Stress affects your Hair!

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There is emotional stress and physical stress and both affect your hair and complexion. In fact they are often the first signs that people notice. So whether your hair is physically stressed from too much highlighting or tired and limp like the rest of you from too many late nights, in smoky clubs, surviving on a junk food diet the old saying of ‘too much of anything isn’t good for you’ comes to mind.

Lack of sleep, poor diet, relying on drugs, alcohol or cigarettes to get you through, a low immune system, headaches and tension area all the symptoms of emotional stress or the signs of a social life gone mad. It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to work out that your hair and skin are going to suffer. Signs to be aware of are:

  • limp and lifeless skin and hair

  • dull hair with no shine

  • pale, sensitive or blemish prone skin

Physical stress of your hair or skin tends to be more sudden and is often put down to a particular event i.e. it was that perm or colour but the reality is it was that plus a combination of all the previous perms and or colours and the daily flat ironing, oh, and that holiday where you swam in the chlorinated pool every day and didn’t rinse your hair after each dip!! Signs of this type of stress are more obvious:

  • frizz

  • split ends

  • breaking or snapping hair

  • burnt hair

  • excessively dry, red or flaky skin

  • blemish our breaks

The answer to all of these issues is everything in moderation, but what is ‘moderation’?

If it’s emotional stress that has caused your physical symptoms then what will fix your beauty related issues will fix a lot more than just that:

  • relax, have a massage or other beauty treatment

  • take time out and learn how to cook healthily that will solve your dietary problems at the same time

  • take up a sport other than clubbing and make it one that is involves both sexes and the benefits will be similar!

  • if smoking, give it up, as it ages you excessively and who wants to end up with all those lines for your lipstick to bleed into around your mouth or yellowed fingers and hair?

  • drugs and alcohol will affect your skin and hair the fastest and no amount of treatments other than quitting or limiting consumption to recommended health standards will help. The best examples are our celebrities who can afford every treatment that exists but still look as awful as the rest of us after a night of partying too hard.

For your hair, on a chemical treatment level, it’s about not overlapping those treatments or only doing so infrequently. That means get your roots done every 5 or 6 weeks but don’t take that same colour over the ends each time. If the ends have faded, get them refreshed with a semi or non-permanent colour that will nourish your hair. If you like to change your colour often go for non-permanent options and extensions or clip on highlights.

When it comes to perms and chemical straightening it is also possible to do the roots only (well for a professional hairdresser it is).

As for not damaging your hair with blow dryers and irons ensure that you use a thermal protector (these are found in many styling products like mousse if not in yours get a spray in protection lotion). Make sure your electrical appliance is not a cooker in disguise! The hair dryer that works so fast does so because its thermostat stopped working years ago and has just got hotter and hotter ever since. Chuck it if not sure! Also ceramic and thermal ionic technology means that you can use tongs and flat irons daily but older style ones without it will be more heat damaging and so you will not be able to use them more than for special occasions.

If the damage has been done then treatments are the answer and these are all about clarifying and moisturizing. But knowing exactly which treatment will suit your hair or skins is a job for a professional so go and get assessed and a prescription filled. This sort of damage is the time not to mess about but to go professional all the way as the right products really do make all the difference.

‘Maintenance’ then becomes the key for all of us and a facial or visit to your favorite salon every 6 weeks is not just about physical results. Stopping in once a week to ‘do your hair’ is not just about the need for a regular treatment but are highly recommended fixes for mind, body and spirit.

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