Stress and Hair Loss

In today's fast-paced society, it's hard not to let stress get to you. Besides the weight it bears on your mental health, it can also take a physical toll on your body. Stress can affect everything from sleep patterns, mood, to your digestive system. It has also been shown to cause hair loss, often referred to as telogen effluvium, where hair follicles stop growing and become inactive.

What Does Stress-Induced Hair Loss Look Like?

Contrary to popular belief, hair loss from stress doesn't mean all your hair will fall out. It's more likely that those suffering from stress-induced hair loss will see thinning around the top of the scalp and temples rather than the sides and back of the head. While everyone sheds hair follicles daily, hair loss due to stress is usually more excessive and concentrated in one specific area of the scalp. As compared to other types of hair loss, there is usually little to no hairline recession seen with stress-induced hair loss.

How Does It Happen?

When looking at how to prevent and treat stress-induced hair loss, we have to know how hair grows on the scalp. Interestingly, not all hair follicles continuously product hair. They go through cycles of growth that can last around two years and then stop growing and rest for about two months. When hair follicles are in an active growing phase, they are in the anagen phase of the hair cycle. The resting phase, telogen, is when hair follicles are dormant. On a normal, healthy scalp, about 80% of the hair follicles are in the anagen phase, while about 20% are in the telogen phase. During times of stress, more hair follicles go into the telogen phase of dormancy. This process is called telogen effluvium and triggers more and more hair follicles to shed than usual.

What Causes It?

Well, simply put, stress. But, stress can be more complicated than one would think. Even at times when we don't necessarily feel outwardly stressed, our body could be going through high levels of stress and strain. Though stress starts in the brain, it can have physical repercussions and can trigger telogen effluvium. We most commonly associate stress with work or significant life events–even happy ones like weddings. But, more subtle life changes like new medications, diets, or lifestyle shifts can put stress on the body resulting in hair loss. Some of the most common causes of telogen effluvium are chronic stress and diet. But, most of these factors don't cause immediate hair loss since stress can stay with the mind and body for months. Stress-induced hair loss can occur two to three months after a triggering event, meaning prevention can be tricky.

Lifestyle Changes To Help

Stress management is key to preventing further hair loss. One of the first things to trigger stress in the body is an inconsistent or general lack of sleep. Sleep is also paramount because while the body sleeps, protein synthesis takes place, and growth enzymes are released, which are crucial for hair growth. Diet is another essential variable that can affect hair growth and stress levels. Keep a consistent, nutrient-rich diet can help keep the body healthy and balanced. Another critical part of managing stress is making sure to exercise enough. Exercising regularly allows for your body and your mind to reset and expel any built-up stress and tension. Increased exercising can also help maintain a constant sleeping cycle, which can further reduce stress on the mind and body.

How Can Ko Help?

While we can't help reduce your stress levels, we can help kick start sleepy hair follicles back into the growing anagen phase. At Ko, our trio of products is designed to restore scalp health so that hair follicles can return to the growing stage. We've mixed invigorating herbs like peppermint and ginger with Ayurvedic hair growth wonders like shikakai and amla to help you on your journey to stronger, thicker hair.

Ready for thicker hair?