It’s a fairly safe assumption that the majority of us know the implications and havoc that stress has on our body and mind. Stress can disrupt our precious sleep which leaves us feeling even more stressed. Other symptoms linked to stress include feeling anxious, headaches, heartburn, increased chance heart attack, compromised immune system, tense muscles, lower sex drive, irregular menstrual cycle and sadly, this list extends longer than Rapunzel’s golden locks.
Did you know that stress, particularly extended periods of stress can actually lead to chemical and physical changes in the colour, texture and body of our hair? When we are stressed, our body responds by increasing levels of a super powerful hormone called cortisol. Cortisol is involved in the regulation of metabolism in the cells and helps us regulate stress within the body. Some experts say stress may be a reason for unexplained hair loss in both men and women. During times of high stress, it is even more important to adopt healthier habits which in turn can help alleviate some of the effects stress has on our body, mind and hair.
Eating a well-balanced diet full of nutrient dense foods can ensure we are obtaining vital vitamins and minerals which assist in maintaining healthy hair as well as overall wellbeing.
- Vitamin C - is an essential antioxidant which helps fight free radical damage and protect hair from ageing. Kiwi, oranges, strawberries, broccoli, red capsicum, kale and brussel sprouts are all excellent examples of vitamin C rich foods.
- Iron – is essential for boosting hair growth as it carries oxygen to the hair follicles. Iron rich food sources are spinach and other dark leafy greens, egg yolks, beef, lentils and beans.
- Fish oil – is effective in reducing inflammation that causes hair disorders. Fish oil can be found in foods such as salmon, tuna, whitefish, walnuts, flax and chia seeds and egg yolks.
- B-Complex vitamin – helps to rebuild damaged hair from such things as over-shampooing, sun exposure, hair irons and blow dryers. Food sources that can be beneficial here include eggs, chicken, beef, avocado, legumes and nuts.
- Vitamin D – keeps hair healthy and assists in hair growth. The best way to absorb vitamin D is by direct exposure to the sun for approximately 10-15 mins each day. Vitamin D rich food sources are salmon, whitefish, swordfish, portabello and maitake mushrooms.
During heightened periods of stress, it is essential to be aware of how we handle our hair. Being gentle when styling our poor stressed and compromised hair is crucial as hair is likely be brittle and in more of a fragile state. Freshly washed hair is particularly sensitive and should be handled with the utmost care. Wrapping wet hair in a towel to remove excess water is advised over vigorously rubbing your hair with a towel. Using a natural wide tooth comb on hair after washing it is an excellent alternative to using a brush. We love and recommend using BASS bamboo wide and fine tooth comb as it is remarkably gentle and safe to use on compromised hair. Overuse of heat such as dryers and especially irons should be avoided until your hair has recovered.
In our life time we experience periods of hair growth as well as hair loss. During the cycle of hair growth, it is perfectly healthy to lose some hair every day. Approximately 50 to 100 stands of hair a day is said to be quite a normal amount of hair to shed.
We all know the importance of a good night sleep and the myriad of benefits it can have. An insufficient amount of sleep on a regular basis can result in increased stress levels which has a negative impact on hair growth as well as noticeable thinning of the hair. Nervous habits such as obsessive hair-washing, sucking on hair and hair twirling can have detrimental effects on hair. Over time, these type bad habits damage the hair shaft which again, can lead to your hair appearing much thinner. Do you know any ‘hair twirlers’? I do, although I think she is more of a flirty twirler as opposed to a nervous twirler.
Using quality products targeted to improving the condition of your hair are going to be your best friend. Mane ‘n Tail products have been linked to hair growth and strengthening brittle hair for over 40 years. Mane ‘n Tail products were originally developed for horses, yes horses! Horse owners reported seeing significant improvement in the health and appearance of their horses’ manes and tails. Similar results were seen when horse owners and groomers used the products on themselves. This was the beginning of the Mane ‘n Tail legend affectionately know as the 'long hair shampoo'. We believe our quality formulas help achieve and maintain longer, stronger, healthier looking hair by nourishing, fortifying and conditioning the hair and scalp. For over 40 years, consumers worldwide have been reporting on the remarkable results they receive from using Mane ‘n Tail products.
Browse or purchase Mane ‘n Tail products in Australia here.
In essence, during high periods of stress we are advised to optimise our diet to include essential vitamins and minerals. Implementing strategies to decrease stress factors and being more delicate when handling our hair can assist in hair repair and recovery. Using strengthening and hair growth products can also be game changer and have lasting desirable effects.