Is stress linked to hair loss? Yes, stress causes hair loss, but the good news is that it is typically temporary and can be reversed with correct Vitamins, Minerals, and Guidance. Here’s everything you need to know about this typical cause, the best Vitamins for Stress and Hair Loss Prevention.
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The Relation between Hair loss and Stress
There are around 100,000 hair follicles on an average adult’s scalp. Each hair follicle goes through a cycle of resting and growing. The bulk of these hair follicles are in the anagen stage at any given moment (growth phase). When a hair follicle reaches the telogen, or resting, phase, it sheds its hair. During an episode of telogen effluvium, this causes a rapid, abnormal transition of hairs into the telogen phase all at once.
What constitutes a significant amount of emotional stress?
It could trigger from a painful life event (i.e., divorce or losing the job). Researchers experimentally exposed mice to psychosocial stress to examine the link between hair loss and significant stress and observed that it affects the growth phase of hair also induces anagen termination in an early stage. According to this study, stress disrupts the normal cycling of the hair follicle, which can contribute to hair loss. (Source)
Researchers looked into the mouse model of chronic stress even more and discovered that hair follicle stem cells remained in a dormant state for a long time, unable to regenerate tissues. Chronic stress upregulates corticosterone, a key stress hormone generated by the adrenal glands; feeding mice corticosterone replicated the stress effect on stem cells. Cortisol, the human homolog, is also elevated under stress and is commonly referred to as the “stress hormone.”
This finding indicates that stress hormones have a deleterious impact on hair follicle stem cells. The major shock came when we eliminated the source of stress chemicals. (Source)
Hair follicle regeneration slows with age in normal conditions, and the resting phase lengthens as the animals get older. When the stress hormones were removed, the stem cells’ resting phase was drastically reduced, and the mice were continually in the growth phase, regenerating hair follicles throughout their lives, even as they grew older.
As a result, even the body’s natural baseline level of stress hormone is a crucial regulator of the resting phase. Stress only heightens the already-existing ‘adrenal gland–hair follicle axis,’ making it even more difficult to create new hair follicles.
Symptoms of Stress related Hair loss (Telogen Effluvium)
Hair loss is the most noticeable symptom of telogen effluvium.
Shedding 100 hairs per day on average is normal. However, under stressful conditions, you will encounter a sudden rise in shedding that may last for months (depending on the stress).
You’ll notice a significant loss in hair volume if you’re suffering from telogen effluvium. “If you have telogen effluvium, you may lose an average of 300 hairs each day instead of 100,” according to a Harvard Health Publishing article from 2019.
Itching and tenderness on the scalp are also symptoms of telogen effluvium. “Usually there are no symptoms, however telogen effluvium can be accompanied by soreness and changed feelings in the scalp, known as trichodynia,” according to the British Association of Dermatologists. Low self-esteem can also occur as a result of hair loss, which can be an emotional and psychological side effect.
When dealing with telogen effluvium, keep the following in mind:
- When your hair is damp, it is more vulnerable, so be gentle when bathing and drying it.
- Tight ponytails and braids, for example, can tug on hair follicles, causing more hair to fall out.
- You should also avoid Scratching the scalp as it irritates hair follicles, causing additional hair strands to fall out.
Minerals and Vitamins for Stress and Hair Loss Prevention
Eating a nutritious diet, exercising frequently, getting plenty of sleep, talking to family or friends, and engaging in relaxation techniques like meditation are just a few of the stress-relieving strategies that have been scientifically proven to work.
Dietary supplements are another stress-relieving option. Some of them have been proved to help improve sleep, reduce depression symptoms, reduce anxiety, and more. Here are a few Vitamins and Minerals to consider as you begin your quest for a more healthy and relaxed lifestyle.
Consult your physician before using any supplement as Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate supplements in the same manner that it does drugs.
You already know how important magnesium is for strong bones. However, this vital mineral is the fourth most plentiful in the human body and is involved in a variety of other vital physiological functions.
- Depression and Mood: Magnesium is required for many of the processes, hormones, enzymes, and mood regulation related neurotransmitters; it’s also linked to inflammation, which has been linked to depressive symptoms. studies suggest that increasing magnesium intake can dramatically relieve anxiety and depression symptoms. Whereas, low magnesium intake has been linked to an increased risk of depression. In fact, in certain cases, it has been found as effectively as an antidepressant.
- Anxiety and Stress: Magnesium is essential for managing the body’s stress response. Chronic mental or physical stress depletes magnesium levels in the body, which then intensifies stress, creating a brutal cycle. Magnesium regulates the activity of the body’s stress related response system, and research suggests that increasing magnesium intake can help to lower stress and anxiety.
- Sleep: Magnesium interacts with the neurotransmitter GABA that lowers brain cell activity, soothing and quieting the nervous system and promoting sleep. It also affects melatonin, a hormone that regulates the body’s sleep-wake cycles, and calms muscles to help you fall asleep faster. Magnesium has been shown in studies to improve total sleep length and quality, as well as reduce the time it takes to drift off to sleep.
Magnesium’s recommended daily intakes of 400 to 420 milligrams for men and 310 to 320 milligrams for women are missed by approximately 56 to 68 percent of Americans. Make sure you’re receiving your daily dose, especially if you’re under a lot of stress.
Food Sources: Tamarind, Spinach, Potato with skin, Quinoa, Dark Chocolate, etc.
Vitamin D is also referred to as the “sunshine” vitamin. It’s a fat-soluble essential nutrient that promotes bone health and strength, as well as cell growth and immunological function.
Vitamin D is generally absorbed by sun exposure, although it can also be obtained from dietary supplements and certain foods.
