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Stress and hair loss have a strong connection. And so, you need to first stop stressing over hair loss, or it can make your hair grey and your existing hair condition even worse.

Yes, stress can turn your hair grey!

Rapunzel’s hair is what makes her special, and almost all of us wish for it as well. Knowing this, we should remember that healthy hair comes with a healthy lifestyle. But because of our busy schedules, we hardly pay attention to our health and mind. That’s the biggest mistake ever!

Decreasing hair health has a great deal to do with your stress levels.

Health Shots got in touch with Dr. Rinky Kapoor, Consultant Dermatologist, Cosmetic Dermatologist and Dermato-Surgeon, The Esthetic Clinics.

stress and hair loss
Greying is one of the most prominent, yet ignored signs of hair damage. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Here’s what Dr Kapoor says, “Stress and grey hair have a long-standing relationship. Stress-induced greying is one of the perils of the modern lifestyle. Studies have shown that psychological stress can cause greying hair and even accelerate greying.”

How does stress cause grey hair?

Our body has a natural flight or fight response, and the stress response helps us survive danger. In the modern world, the triggers for stress are one too many. It can be a nasty email or a social media post. Stress causes the cells to age faster and the effect of it is visible to the naked eye through the change in colour of the hair. In fact, a study published in Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons found that stress can accelerate grey hair and can even lead to hair loss.

Dr Kapoor explains that hair gets its colour from melanocyte pigment which comes from the stem cells in the hair follicles. When stress hits the body releases norepinephrine which hinders the normal functioning of melanocytes and the hair turns grey.

The good news

Some recent studies have indicated that once you bring the stress levels down, it is possible to reverse greying. However, this research is still in its nascent stage.

Here’s how you can de-stress yourself

1. Watch what causes stress and journal it. This will make you aware of your triggers and slowly you’ll learn to deal with situations.

2. Chanting can help. It can help in bringing energy levels back and release stress.

3. Try breathing exercises because they are known to improve focus and relax you down.

4. Do nothing but simply practice different types of meditation techniques.

5. Try a pose. Yes, practicing yoga or exercises can surely help to reduce stress levels.

6. You are what you eat! So eat well and healthy only.

stress and hair loss
Watch what you eat, please! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

7. Brew and nosh on peppermint tea to de-stress yourself. Peppermint tea is known to fight against symptoms like depression, stress, and anxiety.

And here are other ways to tackle grey hair

The important thing to keep in mind is that the hair colour changes from the follicle and is not mid-way to the growth. Therefore, greying reversal is a slow process.

Follow these simple tips to deal with grey hair, as recommended by Dr Kapoor:

  • Keep stress in check
  • Don’t eat too much
  • Exercise every day even if it is a for short time
  • Do things that relax you and make you feel loved
  • Wear a scarf or hat to protect your hair from UV rays
  • Avoid smoking and caffeinated drinks
  • Get enough vitamins in your diet
  • Consult your dermatologist or hair specialist for a good hair care routine

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