A common complaint due to the demands of modern life, stress can have a profound impact on both our mental and physical health. But did you know, that aside from side effects such as headaches, tight jaw, stress can also negatively impact the scalp and in turn the hair.
Of course, our scalp isn’t new to the whole stress thing. Stress can be responsible for inducing an array of scalp and hair related issues. In fact, the hair is one of the most sensitive barometers to physiological and psychological health. But, unknown to many, due to the nature of our hair growth cycle, the damaging effects of stress will not be immediately noticeable. Rather, it can take up to 12 weeks after the stressful period, which means we may not always connect stress with the issues we experience on our hair and scalp. There are, however, common tell-tale signs when the hair and scalp is under a lot of stress. Stress commonly triggers (or worsens!) flaking and itching of the scalp, which can lead to dandruff. This is because stress can affect hormone levels and may subsequently disrupt the micro-flora of the scalp. Stress can also cause your roots get limp and greasy faster than usual because stress can, through a convoluted route, raise androgen (male hormone) levels – which in turn increases your scalp’s natural oil production. This hormone imbalance can also negatively impact hair follicles, causing them to produce hairs of a thinner diameter and shorter length, resulting in an overall reduction in volume and in some cases hair loss.
But the good news is there are some measures you can take to counteract the impact on your scalp. A healthy diet can ensure there are adequate nutrients in the body. If hair loss is something you’re worrying about, up your intake of fruits and vegetables – especially dark leafy greens such as spinach and kale. Secondly, meditating will reduce your anxiety and relax your brain, as well as reduce inflammation in the body. Finally, speak to your stylist as they will be able to recommend a range of at-home haircare products that enhance follicular activity. A popular choice is Kerastase Specifique Aminexil, which is an intensive scalp intense treatment that inhibits hair loss and acts to improve the quality of new hair, while protecting against oxidative stress. Enhanced by innovative ingredients including Gluco-Lipids and Aminexil 1500 PPM, this treatment restores the quality and suppleness of the scalp resulting in stronger and thicker hair with greater volume and shine.