Cortisol Levels and Hair Loss

by Viviscal Hair Expert on August 8th, 2015
What you need to know about cortisol levels and hair loss

Cortisol is one of the body’s most important hormones. It is often known as the “stress hormone” as its production varies in response to our environmental or psychological levels of stress. Stress can cause a number of physical effects, including thinning hair due to a possible link between cortisol levels and hair loss.

When you are under pressure to meet that unmanageable deadline at work or stuck in a traffic jam on your way to pick up the kids from school, your stress levels are high. In order to deal with this, your body’s natural response is to produce the hormone cortisol. This can lead to a heightened sense of awareness, quicker reflexes and speedy metabolic rate. All of these changes can be beneficial if you are in a high pressure situation in the short term. In ancient times, our ancestors would have benefited hugely from this somewhat super-human state. An extra cortisol boost might well save your skin from becoming saber-toothed tiger lunch.

As much as we might still feel like Tarzan or Jane in an urban jungle, many of us now work desk jobs. Despite our comfortable chairs and sedentary lifestyle, stressful situations have far from disappeared. Mildly stressful situations are often dragged out over days, weeks or months. This results in a higher demand for cortisol production, and possibly the gradual depletion of our ability to produce this hormone adequately. Some studies claim that both high and low cortisol levels can impact hair loss.

Low Cortisol Levels and Hair Loss

Low cortisol hair loss is intrinsically linked to adrenal fatigue. When stress is sustained, some claim that the adrenal glands can be overworked due to excess cortisol production. This means that your cortisol levels, and other hormone levels, could fall. The result of this fall is that your body is unable to produce other important hormones that impact hair loss, such as testosterone. This article highlights that, among men, the testes are able to step in and produce testosterone, but women may be more adversely affected.

High Cortisol Levels and Hair Loss

But does high cortisol cause hair loss too? Similarly, when cortisol levels are high, the body prioritizes its production over other hormones. Ironically, both high and low levels lead to a similar effect. Understanding the connection between cortisol levels and hair loss, whether it’s  high cortisol and hair loss or an examination of how can low cortisol cause hair loss, provides a fascinating insight into our biological processes. However, these two contradictory problems are bound together by stress. Both high and low cortisol levels are caused by sustained stress, which our bodies are not designed to cope with.

How to Relieve Stress

The best way to tackle hair loss caused by irregular cortisol production is to reduce sustained stress levels. This article about managing anxiety and hair loss provides some simple steps towards making life a little less zany, and a little more zen. Relieving stress can help minimize the links between cortisol levels and hair loss.

The first simple steps to reduce your stress levels are to ensure you have a healthy diet and take regular exercise. Ensuring that you provide your body with all the essential vitamins, minerals and other nutrients it needs to create a great environment for hair growth can be simple. Rather than throwing out your dinner plans, why not try supplementing your diet with Viviscal Extra Strength?

Personally, I have always found running to be a highly effective stress relief technique. The monotony and rhythmic pacing help me to get into a state of relaxation, focusing the mind on the regularity of my breathing, rather than what grinds my gears!