Treating Stress Related Hair Loss

Stress related hair loss makes a bad situation even worse. Fortunately, most cases will pass and others will respond to treatment.

If you have stress related hair loss you may be at a loss on how to cope with the problem. You’re already stressed out and now here comes this additional burden which makes you feel worse.

This is especially a problem with alopecia areata (hair loss due to inflammation and associated with chronic stress). You are struggling to cope with various problems and suddenly you feel self-conscious because you fear people are starring at the bald spot on your head.

Hair Loss is Difficult for a Woman

Woman brushing hair and worryingHair is an intimate part of most women’s identity.

Women especially are apt to feel that their hair is part of who they are.

People with alopecia areata can experience lower self-esteem and even depression over their hair loss.

If you are feeling emotionally overwhelmed from your stress related hair loss, you may want to consider professional counseling. Talking things over with a sympathetic professional trained in teaching coping skills can be a great relief. Joining a support group and talking about your hair loss with others experiencing the same problem can also help you feel less alone.

Some people feel better wearing a hat or a wig to cover their hair loss, while others feel uncomfortable doing so. Wearing a properly fitting hat or hairpiece will not make alopecia worse nor will it help your hair grow in faster. The choice is yours; do which ever you feel most comfortable doing.

Natural Treatments for Hair Loss

Fortunately, efforts which support your general health can help reduce stress-induced hair loss.

General Good Health Guidelines:

Telogen effluvium hair loss results from a one-time stressful event. Usually it does not need treatment. Just as is true after any illness, injury or surgery, your recovery can be promoted by a healthy lifestyle. This hair loss should resolve itself as you get well.

During recovery from any one-time stressor make sure you get adequate rest. Eat properly, getting adequate complex carbs and protein to rebuild your body’s resources. Enjoy relaxing activities such as listening to music or meditating and ask your doctor about an appropriate exercise program. Exercise is a stress reducer as well as a strength builder.

To recover from alopecia areata, incorporate all of the healthy living guidelines, (rest, nutrition, enjoyment and exercise) but also reduce your stress. You must reduce the source of the inflammation to improve your hair.

Supplements:

If you are suffering from alopecia areata, you will also benefit from good nutrition and stress reduction. Eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as tuna and salmon, can help. Some nutritionists recommend taking a B vitamin complex supplement; we need B vitamins to help our bodies deal with stress.

Another supplement recommended for hair loss is zinc, although there is some controversy. Some people feel that too much zinc can lead to copper deficiency; and copper deficiency can lead to hair loss. Others believe that zinc helps stimulate hair growth. Most experts believe the best strategy is eating a healthy balanced diet so that you won’t need supplements.

Aromatherapy:

Other natural remedies for stress related hair loss include aromatherapy. In a double-blind study at the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary in Scotland, essential oils were found to improve alopecia areata in 44% of the group.

Hair Loss Blend #1

  • 4 drops rosemary
  • 4 drops thyme
  • 4 drops lavender
  • 4 drops cedarwood

Put 5 drops of this solution in 20 drops of olive, grapeseed or fractionated coconut oil. Massage this into your scalp before sleep nightly.

If this blend does not work, try these others:

Hair Loss Blend #2

  • 10 drops cedarwood
  • 8 drops rosemary
  • 10 drops sandalwood
  • 10 drops lavender

Hair Loss Blend #3

  • 3 drops rosemary
  • 5 drops lavender
  • 4 drops cypress
  • 2 drops clary sage
  • 2 drops juniper

Add 10 drops of either blend to 1 tsp of fractionated coconut oil and massage into your scalp, especially where it is balding before bed. If you can buy all the oils, try alternating the blends.

If putting these oils in your hair before bed sounds messy, put them in your hair before exercise. When you are done, you will shower and the oil will be gone. In fact, you can add 2-4 drops of these oil mixtures to 1-2 tsp. of your shampoo for extra treatment.

If you can buy only one oil, I would start with Rosemary. Other single oils which may relieve your stress related hair loss are Lavender, Cedarwood, Sandalwood, and Clary Sage.

Reduce Inflammation

Because alopecia areata is a disease of inflammation, I can not stress enough that inflammation is where you should start. No amount of topical treatment will help, if your immune system continues on red-alert.

Reducing inflammation is a multifaceted task involving nutrition (eating whole foods, less acidic foods, and balanced meals), reducing stress, reducing the toxins you take in, and cleansing the toxins that have accumulated in your system.

Reduce Stress and Enjoy Full Hair

If your stress related hair loss does not immediately respond to treatment, take heart. By reducing your stress, you are taking the first step toward better health, and better hair.

About Julia Rymut

Julia Rymut helps women find peace in their busy lives. She uses massage, essential oils, organization and a sense of humor to show that stress is a state of mind that can be changed. She lives in Seattle, WA loves talking about history, traveling to exotic places, working out, and walking in the woods.