Fortunately such occurrences appear to be rare. However, it does raise an interesting question regarding the relationship between stress and hair loss. If sudden, extreme stress can have such a profound reaction, could it be that stress, endured over a fairly long period of time due to some situation or circumstance in life, or cumulative stress from many situations occurring simultaneously, could contribute to hair loss?
While the extent to which stress and hair loss are connected may be a source of debate among medical practitioners, there is a consensus of opinion that reducing stress levels or learning how to cope with stress can have a positive affect on the body and in turn upon the condition of the scalp and hair growth.
If you are suffering from hair loss, how can you determine the role stress is playing?
The Stress Inventory
Back in 1967, psychologists Holmes and Rahe created a scale to measure stressful life events that may have a bearing on illness based on the medical records of 5,000 medical patients.
“Death of a spouse” was counted as the most stressful with a score of 100 and “Divorce” ranked second with a score of 73. At the bottom of the scale came “Major holidays” with a score of “12” and “Minor Law Violation” with a score of 11.
After browsing the list and adding up the situations you are affected by you come to a total score. Anything over 300 puts you in the 80% risk category of having an illness due to stress. A score between 150-300 may indicate a 50% chance of a stress related health breakdown while scores of 150 and less indicate low probability.
Precautions When Using A Stress Inventory
If you are trying to measure the relation between stress and hair loss by using a stress inventory be aware of the limitations of such an inventory. For example, everyone reacts differently to various situations which may in themselves vary as to severity.
A divorce for example which comes after months of wrangling and acrimonious disputes is obviously going to be much more stressful than a divorce between two individuals who more or less come to an amicable arrangement.
Added to that, various personality types handle situations in a different manner. For individuals with a personality type A, the body may be used to handling stressful situations quite differently from someone with a type B personality.
So use common sense when using a Stress Inventory and be prepared to adjust some of the estimate levels depending on your own individual characteristics.
When it comes to assessing therefore whether stress and hair loss are related in your case, you need to be objective and honest with yourself as you measure your own reactions to stressful situations. Have you been dealing with a stressful situation for a prolonged period of time? Do you feel in yourself that you are under stress?
Measuring Daily Stress
Here are some easy methods for determining your stress level during your daily routine:
- Hand Temperature
MusclesConsciously focus on various parts of your body working your way down from the head, to the facial areas, to the neck, etc. Be aware of muscle tension.
Is your breathing shallow and rapid? This may indicate your body is responding to stress. A relaxed body tends to breathe more slowly and deeply.
In some persons, hormones related to stress cause the body to sweat. If you suffer with perspiration at certain times analyze those times. Is it due to a situation you find challenging?
Simply placing your hand on the side of your neck can give an indication as to whether your body is responding to stress if your neck is noticeably higher in temperature than your hand.
If you have a rapid pulse, higher than 75 beats per minute, it is likely your body is responding to stress.
If you find you are susceptible to a number of these 5 indicators frequently during your regular working day, then it could be you are battling with stress.
Stress: The Enemy Of Hair
In his mind there is no doubt that stress and hair loss are very much related. He has developed an approach to hair loss that involves treating the whole body. In his Step-By-Step Hair Power Regimen he sets out a program for dealing with stress that involves proper breathing and exercise that can have a very powerful, positive effect on the scalp and hair growth.
In the Appendix he sets out further strategies for dealing with stress and hair loss.
So if you suspect stress and hair loss are connected in your case or in the life of a loved one, why not dig a little deeper and do some research.
Perhaps use a Stress Inventory such as the one suggested above along with common sense, and use the 5 easy indicators to measure stress levels on a daily basis, and determine whether your body is coping with stress levels that could cause a health breakdown with subsequent consequences for your hair.
Then seek out the help you need to reduce the stress in your life and break the connection between stress and hair loss!
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