The stress - hair connection.
When we are stressed, our adrenal glands release cortisol. Cortisol signals the hair follicle to prematurely shift from growth to rest, where the hair can no longer grow.
Normally, the hair growth cycle will start again, but continued stress delays the process.
The good news? The powerful adaptogens in Nutrafol support the body’s stress response and in turn improve hair growth with less shedding.
How stress stunts hair growth.
It all starts with cortisol.
Cortisol is a hormone primarily produced by the adrenal glands in order to help your body react to stressful situations. New research shows it’s also created in the scalp. Chronic stress can lead to elevated levels of this hair-damaging hormone.
How this affects the follicles.
Follicles are very sensitive to cortisol. Research has shown that the hair follicle actually has its own internal stress axis that produces cortisol in response to stressors. When the hair follicle is signaled by cortisol, the growth cycle shifts from the anagen (growth) phase to catagen (rest) phase prematurely. This means hair is no longer actively growing, and is preparing to fall out. When there are more hair follicles in catagen than in anagen, you may notice excessive hair shedding–more than 100 hairs per day.
How does your body react to cortisol?
When you perceive stress or fear, your adrenal glands receive a signal from the brain that tells the body to make more cortisol in an attempt to protect itself from harm (the fight-or-flight response). While this is completely normal, it becomes problematic when our adrenals are constantly producing and releasing excessive cortisol. Chronic stressors can include work, relationships, physical trauma, and more.
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