A stress-free lifestyle for beautiful hair
There never seem to be enough hours in a day. A big project is due in a couple of days. You are wondering whether or not you will get the next promotion. All these factors can wrest from your quality of life and vitality, but one thing you probably don’t expect – is that they can damage your hair. Around four in five adults in the UK feel stressed regularly, according to a survey conducted by insurance company Axa, a fact that can increase our chances of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity and a plethora of skin and hair conditions that can cause discomfort and, sometimes, even pain. Stress is clearly more than a bugbear of modern-day life; it is something we should battle daily, taking proactive steps to reduce its effects on our health and happiness.
The effect of stress on skin and hair
A 2001 study published in the Archives of Dermatology found that stress has a negative effect on skin, resulting in loss of hydration and interfering with the skin’s ability to repair itself after being damaged. Renowned dermatologists believe that stress is also the main culprit behind unexplained hair loss. In information shared by the American Academy of Dermatology, scientists noted that stress can cause hair to enter into the telogen (fall out) phase. This also happens during stressful or life-changing moments such as surgery and having a baby. Scientists note that when stressed, hair follicles “take a break” from their growth function and take time to recover and heal. Stress affects the integrity of our nails as well, resulting in brittleness and peeling.
Stress and dandruff
Dandruff is undoubtedly an embarrassing condition that can sometimes make us feel like David up against Goliath since the problem can be resistant to anti-dandruff shampoos and other treatments. There are a select number of factors that cause dandruff, including the presence of microbes, scalp sensitivity and stress. Essentially, when we are worried and anxious, changes occur in our hormonal balance, causing the scalp to produce more sebum (oil). Unfortunately, this oil feeds the microbe that causes irritation and inflammation. Our scalp reacts by trying to shed affected skin, and the result is dandruff.
Keeping stress at bay
The good news about stress relief is that there are many natural methods that can help you achieve your goal of a calmer, happier life. Exercise is a natural mood booster and has been found to help you get a good night’s sleep and feel more positive about life! Some of the most powerful stress-busting activities are those centred around mindfulness – including meditation, controlled breathing and Tai Chi. If you are worried about where you will find the time for these activities, know that even short daily sessions will help. Apps like Calm and Breathe offer meditation and breathing classes that can last for as little as five minutes, but which immediately help you lower your heart and breathing rate, and enjoy a more mindful state.
Battling stress involves keeping the mind in the present, rather than the past or the future. Mindfulness activities can help keep stress hormone levels down, thus preventing a plethora of serious diseases (including heart disease). Knowing how to deal with tough times has an added bonus; it benefits our skin, hair, and nail health. Beauty is truly an integrated concept, so make it a greater priority to look as good on the outside as you feel on the inside.
The editorial unit