken us away from the natural world. Most hair restoration professionals agree that this has a negative effect on hair health, whether it’s a lack of sun, EMF exposure, or just a lack of fresh air.
Aim to spend more time outside if you can, ideally during a time with moderate UV levels that can help reset hormones and natural processes. Better yet, block off a couple of hours per week to disconnect from devices altogether and enjoy what nature has to offer.
Low-level infrared light therapy can potentially deliver many benefits to the body, including general stress reduction. In simple terms, this type of light energizes the various systems of the body at a cellular level, allowing them to do their job with more efficiency and energy.
This could help the body recover from all types of stress, including physical training, illness, and everyday activity. Patients that undergo RLT report better sleep, improved mood, and a range of other benefits. It’s an alternative therapy technique that can help some people lower their stress levels.
With collagen induction therapy, microscopic punctures are made in the skin, which responds by producing enzymes and growth factors for improved hair quality and quantity. While some patients experiment at home with basic derma roller rolls, professional treatments like microchanneling tend to offer better results with fewer side effects.
Just a few microchanneling sessions per year can dramatically improve skin and hair strength, while also combating stress with a relaxing routine.
The best hair restoration doctors won’t jump straight to a medication prescription without addressing the issues we’ve discussed above. However, topical minoxidil or oral finasteride may help in your hair loss treatment efforts. Of course, you’ll need to visit a dermatologist to determine if your hair loss is genetic male pattern baldness before looking into your options.
If you’ve taken steps to reduce emotional stress and achieve a balanced lifestyle, yet you still experience hair shedding or feel like you have a receding hairline, it may be time to consider a surgical intervention. Take a look at a hair transplantation to help fill in any remaining gaps in the hairline.
High-volume FUT “strip surgery” is better for large quantities of hair grafts, while smaller FUE treatments are popular for patients looking to incrementally restore their hair. By following the steps we’ve covered here, you give your hair the best chance to take root and new hair to grow back stronger than ever in the years to come.
Connect with a proven hair loss team and see what options are available.
There’s no doubt that stress is a hidden cause of hair loss, and the stress from hair loss can only make the cycle worse. It’s time to stop that cycle in its tracks and regain control with healthy habits and smart therapeutic tactics discussed here.
Visit a dermatology office to determine if your hair loss is genetic. If not, then don’t waste any time. Connect with a hair restoration professional like Dr. Jae Pak for the best treatment options for you.
Speak with Jae Pak, M.D. today!Request a Consultation