How our stressful lives are affecting our health and our hairIt’s no secret that stress can cause significant negative effects on both the body and mind. While it’s true that moderate levels of stress can have positive outcomes, particularly in the work place, high levels are linked to numerous, potentially serious illnesses. Here we’ll look at how a consistently stressful lifestyle could be affecting your health and your hair.

Increased sweating

Sweating may not sound like a serious health problem, but did you know it can lead to hair loss? Many people assume hair loss related to excessive sweating, is caused by blockage. It’s logical and blocked follicles can certainly play a part in a change in the growth cycle. However, it’s actually also down to the lactic acid contained within sweat. This breaks down the layers of the hair, gradually causing the follicles to shrink. It can also lead to inflammation of the scalp, restricting blood flow and contributing to hair loss.

Further links between stress and hair loss

Excessive sweating isn’t the only stress-related link to hair loss. The stress hormone itself can cause problems for the hair growth cycle. They cause the hair follicles to basically hibernate, which in turn causes the hair to start falling out. Stress-related hair loss is usually temporary and will start to resolve itself a few months after the stress levels have returned to normal. However, there are some types of hair loss that can be intensified by stress, so if you do start to experience hair loss, it’s important to have the problem checked out by a doctor to determine whether it is simply stress-related, or whether it’s caused by something else. As well as hair loss, stress can lead to Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), fatigue, insomnia and teeth grinding. It’s also known to increase the risk of heart disease and cancer. So, if you live a high-stress lifestyle, it’s imperative you take measures to reduce the stress if you want to remain healthy and retain a full head of hair.

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By Ian Watson

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