The Stress Effect
By Erma W.
Stress is an unfriendly part of life that can become pervasive if we let it. The emotions produced from that tiresome week at work or those agonizing streams of exams and dictionary-length papers can unravel us emotionally if effective stress-management tactics are not implemented. Balls of stress can invade all areas of our lives (which means that our hair is not exempt). The same troubles that break out our skin and split our nails can accelerate hair fall. Also, excess stress can make us treat our hair unkindly. Read on to better understand and battle the stress effect.
Everyone’s hair goes through wear and tear from routine handling. The result of this handling may be a few broken strands of hair sometimes. However, large amounts of hair loss signal a problem. In the telogen phase of the hair cycle, the hair is resting. That is completely normal. Telogen effluvium, a condition in which more hair than normal stops growing and falls out, signals a hair loss issue. With a characteristic feature of hair loss in clumps around the scalp, alopecia areata prominently reveals the embarrassing affect of stress on the tresses. Stress can even influence the way we treat our hair. Those with trichotillomania unconsciously pull their hair. This stress-induced condition is perhaps at the climax of hair loss. (As always, consult a doctor to accurately assess your condition.)
Aside from causing severe hair conditions, stress may be the source of other hair woes. The heat damage from that curling wand or the bald edges from those super-tight buns and ponytails may be anxiety-related. The rougher-than-rough detangling session and the stray hairs that rest everywhere but on your head may be rooted in stress.
The good news is that most stress-based hair loss is not permanent. Be encouraged, read, dance, sing, laugh, exercise--do anything that keeps you stress-free!