Emotional Health and Hair: The Vicious Cycle
by Jennifer McCowan
Your hair is the second-fastest dividing cell in your body and has a huge appetite. When we are deficient in any mineral or vitamin, our hair is often the first thing to suffer. Hair is a barometer of health.
As spring settles in, quite a few of us are beginning to shed our seasonal affective disorder and winter blues. When we go through darker, more stressful days, it creates stress in our lives and being stressed can cause hair loss. Just the same, hair loss causes stress, so what do we do when we are in a vicious cycle? Here is how the cycle works.
Lack of vitamin D throughout the winter takes a toll on our bodies in many ways. Unless we are supplementing, we lose our store of vitamin D that contributes to many processes in the body. It is commonly known as the happy hormone that comes from the sun, and there are thousands of functions for it, including reduction of inflammation; combined with calcium it assists in the strength and health of bones and teeth; and it also assists with immune function, sugar metabolism, and cell growth.
Whether we like to admit it or not, our bodies and minds are still feeling the stressful effects of COVID-19 and the fear surrounding it. When under so much stress, it is important to assist the gut, the front line to the body and brain. Our gut microbiome plays a massive role in how our bodies take up vitamins and minerals such as vitamin D, when taken orally. You can have the healthiest diet on the planet, but as a living being, we store our stress deep in our cells and no one made it through the pandemic without stress.
So how do we help the gut microbiome? Simply put, digestive enzymes and pro/prebiotics. I like to explain to my patients that digestive enzymes are like the old video game Pac-Man. Like Pac-Man, the digestive enzymes enter your stomach and break down the food that you are eating. When we break down food into smaller portions, it is easier for the body to absorb it. The breakdown of food is often what many people are lacking, due to low stomach acid or lack of sufficient gut enzymes and bacterium.
Once we break food down, that gives the gut bacteria a chance to help the components of food absorb into the body and be used as the fuel, as they were intended to do. Without a proper amount of gut bacteria, we often end up with runny stool, hard stool, rabbit poops, and other inconsistencies. Your bowel movements should be effortless, regular, soft brown in colour, and be one steady tube of waste. It is important to watch your bowel movements; they tell the story of how you are breaking, or not breaking down food, and metabolising fats, proteins, sugars, and carbohydrates, all things needed for healthy cell functioning.
When we increase absorbency of foods and vitamins, it has an overall benefit for the entire body; the brain functions better, cells work harder and more efficiently, inflammation in the body decreases, the body will respond positively in several areas.
What supplements should you take? A lot of my patients come in and they take a handful of vitamins daily, or just have no idea where to begin. There is a multivitamin called Foligrowth that we carry at Hope Hair Recovery, it is a high-potency multivitamin that also has a proprietary blend formulated to target hair growth.
Foligrowth was specifically formulated with well above the minimum daily percentage, unlike most multivitamins. The developer understands that due to stress most people are not absorbing vitamins and minerals like they should. It is formulated with high amounts of minerals and vitamins to ensure higher absorption. As with all supplements, it is important to talk to your general practitioner if you have any existing medical conditions.
For all your hair loss and scalp care concerns, we are here to help.
Jennifer McCowan, FWTS, is CEO and founder of award-winning Hope Hair Recovery in Saskatoon, and Board Advisor for the World Trichology Society. For more information, visit HopeHairRecovery.com, email email@example.com, call 306.373.HOPE (4673), and see the display ad on page 22 of the 29.1 May/June issue of the WHOLifE Journal.