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Stress and Hair Loss

Modern life is characterised by busy lifestyles, high-pressure work environments and a constant struggle to juggle professional deadlines with personal commitments. With this comes the inevitability of stress. Dealing with pressure has become a way of life, and we often don’t even spare a thought to the adverse effects that stress can have on our health.

Stress does not just affect a person emotionally; it can also cause physical damage. Several people suffering from stress often complain of hyperacidity, pimples, allergies, headaches, or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) too.

Stress affects us in surprising ways and is a major cause of hair loss as well. Consider this: a study conducted at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, USA, says that women living through a difficult marriage, or marital break-up, are often troubled by stress-induced hair loss.

Stress-related hair loss follows one of the following two patterns:

1. A person may lose a large amount of hair all over the scalp in a relatively short span of time following a stressful event. However, the lost hair can usually be regained in 6-8 months with appropriate treatment.

2. The individual may experience localised, sustained bald patches on the scalp. This needs specialised treatment, because it is far more difficult to treat than other instances of hair loss in certain cases.

In order to curb stress-related hair loss, it is necessary to address the root issue and manage stress. The role of mental relaxation, yoga, regular exercise and active sports cannot be over-emphasised in mitigating stress. Besides, it is imperative for one to eat a healthy diet that provides adequate amounts of proteins, vitamins and minerals. Your diet should ideally consist of ‘hair-friendly’, dark green, leafy vegetables, dates, bean sprouts, nuts like almonds, walnuts, cashew, and pistachios, whole grain cereals, and olive oil. People who consume flaxseed often report of a natural, healthy evolution in the condition of their hair.

Homeopathy, too, has proved to be an effective treatment for hair loss, by going a step beyond managing stress and actually seeking to cure it. In keeping with the ethos of homeopathy, treatment for hair loss, too, is approached from the inside-out. Homeopathy seeks to find and address the cause of hair loss rather than just the visible symptom.

Homeopathy can help control and, in treatable cases, even reverse hair loss. In short-term hair loss, homeopathic treatment aims to help the hair follicles regenerate - this was put to a halt by stress before. In case of long-term hair loss or in conditions that have often been thought of as being untreatable, homeopathic remedies help the body to deal with stress effectively and alter the response to stress, and in so doing, assist the body to heal itself from within.

Finally, nothing beats stress more effectively than a smile. Having a positive outlook holds the key to cope with the everyday stresses of life. It is this coping ability, along with the appropriate treatment, that adds the healing synergy needed to help one face and reverse stress-related setbacks — including hair loss.

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