Stressed and losing your hair? The keys to help speed recovery and hair growth
Spotlight On: Shear Faith
Owner: Naché Young
Location: 5026 Wayne Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19144
Appts: Tuesday and Wednesday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM; Thursday and Friday, 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM;
Saturday, 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM; Sunday and Monday; Closed
Specialties: Full Service Salon: Array of services
includes: Hair Coloring, Cutting, Relaxing and Weaves
By Leah Fletcher
There is no doubt that physical and emotional stress can lead to hair loss. A condition known as telogen effluvium causes sudden and rapid hair loss in response to physical stress, such as childbirth, high fever, acute illness, surgery or crash dieting. Emotional or physical stress, when chronic or severe, also might interfere with the normal hair growth cycle of the hair and trigger balding. Fortunately, for those suffering from hair loss due to stress, there are things you can do to help speed recovery and hair growth.
It is normal to lose up to 100 strands of hair daily on your comb or brush, in your sink, or on your pillow, explained Naché Young, owner of Shear Faith, a full-service hair salon, in the Germantown section of Philadelphia. What is not normal, according to Young is the massive shedding of hair. "When women complain that their hair is 'coming out in handfuls' there is a problem," she said.
It is necessary to get to the "root" of the problem said Young, who advises clients to seek consultations with their stylists, medical doctors and dermatologists. Young's 23 years in the industry have taught her that all have a role to play in the corrective process. Following are a few of those measures:
Eat a healthy balanced diet every day and include vitamin supplements. In Young's opinion, clients should always consider the advice of professionals. Experts advise taking B vitamins, which are the most beneficial to hair health and growth. They also believe a diet high in vitamin A, C, E and rich in zinc, magnesium and selenium helps stop hair loss due to stress. Omega-3 fatty acids also may improve scalp health.
Get plenty of sleep
Make certain you are getting at least eight hours of sleep each night. Adequate sleep helps your body recover from all types of stress and is important for the health of your scalp and hair. Prolonged sleep deprivation can be extremely stressful on the body and this stress may manifest itself as hair loss.
Schedule recovery time for major physical stressors
Give your body plenty of time to recover following a major physical stressor, such as surgery or childbirth. Pushing yourself too hard after a major illness or surgical procedure only increases the likelihood of hair loss. Acute physical stress interferes with the normal hair-growth cycle, resulting in less new growth and more shedding. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, hair loss typically begins three to four months after physical stress or illness.
Address emotional stress
Often times, working through your problems and finding healthier and more appropriate ways to deal with them can help stop hair loss and encourage new hair growth, explained Young. Experts advise attending counseling sessions if your hair loss is due to emotional stress. "When stress is addressed, you usually will see improvement in the health of a person's hair" noted Young.
Check your hormones
Having your hormone levels checked is especially important, advised Young, especially if your hair loss began after childbirth, after weaning from breastfeeding or soon after beginning oral contraception. "While most hair loss caused by childbirth appears to be related to the physical stress of labor and delivery," said Young, "In some cases lingering hormonal problems may be the culprit," she added.
Seek medical advice
Young advises checking with your medical doctor or dermatologist to determine if you may be suffering from Alopecia. Alopecia is believed to be an autoimmune disorder that causes inflammation of the hair follicles and hair loss. It may be triggered by emotional stress and sometimes goes away on its own when the stress is relieved. It also may be hereditary. However, she noted, in some cases medical treatment may be required.
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