We all care about hair. We all spend time tending to our hair and paying money for cuts, color, blowouts, and more, as a means of personal expression and beauty. But what does our hair really say about us and our health? What does the shininess, texture, and volume of our hair say about what kind of lifestyle we live and how we take care of ourselves? The answer is ALOT. See the following five factors below that help shape and determine the state of our manes.
Stress: Stress affects so many of us every day. Stress can cause your hair to be oily and can throw your hormones out of balance, causing you to lose hair. The stress hormone even causes more oil on your hair and skin, leading to breakouts on your skin. The good news is that hair loss due to stress is not permanent, where it will heal and replenish on its own. Significant emotional distress brought on by a life-altering event or major loss can cause enough stress to trigger hair loss, but that situation too is remedied with time and sleep.
Sleep: Sleep is the best natural remedy for stress causing you to lose hair. If you want to curb the impact stress has on your hair, then you need to make sure you have quality sleep. Sleep and stress are reciprocal. A lack of sleep can cause increased stress, and stress can cause you to experience sleep disturbance. If stress is robbing you of much needed ZZZs, then consider your lifestyle. Take a day off or consider a form of meditation. Also, consider your bedroom and investing in bedding and a mattress that are most comfortable and appropriate for you. For example, are you a side sleeper? Since sleep is so critical to stress reduction and also your cognitive, emotional, and physical wellbeing, it pays to adjust your lifestyle to ensure you are getting enough quality sleep.
Medication: The medications you use, while most are necessary, can impact your hair texture. Essentially anything you put into your body will reflect in the quality of your hair, like painkillers, acne treatments, and prescription drugs. Medications can also cause hair loss, such as blood-thinning medications, oral contraceptives, and antidepressants. Chemotherapy is notorious for swift and total hair loss. The good news is that for all these types of medications, once you stop them, your hair will grow back.
Chemical treatments: Bleaching, coloring, and perming your hair all have dramatic consequences for your hair. A chemical color treatment can actually alter your hair’s structure. The good thing is that this factor is something you have control over, and there are safer methods of chemical treatments than others. Not only do cosmetic procedures have a serious impact on your hair, but excessive washing does as well. Excessive washing strips our hair of natural oils that help protect and regulate it. Over styling with heated tools and excessive blow drying can cause breakage and hair loss.
Diet: How many nutrients we put in our body as part of well balanced diet determines the shine and volume of our hair in a significant way. Avoid nutritional deficiencies like iron, and reconsider low protein or crash diets. Since protein and amino acids are the building blocks of life, including for quality hair, a lack of protein can slow hair growth. Also watch out for low Biotin or Vitamin H levels as that causes slow hair growth. Consider the following foods for optimum hair growth.
Beauty isn’t all superficial. True beauty is healthy, and it pays off to take care of yourself when there are proactive choices you can make to improve both your internal health and the output of your hair at the same time. Not all factors that impact hair are avoidable, like aging or medications that you have to take, but there are a number of factors which you can control that will promote the quality and longevity of your hair over time.
Authored by Lisa Smalls
About the Author: Lisa is a freelance writer from North Carolina. Her battle with insomnia since her teenage years has grown her passion for educating readers on the importance of sleep health. When she isn’t writing, you can find her at cycling class or trying a new recipe on the kitchen.