by Maria Alexandra Koropecky, Homespunspa owner
Linda gathered some of her shoulder-length, strawberry-blonde hair, ran her fingers through it, and pulled out several strands to show us. “Look,” she said. “But this is nothing compared to what normally happens when I brush my hair and check the brush.”
My friend Linda was recently talking about her significant hair loss and as someone in the business of helping people manage stress with Homespunspa Mobile Spa, my ears perked up.
Linda is a new mom in her early 30’s. She also works outside the home as a manager in a stressful office job. She’s a smoker and is overweight but exercises a couple of times a week.
Losing hair can be quite traumatic for many people and my friend’s rapidly thinning hair was really bothering her. She figured it had something to do with a recent stressful event in her life.
I thought I’d do some research on female hair loss to help her out and yes, sometimes hair loss can stem from stress.
Telogen effluvium is considered to be the most common type of stress-related hair loss. In this case, a stressful event may pre-maturely send hair follicles into the resting phase of the growth cycle which stops the hair from growing any further. The hair will start to fall out after a few months and the time lapse makes it difficult to tie the hair loss back to a specific event and to know the root cause that triggered the stress symptoms in the first place.
The stressful event that triggers the hair loss a few months down the road can be physiological and/or emotional in nature — something like a car accident, illness, surgery, a move, a job loss, or giving birth. The good news is, often times, the hair will start to grow back once the body has had enough time to recover from the trauma.
5 Ways to Encourage Healthy Hair Growth
There are certain things you can do starting today that can stimulate hair growth including Managing Stress, Getting Enough Sleep, Fueling your Body with Nutritious Foods, Moving your Body, and Taking Care of Your Hair.
1. Manage Stress
In my opinion, managing stress is the key to living a healthy life and getting regular massages is a great way to alleviate stress. The benefits of massage include:
- reduced muscular tension and stiffness;
- chronic pain management;
- relief from tension headaches, neck pain, shoulder pain, back pain and carpal tunnel syndrome;
- reduced fatigue, anxiety and depression;
- boost of endorphins (the feel-good hormone);
- increased circulation;
- better posture to name a few.
If you’ve never had a professional massage before, you’re in for a real treat. But if you’re unsure about whether or not you’d enjoy a massage, I recommend looking into chair massages to start. All you have to do is sit in a special kind of chair and you don’t even have to disrobe at all and that’s what I recommended for Linda.
Talking to a professional therapist or coach is another great way to minimize stress. I guarantee that if you get whatever you’ve been thinking and worrying about off your chest, you will feel better. It’s just a matter of finding someone who will actively listen without judgment in a safe and sacred space.
If you’re looking to work with a coach, I’m offering a zero cost, GET THINGS OFF YOUR CHEST, 30-minute introductory coaching session to people who are feeling stressed out, so please check out the coaching page on www.homespunspa.com and contact me, if you’re interested.
2. Get Enough Sleep
Lack of sleep can wreak havoc on your health and your hair. No matter what day of the week it is, try to keep a regular sleep schedule from night to night and aim for seven to eight hours of sleep a night.
3. Fuel Your Body with Nutritious Foods
A poor diet will show up in your hair one way or another and eating healthy foods each and every day goes a long way toward looking and feeling your best.
Starting with breakfast, eat at least three meals a day that are well-balanced and include lean protein and fruits and vegetables. Avoid processed foods, sugary foods, and foods that are high in trans fats.
Also, consider taking vitamin and mineral supplements, especially:
- B complex vitamins (which are good for stress);
- vitamins C and E, (which are good for skin and hair);
- Omega-3 fatty acids, and Selenium, (which are good for skin and hair); and
- Magnesium and Zinc (which are also good for stress).
Also re-evaluate your medications. Sometimes, hair loss can be a side-effect of certain meds and if you suspect your prescriptions are contributing to your hair loss, talk to your doctor to see about making some adjustments.
4. Move your body
Our bodies are built to move and exercising is a great way to release stress. There are thousands of different activities to try like stretching, walking, running, swimming, and dancing so do something that you enjoy several times a week.
The benefits of regular exercise include:
- better balance and coordination;
- healthy body weight;
- better mood;
- healthier heart;
- lower blood pressure;
- increased energy; and
- improved appearance to name a few.
5. Take care of your hair
A visit to a hair salon every couple of months not only keeps your hair looking good, but getting that massage during the shampoo time will increase circulation in the scalp which promotes hair growth. And chatting with your hair stylist can do wonders for your mood, too.
Also, don’t add any unnecessary stress or tension to your hair, especially if you’re going through a period of hair loss. For the time being, avoid harsh chemical treatments or using styling instruments that involve heat (like blow-dryers and flat irons), and try not to constantly wear your hair in a pony tail all day either.
Use Hair Care Products with these Ingredients
Look for shampoos and conditioners with the following ingredients on their labels to stimulate hair growth. If you can’t find suitable hair care products in any stores, make your own customized recipes for your hair type:
- Amla, Argan Oil, Avocado Oil, Basil, Basil Essential Oil, Bay Laurel Essential Oil, Bayberry Root Bark, Catnip, Cedarwood Essential Oil, Chamomile, Chamomile Essential Oil, Gotu Kola, Hibiscus, Honeysuckle, Juniper Berry Essential Oil, Melissa (Lemon Balm) Essential Oil, Nettles, Passionfruit Seed Oil, Quinine, Rosemary, Rosemary Essential Oil, Sage, Sea Buckthorn, Sorrel, Southernwood, Soy Milk, Soybeans, Spanish Sage Essential Oil, Spearmint, Spearmint Essential Oil, Stevia, Thyme, Thyme Essential Oil, Tonic Water, Walnut Oil, Yarrow, Yarrow Essential Oil, and Ylang Ylang Essential Oil.
Our hair gives us clues about our health and if you are noticing changes in your hair, like hair loss (more than 50 to 100 strands a day) or dandruff, or too many bad hair days in a row, then evaluate what’s going on and take steps to remedy your situation as soon as you can.
Hair loss doesn’t have to be permanent and there are many ways you can encourage your hair to grow again naturally.
Unravel the Mysteries of Female Hair Loss: I’ve come across this really great ebook (affiliate product) if you’re interested in learning tips for successful hair regrowth. Click Here!
Have you ever experienced significant hair loss? If yes, what did you do about it? Please leave your comments. Thanks and I hope my blog post, “Help, I’m losing my hair” was helpful.