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How Trauma Can Affect Your Hair



Hair is often considered a reflection of our identity, a canvas for self-expression. Beyond its aesthetic value, hair can also serve as a silent storyteller of our health and experiences. As a stylist of 19 years, Ive seen firsthand the told and untold stories of some of my clients' experiences through their hair because our hair acts as a timeline of our lives. One aspect that is not often discussed is the profound connection between trauma and hair health. In this blog, we'll delve into the intricate relationship between trauma and the impact it can have on the health of your locks.







Understanding Trauma related to Hair:

Trauma can manifest in various forms, from emotional and psychological distress to physical injury or illness. Whether it's the aftermath of a stressful event, the loss of a loved one, a chronic health condition, or the aftermath of hormonal changes and physical stress from giving birth the body's response to trauma can extend to unexpected places, including your hair.





The Three Phases of Hair Growth:

To comprehend how trauma affects your hair, it's crucial to understand the hair growth cycle. Hair growth occurs in three main phases:

  • Anagen (Growth) Phase: This is the active phase where hair cells divide rapidly, and the hair shaft grows.

  • Catagen (Transition) Phase: Hair growth slows, and the follicle shrinks during this short transitional phase.

  • Telogen (Rest) Phase: The hair follicle rests, and the old hair is pushed out by the new hair growing beneath it.

The Impact of Trauma on Hair:

  • Telogen Effluvium:

  • Trauma can push a large number of hair follicles into the telogen (rest) phase simultaneously. This condition, known as telogen effluvium, can result in significant hair shedding several months after the traumatic event.

  • Changes in Hair Texture:

  • The stress response triggered by trauma can affect the texture of your hair. Some may experience dryness, brittleness, or changes in curl pattern.

  • Alopecia Areata:

  • Severe stress can contribute to autoimmune conditions like alopecia areata, where the immune system attacks hair follicles, leading to hair loss in patches.

  • Delayed Hair Growth:

  • Trauma can disrupt the normal progression of the hair growth cycle, leading to delayed regrowth after hair is shed.




Managing Trauma-Related Hair Issues:


Holistic Approaches:

  • Engaging in stress-reducing activities such as meditation, yoga, nuerofeedback (my fav) or counseling can help manage the psychological impact of trauma, subsequently benefiting your hair health.

Nutritional Support:

  • Adopting a balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals, especially those promoting hair health like biotin, can contribute to the overall well-being of your hair.  

  • Drink lots of water (start tracking this)

  • Try and eat your weight in grams of protein (this might not be possible for some, but keep track and up your intake)


       Stylist Recommendations:

  • Throw out shampoos or scalp applications that have sulfates 

  • Monthly oil treatments (no coconut oil) 

  • Natural serums that will nourish the scalp and are packed with topical vitamin-rich ingredients

  • Ask your stylist for shampoo and conditioner recommendations that will help on this journey

Medical Guidance:

  • Seeking advice from a dermatologist or a trichologist can help diagnose and address specific hair concerns related to trauma. 

  • Get your hormones checked by your Dr this can be a game changer.




Our hair, like the rings of a tree, can capture moments of stress and upheaval in our lives. Understanding the connection between trauma and hair health allows us to approach self-care more comprehensively. As we strive for inner healing, our hair may serve as a reminder of our resilience and strength on our journey toward well-being.

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