Sunday, April 16, 2006

Stress and Hair Loss - An Amazing Relationship

In the modern times in which we live, stress has become a part of everyday life. There is so much stress embedded even in simple, mundane, day to day living that it is almost unconceivable that stress could be eliminated from our lives. From school to work place, family to friends, the daily dose of stress every modern person encounters is terrifying and this, more often than not, tells on every system and part of the body.

Stress plays a very important role in our daily moods and feelings. You will agree with me that to be stressed up and happy at the same time is almost impossible. Stress comes with worries, anxieties, anger or even depression. No wonder stress has been associated with several life threatening diseases. Recent research has highlighted the role played by stress in diseases like high blood pressure, heart failure, stroke or diabetes. In some cases, it is even surprising to note that the relationship between stress and our emotions plays a more delicate role in causing some of these diseases, than even the conventional, established risk factors.

However, to suggest that stress can also induce hair loss could meet with utter amazement from some quarters. You want to ask; what the heck has stress got to do with my hair? Well, don't be shocked to hear this; stress really does cause hair loss and it has even gotten a medical name, to show you it's real. In medical jargon, Telogen Effluvium is the name given to hair loss induced by the sudden onset of stress.

Most people never get to realize this association because, oddly enough, the hair loss never seems to occur until after the end of the stressful event that is inducing it. It is explained that the sudden onset of a stressful event causes the hair follicles to stop hair production and relapse into a resting phase prematurely. The hair follicles remain in this resting phase for several months afterwards and during this period; an unusual amount of hair will be shed. However, for the most part, hair loss caused by stress is temporary and heals up after the hair follicles resume hair production.

If you really want to keep your hair intact, effectively managing stress could be a great thing to do. There are several ways to do this, as long as you are determined to reduce stress in your life and to live a better, stress-free life. Cutting out stress from our lives is undoubtedly a good thing, but we all know that it is almost impossible to expect to be free from stress totally. However, you can do a lot to reduce the impact of the daily stress on your body and health.

The first and perhaps most effective thing to do, is to learn the art of dissociation. Most people carry their emotions, worries, fears and anxieties on their faces and you almost always see stress in the faces of people you meet on the street. Dissociation entails freeing your mind and body from your problems and worries, at least for a short period of time, daily. Relax and forget your problems, even if just for a minute. The longer you can maintain this state, the better for your overall health. Our lives will be better without the worries we carry about. Forgetting your problems and worries allows the body to calm down and dissipate built-up stress. The longer you can maintain this state, the longer time the body has to calm down. This is not only good for your hair, it is very important for your overall health.

Another effective tool in managing stress is to find a form of relaxation that you really love and engage in it often. If you like reading, then find a lovely book and read for some period during the day or when you feel stress building up in you. If you are the movie type, then go see your favorite movie regularly. Just pick any fun activity which you enjoy and burn off that stress before your hair starts falling out.

Michael Russell
Your Independent guide to Hair Loss

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