Clumps of hair in the bath drain, your hair brush, your sink – they just seem to keep. And the more the build up, the more you’re filled with a sense of dread and panic about your hair loss.
Thinning hair can be very stressful. And here’s the thing – stress itself can contribute to hair loss, compounding the whole process. Women experiencing stressful life events are far more likely to experience hair loss.1 Seems like a vicious cycle, doesn’t it?
When stress isn’t managed, it can induce an increase in a stress hormone called “cortisol.” Cortisol, in turn, can disrupt the hair growth process. This can lead to hair loss.2
Stress = Hair Loss
Managing stress, along with topical treatments and a healthy diet, can help slow hair loss. It may also encourage hair growth.
Now that you understand how closely intertwined hair fall is with stress, you can begin to take steps to get stress – and hair loss – under control.
How can you reduce stress for healthier tresses? Meditation may help boost hair growth.
Grow Hair by Meditating
Meditative practices may help lower the levels of cortisol – high levels of cortisol is linked to hair loss.3 Consider practicing meditation as part of your approach to slowing hair loss and boosting growth.
One of the great things about meditation is how simple it is to put into practice. Simplicity is exactly the point of meditation. Meditation asks us to set aside some time to get back to existing. Quieting the mind can work wonders – improving focus and relieving stress.
Of course, emptying the mind completely can be challenging. It feels almost counterintuitive. You spend all day trying to keep up with your busy life – and now you’re supposed to slow down and do what feels like nothing?
With practice and consistency, you’ll get better at meditation, and you’ll start to see results.
And it’s okay to start small. In fact, you might want to start with something as little as five minutes a day and work your way up from there. And be patient with yourself. As you’re learning to clear your mind, stray thoughts are bound to wander in. Just let them wander right out!
Here are some easy approaches to help you get started:
Our breath is an essential life-giving source and most of the time, we don’t even notice it. When you’re feeling anxious, though, you may notice that you breathe more shallowly. To slow down and deepen your breathing, focus on your breath as it moves in and out of your body.
This practice aims to use your eyes to bring peace to your mind. You can gaze at a candle, a tree, or an object that helps you feel peaceful.
This is like gazing, except you close your eyes and hold an object in your mind’s eye. Any time your mind drifts, bring your attention back to the object.
Closing your eyes, practice the idea of stepping outside yourself. Notice where tension in your body resides. As you’re observing yourself, pay attention to the thoughts that pop up in your mind. Then, gently, release them from your focus. The self-awareness you’ll gain by observing your own thought process is invaluable. It will allow you to rewrite negative thoughts into positive ones.
It’s helpful to have an expert get you started with some guided techniques if you’re new to meditation. You can also find plenty of guided meditation apps and online videos (even meditations focused on hair restoration).
If you’d like to bring your body into the practice of meditation – try yoga. In this practice, the body and mind to work together to achieve strength, flexibility, and peace. The holistic approach makes sense, since the body and mind are indelibly interconnected. Yoga poses help you to release mental and physical tension. As this happens, you’ll feel stress begin to melt away.
A certified yoga instructor can help you get the most out of the practice in the safest way possible. And always check with your doctor before undertaking any new exercise plan.
Here are a few yoga poses that are particularly good at opening up the body and encouraging it to let go of stress:
Kneel on the floor with your knees hip-width apart. Keep the tops of your feet on the floor, or turn your toes under, so your heels point to the ceiling. Push your hips forward so they’re vertically in line with the thigh bones. Reach your hands back so they rest on the tops of the heels lengthening the spine, and widening the chest in a slight backbend. Keep your neck in a neutral position during camel pose, or gaze upward. Breathe deeply, hold for 15 to 30 seconds, then release.
Lie face-down on the floor, legs stretched back, tops of the feet facing down. Place the palms of your hands down on the floor next to your chest and hug your elbows into your body. Pressing the legs into the floor, begin straightening the arms to lift the chest up. Lift the torso as far as you can while ensuring your thighs and legs maintain contact with the floor. Breathe deeply, and hold for 15 to 30 seconds, then release.
Start in a “tabletop” position – hands and knees on the floor. Make sure your knees line up with your hips and your shoulders line up with your elbows and wrists. Then, slowly round your spine and tuck your tailbone in. Keep your head in a neutral position so that it hangs down. Breathe deeply, and hold for 15 to 30 seconds then come back to tabletop position.
Mindful Hair Growth
The state of our mental being has a profound effect on stress hormone levels. This can affect hair loss and hair growth. Consider practices like yoga and meditation to help reduce that stress. Doing so can help boost your health, and help promote a healthy head of hair.
For more hair health tips, keep reading: