COVID 19 is having an unprecedented global impact on physical and mental health. As more and more bad news is unveiled; whether it be job losses, business closures or the loss of loved ones, we are in a conscious or unconscious state of stress. The effects of COVID 19 are unpredictable and ongoing, with no immediate end in sight. There are more and more of us on edge, feeling tense, under pressure, in mourning and probably feeling very insecure about the future. Such a high pressured, uncertain environment is going to have a negative effect on your health, with rising amounts of people reporting an increase in hair loss. There is a higher percent of people suffering from hair loss this year and this can be linked to the stress caused by the COVID 19 pandemic. Stress can trigger hair loss.
How Does Stress Cause Hair Loss?
Stress can cause hair loss because it has a reductive impact on the circulation of blood around the scalp. Hair grows when blood circulates around the scalp and passes essential nutrients to the hair bulb, so, when the flow of blood is disrupted, it has an impact on hair growth.
Can High Blood Pressure Cause Hair Loss?
Stress induced conditions like high blood pressure, medically known as ‘hypertension’ can cause hair loss. This is because high blood pressure has an adverse effect on the circulation of blood around the body because when you are in a stressful situation your body releases adrenalin. Adrenalin causes your heart to beat faster and makes blood vessels narrow and has a restricting effect on the flow of blood around the body. This, in turn, reduces the circulation of blood to the scalp, which results in less nutrients being passed to the hair bulb to assist the formation of hair, all of which has an adverse effect on hair growth and hair strength, possibly resulting in hair loss.
High blood pressure medication side effects can also cause hair loss. So, if you are suffering from high blood pressure and have noticed an increase in hair loss, it is advisable to seek treatment like ProTress to prevent long term and irreversible hair loss.
Can Hormone Imbalance Cause Hair Loss?
Physical and mental stress can disrupt your hormones and when hormones become imbalanced, this can trigger hair loss. Menopause is a stressful because the body is going through a lot of seen and unseen changes, so your mood, temperature, weight and hair can be effected in ways that can be problematic and inconvenient, all of which can cause unconscious levels of stress and disrupt the balance of hormones. Menopause can result in increasing levels of testosterone, which contain a chemical called DHT which diminishes the hair follicle until it closes altogether resulting in thinner hair and gradual and sustained hair loss. Menopause also reduces the amount of oestrogen, which protects the hair bulb. As the levels of oestrogen fall, the protection of the hair bulb recedes which makes hair thinner, limp and more prone to fall.
My Hair is Falling Out in Clumps, What Should I Do?
Stress and hormone imbalances can also have a disruptive effect on the hair growth cycle, potentially resulting in hair falling in clumps as well as hair thinning. Hair thinning or hair fall in clumps, up to six months after a traumatic or stressful event, is symptomatic of Telogen Effluvium, a form of hair loss caused by an anomaly in the hair growth cycle. There are three stages in the hair growth cycle:
Stage 1 Growth – Anagen. This is the growing phase of a hair follicle. During this phase, hair grows, on average, between one centimetre and half an inch, every 28 days. Hair remains in this active growth phase for between 2–6 years. Between 80% to 90% of your hairs are in this phase at any time. Genetics determine the amount of time hair stays in the anagen stage.
Stage 2 Transition – Catagen. During this stage hair detaches from its blood supply during this stage of transition. The Catagen stage can last between 2 to 3 weeks.
Stage 3 Rest – Telogen. This is the final stage in the hair cycle whereby the hair is released from the hair bulb and the hair follicle rests for about three months before the follicle returns to the anagen stage. On average, you lose between 100–150 hairs a day as your hair works its way through the final stage of the hair cycle. Between 12% and 20% of your hair is in this stage at any one time.
The hair loss condition ‘Telogen Effluvium’ occurs when Stage 3, the ‘Telogen’ stage lasts longer than 3 months and effects more than 30% of scalp hair. The disruption to the normal time frame of the Telogen Stage is triggered after a traumatic or stressful event. The trauma or stress affects the blood supply to the hair bulb adversely. The reduction of blood flowing around the scalp limits the amount of nutrients that are passed to the hair bulb, which hinders the ability for new hair to be formed. This results in the hair bulb remaining in the Telogen Stage for a prolonged period of time, because there are not enough nutrients or oxygen to allow the hair creation process to take place. The process of moving from the Telogen Stage (rest) to the Anagen Stage (growth) is not possible due to the lack of blood circulation and nutrients available to form hair. This causes hair to fall, stop growing and become extremely thin.
Because Telogen Effluvium is a symptom of stress, it is a temporary form of hair loss that can last between 6 to 9 months. There are cases where Telogen Effluvium can last longer if the stress and trauma is ongoing. However, the fact that Telogen Effluvium is temporary doesn’t make it any less devastating. Severe hair thinning or hair fall in clumps exasperates an existing stressful situation and can have a damaging effect on self-esteem at a time when self-confidence is required to weather the storm of adversity. If you are suffering from Telogen Effluvium seeking treatment that reactivate the Anagen stage of the hair growth cycle is advisable.
ProTress Essential Scalp Therapy Energising Shampoo and Lotion is made with the patented Si MATRIX PF, which stimulates the flow of blood around the scalp, contains the vital nutrients that your hair needs to grow and revitalises hair follicles, all of which prevents hair loss and restores hair growth. Made with natural extracts of Rosemary and Nettle, the shampoo has a cleansing and nourishing impact on the scalp, making hair thicker and stronger. For more information click here.