Could Stress from COVID-19 be Causing Hair Loss?
We are living in truly unprecedented times. A global pandemic has affected every aspect of our lives. Even those who have managed to remain healthy are facing economic challenges. Families are having to try to find ways to safely continue with schooling. Normally, in times of stress, we would turn to our friends and family for support, but with in-person visits and travel severely limited, this isn’t always an option. While stress affects everyone differently, some are experiencing symptoms of hair loss. If you have noticed thinning hair or excessive hair shedding, this may be a reversible condition. Learn more about how COVID-19 related stress could be causing hair loss and what steps you should take next.
Types of Stress-Related Hair Loss
Hair loss is also known as alopecia and is common among both men and women, especially as they age. However, hair loss can also be triggered by stress. There are three main types of stress-related hair loss:
- Telogen effluvium occurs during the resting phase of hair growth and reduces the number of hair follicles. The hair will begin to shed and you may notice thin or bare patches. In severe cases, hair follicles all over the body will be affected. Fortunately, hair growth will return to normal once stress levels have been lowered.
- Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease that is triggered by stress. The body will actually begin attacking the hair follicles. Balding patterns are typically circular and can happen all over the body and not just on the head. Over time, you may experience cyclical periods of shedding and regrowth. Reducing stress can help and there are also prescription medications that can be helpful in some cases.
- Trichotillomania is characterized by an impulse to pull out your own hair. This is most common among teens and preteens. Those who experience this impulse may not even notice they are doing or be completely conscious that they are pulling out their hair in order to relieve chronic stress. Once the hair pulling stops, the hair will be able to grow back normally.
Treating Hair Loss
The human head has over 100,00 hair follicles that all go through different growth phases. This makes it easier to recover from stress-related hair loss and enjoy a thick and full head of hair again. The key to treating hair loss is to reduce stress.
Best Ways to Reduce Stress and Encourage Healthy Hair
The COVID-10 pandemic has practically everyone feeling overwhelmed, which can make it a difficult time to try to build healthy habits. Start by incorporating at least one stress-reducing tip per day and continue to build from there.
- Eat a healthy diet. During times of stress, it can be easy to indulge in comfort foods that aren’t necessarily packed with the nutrients our bodies need. However, healthy foods can help reduce cortisone levels, introduce helpful antioxidants, and boost our mood and energy levels.
- Exercise. With gyms closed and our normal routines thrown out the window, getting regular exercise can be easier said than done. When trying to incorporate exercise back into your day, start small. Even a thirty-minute walk per day can make a positive impact. Plus, if you have a dog, they will definitely appreciate the effort.
- Meditate. The benefits of daily meditation are innumerable. Studies show that it isn’t just about reducing stress in the short-term. Regular meditation can actually change the structure of your brain and improve memory, boost your mood, reduce anxiety, and help you concentrate. Just five minutes a day can make it easier to handle the daily challenges of dealing with COVID-19.
- Get enough sleep. The standard has always been 8 hours a day, but this can vary per person. There are long sleepers who need 10-12 hours per day. To make sure you get a good night’s sleep, avoid drinking alcohol, stop using all electronics an hour before bed, and try to go to bed at the same time every night.
- Support hair health. Vitamins A, B, C, D, and E can all support hair growth. It may be a good idea to use these supplements to help improve your overall nutrition. In addition, avoid using heated tools, such as dryers and straighteners, on your hair until it has had a chance to repair itself and regain normal growth.
During stressful times, self-care is essential. Investing some time in yourself can help reduce stress and improve your hair growth so that you have one less thing to worry about. If you would like more expert advice about hair loss and different solutions that will help you enjoy a full head of hair, contact the team at Apollo Image Enhancement Center.