How Stress Affects Your Hair and How to Prevent Further Damage
You probably already know stress impacts your skin (hello, breakouts, hives and psoriasis). But it can also take its toll on your tresses. Here, three common ways your hair may be impacted when you’re chronically-harried.
Stress Impact #1: Your Locks Lose Luster
When you’ve overcommitted yourself—or just have a lot on your mind—a good night’s sleep can be elusive. Either you’re not getting into bed on time, or you can’t fall asleep (and stay asleep) once you’re there. The result of too-little shuteye is that the body does not have enough time to repair and restore itself—and so your scalp (and new hair growth) doesn’t get the nourishment it needs overnight. The result? Dull, lackluster locks. Trying to incorporate rituals (i.e. a warm bath, stretching, reading a book) into your evening routine, to help you unwind and get mentally ready for a night of rest, will help in the long-term by improving your sleep quality. In the short-term, however, applying a hair treatment, such as a hair mask, will help provide the nutrients and hydration your strands are not getting naturally. If possible, try leaving a mask in overnight at least once a week (just rinse out with shampoo in the a.m.)
Stress Impact #2: Hair Loss
Stress (and the subsequent spike in the stress hormone cortisol) can cause your strands to go through their life cycle at an accelerated rate: growing, resting, and falling out. And reaching that falling-out phase faster than usual means you are likely losing hair faster than it can grow back in—which will definitely make your mane feel less dense. The good news is this type of hair loss condition is usually temporary, and your hair cycles will return to a slower pace once your stress level steadies. In the meantime, however, it does help to make the most of the hair you do have by using products that contain ingredients that cosmetically volumize or thicken the hair. At Prose, we use Locust & Soy Beans, plus Corn Starch to help anemic strands feel fuller, stronger, and softer. You may also want to try products that stimulate the scalp (and thus new growth), thereby helping to counterbalance the faster-than-usual fallout. At Prose, we use Maca Root, Nasturtium & Biotin to boost blood circulation in the scalp, maximizing hair-follicle health and encouraging new growth.
Stress Impact #3: Your Hair Seems to be Graying Overnight
If you have a genetic predisposition to gray hair, an elongated period of stress can slow or halt melanin in your hair, leaving your strands grayer and whiter (see most presidents of the U.S. after four years in office). While you can’t change your DNA, some experts think a nutrient rich diet—and ample protein—may help counterbalance this effect. Or, you can embrace your gray hair—a trend we at Prose are loving right now.
To create your own stress fix, you can get started here with a Prose consultation.