Approximately 35 million men are currently experiencing some form of hair loss, but could some of that hair loss be a result of holiday stress? Winter is harsh on the body, sapping moisture from skin and forcing many to stay indoors. The holidays are certainly a time of joy, but also a time of stress for many.
However, according to workplace psychologist Jennifer Newman, managing stress is the key to enjoying the holidays with minimal impact on your body, including your head of hair.
Newman explained that the holidays are difficult for many workers who must juggle work in addition to increased responsibilities at home. “Unrealistic expectations are more likely during this time of year,” she added.
The pressure to not only act happy, but make others feel happy, also rises during the holiday season. These additional pressures can work negatively against the body, even changing hormone levels.
Hair loss specialist Alan J. Bauman, M.D. explained that the holidays typically elevate cortisol levels, which is “a type of steroid hormone produced by the adrenal gland,” explained Bauman. Cortisol, besides being associated with stress, can influence a condition called telogen effluvium, also known as excessive shedding.
In other words, holiday hair loss is a condition that plagues many people over the winter. In addition to loss of sleep and extra physical demand over the holidays, avoiding stress can seem impossible.
Above all else, Newman recommends acknowledging the issues and recognizing them as they appear. One of the biggest problems for many, she explained, is depression or anxiety. Social gatherings can often be an additional stress on those who struggle with anxiety. In these situations, Newman recommends thinking about seasonal topics and avoiding controversial issues.
In addition, Newman has advised workers to steer clear of holiday deals and advertising when possible. The pressure to buy can often place extreme financial pressure on people, increasing levels of stress even more.
Newman also warned against perfectionism. She said that above all else, you should know yourself and be aware of any perfectionist tendencies.