Deck the halls, but not with strands of my hair please!
If you feel like your hair loss is at an all time high around the holidays, well you aren't alone.
As if you didn't have enough to worry about: Getting gifts for everyone, making holiday magic happen around the house, that Elf!!!
...holiday school parties, holiday school programs, holiday school caroling, holiday work parties, pictures with Santa, pictures of the family, pictures of your pet with santa... I'm not even close to being done.
It honestly shouldn't even be surprising that we aren't losing more than our hair, with all that is on our plate; but that doesn't make it any easier to accept.
Wait, Holiday Stress Shedding is Real?
I hate to be the bearer of bad news but if you are noticing extra strands around this time of year (or it can happen a few months from now, as hair moves in 3 month cycles) you are likely suffering what is known as:Telegon effluvium induced by an acute stressor (NOV/DEC stress= AKA HAPPY HOLIDAYS).
Whenever this stress trigger takes place, hair follicles basically go into shock and there is this physiological shift.
It is most common for about 90% of your normal scalp hair to be in a state of growth, while the remaining 10% are in a shedding phase (approximately 50-100 hairs falling out is normal a day).
However, this stress induced shedding can take the average hair shedding over 20-25% and this can look like clumps and seem a little scary.
While stress shedding will likely diminish in the months following the holidays, (as the stress level slowly wain); its not something I like to deal with so I take precautions and do everything I can to keep it minimal.
The following are a mash up of my stylists, doctors, and my own best tips based on experience:
1. Most importantly, make sure your hair is getting enough nutrition! This is the time of year to up your vitamin intake. Biotin and collagen are my bff's and I take two of the max strength Baby Blues Hair Vitamins that contain both hair boosting components, every morning.
It's also a good time of year to make sure you are getting enough protein & iron in your diet. Women tend to be running around taking care of everyone else's needs during the holidays and its all too easy to overlook your own dietary necessities.
If you are feeling lightheaded or extra extra tired your body is likely trying to tell you something.
2. Get enough rest. 7-9 hours during such a busy time of year is recommended. I like adding magnesium and melatonin when my brain just feels like it won't turn off so I can catch some zzz's.
3. Use a heat protectant: My stylist is really adamant that you have to be using a heat protectant spray always, but especially during the holidays when you are more likely to style your hair.
If you are using a hairdryer, flat iron, curling iron, curlers etc you need to be making sure your hair is protected so further damage does not occur.
My favorites right now are:
a) Rene Furterer- Protect Thermal Protectant Spray
b) Oribe Royal Blowout Heat Protectant Spray
c) Bumble and Bumble Heat Shield Thermal Protectant Mist
4. Say No More, No to the holiday cards, No to the elf, No to the 100th holiday get together, its ok to not do it all.
That said, its ok to ask for help too.
I know we do it better, faster, and right the first time but if you can delegate something to a family member or friend, for your hairs sake do it!