Clinical research has shown that stress is not just responsible for weight gain and acne – but hair loss as well. Stress, irrespective of its cause, can result in micro inflammation of the hair follicles that makes hair weaker as it grows out, and results in more hair fall than usual. Increased levels of cortisol can also disrupt the hair growth cycle.

The most common type of stress-induced hair loss is telogen effluvium, which is not permanent. While telogen effluvium doesn’t actually cause hair loss, it does however cause the hair to stop growing. A recent study by Carnegie Mellon University showed that just 20 minutes a day of mindful meditation for 14 consecutive days, can lower your cortisol levels during stressful times, thus helping with stress-related hair issues.

The most common type of stress-induced hair loss is telogen effluvium

To understand your hair growth cycle better, on average, hair grows around half an inch a month. The growth phase, or Anagen Phase, lasts an average of three to five years. The Catagen or Transition Phase lasts about ten days. During this stage, the hair follicle decreases in size and detaches from the dermal papilla. The Telogen or Resting Phase generally lasts around three months. Around 10 – 15% of the hair on your head is in this phase at any given time.

While your old hair is resting, new hair begins the growing phase. The final stage is the Exogen or Shedding Phase. This is a part of the resting phase where the old hair detaches and sheds, and new hair continues to grow. Approximately 50 to 150 of your hairs may fall out daily. This is considered a normal rate of hair shedding and should not be any cause for concern.

Hair growth and hair shedding are both impacted by a number of factors, including everyday stress, medication, age, heredity and damage caused by the environment, over styling and poor nutrition.

At the end of the day, stressing about your stress levels, is only going to make things worse. Try to make some me-time every day to just sit down and lose yourself in nature or a good book. Just cutting off for half an hour or so each day, gives you some time to catch up with yourself – after all, if you don’t take care of yourself, who will?

No stress
Sometimes all we need is a quick break from reality
to catch our breath and take stock