Let’s face the facts – we live in an increasingly digital and sedentary world. Whether it’s working at a desk or watching a movie while on the couch, the unfortunate majority of us are accustomed to a life of little exercise.
While most folks are well aware of the common health risks associated with sedentary living, such as obesity and various cardiovascular diseases, there may be another surprising (and somewhat subtle) consequence of this lifestyle that we haven't paid much attention to: hair loss!
For today’s article, we’ll be delving deeper into the possible connections between sedentary lifestyles, stress, and hair loss, along with their intricate factors and links.
Blood Circulation and Stress
The link between inactive lifestyles and hair loss might not be immediately apparent, but it is worth exploring in depth through the its four major attributes: blood circulation, hormones, nutrition, and mental stress. Before we get to the aspects of nutritional and/or hormonal imbalance, let’s clear a few things up about the two B’s: your blood and your brains.
Compromised blood circulation is often the direct result of a lack of oxygen – which itself can be a symptom of sedentary living (among other problems). Prolonged periods of sitting have been proven to result in a rapid decrease in blood flow to various parts of the body, including the scalp. Now, how does hair play a part in this? Well, for one, healthy hair growth relies on the efficient delivery of nutrients and, you guessed it – oxygen.
What’s more is that higher levels of stress and anxiety go hand in hand with inactivity. As we sit like couch potatoes for extended periods, the psychological and emotional stresses that come with it can take a toll on our bodies. As you might expect, elevated stress levels in conjunction oxygen insufficiency can lead to an overproduction of certain chemicals in our bodies. In this case, it’s the hormone cortisol, which has been linked to hair loss and thinning. Speaking of hormones…
Nutritional and Hormonal Imbalance
According to a bulk of studies, sedentary individuals are more prone to unhealthy dietary habits, which can naturally result in nutritional deficiencies. A diet lacking essential nutrients like protein, vitamins (E, B, D), minerals, and iron can negatively impact hair health. The body requires these nutrients for hair growth, and a deficit can manifest as brittle and thinning hair, if not something worse. We’ll let you figure out what the worse thing is… Hint: our services deal with it.
By this point you might have spotted a running theme in how our bodily issues result in chain reactions, with said reactions then contributing to hair loss in one way or another. Obesity is no stranger to this, as it effects our hormones as well! As body weight increases, the likelihood of an elevated production of dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a hormone linked to hair loss, also rises. This is a particularly scary reality for individuals with genetic predispositions to hair loss, as DHT can accelerate hair thinning or full loss.
Strategies to Mitigate the Risk
It's clear that while a sedentary lifestyle may not directly (or fully) cause hair loss, it can certainly contribute to it or speed it up through various mechanisms. To mitigate the potential risks and preserve healthy hair, here are some steps you might want to consider:
Regular Exercise: By maintaining physical activity in your day-to-day life, you greatly improve blood circulation, reduce stress, and achieve hormonal balance. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week.
Balanced Diet: Try to prioritize a diet rich in the essential nutrients, such as protein, iron, vitamins, and minerals through a well-rounded, varied selection of food groups.
Stress Management: Practice stress-reduction techniques like meditation or yoga to keep cortisol levels in check. Reducing stress can significantly benefit both your mental well-being and hair health.
Hair Care: Treat your hair with care by using mild, natural hair products and avoiding super harsh chemicals, heat styling, or even excessive brushing.
Consult a Professional: If you're experiencing significant hair loss, it's essential to consult a dermatologist or a hair specialist for a proper diagnosis and personalized treatment options. They can assess your situation and recommend effective solutions to address your hair loss concerns.
The connection between sedentariness and hair loss is closer to reality than fiction. While it may not be the sole factor contributing to hair loss, it can indeed play a part through various interconnected mechanisms, including poor circulation, elevated stress levels, nutritional imbalances, and hormonal imbalances.
By making conscious choices to prioritize physical activity, maintaining a balanced diet, managing stress, and practicing proper hair care, you can reduce the potential risks and promote healthier, fuller hair. However, it’s also worth keeping in mind that hair loss is a complex issue, and addressing lifestyle factors is just one facet of maintaining your hair's health and vitality.