Most of us experience stress at some point or another, but grief can be one of the underlying factors that causes damage to various parts of our bodies, including our hair.
When experiencing a sense of grief, it is common for most of us to feel stressed therefore allowing our bodies to shut down. Although grief is not a primary factor contributing to hair loss, it is definitely a part of a chain of reactions caused from stress.
When our body senses a threat (which could be a number of external factors) it is designed to react to protect itself. In doing so, this causes a chain of events that help our bodies fight to survive.
With grief comes obvious changes to one’s mood, often resulting in changes to their regular dietary habits, wellbeing rituals and general body and self-care. Loss or change in appetite means that the necessary vitamins and minerals are not being consumed. If the body does not absorb these vitamins and minerals, this majorly affects the functioning of body systems.
Along with mental state factors and understandable emotions experienced in these tough times, after not receiving essential nutrients during the grieving process the body and mind will begin to feel more and more run down which will eventually begin to show externally. This means that the hair follicles could begin to suffer, resulting in hair loss.
Generally, anything that interferes with hair follicles or the growth cycle of hair can trigger hair loss. Even when stress is not a primary factor, it can cause other negative effects in the body, which in turn weaken, or damage the hair.
There are two types of hair loss triggered by stress on the body – Alopecia Areata which is often caused by every day stress and Telogen Effluvium which is typically a result of stress caused from a single event – such as losing a loved one.
Because many of the nonessential systems shut down, many hair follicles begin to “rest” meaning they don’t quite reach the growing stage or they stop growing. After a couple of months being disrupted, the hair will shed.
The good news is that often hair loss in a time of grief can appear to be normal and will naturally grow back once the body begins to restore itself again – thankfully! It is important to remember that every person copes with grief in different ways, so it may be a good idea to seek professional advice. Here you will be able to discuss external factors such as diet, exercise, daily lifestyle and family history.
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