The holidays often bring stress, but as 2020 winds down, it has more than doubled down on stressful events that affect our lives. People are worried about their health, their loved ones, their jobs, the economy, and the uncertainties ahead in 2021.
Amid all these sources of worry and apprehension, hair loss in the U.S. has been on an uptick. Dr. Patrick Angelos, author of The Science and Art of Hair Restoration: A Patient’s Guide, says that in such highly stressful times, how people approach their health can determine whether they maintain a healthy head of hair.
How Stress Contributes to Hair Loss:
“Stress is certainly a factor in hair loss, and stress levels have been at an all-time high in 2020 with the global pandemic affecting every area of our lives,” says Angelos, a plastic surgeon who specializes in hair restoration. “The body senses a very stressful event, and it needs to divert its attention from growing hair.
“In some cases, the hair will grow back over time. But when the hair loss is persistent, the person should see their doctor. Managing stress can be extra difficult in these unprecedented times, but managing one’s health, from diet to hygiene, can go a long way toward preventing or reducing hair loss.”
Here are some tips you can follow to stop hair loss:
Maintain good hair care and hygiene habits.
The way you wash your hair could undermine your efforts to prevent hair loss, Angelos says. As you wash, avoid pulling back on your hair because that can put traction on the follicles. “The same goes for combing,” he says. “It’s less stressful on the follicles to wash and comb your hair forward, toward your face, instead of toward the back of your scalp and neck. Also, long hair weighs more, so on its own, it can put more traction on the follicles.”
However, brushing your hair regularly is good because it massages the scalp and helps improve blood flow and circulation. The condition of your hair should also be in balance – not too oily, not too dry. “Finally, don’t overuse a hairdryer because that can make hair weak and brittle, which can lead to more hair loss,” Angelos says.
Use Proper Products to Keep the Scalp Healthy.
You need to think about the hair from its roots or scalp. A healthy scalp provides a good environment for your hair to grow and thrive. As the season is getting colder and drier, dandruff is bound to happen and cause itchy, flaky, and unhealthy scalp conditions. This is why you can use products targeted for scalp conditions. Whenever I see that my scalp is getting itchy, I use AMOS PROFESSIONAL Pure Smart Shampoo, followed by their Pure Smart Pack.
My husband uses the shampoo regularly to keep his dandruff and itchy scalp in check. The shampoo lathers up pretty well and gives a cooling feeling to the scalp after using it.
As for the Pure Smart Pack, I apply an adequate amount on wet scalp and hair, massage it with fingertips, and rinse off with lukewarm water.
Treat health issues.
Hormonal imbalances and other medical conditions such as low thyroid and iron or iodine deficiency can contribute to hair loss, Angelos says. “Avoid overuse of supplements and medications,” he says. “Since supplements such as testosterone, human growth hormone, whey, and DHEA can cause thinning and hair loss, especially avoid excessive use of these.”
Be aware of your nutritional needs.
Some fad diets may have a nutritional impact on hair loss. “It’s really important to eat a nutrient-rich diet with a healthy balance of carbohydrates, proteins, and fat,” Angelos says. He also recommends taking a multivitamin that includes vitamins A, B complex, C, D, and E, along with the minerals zinc, iodine, and iron, all of which help with hair health.
Maintaining a good nutrition habit is imperative for skin, hair, nails and overall health. Here is What I learned after Interviewing A Beauty Nutritionist & Biochemist on Skincare in Colder Months.
Avoid unhealthy environments.
The negative health effects of smoking are well known. But one more reason to avoid smoking, Angelos says, is that it can affect hair loss. In addition to smoking, other environmental factors that can contribute to hair loss include environmental exposures like radiation and air pollution.
“A well-rounded wellness approach can combat stress,” Angelos says. “Keeping your hair strong means taking good care of it and your overall health daily.”
About Dr. Patrick Angelos
Dr. Patrick Angelos (drpatrickangelos.com), author of The Science and Art of Hair Restoration: A Patient’s Guide, is a facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon whose primary surgical interests include hair restoration and facial plastic surgery. He is certified by the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and the American Board of Otolaryngology.