Our hair growth occurs in a cycle that begins with the Anagen or Growing phase, followed by the Catagen or Regression phase and then, by the Telogen or Resting phase and finally the Exogen or Shedding phase. The hair re-enters the Anagen/Growing phase after the Exogen/Shedding phase.
In the resting phase, the hair starts detaching from the follicles, leading to hair fall. One of the main reasons that can trigger hair fall in this stage is physical or emotional stress. Stress can lead to an imbalance of the hormones and confuse the immune system. As a result, your immune system will start attacking the hair roots and this will lead to temporary hair loss or Telogen Effluvium.
Here are some of the ways you can overcome stress and limit hair fall and hair loss.
- TAKE UP A HOBBY: People who are too busy in their lives often reel under stress. They are the ones who need to t ake out time for themselves before anything else and this is where a hobby comes to their rescue. To begin with, it takes your mind off all the work-related or other stress, gives you something to look forward to everyday and helps you stay active.Some of the hobbies that you can take up include but are not limited to – gardening, photography, cooking, baking, reading, writing, creating works of art and craft, sculpting, solving puzzles, learning a new language, playing a musical instrument etc.Hobbies also help you improve your self-esteem and self-confidence. Come to think of it, nothing can be compared to the feeling you get upon seeing your garden in full bloom or getting appreciated for a new poem you wrote the other day!So, take up any hobby that you really enjoy and make a difference to your life.
- EXERCISE REGULARLY: Exercising on a regular basis is the best way to beat stress. Take your pick from brisk walking, jogging, swimming, cycling, martial arts, yoga, aerobics, dancing or just about any other exercise that you like. But make sure that you do exercise on a regular basis for at least half an hour per day. Only then will it prove to be effective for you.Additionally, increase your physical activities especially if you lead a sedentary lifestyle. Taking the stairs instead of elevators, walking to the stores instead of driving, playing with your pet(s), playing a sports etc. are some of the things that will give you a much needed break from being deskbound all the time.
- INCREASE YOUR NUTRITION INTAKE: There is no doubt about the benefits of increasing nutrition in your diet and improving your overall health and well-being. But there are certain food groups, which are especially beneficial for your hair. These include but are not limited to:
- Protein – Hair is made from a special kind of protein called Keratin. Therefore, protein-rich foods are superfoods that assist in the growth of stronger, healthier mane. Without adequate protein, the hair weakens and this may lead to hair loss.
- Iron – Iron-deficiency anemia is one of the leading causes of hair fall. This is because the hair follicles require steady blood supply. A drop in the iron levels lead to iron-deficiency and this takes a toll on hair growth. This is why it is important to increase the intake of iron in your diet.
- Vitamin A – Vitamin A is responsible for producing sebum, which acts as a natural conditioner for the hair. A lack of the Vitamin means low sebum production, which will in turn make the scalp dry and itchy.
- Vitamin B – Vitamin B, especially Biotin (water-soluble B Vitamin) is necessary for hair growth. A lack of this vitamin can lead to dry, brittle hair and hair loss.
- Vitamin C – Along with Vitamin A and B, food that is high in Vitamin C is also good for the hair. It promotes collagen growth and iron absorption by the body.
- Vitamin E – Vitamin E protects the hair from damage. It acts as an antioxidant and repairs the hair.
Zinc, Selenium and Omega-3 Fatty Acids are other essential nutrients, that you can include in your diet to promote healthy hair growth and lessen hair fall/hair loss.
- LEARN HOW TO RELAX: Stress is a by-product of leading hectic lives with no time for relaxation. Learn how to relax by adopting the following steps:
- Meditate: Meditation is tremendously useful to calm your nerves. Even five minutes of meditation early in the morning or before your bedtime can work wonders for your body. Work on increasing the duration and slowly, you’ll find a change from within.
- Deep breathing: Slow, deep breathing is another stress-buster as it lowers your blood pressure and heart rate.
- Sleep: Not getting enough sleep can trigger anxiety and stress and also invite other diseases. Make it a point to sleep for at least 6-8 hours a day.
- Alternative therapies: The effect of alternative therapies is said to be immensely beneficial for stress-relief. An Ayurvedic massage, Aromatherapy, Acupuncture, Acupressure are some of the alternate therapies that relax your body and relieve stress.
- Take a vacation: Sometimes, a quick getaway is all you need to get your mind off from stressful events and occurrences. You can even go on a solo trip to get a perspective, explore the unknown and most importantly, to enjoy your life to the fullest!
Stress and anxiety are bane for your health and your hair in particular. Now that you know what to do, put the points into practice, starting today. Let us know if it makes a difference!