The majority of us face stress on a day to day basis, but it tends to spike around the holiday season. Between parties and Christmas shopping, overspending and waaay too much family time, holiday stress comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Aside from lots of overthinking and restlessness, emotional stress can change your hormone levels and cause a physical impact, including hair loss.
A healthy head typically loses 50-100 strands of hair per day, but anything more than that can be a cause for concern. Excessive hair loss can be a condition called telogen effluvium—it’s triggered by severe stress, like a major life event such as a pregnancy or death…a serious shock to the system. This is because stress increases levels of cortisol which directly disrupts hair growth. If you’ve started to notice more significant hair loss, get ahead of it now! This condition can cause hair to lose up to a third of its volume. Don’t worry, telogen effluvium hair loss is usually temporary. But be sure to implement these 6 easy tips to keep stress levels low and hair thick and growing, no matter what sort of stress you’re dealing with during your day to day.
Weight tends to fluctuate during the holidays. Whether we treat ourselves a little too much, or try to avoid weight gain by restrictive eating, drastic weight loss (or gain) can trigger hair to fall out, especially if your body isn’t getting enough protein. Nutritional deficiencies can put a lot of stress on your body, causing hormones to fluctuate. Round out your diet in a healthy way—stick to nutrient-rich eating, like the Mediterranean diet. It helps you eat lean while getting your daily dose of protein, fruits, veggies and whole grains in the process.
Get Plenty of Sleep
Even though there’s lots to do during the holidays, make it a priority to spend quality time with your pillow for at least 7-9 hours each night. Sleep deprivation directly correlates to stress—without enough sleep, it becomes all that more difficult to handle stressful situations with a level head. A good night’s sleep helps the body and mind to recharge and reboot for the day ahead.
Exercise can look different to everyone—you don’t have to train for a marathon to get a daily dose of exercise. Whether it’s a walk, a 15-minute YouTube pilates class, or a yoga session, it’s important to get out and move your body because exercise is a natural stress reliever. It pumps up your endorphins (a natural hormone that improves your mood and alleviates stress) and boosts your mood for more energy and optimism throughout the day.
Get a Therapist
Stress starts with emotions before it impacts the body. Navigating your thoughts, emotions and moods isn’t an easy undertaking. That’s where a good therapist can seriously improve your quality of life. Therapists have all the tips and tools that you can implement when you feel a stressful situation coming on. With the emotional stress under control, it’s less likely that it will escalate into a physical flare up.
Even though it’s supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year, ironically, the holiday season causes a lot of depression, a sense of loneliness and major anxiety. To keep stress levels low, carve out the time to relax. Between busy schedules, social lives and long work hours, it’s hard to avoid getting run down. Watch a movie, take a bath or treat yourself to a massage to keep stress levels under control.
Invest in the Right Hair Products
Telogen effluvium usually doesn’t go away until the stress factor is removed, but you can give your hair a helping hand along the way. It’s important to provide your hair with the right tools to stay healthy even when stress levels are high. Support your hair with the right serum to reduce unwanted shedding and hair loss while stimulating the follicles.
The extreme stress that often comes with the holidays can be crippling. We don’t realize how strong emotions can be and the impact they can have on the body. To protect your hair (and the other physical implications that come with stress), it’s important to put your mental health first.
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