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Stress, Holidays and Your Hair

For most people, the winter holiday season is a time to look forward to. Though the season does bring us a lot of joy, great food and fun social gatherings, it can also generate a lot of stress. With such busy schedules and to-do lists as long as Santa’s, the care and health of our hair can be easily neglected.

Besides general neglect, stress itself plays a factor in the health of your hair. Just as your body can show many signs of excess stress, your hair is no exception. Not many people know how sensitive our hair follicles can be and how our hair reflects what is going on in our everyday lives. As a matter of fact and science, your hair is often a barometer of the state of your overall health.

Seemingly small changes in your lifestyle can affect a healthy head of hair. Schedule shifts, poor nutrition, hormone levels and changes in sleep cycles can wreak havoc on the hair follicles. It is no coincidence that this same list of stressors comes with the holiday seasons.

What are some of the signs that your hair is being affected by stress?

Excessive shedding is a major sign of stress. Technically known as “telogen effluvian,” excessive shedding does not normally lead to permanent hair loss, but is usually the culprit for a temporary condition. Genetic predisposition to hair loss can also contribute to excessive shedding. When we become overly stressed, our bodies generate a heavy dose of cortisol, which is a hormone produced by the adrenal gland. Studies have shown that when we produce large amounts of cortisol, it can have a direct effect on hair follicles, impairing and shutting them down, leading to hair loss.

So what can we do to keep the holiday stress from affecting the health of our hair?

It is unrealistic to think that we can remove all stresses from our daily lives, particularly during a busy season like the winter holidays. We can, however, slow down, stop the overscheduling, make sleep and rest a priority, and continue to eat well. Sticking to our natural schedules and patterns of behavior – as best as we can during the hectic holiday weeks – are vital to helping reduce stress.

If hair loss is severe, it is best to see a physician, because there may be other health conditions that are being acerbated by the stress that is being experienced. Socializing, decorating and shopping are a natural and joyful part of the holiday season, but be mindful not to neglect your health and the health of your hair.

At Hair Replacement by Janet, we offer an extensive selection of hair replacement pieces to help cover up thinning or other hair loss caused by stresses of the holiday season or any other cause. For more information, check out our products online or contact us today to learn more.

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