Sure, stress can metaphorically make you want to pull your hair out, but—in unfortunate news for your hairline—it can also literally affect hair growth.
So if you’ve been a ball of stress all 2020 and you’re feeling meh about your hair, the two might be connected. We’ll break down the science later, but—more unfortunate news—hindering growth isn’t even the only way stress can affect hair.
“Increased cortisol production [which happens when you’re stressed] can also trigger your body to produce more sebum, your skin’s natural moisturizer,” says Dan Hodgdon, CEO of Vegamour. “While sebum is necessary for healthy hair growth, too much can be a bad thing—it can clog hair follicles and hinder healthy hair.” (*Moment of silence for our strands*)
All that to say, since eliminating stress isn’t really possible, it’s no wonder that a bottle of Vegamour’s plant-based GRO Hair Serum or GRO+ Serum with CBD is selling every 36 seconds right now. Keep reading to learn how it all works, so you can help your hair go from just-okay to shampoo-commercial-worthy. Now that’s the best news we’ve heard all day.
Keep scrolling for more on the relationship between stress and hair loss, plus how to promote hair growth.
How stress leads to hair loss
To understand the link between stress and hair loss, we have to dive into the science quickly. “When you experience stress, cortisol [the stress hormone] triggers the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines,” Hodgdon says. “Cytokines are proteins that act as messengers between cells and help regulate many bodily functions, including inflammation.”
When cytokines are busy fighting stress-induced inflammation, blood flow is reduced to the skin, which can lead to hair follicles essentially being cut off from their nutrient source—thus hindering hair growth, he says. If you don’t feed your hair, it won’t grow (kind of like your houseplants, no?)
What to do about it
To fight back against this process, there are a few ways to tackle hair loss at it’s, um, roots. “It’s not just about the products you use on your scalp and hair, but how you take care of yourself—including what you eat and your levels of stress—that impact your overall hair health,” Hodgdon says.
Couple that holistic approach with the right products, and you’ll be on your way to starring in that shampoo commercial. Hodgdon’s advice? Avoid ingredients like sulfates and surfactants (which can strip your hair and scalp of natural moisture and lead to breakage) and other synthetic chemicals.
“Years ago, I noticed that my hairline was receding, so I turned to a commonly used product for hair growth,” Hodgdon says. “Unbeknownst to me, this product (found in drugstores across the U.S.) was filled with toxic chemicals and synthetic hormones. My wife […] researched the product and found out the risks associated with these ingredients, and she let me know under no circumstances would she let me continue to use this product.”
His personal hair-loss experience led him to create Vegamour, which has been researched and tested to be just as effective as chemical-based alternatives while using powerful, plant-based ingredients, Hodgdon says.
And the results are legit. Hodgdon says you can expect to see 50 percent more hair density after three months of using the GRO line (thanks to its ability to protect from cytokines), with up to 76 percent less hair loss from combing and washing after four months.
To do this, Vegamour’s core product, GRO Hair Serum leans on plant stem cells from mung bean and red clover (which are clinically proven to fortify hair follicles at the cellular level and protect against cytokines, Hodgdon says) as well as plant-based proteins extracted from turmeric and other plants for their hair-growth promoting properties.
And while Gro Hair Serum fights hair loss from the outside-in, Gro+ Advanced Hair Serum adds in CBD, which works to reduce inflammation caused by increased cortisol levels while also promoting microcirculation on the affected areas (aka fighting stress from inside-out), Hodgdon says. How appropriate that CBD be involved in a stress-induced hair-care routine. At least now you’ve got one less thing to stress about.
Sound like something your hair would be into? Use code WELL20 for 20 percent off your entire Vegamour purchase.
Art: Well+Good Creative