“I just can’t sleep!”

“I’m tired … all the time.”

“I’ve been eating/drinking too much lately.”

“I snap at my family and friends a lot.”

“I feel like I have a knot in my chest every day.”

These are just a handful of common complaints from those of us battling through the challenges of modern-day living. Do any of these sound familiar?

Today’s non-stop lifestyle tends to push us to the limits of our endurance. This, coupled with physical and emotional traumas such as losing loved ones, serious illness, or relationship problems, takes a toll on us.

It’s likely that you’ll recognise some of these symptoms of stress in yourself and those close to you. Therefore, we’re taking a closer look at the negative effects of chronic stress on our body – specifically our hair – and what we can do about it. 

The Body Under Stress

We are familiar with the fight or flight response. This inbuilt mechanism serves to protect us from harmful situations and is truly fascinating to explore. In situations that we perceive as dangerous, our body instantly changes gears and sets off a series of invisible events. As a result our pupils dilate, our heart rate increases as a flood of adrenaline is released, and we are physically ready to deal with the threat. 

“During the fight or flight response your body is trying to prioritize, so anything it doesn’t need for immediate survival is placed on the back burner. This means that digestion, reproductive and growth hormone production and tissue repair are all temporarily halted. Instead, your body is using all its energy on the most crucial priorities and functions.” (Source)

The problem lies, not in the fact that we have this amazing response built into our DNA, rather that our bodies don’t always know when to turn it off. 

The hormones that help us to avoid a collision or remove our hand from a hot surface are the same ones released with we’re fighting with our spouse or experiencing financial difficulties. With continued problems and pressures, our systems forget how to shut down these responses and we can enter a period of chronic stress.

What does this look like? 

Some of the symptoms of chronic stress are:

  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Insomnia
  • Weight gain/loss
  • Agitation
  • Addictive behaviours
  • Lowered immune system
  • Reduced tolerance
  • Digestive issues
  • Hair loss

Hair loss?

Sadly, yes, and here’s why.

Understanding Telogen Effluvium

Telogen effluvium is a disorder causing temporary hair loss. It can be brought on by several factors, chronic stress being a major one. 

Imagine that the essential chemicals necessary for the fight or flight response are turned on – and left on. That means that some of the processes within our bodies are relegated to non-priority status and will slow down, or even stop after a while. As we saw in the previous section, this can affect growth, digestion and reproduction to name a few. 

Under these circumstances, our hair follicles are pushed into a “resting” phase. New hair growth is significantly slowed and existing hair tends to fall out easily – even when just washing or brushing. This can happen slowly over a period of months resulting in steadily thinning hair, or a traumatic event could impact our hair suddenly.

Additional Causes of Telogen Effluvium

Poor nutritional habits and hormonal imbalances can also contribute to telogen effluvium. Basically, if our body isn’t getting enough of what it requires then it simply can’t perform the tasks it needs to. The focus will shift to essential processes and the “nice to haves” – such as growing hair – will be deprioritised. Trauma, pregnancy and even some medicines can also contribute to this disorder.

Coping With Stress

While we’re not qualified to offer medical help on treating the emotional and physical effects of stress in your life, we can offer some helpful advice. 

Be aware of your mental and emotional health. It’s becoming more common for us to shrug off anxiety, depression, fatigue, and irritibility telling ourselves that this is just part of life. It’s not! Don’t allow yourself to forget that a calm, happy heart and a mild spirit are some of the best medicines about, and are absolutely free. You can work to achieve these by:

  • Regular exercise
  • Deep breathing techniques
  • Time outdoors
  • Meditation
  • Cultivating good eating habits
  • A healthy work/life balance

No, this is by no means an instant fix, and we may still have to deal with financial, family, or work issues. But it is a start.

Coping With Hair Loss

We understand that hair loss presents us with a host of new issues, notably impacting our confidence and emotional well-being. Waiting for medication to work and for our hair to grow back takes time and patience – but there is a solution.

Natural-looking wigs, made to fit your unique head size and shape, and styled to perfection, offer an immediate solution to the ravages of hair loss. 

Our team work daily with men and women who struggle with the frustrating and exhausting effects of hair loss. We appreciate how important it is to craft a wig that makes you feel comfortable, confident and is as close to your natural hair as possible. 

Amanda, Director of Hair to Ware and herself a wig wearer for over 20 years says, “As the name suggests, human hair wigs use real, human hair that is crafted into wigs, providing an exceptionally natural look and feel. Unlike synthetic hair, human hair wigs are versatile and can be easily styled in a way to suit individual taste. While they are a bit pricier than other wig varieties, human hair wigs are incredibly durable, so you’re getting much more for your money.”

A great wig doesn’t look like a wig! Rather, it just makes you look (and feel) amazing. 

Don’t let life’s stresses get you down. If you’re suffering from hair loss – whether stress induced or otherwise – we’d love to assist you. Please take a moment to read more about the wigs and hair systems that we offer, and feel free to call us for more information or advice.