Enjoy free shipping today! Enter code SHIPHLV at checkout.

Your cart is empty.

BACK TO BLOG

5 min read

National Mental Health Month: The Hair-Stress Connection

National Mental Health Month: The Hair-Stress Connection

May is National Mental Health Month, and that means taking the time to focus on your own mental health and how it affects you, for better or worse. Your mental health is as important as physical health, and the two are connected in surprising ways.

Stress plays a big part in affecting your mental health and can impact everyone with mild to severe symptoms. Stress can have an impact on your hair’s health, the color of your hair, and even the amount of hair you have. Sometimes stress causes us to skip meals, forget to hydrate our bodies properly and neglect our beauty routines. 

Together, these effects can really cause your hair to suffer. Let’s take a deeper look at what’s happening and how to relieve stress to improve hair health and appearance.

The Hair-Stress Connection

The biggest and probably the most well-known of the stress chemicals is cortisol. Cortisol is great in an emergency as it funnels glucose to the brain to help you think better and faster. It also shuts down nonessential systems until you’re out of danger. Unfortunately, chronic stress means your body is always in a fight-or-flight situation, i.e., all your systems are on high alert, and that’s just not good. Long term, too much cortisol can cause a host of detrimental effects on the body, and hair loss is one of them.

An overactive telogen phase

While telogen effluvium is a natural part of the hair growth cycle, stress can throw it into overdrive.

When you experience telogen effluvium, your healthy hair is shocked and, in turn, stops growing. This is called the telogen phase, which is normal when it happens on its own. This phase is basically a period of rest for your hair shaft before a new hair begins growing. 

If excess strands hit telogen at the same time, you could begin losing hair at a rapid rate, potentially leading to noticeably thinner hair.

Graying hair

Graying hair has long been associated with stress as well. Stress creates a powerful series of reactions in the body that may lead to permanent damage to the pigment-regenerating stem cells in your body. This can create a potential to grow gray hair prematurely.

You, stress, and your hair

Unfortunately, stress can be emotionally overwhelming and make us feel like we don't have the time to exercise, eat correctly, drink enough water, and stick with our self-care routines. 

Stress can cause some people to overeat, drink excessively, and engage in other unhealthy habits. It’s a downward spiral that is important to recognize early to prevent many problems, including an unhealthy scalp and fragile and brittle hair. 

Relieving stress

It’s thought that extended periods of stress can wreak havoc on your mental health. The best solution might be to see a professional and work with them to create the optimal treatment plan to deal with stress in a healthier way. 

Here are some helpful suggestions to combat stress from its inception, helping you feel more in control:

♦ Get your heart rate up with some cardio exercise
♦ Go outside for a calming walk in the outdoors
♦ Focus on eating a balanced diet full of nutrients
♦ Try journaling or write down what is causing stress to get it out of your head and on to paper
♦ Come up with a plan to manage your stressors with the help of a professional
♦ Spend time with supportive friends or family
♦ Practice self-care
♦ Treat yourself to something you enjoy

Stress and your hair

The good news is that if you try the things above, along with a plan to manage your stress, you can begin to reduce the cortisol in your body and work to alleviate its damaging effects. Plus, once you are better able to recognize bad habits forming, it’s easier to change your course.

Much like your doctor can prescribe a care plan for your mental health, there’s a care plan for your hair. These tips will boost your hair health and make it more able to deal with stress.

Nutrition. Eating a well-balanced diet with whole foods is key to being your best inside and out. Having a healthy body is critical when you want to look good. If you’re not getting enough of the right nutrients, consider a supplement specifically designed to provide the nutrients hair needs.

Hydration. Not drinking enough water is a key factor in having brittle hair and can lead to other health concerns. Make sure you are sticking to your 64-fluid ounce daily goal. You might even want to increase that depending on the weather and your level of physical activity.

Hair moisture. Hydration is important for your hair, too. While drinking fluids is crucial, using the right hair products can add moisture from the outside. We love our Conditioner because it’s designed to soften your hair and make it more manageable, while naturally-derived ingredients like Marula, coconut oil, and horsetail extract help add strength and resilience.

More conditioner. While a conditioner is fantastic, a leave-in can work all day long on your precious strands to help protect and nourish them. Try the N°77 Leave-In to experience what a difference our ingredient blend can make. 

Healthy stress approach. Try not to justify bad habits because you’re under stress. Learn to recognize the symptoms of stress and then develop a healthy way to manage what you are experiencing.

Final thoughts

Now that you know how damaging stress can be, you can focus on how to keep it under control and, in turn, keep your hair happy and healthy. The best approach is to start a healthy hair routine that focuses on natural and effective products, like the ones by Hair La Vie. Then, when you’re feeling stressed, you can begin to work on relieving it, fueling your body, adding moisture and nutrients from both the inside and out, and prioritizing yourself.

Put it all together, and you can create your own methods of relieving stress, improving health, and letting your true beauty shine.

At Hair La Vie, we know that your hair is an integral part of how you present yourself to the world and shape your authentic style.

Join our private Facebook Community for a safe, human-moderated space to share your Hair Journey, discover new natural beauty, and take steps towards becoming “you” with the help of an understanding, supportive community.

Join now for instant access to livestreams, discussions, and exclusive access to new products!

  • Check out our Facebook Group!

    JOIN THE GROUP

    At Hair La Vie, we know that your hair is an integral part of how you present yourself to the world and shape your authentic style.

    Join our private Facebook Community for a safe, human-moderated space to share your Hair Journey, discover new natural beauty, and take steps towards becoming “you” with the help of an understanding, supportive community.

    Join now for instant access to livestreams, discussions, and exclusive access to new products!

    JOIN THE GROUP