When your body doesn’t absorb enough vitamin D, you get vitamin D deficiency. Your bones can become deformed, brittle, or thin if you don’t get enough vitamin D. It can also result in a variety of serious depression and stress. Vitamin D insufficiency has been linked to depression in studies. A meta-analysis published in 2013 discovered that study participants with depression also had low vitamin D levels. According to the same study, those with low vitamin D levels have a substantially higher risk of depression. (Source)
Researchers believe that inadequate vitamin D levels may be linked with depression and other mental diseases because vitamin D is needed for optimal brain function.
Vitamin D deficiency affects over 42% of the population in the United States. However, among Black individuals, this rate jumps to 82 percent, and among Hispanics, it rises to 70 percent.
If you have year-round access to intense sunlight, a few minutes of sun exposure may be enough to meet your vitamin D needs. Your vitamin D levels may change depending on the season if you reside far north or south of the equator. Due to a lack of sunlight during the winter months, the levels may also drop.
The National Institutes of Health suggests consuming 400–800 IU (10–20 micrograms) on a regular basis.
Food Sources: Red Meat, Egg yolks, Liver, Oily Fish, etc.
All eight B-group vitamins are combined in the vitamin B-complex. Each vitamin contributes to the body’s general function on its own. The effects of a vitamin B-complex are substantially stronger when taken together. Each vitamin has numerous purposes, and many of them overlap. B vitamins work together in a synergistic way. As a whole, the parts work significantly better.
Vitamin B-12, along with the other B vitamins, aid in the production of brain chemicals that influence mood and other mental activities. Low levels of vitamin B-12, as well as other B vitamins including vitamin B-6 and folate, have been associated to depression.
Vitamin B has the greatest impact on stress among the 13 vitamins. Each of the eight B-group vitamins helps to regulate stress. Vitamin B is largely obtained through diet and can be found in animal products, almonds, and vegetables. A B-complex supplement can help even if a patient is weak in only one B vitamin. Consult a doctor or pharmacist to see if a B-complex vitamin is appropriate for you.
Food Sources: Cheese, Milk, Eggs, Seeds and Nuts, Soy product, shellfish, etc.
Amino acids are crucial for cell, tissue, and muscle synthesis in the body and are the building blocks of all proteins. Glycine is the smallest of the amino acids and is found in modest levels in food. It’s possible that your body doesn’t get enough glycine.
Glycine supplementation can help you feel more balanced and relaxed. Glycine’s stress-relieving abilities have been studied in a variety of techniques. Researchers discovered that taking 3 g of glycine before bedtime resulted in decreased weariness and enhanced attentiveness the next day when compared to taking a placebo. Because there were no variations in the time it took people to fall asleep or the quantity of time they slept, the results suggested that glycine improved sleep quality. A bedtime dose of 3 g of glycine enhanced not just sleep quality but also a performance on memory recognition tests in another trial. (Source)
Food Sources: Red Meat, Turkey, Pork, Chicken, Granola, Almonds, Pasta, Etc.
L-theanine is a non-protein amino acid that has the same structure as an amino acid but isn’t used to produce proteins. It was first discovered as a component of green tea in Japan in 1948, and while it is mostly found in the tea plant (Camellia sinensis), it is also found in a variety of other species, including mushrooms like Boletus badius (bay bolete). Plants synthesize L-theanine in their roots, but it is concentrated in their leaves.
L-theanine has been shown to have a favorable impact on important neurotransmitters (chemical messengers in the brain) involved in stress, sleep, mood, focus, and memory. L-theanine appears to play a role in the creation of the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin, as well as the neurotransmitter GABA, which serves as a “brake” during times of stress. L-theanine aids in the restoration of neurotransmitter balance, resulting in reductions in emotional, mental, and physical symptoms associated with excessive stress.
As serotonin is converted to melatonin in the pineal gland of the brain, increasing serotonin levels leads to increased melatonin, which promotes restful sleep. 30 healthy adults were given either 200 mg L-theanine or a placebo every day for four weeks in one trial. When compared to the placebo group, the people taking theanine required less time to fall asleep had fewer sleep disruptions and used fewer sleep medicines. L-theanine also increased mental clarity in those who took it.
Food Sources: Tea Leaves
Note: Do you know that in a 2018 study cinnamon oil has been found to increase the size of hair follicles and stimulate hair growth. To know more check this article on Everything about Cinnamon Oil for Hair (The Science)
Starting a supplementation regimen with a high-quality supplement, such as a multivitamin, is a good place to start. Another prevalent issue is the safety and purity of vitamins. It is usually safer to buy from a firm that has been around for a while and is known for producing high-quality goods.
Vitamins, in conjunction with other techniques, can help maintain health and manage daily stress. Supplementation is much more important for the majority of Americans, who eat a diet deficient in so many vitamins. When it comes to picking a vitamin supplementation plan, there are a few factors to keep in mind, especially if you’re trying to manage stress.
After reading this article, you should have a better grasp of how vitamins work together in the body, how to distinguish between different types of stress, and what to expect from vitamin supplementation. Most people can benefit from taking multivitamins on a daily basis to help them live a healthier lifestyle.
The advantages of proper supplementation and the nutritional program will most likely become apparent as you become older because individuals who have obtained adequate nutrients have a lower risk of acquiring chronic degenerative diseases in the long run. Consult your doctor or a nutritionist for a more detailed plan to improve your health.
Disclaimer: This content contains advice, and is solely intended to provide general information. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice. For more information, always visit a professional or your personal doctor. RupaBeauty.com does not claim responsibility for this information.
Creative, versatile, and passionate about her craft, Rupa Das is a well-recognized name in the world of fashion and makeup! This is a woman who has been in the fashion and makeup industry for 24 years and is still one of the leading international makeup artist in the circuit! She has worked in big brands like Lakme, Green Trends, Colors and transitioned to become a Beauty (Hair & Skin) Trainer.