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How Stress Affects Hair Health


We go to great lengths to take care of our hair. From hair masks to keratin treatments, most women have no problem splurging on their hair. 

Although we often strive to grow healthy hair, what most people don’t realize is our hair can actually tell us a lot about our own health. In fact, the condition of our hair can indicate if we are suffering from lack of sleep or chronic stress.

What does stress have to do with my hair?

Glad you asked. 

Seven out of ten adults in the U.S. suffer from stress on a daily basis. If you are one of these individuals battling stress, whether from work or relationships, you and your hair might be paying for it.

Here’s how:

Stress can cause oily hair. 

Stress throws your hormones out of balance. 

Most notably, increased levels of cortisol (aka the stress hormone), can increase oil production. Not only does this oil overdrive affect your scalp, it also affects your skin. Meaning, when you are under stress, you can most likely expect a break out on top of oily hair. Great.

If the length of time you typically go between blowouts is shortened by an oily scalp, stress might be to blame. Although, that is not always the case.

Even worse, stress can cause hair loss.

Temporary hair loss caused by bouts of severe stress is known as telogen effluvium. When you are under stress, hair follicles prematurely stop growing. Often, it’s not until three months later that the hairs actually shed. This can last up to six months.

Hair loss caused by stress is often remedied with treatments that speed up hair growth. But it’s better you get to the root of the problem—treating the stress.

Love your hair, deal with your stress.

1. Get more sleep

Research shows lack of sleep is common culprit to increased stress. If you are logging less than seven hours on a regular basis, your hair might suffer.

Just as we are disciplined about exercise and getting our roots filled every six weeks, we should also be disciplined about our sleeping habits. That means you should create a wind-down routine and stick to it. Our brains don’t just magically shut down at night time; they need to be prepped for sleep.

If you struggle with sleep on a regular basis, take a look at your sleep health from a holistic point of view. Are you experiencing low back pain caused by your mattress? Are there other disturbances to your sleep such as light, noise and temperature?

Assess your sleeping environment for possible disturbances and make adjustments accordingly.

2. Take a break

If stress robs you of sleep more than three nights of week, give yourself a mental break. Maybe that means taking a day off work to refocus. If that’s not possible, consider working 20 minutes of meditation into your daily routine.

Practicing meditation before bed helps relax your mind and body after facing a busy day. It’s even been known for improving breathing, reducing stress, and calming anxieties.

If you love your hair, and we know you do, give it the TLC it deserves. If you are experiencing issues with hair loss or excess oil, you can always come see the experts at A Suite Salon.


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.


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