Achieving strong, healthy hair takes time, a little effort, and a consistent routine of healthy hair habits.
The process begins with getting to know all those strands that top your head from the inside out. There are hundreds if not thousands of hair care methods out there, so rather than tossing around even more of them, we’ll spend this article discussing ways to get to know your hair. After all, if you don’t know what’s broken, you won’t know how to fix it.
Your Hair, Your State of Mind
While some hair care fixes are as simple as finding the right hair product, other times it takes some further investigation to get to the roots of the problem. By and large, healthy hair is a reflection of a healthy mind-body system. Arguably no one knows this better than a person who has experienced hair loss as a result of stress.
Consider the responses of women surveyed by Moodsome—a webzine focused on women’s issues, including domestic violence—who were asked about the toll that chronic stress took on their bodies. The number one noticeable symptom of chronic stress was hair loss, by far, with many women claiming they lost whole patches of hair for three to six months or more following a traumatic event. This phenomenon is known as telogen effluvium, a common form of nonscarring alopecia triggered by hormone changes, particularly those hormones that flood the body in response to stress or shock.
Counseling… for hair loss?
Unfortunately, there is no magic pill for treating telogen effluvium. The condition is self-correcting, meaning, it should resolve on its own once your body’s stress hormones settle. That said, if you’re living in a constant state of stress and your body is perpetually in fight-or-flight mode, then the problem will persist. Hence, bringing relief to your mind is truly the best way to decrease the velocity of hair loss. Here in Wilco, we have a number of options available for relieving this stress response.
- Reset with K. Lafleur-Anders: K is a Wellness Coach and Mind-Body Fitness Coach practicing out of Round Rock. Using self-guided wellness courses and mind-body workouts, K can help her clients identify the cause of stress in their lives and cleanse the toxicity that comes with it.
- Lakeline Wellness Center: Based in Austin, Lakeline Wellness is a multidisciplinary, mind-body health center that offers everything from acupuncture and massage therapy to counseling and health & wellness coaching.
- Austin CBT Center: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is widely recognized as one of the best psychological treatment options for people recovering from trauma. The Austin CBT Center offers state-of-the-art therapy that addresses depression, panic disorder, stress, insomnia, and more.
Wellness Beyond Hair
Of course, stress-induced alopecia is not the only way one can lose hair temporarily. An estimated 65% of people who undergo chemotherapy will lose their hair as well. Although chemically-induced hair loss doesn’t last forever either, the experience can be a painful reckoning for many people, as it reveals the reality of their illness in a very concrete way and can pile more stress onto an already distressing situation.
According to a review published in the International Journal of Cancer, people who are undergoing chemotherapy may benefit from wearing a scalp cooling cap during their chemotherapy infusions. Experts believe that these caps may slow the flow of blood to the scalp, thus limiting the level of chemotherapy drugs that affect the hair follicles covering this area.
Some people may be surprised to know that hairstylists and wig designers have a personnel story behind their choices in their beauty career, which is great news for people in Williamson County since we have a number of wig shops in town. Among the most well-known in Downtown round rock, is a wonderful place called Divinely Designed Hair This shop specializes in wigs for people receiving chemotherapy treatment, people who have lost hair due to alopecia, and more.
Hair loss due to chemotherapy or stress-induced alopecia can be a profound learning experience in self-love. It’s not uncommon for survivors to express that losing their hair, in turn, made them stronger and more confident in their inner beauty and brilliance. Indeed, the more we learn about our hair, the more we realize that the key to beauty on the outside truly is the wellness of mind and spirit.
Regardless of whether or not you have a heap of hair on your head, you are beautiful within and therefore you are blessed.
For those who have hair that is frizzy, dry, damaged, or wrought with split ends, you too can transform your hair by nourishing your inner self.
A few general tips:
- Eat like your hair depends on it. Choose eggs, berries, fatty fish, avocados, nuts, seeds, leafy greens, and pretty much anything with Omega-3 fatty acids. Avoid sugary foods and diet soda, which cause a spike in insulin. Salty snacks and fast and processed food are best cut out as well.
- Castor oil. You need it. Castor oil is well known for its ability to promote hair growth. What’s the catch? There is none. As long as your castor oil product does not include any hidden ingredients, you won’t have to worry about sulfates, parabens, or other nasty chemicals that damage your hair.
- Treat yourself to a new do. Wilco is a haven for hair salons. We are big fans of Steven Todd Salon, a funky and upbeat salon that was converted into a bus and that boasts the tag line, “All Heads Are Welcome.” We’re talkin’ confidence, style, and fun on wheels.
It may be cheesy, but boy, is it true: when you shine from the inside, your hair follows suit.