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The Link Between Mental Health & Hair Loss

On October 25, 2021

Anxiety, OCD, and bipolar disorder have been known to cause hair loss.

The disorder Trichotillomania creates an irresistible urge to pull out the hair from your scalp, eyebrows, and other areas of the body. This act is most commonly done by individuals with OCD and can permanently damage hair follicles if it remains untreated.  

Telogen effluvium is the result of stress and anxiety causing hair follicles to go into a ‘resting phase’ that can look like hair falling out in large clumps, or weaken significantly, causing the hair to thin out, break, and look dull.  

 

Hair Loss: Combing Through the Facts

Hair loss often causes embarrassment, but it happens to most people, and more often than we think. 

  • 25% of men will start balding by the time they are 21 years old. (American Hair Loss Association) 
  • Roughly 95% of hair loss in men is caused by androgenetic alopecia  (American Hair Loss Association) 
  • Around 50% of women start noticing a thinning and losing of their hair by the time they are 50 years old. (American Hair Research Society) 
  •  29% of women with hair loss reported two key symptoms of depression. (Brazilian Annals of Dermatology) 

Managing and Preventing Hair Loss 

To combat hair loss caused by mental illness, there are many lifestyle and medication changes that can improve the life of your hair (and your wellbeing):  

 

1. Make Some Diet Changes

Diets rich in protein and vitamin A can help reduce hair loss and even help with re-growth. Vitamin A specifically may help with sebum production, making the hair shiny, soft, and able to hold onto more hair in the scalp. Diets such as the Mediterranean Diet have been shown to reduce the risk of androgenic alopecia (female pattern baldness or male pattern baldness) 

    Healthy_food_for_hair

    3. Get Your Yoga On

    Stress is often linked to hair loss, so calming activities such as meditation and yoga can be of great support. Aim for a 15-30 minute practice, at least 3 times a week. You can use apps like Headspace for meditation, or YouTube for at-home yoga videos.  

     

      Woman_ doing_yoga

      4. Take Your Meds

      Certain prescription medications can help hair loss, thickness, and regrowth. Some of these medications include pills, creams, and washes such as: 

      • Finasteride (generic Propecia) 
        • Finasteride is used to treat male pattern baldness in men only. This medicine is not for use in women. It works by slowing DHT production (an androgen hormone), and is best for overall thinning, receding hairlines, and loss prevention. 
      • Minoxidil 
        • This is a Vasodilator that when applied topically it can treat certain types of baldness. 
      • Spironolactone 
        • This medication is helpful for female alopecia (hair loss), but can take up to a year to work fully.  

       

       

        Man_taking_pills

        2. DIY Coconut Oil Hair Mask

        Lauric acidis found in coconut oil, and can help to bind the protein in hair, protecting it from breakage at the root and strand. Massaging  3 tablespoons of coconut oil  into the scalp may promote better blood flow and help with regrowth. Let sit on the scalp for 30 minutes before your normal shower, and then wash out with cold or room temperature water.  

         

          Coconut_oil

          Ready to Find Relief?

          Ready to put the health of your hair into your own hands? Get started with GeniusRx today. 

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