Stress Affects Your Hair and Body, Studies Find
Over 75% of Americans experience physical symptoms when stressed out, according to 2014 data gathered by the American Institute of Stress and these physical symptoms include health concerns such as obesity, hair fall, and skin damage. With 8 out of 10 Americans stressed out based on a Gallup poll in 2017, a good portion of the population is struggling to keep their fears and anxiety at bay and many are also experiencing negative effects on their hair and body. Although the latter is often the least of their concerns, physical symptoms signal the body’s and the mind’s need for positive changes.
Stress, Anxiety, and Health
Anxiety is a reaction to stress and too much of the latter can even escalate to anxiety disorders based on the findings of the American Psychiatric Association but it’s not just the brain that is affected, the whole body can and will show signs of the problem too. Apart from affecting a person’s overall health, a study done by Fhionna R. Moore, Ph.D. found that men who have higher levels of stress hormones are deemed unattractive to women not because of their physical features but because their cortisol levels make them seem less healthy than others. Another study done by biologist Markus Rantala notes that men detect stress in women too and as a consequence, find women who are stressed out less attractive than their peers who aren’t.
The Effects of Stress and Anxiety on Your Skin and Hair
David Bank, M.D., a dermatologist, says that stress promotes skin irritants and can even cause wrinkles. According to Bank, this is because high levels of cortisol can deprive the skin of essential nutrients and oxygen. Dr. Howard Murad agrees and notes that stress results in acne and hyperpigmentation. However, it’s not just the skin that is affected, the hair takes much of the brunt as well. For hair to be healthy, there is a need to take care of one’s health, according to Women’s Health. In an interview with the magazine, Mizu New York Salon co-owner Damian Santiago said, “Over the years it has become easy to spot clients who are dealing with a lot of stress.” Santiago added that hair thinning, hair loss, and generally unhealthy hair are a result of stress. This claim is backed by Daniel K. Hall-Flavin, M.D. who notes that stress can cause hair fall and hair loss.
Stress, Anxiety, and Obesity
While the link between obesity and anxiety disorders has not been thoroughly studied, an article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) notes that people who are stressed usually eat comfort food to “reduce the activity in the chronic stress-response network with its attendant anxiety.” According to the findings, this explains the obesity epidemic in the country. With the Gallup poll’s results in 2017 in mind, it is noted that many Americans are experiencing or have experienced unwanted weight gain due to stress.
Emotional Health and Your Teeth
The Academy of General Dentistry found that there is a link between dental health and stress as well. Dr. Nick Russo of the AGD says, “Stress affects the immune system, which fights against the bacteria that causes periodontal disease, making a person more prone to gum infection.” The link is confirmed by researchers at the State University of New York in Buffalo, the University of Michigan, and the University of North Carolina. Although stress is a normal reaction to tense environments or circumstances, too much of it has a negative effect on a person’s overall health and by extension, also affects his or her appearance. To look and feel good, it is imperative to learn stress management techniques to keep stress and anxiety at bay.