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Hair Health 101: How Mental Health Can Impact The Hair

by chloeweldon / last updated May 11, 2022

How mental health can affect hair

Last month, HJ went to Windle Salon London to discuss all things hair, scalp and stress. Since this week is Mental Health Awareness Week, we thought it would be the perfect time to share how stress can really affect the hair and how we can help.

We all know that scalp health is important to hair growth. But as clients may not be aware, it’s our job as an industry to recognise and advise clients on the importance of keeping that scalp extra healthy to keep those luscious locks flowing.

Why a healthy scalp is important for hair growth

Windle Lab’s development chemist, Shona Bisset stresses the importance of keeping the skin of the scalp well moisturised and free from debris like excess styling products and dead skin to help encourage hair growth. “Making sure your hair follicles are free from dry skin and dandruff will ensure your hair can grow with no obstructions. As every hair grows from a follicle beneath the scalp surface, ensuring the follicle and skin surrounding is well nourished helps to promote hair growth and reduce the risk of ingrown hairs.”

But how exactly does our mental and physical health affect the hair and scalp?

Consultant dermatologist and hair loss expert, Mia Jing Gao specifies that physical and mental health are indeed well-recognised contributing factors in a wide range of skin and hair conditions. “The stress hormone Cortisol rises when we are distressed, which drives changes in your skin and hair including increased oil production and inflammation.

“Women who experience high levels of stress are 11 times more likely to experience hair loss than those who do not report high stress levels. An event such as major stress, illness, and pregnancy can shock the system and cause up 70% of hairs to shift from growth phase to resting phase, which results in shedding called ‘telogen effluvium’ around two months after the precipitating event.”

Founder of Windle Lab, Paul Windle says, “Our Windle London Salon stylists and hairdressers experience first-hand the journey customers go through with their hair. We see different types of clients with all sorts of issues and this pushes us to always expand our knowledge when it comes to scalp issues.”

“It was for this reason I was inspired to start the Windle Laboratory where the Windle London salon stylists have direct feedback and input with our in-house chemist who looks at the molecular structure of the hair and scalp.”

How can we help?

Our role as industry professionals means that clients are always going to turn to us for advice on hair. Whether that be increased hair loss or suffering with a dry scalp. It’s important to recognise how mental health can affect the scalp and hair, and providing clients with knowledge and understanding around these issues will help raise awareness. Let’s get salons talking!

For any serious medical issues, advise clients to contact medical professionals for diagnosis.

Have you been keeping up with HJ’s Mental Health Awareness week? Head here for our official schedule.

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