As much as we all enjoy Christmas time, many of our favourite festive activities could be having a less than positive impact on our hairlines. Here are a couple of things to be aware of as you ‘let your hair down’ this Christmas.
Virtually synonymous with Christmas is the imbibing of alcohol, and for many, drinking to excess. Although drinking is not known to initiate hair loss, it is believed to exacerbate existing conditions.
One of the known effects of alcohol on the human body is the depletion of iron and zinc levels in the bloodstream. Zinc is critical to hair health as it assists with the uptake of other minerals required for general health. Because alcohol inhibits the absorption of these chemicals, hair health suffers as a direct result.
Iron deficiencies have also been observed to raise the incidences of hair loss in women, particularly prevalent in those who lose hair as a result of Telogen Effluvium. Research indicates that for women experiencing extensive hair loss, low iron levels were at fault in more than 70% of the cases observed.
For those drinking to excess, careful consideration should be given to one of the most common side-effects, dehydration, brought on by the body’s need to rid itself of alcohol which acts as a poison. Because hair contains a large volume of water in its chemical make-up, a lack of fluids can cause hair to become dry and brittle. Once hair has become fragile in this manner, it is easily lost. Continued alcohol intake places the body under stress and it is unable to distribute nutrients correctly, resulting in the scalp and hair follicles being deprived, placing hair at risk.
Come December it is easy to get caught up in a whirl of social engagements which often run late into the night after a long day at work. Consequently our need for sleep often takes a back seat as we fulfill an endless number of social engagements.
Sleep is essential to hair health as it is the time our bodies use to repair and restore themselves, including our hair. Sleep is also essential for maintaining a healthy immune system, problems with which are known to cause hairloss conditions related to stress such as Alopecia Areata. Lack of sleep contributes to unhealthy stress levels, which in turn causes more stress potentially leading to a number of health conditions including possible hair loss.
Just because Christmas is traditionally known as the ‘holiday season’ does not mean it is all plain sailing. Anyone who has had to arrange a Christmas dinner in years gone by will realise that with much responsibility comes much stress. Add choosing gifts, visiting relatives and juggling various social activities and December becomes a month of massive strain.
Although Christmas stress usually only lasts a month, it is frequently followed by credit card bill stress in the New Year. This can last for many months thereafter.
As mentioned before, stress and sleep deprivation go hand in hand, creating a vicious cycle that creates a number of potential health problems. Hair loss is but one of many conditions exacerbated by stress and can be an indicator of serious stress-related diseases which may require medical intervention.
Reducing the Risk of Festive Hair Loss
The good news for people worried about hair loss brought on by Christmas is that most of the common causes can be avoided through the application of common sense. Better still, hair loss brought on by any of the factors discussed here tends to be temporary; hair should begin re-growing normally in the New Year.
Here are some tips to keep your hair in tip-top health during December:
Limit your alcohol intake. If you know that alcohol can have a negative impact on your hair line, you also know that a reduction of intake will minimise the likelihood of experiencing alcohol-related hair loss. The British government already provides a recommended maximum weekly alcohol intake for men and women that should serve as an accurate guideline to avoid hair loss and other health problems.
Get some rest. Christmas usually entails a whirl of social engagements, but it is also important for your hair health that you get some sleep in between. Schedule nights off to relax in between dates to ensure you get the rest you need. Experts suggest that average adults need eight hours sleep a night. If you cannot get the rest you need in December, make sure you try and catch up after the New Year. And remember that it is hard to be sociable when overtired.
Take time to relax. Despite the pressures on you, Christmas is supposed to be a time of relaxation – it is a holiday after all! Try and share responsibilities between family members so that everyone does their bit reducing stress levels all round. Just like sleep, if you need to put time off in your diary for relaxation, do it! You will feel much better for it in the long term and you are far less likely to experience hair loss as a result.
Into the New Year
Come the New Year, should you find that your hair loss has continued to worsen, it may be that the problem is down to another underlying cause. We suggest that you contact us to arrange a consultation with one of our hair loss specialists to investigate the potential causes and treatments. If you can’t get to London, fill in our online diagnostic form for a personalised hair loss treatment plan that can be sent to you anywhere in the world even after Santa has put his sleigh away for another year.
The Belgravia Centre has a track record of successful hair loss treatment and techniques as evidenced by our customer feedback. You can read some of our success stories – it’s the largest collection of its kind in the world and features comments and before/during treatment photos of happy treatment users – and get an idea of what The Belgravia Centre can do for you too by looking through our website.